Sir — I have no wish to enter into a controversy with Mr Kinglake upon matters of opinion, but there are some questions of fact which I consider should be set right as early as possible.
Mr Kinglake states that Lord Raglan refrained from an immediate assault upon Sebastopol upon my advice, and against his own conviction. My views upon the subject are well known. I considered an assault unjustifiable at that time, and I have never seen reason to change my opinion. Lord Raglan never consulted me on the subject, nor do I believe he ever entertained the idea. It would not have been my business, as a General Officer on the Staff, to volunteer advice on so important a matter to the Commander-in-Chief, upon whom would have fallen the whole responsibility of a failure. Such an interference might be used as a cheap and easy method of obtaining a character for enterprise and dash.
For the same reason I greatly doubt the fact of Lord Lyons having proffered such advice to Lord Raglan. In their relative positions it would have been very unbecoming, and it requires better authority than the report of a private conversation to substantiate so very improbable a statement.
I am, Sir, your obedient servant,
J. F. BURGOYNE
London, June 30