every endeavour is being made to get them under better shelter than canvas tents. The wooden huts have arrived in great numbers at Balaklava, but, unfortunately, their great weight renders it a service of considerable difficulty bringing them up to the plateau. I cannot say they are very cleverly constructed, as the smallest packages are 4 cwt., so that nothing but large waggons can carry them unless each package is broken up and divided into smaller portions. This, of course, is very inconvenient, and there is a greater chance of pieces being lost. As a set-off to this severe weather, I am glad to say that the cholera has abated to a great extent, but many men have gone into hospital frostbitten, chiefly in the feet. This is probably caused, to a great extent, by the wretched manner in which the troops are shod. The only boots which they have at present are the ordinary regulation pattern, or what are called “ ammunition" boots. These are made by contract, and are of inferior material, and I have heard many men complain that in the bad weather we have lately had they are completely worn out in the course of a week. I am told that the whole army is to receive in course of time a pair of high boots up to the knee, something after the pattern of those used by the Russians, and, like them, to be worn with the trousers tucked inside the leg of the boot.

I see from the newspapers that the reaction against

the English army has already begun. I thought the outcry in our favour was too great to last. The 'Times' seems to abuse everything and everybody out here, and to pooh-pooh the difficulties with which the commissariat have to contend, and to find. fault with the endeavours made by the authorities, who, I am sure, do all in their power, as far as circumstances will admit, to alleviate the overwork and consequent sufferings of the soldiers.

Omer Pasha arrived here two days ago, and yesterday had a long interview with Lord Raglan, chiefly about the transport of his army from Varna to Eupatoria. At the present moment there are upwards of 16,000 Turkish troops in garrison at Eupatoria, the greater portion of whom have arrived during the last fortnight; and, if we can give more transport, Omer Pasha promised Lord Raglan that in the course of a month he would have 45,000 men there. I do not think the allied generals expect much from these Turkish troops, except as making a diversion in our favour; indeed already the enemy have sent a very large cavalry force to the neighbourhood of Eupatoria, the head-quarters of which are at Sak. They have established a cordon round Eupatoria, at a distance of two miles from the town. It consists of a line of double videttes, from 50 to 60 yards apart, and it is said that this duty alone takes no less than 1200 cavalry; and in such weather as

we have at present they must suffer very much, especially as on the steppes the cold is more severe than in hilly country, such as that round Sevastopol.

I am sorry to hear that the Government have an idea of forming a corps of Bashi-bazouks. I am perfectly convinced that they will never be an efficient body of troops, and, from their propensity to plunder friend or foe, whenever they get the opportunity, they will only bring discredit on the British arms. If irregular cavalry are to be used in our service, surely it would be the easiest mode, and certainly the cheapest, to bring formed regiments of irregular cavalry from India. I believe a Bashi-bazouk by nature is a coward; at least, I have never seen an instance to the contrary yet, nor heard of one either. I know Omer Pasha, who has had greater opportunities, perhaps, than any one else of judging of these ruffians, entertains the profoundest contempt for them as troops in the field; and, as a proof of this, I may mention that when he crossed the Danube, and entered with his army into the Principalities, he would not allow any of the Bashi-bazouks to accompany him, as he said they would only murder and rob the inhabitants. He now says the only advantage that can be derived from the English enlisting any number of these men is, that it will prevent them prowling about and living by extortion, as many do. I am perfectly

aware that a strict and rigid discipline works wonders with the worst of characters, but it requires time-a twelvemonth at the least; whereas we could get any number of irregular cavalry from India in the course of three months, and men who have been accustomed to war, and who have acted in the field with English troops, and have entire confidence in British officers.

Omer Pasha leaves Balaklava this afternoon, with his staff, in H. M. S. "Inflexible" (steam-frigate), for Eupatoria, where he takes command of the garrison. A deserter, who came in a few days ago from the town, said that there were frequent rows between the troops and convicts in Sevastopol. It appears that the latter have been allowed to go at large, as they volunteered to work at the batteries, &c.

Three days ago Sir John Campbell (commanding the 4th Division) told me that the night before he had heard, when in our trenches, a great deal of musketry-firing and shouting going on in the town, and part of the time they could see the flashes in the streets. It was quite evident that there was a great riot among the garrison; doubtless it was some disturbance created by the convicts. Calvert told me the following story of one of these Russian forçats, who appear to be desperate fellows. About two years ago, a gang being at work in the dockyard of Sevastopol, one of them attacked a passer

by without any provocation, knocked him down, smashed in his face with the manacles on his hands, then jumped upon and trampled him to death. The act had been so sudden that the occurrence could not be prevented. It was thought by the authorities. that so brutal a murder should be visited with some peculiar punishment, as an example to the others, for, if the man was hung or shot immediately, the circumstance would soon be forgotten. The case was made known to the Emperor Nicholas, who, on hearing of it, ordered an iron wheelbarrow to be made, and chains from its legs to be attached to those of the man. This was accordingly done, and, of course, the man could not move a yard without wheeling it in front of him. It is said that a week after he had been thus punished he begged to be put to death, as it made his life a burden to him. This, of course, was not listened to, and three months after the wretched man died, raving mad! It was a novel but horrible punishment.

An extract or two from my Journal:

January 3rd.-It rained in torrents all last night, but early this morning it turned into snow, which fell in considerable quantities. Captain Swinton, R.A., commanding one of the batteries attached to the 3rd Division, was found dead in his tent this morning; he is supposed to have died in a fit of apoplexy, possibly brought on from having a brazier of charcoal

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