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(in all its stages), prevent that order and comfort which are so necessary to the recovery of the sick. Lord Raglan gave several directions, and made various suggestions to the medical officers for the better regulation of the hospitals, and went round to the majority of the sick, and had for each a word of kindness and sympathy. The cholera broke out with increased violence a few days ago in the army; yesterday, between 70 and 80 men died of it, and near double that number went into hospital for treatment. General Pennefather, to the great grief of every one, was taken ill with it on the morning of the 2nd instant, and is in a dangerous state. However, the medical men say that the cholera is not of the same virulent order that it was at Varna, and when we first arrived in the Crimea; so we must hope for the best. Our losses from this dreadful Scourge dishearten the men far more than the hardships they have to bear, and the constant dangers to which they are exposed.
Head-quarters before Sevastopol,
We have at last got into fine weather again; you cannot think what a comfort it is. The bright sun of this morning makes every one look cheerful once For three days numbers of our men were
upon short rations, from the total inability of the commissariat to transport them from Balaklava to the front. Every endeavour is being used to supply every man in the army with warm clothing, and I believe the large majority have received a thick jersey and a pair of warm socks and gloves; and now that her Majesty's ship "Hannibal," 90 guns, has arrived from England, bringing large supplies for the troops, it is to be hoped that in a few days all our men will be furnished with a complete suit of winter things. What are most wanted are great-coats; but unfortunately upwards of 25,000 were lost in the "Prince." Colonel Wetherall has endeavoured to replace this deficiency by sending up from Constantinople all the Turkish great-coats that were to be bought there; but he appears to find it difficult to get them of sufficient size, as, although they hardly look so, the English soldiers are half as broad again across the shoulders, and half as long again in the arms, as the Turks.
In reply to your inquiry, it is all nonsense the statement made by some of the newspapers that " we have set a great hospital in Sevastopol on fire, burning 2000 men in it." It is extraordinary how these lies are originated, and how easily you good people in England are led to believe in them. Special inquiry has been made of all the deserters from the town, and they have invariably stated that the wounded are
removed daily across the harbour to their hospitals on the north side. Of course there are several buildings in the town appropriated as temporary hospitals ; but the two principal of these, we understand, are in Fort Paul, in the Karabelnaia suburb, and Fort Constantine, in Sevastopol. I believe both these great forts are almost, if not quite, out of range of our guns, and certainly too far off for us to do them any serious injury. The following is from my journal :—
December 4th.-The 90th regiment, 750 strong, arrived at Balaklava from Dublin direct in the "Europa" steam transport, having been only 17 days coming out, including a delay at Malta and Constantinople of nearly 48 hours. For the present they are to be encamped close to the town. General Pennefather is so far better to-day that he has been taken down to Balaklava in Lord Raglan's carriage for change of air. (I don't know that I ever mentioned to you that Lord Raglan bought a carriage some months ago at Constantinople, but ever since he has had it I believe he has only been in it once himself, but it is almost in daily use to take down sick and wounded officers from their camps to the ports.)
December 5th.-For a wonder it did not rain to-day, but last night it poured in torrents, with very heavy hail. The brigade of heavy cavalry on the high ground in rear of our Head-quarters moved
down to-day to the valley of Kadakoi, where the whole of the division will be together. Temporary stables are to be erected; but there are such difficulties in the way, that I doubt much whether they will be finished before the worst part of the winter is over. If they could be supplied with plenty of good forage, I think the horses would do perfectly well, without being under regular shelter. As it is, they get little or no hay and but a small ration of barley, consequently not a day passes without many falling down from sheer weakness that never rise again.
Four Polish deserters came in this morning from the Russian division opposite Balaklava. They say that they are getting very short of provisions and have been for some days on half-rations, as their supplies have not been brought up for the last fortnight from the interior, in consequence of the badness of the roads. They also told us that the artillerymen of the 3rd corps have arrived in Sevastopol from Perekop, to relieve the sailors who work the batteries, and who are quite worn out with their constant duties. They also stated that numbers of Turkish soldiers come over to the Russians from Balaklava, and that they say that we (the English) do not feed them well enough. On inquiry, I find that we give the Turks attached to our army a ration of biscuit and rice daily, and fresh meat once or twice a week according to the supply. They might have salt meat
every day, like our own troops; but they refuse to eat it, as they fancy all salt meat is pork! It would be impossible for our commissariat to give them fresh meat every day, without taking it from the English troops, who only have it twice or three times a week. December 6th.-The Russians made two sorties during last night, both of which were complete failures one-on the French trenches in the earlier part of the night, when they were driven back by our allies immediately, and so closely followed up that the French got possession for a short time of one of the enemy's advanced batteries, but, as it was of course impracticable to remain there, they soon had to return to their own works; the casualties on either side were trifling: the other at midnight, on the English left attack, when they endeavoured to retake the "Ovens" and rifle-pits, but were forced directly to retire by our men. They left 3 men killed on the ground, but carried off their wounded. We had 1 man killed and 2 slightly wounded.
The Russian troops in the valley of Balaklava retreated this morning to the other side of the Tchernaya river, having previously set fire to their huts, and overturned the two old Turkish redoubts
*The Russian huts were very much of the same construction as those described in a former letter as made by our troops,