This material graciously had been shared with the Victorian Web by the Green Howards. Thanks are due to the Green Howards Regimental Museum, Richmond, North Yorkshire and to Mr. Kenneth Usherwood, the living relative of Charles Usherwood.26 March 1855 — Today the 19th Foot was inspected by Brigadier General Buller.
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9 April 1855 — Commenced the second bombardment of Sebastopol opening as it did very early in the morning tho' the day was not at all adapted for it being wet and foggy; nevertheless it continued during the day with unabated vigour, the enemy replying thereto without interruption. — Towards evening the cannonading subsided with a continual exchange of shells occasionally as well a round shot or two; in the evening the weather became stormy.
10 April 1855 — Bombardment going on as before, the enemy replying vigorously and during the night employed both shells and rockets against he enemy's works, the French in the meantime making good an attack on their left.
12 April 1855 — Day very fine and the bombardment heavier than the previous day's. — During the night rapid shelling.
13 April 1855 — Beautiful weather. — Firing very rapid, the French gaining some advantage.
14 April 1855 — Cold and showery day but which did not retard the bombardment.
15 April 1855 — Sunday, weather fine, cannonading rapid.
16 April 1855 — Another fine day. — Enemy on the offensive before Balaklava, the firing at Sebastopol the same as yesterday.
17 April 1855 — Today the cannonading along the lines before Sebastopol decreased in rapidity evidently showing that the bombardment had terminated for a while. — In the evening of today the French annoyed the enemy by firing rockets from Victoria Redoubt.
18 April 1855 — The firing has now subsided into the ordinary pace characterizing a siege — day fine.
19 April 1855 — Charming weather. — Exchange of shots between the troops at Balaklava and the enemy during the night.
Detail of duties for the 2nd Brigade Light Division for the trenches tonight:
21 Gun battery, - 19th Regiment 156 men and 90th Regiment 46 men
Advanced Works, - 88 Regiment 224 men and 97th Regiment 189 men
Reserve under Colonel Egerton 77th Regiment, - 77th Regiment 250 men and 90th Regiment 50 men
Total 915 men
Per orders received the 77th and 90th Regiments under Colonel Egerton attacked the Russian Rifle pits, and which after a brief struggle were captured tho' not without loss, Colonel Egerton with his Adjutant Lempere being among the killed. — The way in which the Colonel was killed was while in the act of removing the body of his Adjutant a mere youth in appearance. They were buried in the graveyard of the 2nd Brigade on the side of the Woronzoff Road.
21 April 1855 The cannonading both from the enemy and allies today was heavier than usual.
24 April 1855 Severe musketry engagement 0n the left attack probably false alarm.
25 April 1855 Again tonight as last night on the French left attack heavy musketry going on.
5 May 1855 The enemy made an attack upon the advanced Works of the British during the night but were repulsed no doubt with severe loss.
In Division orders No 1 of today appeared the subjoined:
The firing from the Batteries having almost ceased the guards of the trenches will be disposed today as they were before the bombardment
12 May 1855 By General orders of this day Officers were to provide themselves with Bat animals.
24 May 1855 Keitch taken by the troops under Sir George Brown
6 June 1855 The 3rd bombardment opened upon Sebastopol commencing about 3 p.m. — During the night terrific shelling from the allies.
7th June 1855 Yesterday as well as today the enemy amused themselves by throwing shot and shell into the camp of the Light Division one shot passing through a hospital hut of the 23rd Fusiliers, another going clean over the camp of the 19th Regiment in the direction of the Siege Train but as far as could be observed did no one any harm. From early dawn the firing became more rapid being a continuation of the bombardment and kept up vigorously till sun set when the French whose designs were to capture the Mamalom had assembled in sufficient force, attacked and after severe fighting established themselves in the Work losing as they did an immense number of men.
Later in the evening the British attacked the Quarries which being done at a time when the enemy did not expect them they carried the Work tho' the Russians several times reattacked the place but only to be driven back with loss. — The detail for this night furnished by the 2nd Brigade Light Division being as under:
Advanced works, - 19th Regiment 103 men and 97th Regiment 294 men
Reserve, - 77th Regiment 75 men and 90th Regiment 62 men
21 Gun Battery, - 77th Regiment 200 men
Total 734 men
Colonel Shirley, 88th Regiment commanding.
In this affair the 19th Regiment had 1 Officer wounded, Lt. E. W. Evans.
Every man in camp slept accoutred ready for any emergency. It will be well to remark that the period between the 2nd & 3rd bombardments the enemy and the allies were constantly having skirmishes especially on a night losing as they did on both sides many men in killed and wounded.
8 June 1855 We have a fine day today tho' the wind blows hard; firing from the batteries going on briskly and shelling on a night rapid.
9 June 1855 A truce granted at noon today so as to collect the dead and wounded and which continued for the space of about 4 hours, sentries from both parties in the meantime having been placed so as to prevent encroachments on each other's position. After the truce had terminated the firing recommenced and was continued during the night by heavy shelling from the British batteries; the day was fine, tho' the wind blew strongly.
10 June 1855 The bombardment on the right attack discontinued tho' the French in the evening on the left attack opened a tremendous fire upon the enemy, to which the Russians replied vigorously.
From the 11th to 16th June 1855 the firing from the French left attack as well from the batteries in the centre of the Allied position was very rapid constant attacks being made by the enemy but which in general were repulsed.
17 June 1855 Another bombardment No 4, commencing very early en the left attack and which continued during the day without intermission, tho' as evening came it subsided and in lieu of which shells were used, the weather being at this time exceedingly favourable. In today's orders the subjoined appeared directing an assault to be made upon the enemy extracted from the Divisional orders.
The Light Division being about to be employed with others in the attack on the Redan, provisions will be issued and cooked this afternoon for tomorrow, and care must be taken that the Mess canteens are filled with water. — Each man will be provided with 20 rounds of additional ammunition to be carried in his Haversack. — The right attack will be made by the 1st Brigade under Col. Yea, 7th Fusiliers in the following order:
1st. 100 Riflemen as a covering party then
72 men with wool sacks furnished by the Rifle Brigade.
Then 400 men of 23rd & 34th Regiments under Lt. Col. Lysons together with sappers and seamen carrying ladders to be formed in the quarries and in the Russian trenches to the right of them which have been appropriated, leaving room on the left for a detachment of the same strength from the 4th Division, and the support which will be composed of 800 men from the 7th, 33d, & 34th Regiments. — These will be immediately followed by the working parties consisting of 200 Rifle Brigade - 100 from the 23rd Regiment and 100 from the 34th Regiment.
The Lieut. General (Sir Geo Brown) having been charged with the 5 columns of attack, the command of the Light Division will be for the moment devolved upon Major General Codrington.
Detail of duties for the trenches on the 17th June for 18 June 1855 for the 2nd Brigade, Light Division:
|Corps||Capts||Subs||Serjts||Rank & File|
he 90th Regiment will furnish 1 Captain, 2 Subs, 6 Serjeants and 144 Rank and file to parade at the Engineers park at 1 p.m. this evening with arms. — The 77th will furnish 1 Captain, 1 Sub, 5 Serjeants and 115 Rank and file to parade in fatigue dress at the Right Siege Train Depot at 7 this evening.   Every available man of each Corps of the Brigade not going on duty this evening will parade at ‡ past 2 o'clock a.m. tomorrow for the purpose of joining their Regiments in the trenches.
18 June 1855 At daylight this morning the French on the left attack commenced to bombard that part of the enemy's works opposed to them, and as the hour of 7 approached a rocket as signal for the French to turn out and assault the Malakoff on the right, was fired, which being no sooner done than they issued forth in great numbers, hurrying as fast as they could to escale the ramparts. — However as it would appear the enemy were more on the alert than was expected and most probably having anticipated an assault in that quarter had amassed huge bodies of troops, sufficiently numerous to defend not only the Malakoff but the works adjacent thereto, for on the approach of our allies at the edge of the ditch which surrounded the front of the work they met with a most terrible reception not only from that work alone but from others which in many respects flanked its face.
Baffled in their attempt to face this storm of iron and finding the ditch most formidable by its width and depth and considering the losses every moment becoming greater our noble friends were forced to beat a hasty retreat ensconcing themselves behind their own earthworks, tho' soon again to emerge out on another attempt but which like the former met with the same result.
The British in the meantime whose instructions were to wait till the French had established themselves, moved out before the proper time being as they were too eager to assail the enemy whom having to cross an open plain of about 200 yards flanked by the fire from the several batteries of the enemy besides facing the full discharge from the entire Redan found themselves in a most terrible position. — However, nothing daunted they pushed on until reaching the ditch where from the smallness of their numbers (owing to the losses they had sustained) and the immense force there ready to repel them, they found that it would be an utter impossibility to effect the slightest advantage, seeing as they did that the French had been obliged to retire they therefore in consequence retreated to their own lines, leaving (being unable to bring them away) the wounded and the slain upon the ground where they had fallen [in this encounter Col. Yea and Sir John Campbell were killed as well as numbers of the men under their commands].
While the French on the Malakoff and the British at the Redan were both defeated, the attack made under the directions of Major General Airey on the British left in the Ravine at the head of the Merchant harbour succeeded, the 18th Regiment having advanced so far as to take possession of a number of houses near the graveyard and which they held until evening when they were withdrawn considering that the post would be of no use so long as the Great Redan remained in the possession of the enemy. — Such was the attack on the 18th of June 1855 and which failed. When the fighting had commenced the Guards and the Highlanders were brought up from Balaklava as a Reserve who took up their position in line a little beyond the Picquet House when as night came on they defended the trenches but as they had not been for a long time accustomed to these works created a false alarm at some imaginary object, whereupon they drew not only a heavy fusilade upon themselves (to which they replied vigorously) but also no end of conjectures in camp together with annoyances having as we had to do to rouse up and move to their assistance.
19 June 1855 Today is very fine but excessively hot which in a great measure odds to the torture of the poor mangled beings who are now lying between the two fires on the plain where they fell yesterday being as we were unable to relieve them. — However humanity prompted a truce, this was granted and at noon till the dead and wounded were removed after which the batteries opened their fire again tho' but regularly.
20 June 1855 Today we have fine weather - summer being in full bloom.
21 June 1855 Similar weather as yesterday, firing moderate.
22 June 1855 Nice warm weather
23 June 1855 Hot day, early this morning sharp cannonading and musketry from the allied works.
24 June 1855, Sunday. — Had Divine Service. — Firing but gentle. — Day brilliant. Major Genl Eastcourt, Adjutant General at Headquarters died.
5th July 1855 Major General Codrington assumed the command of the Light Division.
During July nothing of any note occurred worth recording. — Summer hot.
6th July 1855 In General orders of today the cavalry were distributed as follows:
1st, 4th, and 5th Dragoon Guards
1st, 2nd, and 6th Dragoons
under Colonel Laurenson
17th Lancers 2nd Light Brigade
4th and 13th Light Dragoons
12th Lancers & 6th Dragoon Guards
under Col. Lord Geo Paget, 4th Lt Dragoons 3rd Hussar Brigade
8th and 10th Hussars
11th Husaars and 17th Lancers
under Col. Parlby, 10th Hussars
13 Aug 1855 By General orders of today the Infantry were distributed into 6 Divisions of 12 Brigades each Brigade of 4 battalions instead of 5 as far as practicable.
3rd Battalion. Grenadiers, 1st Battalion Coldstream, 1st Battalion Sc. Fusiliers
under Col. Drummond
9th, 13th, 31st & 2nd Battalion Rifle Brigade
under Col. Ridley
42nd, 72nd, 79th & 93rd Regiments under Br Genl Cameron, CB
1st & 2nd Battn. Sc. Royals; 71st and 90th Regiments under Col. Horne, CB
Lt Genl F Markham, CB
3rd, 30th, 55th, & 95th Regiments under Col. Warren, CB
41st, 47th, 49th, & 62nd Regiments under Col. Windham, CB
Major Genl Sir W Eyre, KCB
4th, 14th, 39th, 50th & 89th Regiments under Col. Barlow
18th, 28th, 38th, & 44th Regiments. under Br. Genl. Trollope
4th Division Lt. Genl. Sir H Bentick, KCB
17th, 20th, 21st, 57th & 63rd Regiments under Br. Genl. Hon. A Spencer, CB
46th, 48th, 68th & 1st Battalion Rifle Brigade under Col. Garrett, KH
Lt. Genl. Sir W Codrington, KCB
7th, 23rd, 33rd & 34th Regiments under Br. Genl. Strawbenzee
19th, 77th, 88th, & 97th Regiments under Br. Genl. Shirley, CB
Subsequently to this order, long after the fall of Sebastopol the changes were not effected altogether as the 90th Regiment. and 2nd Battalion Rifle Brigade did duty and shared with the Light Division.
16 August 1855 This day ushered in with a beautiful sunshiny morning which scarcely had it made its appearance when a heavy fusilade joined with repeated reports of cannon were distinctly heard proceeding from the valley of Badair in the direction of Balaklava arousing the whole camps into a state of activity, finding however that the firing proceeded from an engagement between the French & Sardinians on the one hand and the Russians on the other who during the night preceding had moved down from their position on McKenzies heights to drive our allies before them. We, of course, in camp had leisure to watch the combatants and which we did from the heights whereon we were located.
The enemy it would appear by their attack in this quarter endeavoured to establish themselves so as menace as they had done before our position at Balaklava & Khadiki thereby drawing attention to that point so as to relieve the sorely pressed garrison of Sebastopol who sooner or later would eventually have to quit their stronghold. However after hard fighting in which the Russians suffered the loss of many men they were forced back, leaving not only the battle field in possession of the allies but also their dead and wounded and whom were very many. This battle which was fought near to the Bridge that crosses the river was afterwards designated the battle of Tchernaya.
17 Aug 1855 Heavy firing from the Allied batteries during the day.
19 Aug 1855 The following appeared in Division orders of today:
It being ordered that musketry fire should be kept up day and night from the advanced trench, Officers in command of parties will give their best attention to this essential duty, the object by night is to prevent the enemy coming outside to repair the damage done to his work. — Therefore constant dropping fire with small parties firing vollies now and then at the edge of the ditch and embrasure will prevent this effectually. The object by day is to keep a well directed fire into all embrasures though principally those from which Artillery is firing.
At this time the fire from the Allied batteries was very powerful during the day and at night; replaced by incessant shelling. — Strict orders being constantly issued that officers and men should not absent themselves from camp but to be always ready to turn out at once.
29 Aug 1855 Early this morning a sad accident; took place in the Mamalom trench by which several thousands of the French were killed and wounded the cause supposed to be by a shell from the enemy igniting the powder in the magazine, the shock taking not only the allies but the enemy as well by surprise.
2 Sep 1855 Orders today were issued that every man in camp were to have his arms by his side when lying in his tent ready to turn out at the slightest alarm,.
5 Sep 1855 The 5th and final bombardment of Sebastopol commenced by sunrise this morning taking it up from the left attack it soon raged along the whole line tho' the heaviest of the firing confined itself principally on the left. The manner of the discharges being not as heretofore but by salvoes from each of the batteries from the Allied position allowing ‡ to æ of an hour of rest to intervene at different periods during the day. As night approached both the right and left attacks opened with shell and kept up the bombardment without intermission, the French firing a goodly number of rockets. — 'Ere the night had far advanced flames of fire were discovered to issue from the shipping which were moored across the great harbour, bursting out as they did in one general conflagration which by its reflection threw a most brilliant light upon all the scenery around. On a nearer inspection it was ascertained that one of the enemy's frigates had been set on fire but whether from an accidental shell or a rocket thrown by the Allies could not be told. However, be as it might, the Frigate burnt down to the water's edge and was utterly destroyed, in spite of the exertions of the Russians to extinguish the flames. With regard to the bombardment the Russians replied but slowly from their Redan and Malakoff batteries, tho' on their right and against the left attack of the allies they kept up a vigorous response.
6 Sept 1855 As usual when day broke the bombardment opened on the part of the Allies especially from the left attack, the enemy replying but slowly. — Similar as the day before, salvoes were fired for the space of from one to two hours when the men rested for a short time, commencing again as before, and which in similar manner was continued during the whole day and at night replaced by heavy shelling along the whole extent accompanied too by rockets. — Tonight evident signs of the effect of the bombardment were visible as several parts of the towns were constantly on fire, tho' with credit to the garrison were soon extinguished.
Considering the heavy firing by day and the incessant shelling by night it was enough to strike anyone with surprise how the enemy withstood the fearful havoc so long. — Nevertheless they did and intended to do so to the last and so long as Sebastopol was tenable, tho' of course in the meantime making every preparation to retreat when that time came.
7th Sep 1855 Again on the approach of daylight the batteries as usual opened with the same rapidity and in like manner as heretofore, the Russians In the meantime replying but feebly. During the day the weather was cold and bore every indication of falling rain. Preparations now being desirable to be made for an assault the following is the substance of a Division issued to the Light Division on this evening
The Redan will be assaulted after the French have attacked the Malakoff. — The Light & 2nd Divisions will share this important duty and finding respectively the half of each party.
The 2nd Brigade Light Division with an equal number of the 2nd Division will form the 1st body of attack, each Division furnishing first a covering party of 100 men under a Field Officer.
2nd a storming party carrying ladders of 160 men under a Field Officer - these men to be selected for this essential duty will be the first to storm after they have placed the ladders.
3rd a storming party of 500 men with 2 Field Officers
4th a Working party of 100 men with a Field Officer.
The Supports will consist of the remainder of the Brigade to be immediately in rear.
The Covering party will consist of 100 Rank & File of the Rifle Brigade 2nd Battalion under the command of Captain Fyers, and will be formed on the extreme left of the 5th Parallel ready to move out steadily in extended order towards the Redan, their duty will be to cover the advance of the ladder party and keep down the fire from the parapets. — The 1st Storming party of the Light Division will consist of 160 men of the 97th Regiment under the command of Major Wellsford, this party will carry the ladders and be the first to storm, they will be formed in the New Boyeau running from the centre of the 5th Parallel, they will follow immediately in rear of the covering party, they must be good men and true to their difficult duty which is to arrive at the ditch of the Redan and place the ladders down it, to turn 20 of them so as to get up the face of the work leaving the other ladders for others to come down by.
The next Storming party will consist of 200 men of the 97th Regiment under command of Lt. Col. Hon. H. R. Hancock, and 300 of the 90th Regiment. under command of Capt. R Grove. This party will be stationed in the 5th Parallel and will assault in a column of Divisions at one place.
The Light Division will lead the whole column of attack which will be formed of Divisions of 20 files and so told off.
The Supports consisting of 750 men of the 19th & 88th Regiments with a part of a Brigade of the 2nd Division on their left, will be placed as they stand in Brigade in the 4th Parallel from whence they will move into the 5th Parallel, so soon as the assault is made by those in front of them. — The Working party of 100 men will be furnished by the 90th Regiment under Captain Perrin. — The remainder of the Light & 2nd Divisions will form a Reserve, Light Division, in the right Boyeau between the 3rd & 4th Parallels - the 2nd Division in the left Boyeau between the 3rd & 4th Parallels.
The 1st and Highland Divisions will he formed in that part of the 3rd Parallel in communication with the French right attack, and in the Middle Ravine. — Two days provisions will be issued and cooked before 6 o'clock tomorrow morning.
10 additional rounds of ammunition will be issued out to each man. The men to parade in Red Coats and forage caps.
With regard to the last paragraph it is a most curious fact that in many prints that were issued for sale in England giving a view account of the attack, the artists gulled the people with the idea of knapsacks, chacos and even colors flying, none of which were ever used.
8th Sep 1855 As daylight appeared the batteries on the left again opened as before the on the right the bombardment was anything the reverse to rapidity. — With it came also a strong and cold wind carrying over and to the direction of the camps clouds of dust, while at the same time being unfavourable to an attack. — Shortly after the men had breakfasted in camp the Corps assembled in their respective parades in order to move off to the trenches each on arrival taking up the places allotted to them as directed in orders of the previous day.
Everything being arranged for an attack and the hour appointed having arrived (viz. mid-day) the French at a given signal moved out with rapidity and escaled the work opposed to them which by its formation enabled them when once in it to retain possession, pouring in as they did immense reinforcements and destroying the face of the battery which would in any event prevent the enemy from holding it as before should the Allies be driven out by superior force. — Taken by surprise and which evidently was the case from the feeble resistance offered by the enemy in the Malakoff on the first attack of the French, the Russians scooted, so many of them that were able to escape the bayonets of the French Infantry, but upon reinforcements coming up to their assistance returned and resumed the attack so as to retake the redoubt which the French had surprisingly taken possession of.
The French in the meantime knowing pretty well that the enemy would endeavour to drive them out, made all the haste they could to turn the work against its original owners, and by bringing up field pieces together with numerous troops ensconced themselves in such positions as defied all the exertions of the Russians to defeat them, their attention being most urgently required not only at this point but also at the extreme right adjoining the Carreen bay where at the little redan in order to flank the enemy the French had been for some time desperately engaged and who tho' they fought for several hours hand to hand were ultimately repulsed with exceeding heavy loss.
So soon as the French troops had entered the works of the Malakoff and displayed one of their colors, the British moved out of their parallels, the covering party then the ladder men, and in quick succession the remainder of the attacking forces, but as the Russians had had ample time to collect a vast body of men to the defence of the Great Redan, against which the British directed themselves, they met the leading troops with showers of grape and matching musketry and which cut down great numbers 'ere they could cross the wide space over which they had to go before replying to the enemy's fire being 260 yards in extent and flanked by various batteries. — Nothing daunted, however, onward the troops went and reaching the ditch which was wide and deep instantly descended, some by the ladders (which unfortunately proved to be too short to be of any use) while the greater number did not and scrambled up the face of the work where they opened on the enemy a rapid and well directed fusilade entering at the same time the work as well as circumstances permitted, the enemy having blocked up all entrance by the embrasures by screens of sheet iron and plaited rope so as to protect their gunners, leaving only sufficient space through the screens to admit of the muzzle of the guns.
The supports having now arrived and entered the ditch, the enemy from all the batteries that would bear on the face of the Great Redan opened in that direction doing immense mischief on the attacking British, while too at the same time the Russians brought into play some guns that were ingeniously planted in the work of the Redan itself to sweep the several parts of the ditch, being entirely hidden from sight except to those in the ditch and which could be screened almost with impunity.
Immediately on the attack being delivered, the enemy rushed down from molesting the French in the Malakoff and assisting their brethren in the Great Redan, greatly added to the inconvenience of the British who tho' fighting at long odds and losing numbers every minute were still not reinforced. — The enemy knowing that should the British succeed in holding the Redan their chances of escape from the town would be an almost impossibility fought also with desperation tho' always on the defensive, never daring to flank or to rush upon the British outside the work.
Four o'clock having now passed and no reinforcements coming to assist the few still holding the work tho' Colonel Windham who had succeeded be the Command in lieu of Lt. Col. Unett, 19th Foot badly wounded, had recrossed the plain to ask for them and finding that it was utterly impossible to remain any longer opposed to such a force as the Russians now had at their disposal the remnants of the attacking British retreated to their own lines leaving the Work in the hands of its original owners who tho' losing the Malakoff still held the Great & Little Redans.
In this affair the loss of the British was exceedingly heavy, but was greatly exceeded both by the enemy as well as by the French. — Of the 19th Foot the following were killed, wounded, and prisoners.
1 Lieut Colonel (Unett), 1 Captain (Godfrey), 3 Serjeants and 23 Rank & File
2 Captains, 6 Subalterns, 9 Serjeants, and 144 Rank & File wounded and 5 Rank & File missing
The original number in the attack including Officers and men being only 418.
9 Sep l855 This morning presented a sad spectacle for independents of the numerous wounded taken away to various hospitals during last night, there still remained a great many more who were writhing in agony at the torture of their wounds, while calm and serene lay around them masses of dead.
All throughout last night and immediately after the failure of the British an incessant discharge of shot and shell were kept up by the Allies, the enemy only replying thereto from such guns that were not disabled and this with the intent to deceive the besiegers while they effected a retreat over the bridge of boats to the North side of the harbour having found it utterly impossible to remain in Sebastopol any longer.
As soon as darkness had cast its shade over the land, the enemy began their movement, and as the Allies were to a certain extent apprised of the intention of the garrison poured on to the bridge of boats a continuous fire, which in its effect did immense destruction to human life. — Determined to make Sebastopol untenable the Allies' batteries secured to themselves the advantage of shelling the town, thereby causing repeated explosions, and numerous fires the latter of which were generally extinguished 'ere approaching to great seriousness.
By the time morning had appeared the enemy had removed such numbers of their men and material as in the short space of darkness admitted from the town to the North side, sinking at the same time the fleet that remained so as to prevent it falling into the Allied possession and removing such parts of the bridge that they were capable of so doing, alternately blowing up those magazines which would be of any use to their conquerors.
Finding that the Russians had effected a retreat from the Karabelnaia, the Allies cautiously entered that part of the town in order to secure every advantage and to rescue the wounded whom they found in all parts, and in cellars and among ruins, the enemy having left not only the whole of their dead but vast numbers of wounded whom they were unable to take with them, 500 being found by the British in Fort Paul alone.
So dreadful must have been the effects of the bombardment that the enemy could not find room enough for their wounded and sick beside time to bury their dead as in many cases putrid bodies were discovered lying among the wounded in the cellars beneath the buildings. — In one tumbled down heap of rubbish were found an old man and woman and child, the man and child having been killed by the fall of the house while the woman lay unable to extricate herself from the debris by a wound from a shell, the whole being in one bed and the corpses almost putrid.
Owing to a strong supposition that the enemy might be treacherous with sundry mines, and which perhaps might cause considerable loss to the Allies, strict orders were given for no man to wander about or in fact any to enter that part unless upon duty besides which the men were warned against taking anything from the town be what it might tho' our friends the French had the run to do as they wished so far as what we saw of them being as they were generally laden with some articles or another.
After collecting all the wounded i.e. of those who could be found a Memo was issued from Head Quarters that the British dead were to be buried in the ditch of the Redan, the Russians being to a considerable extent collected and pitched anyway into a large square pit dug out at the rear of the Great Redan but whether this pit had been made by the British or Russians I cannot say, tho' when I saw the hole, it was almost full of dead bodies lying in all manner of' postures and more or less naked and in every state of decomposition bloated and black.
10 Sep 1855 The Allies still engaged searching for wounded and collecting the dead, besides the Engineers engaged in destroying the enemy' s Works especially those on the sides of the harbour for instance Fort Paul and Nicholos etc. — The town being itself in utter ruin as far as the houses and streets are concerned, tho' the docks and many public buildings remain perfect, that is to say in comparison to other parts.
By a General order of the 9th Sep the Commander of the Forces congratulates the Army on the result of the attack of yesterday.
The brilliant assault and occupation of the Malakoff by our gallant Allies obliged the enemy to abandon the Works they have so long held with such bravery and determination.
The Commander of the Forces returns his thanks to the General officers, and Officers and men of the 2nd and Light Divisions who advanced and attacked with such gallantry the works of the Redan. — He regrets from the formidable nature of the flanking defences that the devotions did not meet with that immediate success which it so much merited.
He condoles and deeply sympathises with the many brave Officers, Non Comd Officers and men who are now suffering from the wounds they received in the course of their noble exertions of yesterday. — He deeply deplores the death of the many gallant Officers and men who have fallen in the final struggle of this long and memorable siege, the loss will be severely felt, and their names long remembered in the Army and by the British nation.
General Simpson avails himself of this opportunity to congratulate and convey his warmest thanks, to the General Officers, Officers and Soldiers of the several Divisions, to the Royal Engineers, and Artillery for their cheerful endurance of almost unparalleled hardships and suffering, and for the unflinching courage and determination on so many trying occasions they have evinced.
It is with equal satisfaction that the Commander of the Forces thanks the Officers and men of the Naval Brigade for the long and uniform course of valuable services rendered by them from the commencement of the Siege.
In addition to the above, Lt. General Codrington issued an order to the Light Division of which the subjoined is the substance:
The Lieut General commanding the Light Division must give his hearty thanks to those who so gallantly attempted the assault of the Redan. Leaving a narrow trench they had to pass over 260 yards to the edge of the ditch crossed by the fire of heavy artillery as well as musketry on the open, and tho' many circumstances prevented the complete execution of orders, and interfered with that combined rush which would have ensured success, yet the Lieut General feels that efforts were made by Non Comd Officers and Men, and by Officers of all ranks and ages which entitled them to win and which must ever be remembered by him with gratitude and affection.
Now the town was in our possession a General Order appeared giving instructions as follows:
The Police of the interior of the town of Sebastopol has been undertaken by the French Authorities for the present. All persons whatever except bodies of troops on duty, and Officers on duty provided with passes from the English or French Headquarters are positively forbidden to enter the town.
Regimental picquets are not to be sent to the town without authority from Headquarters. Military posts are established near the town with orders to apprehend all stragglers, and send them to the Provost Marshal's Guards which is posted in front of the 4th Division. No persons military or civil except those en duty are to be permitted to enter the trenches without passes from Headquarters.
11 Sep 1855 By General orders of today Colonel Windham CB was appointed Commander of Sebastopol so far as regarded that portion of the town known as the Karabelnaia as Brigadier General.
After some days the restriction of going into Sebastopol was to a great extent removed, and the men were allowed to visit it provided they had passes granted to them by their respective Commanding Officers. — Of course as one I availed this opportunity and took great interest in recovering and examining the various works and positions lately held by the enemy seeing that I had been never absent since the Allies first invaded the country. Wending our way down one day through our own lines we came to the Malakoff and in which we entered with a view to make ourselves acquainted with the design of the works but as the original construction had been greatly defaced from the fact of removing the timber for fuel and the guns as their prizes the French had left it more a heap of ruin than otherwise. However sufficient could be seen to shew the character that it once bore. — In the middle or centre of the Redoubt were the basement remains of the White tower around which in the form of a circle the enemy had thrown up high banks of earth with traverses and embrasures for guns, being situated as it was up on a small hillock something like a basin turned upside down but gradually sloping inwards to the Karabelnaia.
Around the front face of the work was a wide and deep ditch near to the base of the hillock, but which at this time was easy enough to descend into and to climb out owing to the debris having been pulled down to facilitate an entrance. — Adjoining to this work and fronting the middle ravine was a smaller earthwork battery and which during the siege did good service to the Russians.
Coming out of the Malakoff in fact by orders of the French sentry on duty who told us that the Russians fired always on the work from the opposite side of the harbour whenever they saw anyone about we were glad to move off for no sooner had we got out when a shell from the enemy came whizzing near to us bursting as soon as it had buried itself in the soft earth tho' fortunately with no harm to anyone.
Moving away from thence we came on to the Marmalom a similar work but situated further away from the Karabelnaia than the other and which in all respects bore the same aspect in regard to its situation and construction as did the Malakoff. This work being latterly in possession of the French from July we of course cared little to examine it tho' we felt more interested in leaving this for the works called the Little Redan, where on the 8 Sep the French met with such determination. Traversing along the line of work connecting the left flank of the Malakoff we come upon the work itself more like a larger formed trench stretching to the cliffs overlooking the harbour intercepted here and there with batteries, and enfolded in its position by others situated at different points behind and away from the work, besides which covered as it was by one face of the formidable Malakoff which stood cowering over that position. — To defend it more effectually from a sudden surprise the enemy constructed what we generally termed rifle pits dug out in such a manner along the outside of the work as not to impede each occupant's fire, and which in the meantime was shelter for themselves excepting when in case of a shell falling into any one of them when of course they had to jump out exceeding nimbly.
Had the French succeeded at this point the Russians in the Karabelnaia would have been almost at the mercy of the Allies, and doubtless would have cost the Russians the loss of more lives than they did sustain. — From the nature of the ground and the capital positions offering themselves enabled the French to push their labours exceedingly near to those of the enemy - their most advanced work being but a stone's throw from those of the Russians.
Leaving this portion of the ground we stepped along toward what had been a magazine or hospital of stonework pierced for two or three guns facing the harbour. — Here evidently the Russians had carried their wounded from the works adjacent as clothes, accoutrements, pieces of flesh, hairs, stagnant blood etc. etc. lay about in profusion, the top of the building which stood alone being well covered with earth to prevent shells from penetrating its roof. — Passing from hence we moved to our left through what had been one might say a village or an inhabited portion of the Karabelnaia located in rear of the Malakoff down alongside the high wall of the dockyard, thence in the direction of the Great Redan and which we were anxious to see more particularly 'ere we returned to camp. — As we came up the first object that met our view was a deep square pit from which millions of flies were issuing and from whence a stench (the day being hot) the most horrible that I ever smelt floated upon the air. — Curiosity leading us in this direction soon brought us to a sight that I cannot forget to record the' I have made mention of it before under date of 9th Sept. — In this pit lay indiscriminately a portion of the defenders of Sebastopol and who had either been deposited in there as they fell dead by the Russians themselves, or had been picked up and thrown in by the fatigue parties sent to collect the dead. — However be as it may it certainly was a most scandalous thing to do for to all appearances the hole had been dug for the purpose and the bodies pitched in dressed, naked, or half dressed in a manner as if they had been shot into it from an ordinary cart after the fashion of a load of manure. — Of the number of bodies there could scarce be less than from 100 to l50 in various stages of decomposition, and with the most horrid wounds on their persons that could be conjectured.
Sick at this scene we went into the battery and which by the by was entirely open toward the town tho' here and there its inner part was flanked by several batteries and trenches made for this purpose. — Curiously and scientifically constructed, the Redan presented a most formidable appearance especially from its size, having its traverses so arranged as to protect its gunners from any cross fire that could be brought against the work besides which the embrasures close cased by screens of sheet iron and plaited ship ropes rendered the position of the Artillery men secure against musketry while to enable the Russian infantry to keep up a good and effective fire platforms were erected between the traverses and the Work. — In addition to these advantages the enemy had also constructed barrack or guard rooms beneath the buttresses sufficiently large enough to contain a good number of men and wooden benches for them to rest upon when not on duty or on immediate guard and entirely secure from any harm. — On beholding the Work and its arrangements for defence one could not but be struck with admiration at the skill evinced and the admirable position it occupied, tho' when in the battery it could be easily observed that so long as the Malakoff remained in their possession no enemy could retain the former, hence as it resulted in the capture of the latter.
Winding our way to the left we passed along the trench which connected the right of the Malakoff with the Great Redan and having seen sufficient for one day bent our steps for the middle ravine and thence home to camp.
Last modified 24 May 2002