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On Evans's left, but entangled with some of his regiments, Sir George Brown moved forward with the Light Division. He had before him the Great Redoubt, armed with its twelve guns of heavy calibre and this stronghold was flanked on its right by the eight guns of the Lesser Redoubt, and on its left by the eight-gun battery connecting this part of the defences with the artillery and the infantry which guarded the Pass. Upon the higher slopes of the Kourgane hill, and so posted as to look down into the Great Redoubt, there was yet another battery of field- artillery.**
** This was the strength of the artillery on or closely adjoining the Kourgane Hill after the withdrawal or the two Don Cossack batteries. -See Appendix No. 1

Eighteen battalions of infantry* were still posted upon the slopes of the Kourgane Hill. Of this force, the four Kazan battalions formed stood in front near the shoulders of the Great Redoubt, and were supported by the four battalions of the Vladimir corps. On the right -proper right - of these troops, but somewhat refused, there were two of the Sousdal battalions, whilst more in advance, and so placed as to form the extreme right of the Russian infantry line, there were the two remaining battalions of the same corps. Besides the masses thus pushed forward, General Kvetzinski held in hand the four battalions of the Ouglitz corps as an immediate reserve, and posted them upon the higher slopes of the Kourgane Hill. On the right rear of these forces (after having come in from their skirmishing) there stood the two battalions of sailors. On the extreme right, and massed in columns at intervals upon the eastern and south-eastern slopes of the Kourgane Hill, there were twelve squadrons of regular cavalry, and eleven sotnias of Cossacks.** These bodies of horsemen were so placed that, whilst they covered the enemy's right and right rear, the Russian commander could, so to speak, swing them round, and hurl them against the flank of an enemy assailing his position in front.
* The four Kazan (or Archduke Michael's) battalions, the four Vladimir battalions, the four Souzdal battalions, and the four Ouglitz battalions, with also the two battalions of sailors.
* *These bodies constituted the whole of the Russian cavalry except the four squadrons which Prince Mentschikoff took with him when he rode towards the sea, and having numbered 3600 at the first they now reckoned 2700.

Again the troops which defended the Causeway could aid the defence of the Kourgane Hill; and, moreover, the four Volhynia battalions, which constituted what was now left of Prince Mentschikoff's 'Great Reserve,' were so placed that they might be promptly brought forward in support to the troops confronting our people.
It rested with the four Kazan battalions to make the first attack upon the English troops. This was to be done whilst our soldiery, after struggling through the fords, were gaining the top of the bank. The enemy's massive columns were to throw our men back into the channel of the river before they could find time to form.*
* After speaking of the disposition or the Russian infantry on the banks or the river, Prince Gortschakoff writes 'These arrangements had been taken with a view to the unavoidable disorders amongst the enemy's lines when crossing the river, and in order to throw the Allies backward by a violent shock. Orders had been issued to that effect by Prince Mentschikoff, and severally reported to the commanding generals under me, and by me.'

The slope which led up from the top of the bank to the parapet of the Great Redoubt was almost as even as the glacis of a fortress; and, except to one who knew beforehand how unaccountably life and limb are spared in a storm of artillery- fire, it seemed hard to understand that upon that smooth ground men would be able to live for many moments under round-shot, grape, and canister from the twelve heavy guns they confronted.
Being on the extreme left of the Allied forces, Sir G Brown had to stand prepared for an attack of cavalry on his flank. On our side of the river, borne down to the edge of the vineyards, the broad and gently undulating downs, thickly clothed with elastic lierbage, were all that horse-men could wish for; and even on the left bank, the ground in this part of the field was practicable for the evolutions of cavalry. Hardly ever in war did 2,700 troopers sit still in their saddles under stronger provocation to enterprise, for they were upon fair ground; and, unless they submitted to be forbidden by the body of only eight hundred English horse, which stood in their path, fortune offered to let them ride down on the flank of a line of infantry, and strike it whilst in the act of advancing to attack a field citadel.* So, although in point of fact it occurred, the contingency of the enemy's withholding his cavalry arm, instead of bringing it down upon the unsheltered flank of his assailants, was hardly one that beforehand our people could have deemed at all probable, still less expected with confidence.
* The English cavalry altogether bad a strength of 1000 but Lord George Paget's regiment was in another part of the field.

Rightly therefore - though the apprehension was not afterwards justified by the event-the Light Division was carried into action with an idea that cavalry charges were to be expected on the flank;** and the duty of preparing against enterprises of this sort pressed specially upon General Buller, because he commanded the left brigade.
** Before the action, there was a great deal of conversation amongst officers in the Light Division with respect to the way in which the expected charges or the Russian cavalry should be met and it was then-then, perhaps, for the first time that men broached the idea of dispensing with the hollow square, and receiving the enemy's horse in line. At all events it was then, and amongst officers of the Royal Fusiliers, that I myself first heard the change mooted.

To storm a position thus held in strength by forces of all arms, and to answer at the same time for the safety of the whole of the Allied army against a flank attack, was a task of great moment; but, on the other hand, Sir George Brown was not without means for preparing a well-ordered assault -for the enemy was making no attempt to hold the vineyards in strength; and on the Russian side of the river, the bank, although steep, and from eight to fifteen feet in height, was yet so broken that a skirmisher seeking to bring his eye and his rifle to a level with the summit, would easily find a ledge for his foot. Here, then, was exactly the kind of cover which the assailants needed; for if this steep bank could be seized and lined for a few minutes by their skirmishers, it would enable their main body to recover its formation after passing through the enclosures and fording the river. But in order to lay hold of the advantage thus offered by the nature of the ground, it was of necessity to take care that the advance of the Light Division should be amply covered by skirmishers. This was not done. The Rifles under Lawrence and Norcott had long before scoured the vineyards but they had inclined away towards their left, and fording the river higher up, had left Codrington's brigade without any skirmishers to cover its advance.* No other light-infantry men were thrown forward in their stead, and the whole body went stark on with bare front, driving full at the enemy's stronghold.**
* The right wing-the wing under Lawrence-was the wing which had had to advance in front of Codrington's brigade. Lawrence found himself so baffled by the smoke of the burning village, that he inclined away to his left, leaving Codrington's front uncovered, and got at last to the front of the 19th Regiment.
** Sir George Brown's omission to cause skirmishers to be thrown out from the regiments of Codrington's and Buller's brigades seems to have been caused by his imagining that the necessity of the step would be effectually superseded by the operations of the Rifle battalion. The event proved his error; but one would have thought that it might have been perceived beforehand; for, however well an independent body of riflemen may be led, and however important a share it may be likely to have in governing the result of a battle, there is no safe ground for anticipating that its operations will supply the place of skirmishers thrown out from the formed battalions. Indeed, it may be said that the more able and enterprising the leader of an independent body of light infantrymen may be, the less his force will be likely to fulfil the peculiar duty of companies thrown out from the formed battalions, and kept in close relation with them by the link of that obedience which a captain owes to his colonel.
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Sir George Brown's right brigade, consisting of the Royal Fusiliers, the 33d and 23d Regiments, was under General Codrington.*
* When I speak of several regiments in the same limb of the sentence, I generally follow the order in which they would be ranged, going from right to left. In a brigade consisting of three regiments -say, e.g., of the 1st, 2d, and 3d Foot -the 1st would be posted at the right, the 3d in the centre, and the 2d on the left. So if one wished to speak of those three regiments in the order in which they would stand when ranged in the same battalion, one would take them from right to left, and in this order -vzz., 1st Foot 3d Foot, 2d Foot.

The left brigade, consisting of the 19th, the 88th, and 77th Regiments, was commanded by General Buller. The orders which General Codrington received from Sir George were simply to advance with his brigade, and not to stop until he had crossed the river. A like order, it is believed, was given to General Buller. The division still moved in line; and, after losing a few men from the fire of the enemy's artillery it reached the boundary of the vineyards and gardens which belt the course of the river.
The enclosures by this time had been almost entirely cleared of Russian skirmishers by our Rifles under Lawrence and Norcott, but could be searched by artillery fire. In their eagerness for the conflict, our regiments strove to advance quickly; but it was a laborious task to traverse the gardens and vineyards, and many of those who had hitherto kept their knapsacks here laid them down. In a few minutes, the whole of the Light Division of infantry, drawing along with it, in its impetuous course, the 95th Regiment had forced a way into the vineyards. There, our young soldiers found themselves, as they imagined, in a thick storm of shot and cannon-balls; but it seems that missiles of war fly crashing so audibly through foliage that they sound more dangerous than they are.
The loss at this time was not great. Our men were in the belief that speed was required of them; and having before them no chain of skirmishers to feel the way and control the pace of the Division, they struggled forward with eager haste. In passing from one of the enclosures to another, part of the line came to the top of a vertical bank, revetted with stone, and forming a kind of 'sunk fence.' Standing there, the men observed that a violent gust of shot was beating in against the stone work at their feet; and it seemed to them that, the moment they sprang from the top of the fence to the lower vineyard, their legs would be shattered by a thousand missiles. For a moment they paused, as though for some guidance; but the guidance was such as is given by-- 'Forward, first company!' 'Second company, show them the way!' The first who leaped down stood unscathed in the vineyard below; the rest followed. Dangers shrink before the advance of resolute men. There was not much loss in that lower vineyard. The troops pressed on.
Amongst the vineyards there were, here and there, farm- cottages and homesteads; and since the obstructions which the men were encountering had destroyed their formation, it became possible for such as loved their safety more than their honour to linger in the shelter afforded by these buildings. Some few, they say, lingered. The Division hurried forward with just such trace of its original line-formation as could remain to it after rapidly passing through difficult enclosures. The river, though flowing in a swift current, was fordable by a strong man in most places, but it was of very unequal depth. General Codrington was seen riding quickly across at a point where the stream hardly flowed above his horse's fetlocks, and yet, almost close to him, the taller charger of another officer went down and had to swim. The soldiers rapidly waded across. Some few perished in the stream, and it was never known whether they fell from shot or from not being able to keep their footing in the current.
That part of Pennefather's brigade which was overlapped by the Royal Fusiliers* had become entangled with the Light Division; and at the moment of Codrington's advance, Hume of the 95th seized a color; and, dashing across the river, carried with him the left wing of the regiment; but the men bore so much towards their left, that by the time they gained the foot of the bank on the Russian side of the river, they had become blended, not (as might be supposed) with the right, but with the left regiment of Codrington's brigade. They were destined to share the glory and the carnage which awaited the 23d Fusiliers.
* i.e., after the Fusiliers had marched through the 95th.

At length the whole Light Division, together with the additional force under Hume which had strayed into its company, was upon the Russian side of the river; but as yet the troops only stood upon the narrow strip or dry ground at the water's edge, and such of them as were in the centre, or towards the right, were penned back by the rocky bank which rose steep and high over their heads. The soldiery were a crowd -a crowd shaped and twisted by the winding of the river's bank, yet with some remains or military coherence for although the enclosures and the fording of the river could not but destroy all formation, the men of every company had kept together as well as they were able.
But a general who had omitted to line the bank with his own skirmishers might well expect to see it fringed with the enemy's rifles; and the strong wall which nature had offered to the English as a cover for the formation of their battalions was now, of course, held by the enemy's skirmishers. These light troops were in greatest force along the bank which faced the centre and the right of the Light Division. They came to the edge of the bank, fired down into the crowd of the redcoats, and then drew back for a pace or two that they might load in peace and be ready to fire again. They could kill and wound men in the crowd below without laying themselves open to fire.
Towards the left of the Light Division the bank was less abrupt, and also more free from the enemy's skirmishers.*
* Because our rifles, as we saw, had inclined to their left, and were operating in this part of the field.

There, after passing the river, General Buller, who commanded the 2d brigade, was able to form it at his leisure. He ordered the 77th regiment to lie down under the cover afforded by the configuration of the ground, and upon a slope somewhat sheltered from the fire of the enemy's artillery he placed the 88 Regiment.*
* As to his 19th Regiment, see post.

With these two regiments he remained long halted, not partaking in the subsequent advance of Codrington's brigade. His reason was, that a large body of cavalry and infantry appearing on the plain to threaten his left,** he thought it right to keep two regiments in hand until he should find himself supported by the near approach of the Highland brigade.
** The absence of Prince Mentschikoff in a distant part of the field was probably the cause of the enemy's want of enterprise in not pressing with any degree of vigour upon the open flank of the English army. The only approach to any actual movement against the flank of the Light Division at the time of its advance from the river was one perceived and checked by Major Norcott. Norcott, having crossed the stream, had thrown forward his two right companies to a ridge in advance of the bank, and with his two remaining companies was occupying the precincts of a farmstead which offered him a point of appui for his left flank. Whilst he was thus posted, he saw some sixty or seventy Cossacks coming down from the south-east by a road which led to the farm, and close following these he perceived the head of a column of infantry. Norcott immediately withdrew his two right companies from the ridge, and prepared to make a stand at the farm. To aid him in this undertaking, be requested Captain Colville (who had come into this part of the field with one of Colonel Lawrence's companies) to draw up his men in line across the road leading down to the farm. Seeing these preparations for their reception, the horsemen, and the column of infantry which had been following them, turned about and withdrew. -Note to 4th Edition.

He conceived that he ought to beware of outstripping the 1st Division by too great an interval; and, in truth, the duty which attached upon General Buller at this moment was one of a grave kind; for if the enemy should seize the moment of Sir George Brown's assault upon the Great Redoubt as his time for making a resolute attack with horse, foot and artillery upon the flank of our advancing troops, the safety of the whole Allied army would be challenged, and would be found to rest greatly upon such dispositions as General Buller might have made for covering our left.
Sir George Brown's order to Buller empowered him to advance until he was over the stream; but, that duty having been executed, the brigadier now, found himself on the bank of a river, without, so far as I know, having any fresh orders to guide him, yet charged by circumstance with the duty of covering the flank of the whole Allied army at the moment of an assault upon the enemy's stronghold. The business was a vital one; and the caution which Buller used at this time was required by the occasion.*
* The way in which the 88th and the 77th Regiments were handled at a later period of the action was not the necessary result of the dispositions made at this time, and is a fit subject for distinct comments. For to push forward the two regiments which formed the extreme left of the whole allied front and to march them against the enemy's stronghold in a line, outflanked by the enemy's horse, and even, it would seem, by a portion of his foot would have been to lay open, not Buller's brigade merely, but the whole Allied army, to the risk of a flank attack involving great disasters. In these circumstances it was Buller's duty to take up such a position as would enable him to cover the advance of Codrington's brigade, and to sustain the shock of a flank attack. It was to that end that he kept in hand the 88th and 77th Regiments.


Though forming part of Buller's brigade, the 19th Regiment was suffered ere long to associate itself with General Codrington's advance; and thereupon, with Lawrence's wing of the Rifles and the wing of the 95th under Hume the force taking part in this movement became swollen to a body of troops which, without substantial inaccuracy, may be counted as five battalions.*
* Because comprising four battalions and two wings of other battalions. The force was about to be yet further augmented by the accession of the right wing of the 95th.

These five battalions were extended in a broken chain at the foot of the bank on the Russian side of the river, and were falling-especially towards the right under the close fire of the skirmishers who crowned the top. In this strait some of our officers instinctively tried to clear the front by getting the men to mount part way up the bank, and bring their rifles to a level with the summit. But among the foremost the General commanding the Division had forded the river. Sir George Brown was an officer whose career had begun, and begun with glory, in the great days under Wellington; but whilst he was still in his early manhood, wars had ceased, and thenceforth, for near forty years, he had brought his strong energies to bear upon the kind of military business which used to be practised by the English in peace-time. A long immersion in the Adjutant-General's department had led him to go even beyond other men in laying stress upon the value of discipline; but the practice of this sort of industry had not at all helped to school him for the command of a division in war-time; for in labouring after that mechanic perfection which, after all, is only one of many means towards an end, the end itself had been much forgotten by those who controlled our military system, and the business of war (as, for instance, the art of carrying a brigade in line through enclosures and thick grounds) had been little or never practised in England.*
* Sir Charles Napier, the conqueror of Scinde, used to press the importance of practising troops in tins way, but without success.

To a military system which omits to anticipate and to deal with the common obstacles to be expected in a battle-field, war is a rough disturber; and unless the industry of the barrack-yard is supported by other and better resources, it is liable to be turned to nothingness by even a gentle contact with reality. A belt of garden-ground, a winding though fordable stream, and an enemy hitherto inert, had sufficed to make Sir George Brown despair of being able to present his troops to the enemy in a state of formation. Great dislocation of military order was, of course, the necessary result of having to pass through enclosures and to ford a winding stream; so what the main body needed to have before it when it approached the left bank of the river was a swarm of skirmishers clearing its immediate front, and prepared to cover it during the process of forming anew. This cover, however, was wanting. Sir George Brown declared that to attempt any formation after the passage of the river would be impossible, and that he had 'determined to trust to the spirit and individual courage of the troops.' Thus, on ground giving rare opportunity for the deliberate preparation of an attack, and under no great stress of battle, the Light Division -the 'Light Division' whose very name carried with it a great inheritance of glory-was suffered to lapse into a mere throng of brave men. In this plight the five battalions had to advance under the guns of a powerful battery supported by heavy columns of foot.
But an officer honoured with the command of British troops can always hope that, when his skill fails him, his men may still retrieve the day by sheer fighting; and to a commander frustrated in his evolutions, the prospect of a rude conflict with the enemy may offer the best kind of solace, and perhaps even a happy issue out of trouble Of such comfort as was to be got from close fighting, there seemed to be fair promise in the Great Redoubt; and there, Sir George Brown resolved to seek it. Eager to have, at the least, a forward place in the armed throng, he suffered agony lest the bank, very steep at the spot where he faced it, should be inaccessible to a mounted officer; but he soon found a place where a break in the stiffness of the acclivity left room for the two or three ledges which a horseman must find before he can reach the top. Then he quickly gained the open ground above. The Russian skirmishers were there. Schooled in habits of deep reverence for military rank, these men may have been startled, perhaps, by the sudden apparition of the hat which bespoke a general officer, and, what was worse, a general officer in a state of displeasure. It seems, too, there is something in the bearing of a fearless near-sighted man which disturbs the reckonings of other people; for they see that his ways are not their ways, and they do not know but that he may be right in not fearing them, and, that, if they were not to be afraid of him, they themselves might be in the wrong. At all events, the enemy's skirmishers, omitting or failing to bring down the English General, suffered him to remain unhurt on the top of the bank. There, flushed and angry-he was angry, perhaps, with himself, or angry with the gardens and walls and the perverse winding of a stream which had broken the cherished structure of his battalions -he sat on his grey charger full under the guns of the Great Redoubt, and the dun oblong columns of the enemy's infantry that flanked it on either side. However eagerly he might be longing to carry forward his Division, he was without the means of sending swift orders along his line.
But towards the right of Sir George Brown a movement corresponding with his determination had already begun. General Codrington, ordered 'to advance in line and not to stop till he had crossed the river,' had obeyed very swiftly but having moved with a converging tendency during their passage through the vineyards and the river, the men of his brigade and the other troops acting with them were now thickly clustered under the left bank in a chain which took its bends from the winding of the stream. Codrington was at this time between the 33d Regiment and the 23d Fusiliers. He strove to do something towards restoring the formation of his troops; but these, jammed together in a crowd that had been twisted into fantastic shape by the bends of the river's bank, and besides, standing helpless under the fire of the skirmishers shooting down upon their heads from above could hardly even try to perform an evolution requiring free space and time. And, if for a moment, it seemed possible that any approach to a formation under the bank could be effected, the hope was rudely destroyed for, on ground lower down the river, a body of the enemy's light troops found for themselves a spot yielding them shelter, yet so placed that it enabled them to pour a flanking fire along the strip or ledge which divided the stream from the bank, and this at a part where the earth was alive with our devoted soldiery.
To keep the men under this fire for many minutes, and to keep them, too, standing all the time in unresisting masses, would be to lose a brigade. The only order received by General Codrington had been obeyed to the full. He had no time to seek guidance from his Divisional General. Clearly there was come upon him one of those rare conjunctures in which a career is made to hinge upon the decision of a moment. His father was that Admiral whose achievement at Navarino had been a link in the chain of events which now brought the son in arms for the Sultan's cause. And any one who loved our navy, even to jealousy of the land service, might persuade himself that the bright, ardent, straightforward glance, and the bold, decisive speech of the Coldstream officer, must have come by inheritance from a sailor. He had the tightly closed lips, bespeaking an obstinate man who lives a life undistracted by breadth and diversity of views. And much of what he seemed he was -a firm, plain soldier, not liable to be bent from the simple path by refined or complex view. He could not see far without the help of the glass which he kept attached to his cap, but he was more alive to the world around him than near-sighted men often are. He had never before been in action. He could not suffer his troops to remain for another minute a helpless crowd under heavy fire. He knew not how he could withdraw them to any ground apt for manoeuvring; and it was hardly possible for him to exert such a control over the crowd of soldiers hemmed in under the bank that would enable him to repair the evil by covering his brigade with skirmishers.


Nelson, gliding into the Bay of Aboukir; told his assembled captains that if any one of them in the coming battle should chance to be disturbed by doubts about what he ought to do, he might find a good way out of trouble by closing with an enemy's ship; and it was a solution of this sort that now, as it happened, won favour in the heart of an admiral's son.
With no authority except that which was cast upon him by the stress of the moment, General Codrington resolved to storm the Great Redoubt; and he resolved to do this instantly. His immediate power over the disordered masses around him was confined to the range within which he could make himself heard; but, lifting himself a little in his stirrups, he spoke to the men in his clear ringing voice, and ordered them (all who could hear him) 'to fix bayonets, get up the bank, and advance to the attack.'
Then, also, Codrington imagined that the need of the moment was a ready leader rather than a cool and placid general. Besides, this was his first battle; and perhaps-our army, and not the world, will understand him if so it was-he unconsciously felt that the foremost place was peculiarly befitting a Guardsman who commanded a brigade of the line. With the quickness of a man accustomed to hunting, he found a spot where the bank was practicable, and, facing it obliquely, his small white Arab with two or three strides carried him to the summit. From the spot he thus reached the enemy's skirmishers had withdrawn;* and Codrington, with the few soldiers who had already been able to gain the top was alone upon this part of the hillside.
* I imagine that they were withdrawn from the spot because it was under the guns -the guns of the Great Redoubt - from which the enemy was about to open fire on our troops.

Looking up the smooth, gentle slope, he had before him the Great Redoubt; but for the moment the mouths of the heavy guns which armed it remained black and silent. On his right front be saw a body of infantry massed in column. The men, in their long, grey, sombre coats, stood formed with great precision and rigidly still; but right and left of the mass there was a chain of skirmishers so placed on the flanks of the column to be abreast of its front rank. The troops close in rear of the body in front could hardly be seen, for they were almost hidden by the dip of the ground; but the crest was fringed with sparkling light and the light was light playing upon the bayonet-points of battalions massed in the hollow.
Our troops were yearning to be commanded; and if the men, far and near, could have seen that the horseman on the small white Arab above them was a general officer, they would have looked to every wave of his arm for a guiding signal; but Codrington had come out to the east with no higher rank than that of a colonel;* and his simple forage-cap had not the significance of the hat and the flowing plumes, which would have shown men far from the spot that a general officer was on the top of the bank. There were soldiers, however, who gained the top almost at the same moment as their leader. First one here and there, then knots, then bevies of men clambered up.
* He had come out in command of the 1st battalion of the Coldstream; but the Brevet of the 20th of June deprived him of his command by making him a Major-General. He, however, remained in the East as a traveller, and was appointed on the 1st of September to the command of the 1st Brigade of the Light Division.

Hitherto, the knowledge that there was to be an advance beyond the bank had been confined to the people who chanced to be near Sir George Brown or General Codrington; but those who heard the words or caught the meaning of the divisional general and the brigadier, hastened to give effect to the will of their chiefs by sending their words along the line.
The Royal Fusiliers, being on the extreme right of Codrington's brigade, was beyond the reach of his personal guidance, but Lacy Yea, (Pronounced Yaw) who commanded the regiment, was a man of an onward, fiery, violent nature, not likely to suffer his cherished regiment to stand helpless under muzzles pointed down on him and his people by the skirmishers close overhead. The will of a horseman to move forward, no less than his power to elude or overcome all obstacles, is singularly strengthened by the education of the hunting field, and Lacy Yea had been used in early days to ride to hounds in one of the stiffest of all hunting-counties. To him this left bank of the Alma crowned with Russian troops was very like the wayside acclivity which often enough in his boyhood had threatened to wall him back and keep him down in the depths of a Somersetshire lane whilst the hounds were running high up in the field some ten or fifteen feet above. His practised eye soon showed him a fit 'shord' or break in the scarped face of the bank, and then, shouting out to his people, 'Never mind forming! Come on, men! Come on, anyhow!' he put his cob to the task, and quickly gained the top.
On either side of him, men of his regiment rapidly climbed up, and in such numbers that the Russian skirmishers who had been lining it fell back upon their battalions.
And now, in the masses still crowded along the foot of the bank, there rose up that murmur of prayer for closer fighting which, coming of a sudden from men of Teuton blood, is the advent of a new and seemingly extrinsic power-the power ascribed in old times to the hand of an Immortal. From the first company of the Royal Fusiliers to the left of the 19th Regiment, the deep, angry, gathering sound was 'Forward!' 'Forward!, 'Forward!' The throng was heaved; and presently the whole 1st brigade of the Light Division, with the other troops that had joined it surged up, and in numberless waves began to break over the bank.
When once on the top or the bank, the 'five battalions' there gathered had no physical obstruction before them, but were grievously wanting elbow-room; for that tendency to converge, or which we have spoken already, had contracted the front they presented to what was only a fraction of the line they would have formed with their ranks deployed in due order; and the operation of taking ground and opening out into line was not one that could well be performed by a crowd of soldiery gathered under the guns of the Great Redoubt, and besides in the presence - close presence of powerful Russian columns. It is true that the Royal Fusiliers, being on the extreme right of the brigade, and not finding themselves cramped at that time by any pressure from the troops of the 2d Division, had room to deploy; and, though numbers of soldiers belonging to other corps were mixed up with his regiment, Lacy Yea, using violent energy, was able in some degree to make the men open out. Colonel Blake, too, of the 83d was so circumstanced as to be able after a while to make his regiment open out, and in all the regiments our soldiers strove hard to put themselves in their English array; but to almost all of them space was wanting; and the silence which is the pride of the English army could not at that moment be preserved, for numbers of men, separated from their companies and their regiments, yet eager to follow the path of duty, were anxiously seeking advice from officers, and trying, in fact, to place them- selves under such command as time and circumstance would allow. In this condition of things the utmost that could be done in most cases was to try to give to the mass the rudiments of a line- formation; and upon the whole it may be said that although these five battalions, having now open ground before them, were no longer a helpless mass, their state was not such as would enable a chief to manoeuvre them by simple word of command. They were an armed and warlike crowd. (See diagram of Storming of Great Redoubt).
The five battalions thus gathered on the crest of the bank were the first body of Allied troops which moved up to dispute with the enemy for ground he was holding in strength. Both their right and their extreme left confronted Russian infantry columns, drawn up near each flank of the Great Redoubt but the centre and left centre of this part of our assailing force stood right under the face of the work, and directly meeting its frown.
Although far from having been able to open out as was wished, the knotted chain of the redcoats had still a much greater front than the parapet of the opposing redoubt; and accordingly those troops which constituted the flanks of our assaulting force had no mission to throw themselves forward (as the centre was going to do) against the mouths of great guns; but on the other hand, they needs must encounter the gathered masses of infantry drawn up abreast of the work. Two of these from their two respective positions on the flanks of the Redoubt now began to move down the hillside.
The one descending from the eastern flank of the work,* marched against that part of our line which was formed by Lawrence's Rifles,* by the 19th Regiment, and by the 23d or Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Already, this right hand Kazan column had advanced some way down the slope before any great number of the English had clambered up to the top of the bank; and our soldiers, it would seem, at that time might have been forced back into the channel of the river by a continued and resolute advance of the descending force; but when, one by one, and in knots and groups, our men gained the top of the bank, when they saw the ground above spreading smooth and open before them, and the huge grey square-built mass gliding down to where they were, then, happily for England and for the freedom of Europe -for on this in no small measure the commonweal seems to rest - it came to be seen that now, after near forty years of peace, our soldiery were still gifted with the priceless quality which hinders them from feeling, in the way that foreigners feel it the weight of a column of infantry.
* A double-battalion column, I believe, of the Kazan Regiment. This Kazan corps, of which we shall see a great deal, is more commonly called in Russian accounts the 'Grand Duke Michael's Regiment.' It was a regiment or 'chasseurs.'

Major Norcott's two right companies had been extended along the ridge above the river's bank, and were lying down, when Colonel Lawrence advancing in person with his wing of the Rifle battalion, an intermixture took place; and accordingly it must be understood that, both here and in subsequent pages, my mention of 'Lawrence's Rifles' includes some of the men belonging to Major Norcott's wing.
In their English way, half sportive, half surly, our young soldiers seemed to measure their task and then -many of them still holding betwixt their teeth the tempting clusters of grapes they bad gathered in the vineyards below -they began shooting easy shots into the big, solid mass of infantry which was solemnly marching against them. The column besides at this time was moving under a fire directed against its right flank by some of Norcott's Riflemen (then ensconced some way off in a farmstead) and yet as seen by our people, it did not appear unsteady. It was perhaps an over-drilled body of men unskillfully or weakly handled. At all events, the mass failed to make its weight and strength tell against clusters of English lads who stood facing it merrily, and teasing it with rifle-balls. The column before long was ordered or suffered to yield; and, because falling back in a hollow, it lapsed nearly or quite out of sight. Then, having thus ridded themselves of the infantry force in their front, Colonel Lawrence's Riflemen, and the 19th Regiment, and the Royal Welsh began, as they advanced, to bend towards their right, and thenceforth became a part of the force we shall presently see engaged in the storming of the Great Redoubt.
The other Kazan column* (A double-battalion column, I believe, containing 1500 men) -the column coming down from the west flank of the redoubt -was a force of high mettle; and it soon began that obstinate fight of which we shall by-and-by hear -a fight destined with the Royal Fusiliers, destined to last from the commencement of the infantry engagement until almost the close of the battle.


With that part -the central part -of the 'five battalions' which had not been challenged by infantry, General Codrington was already moving up under the guns of the Great Redoubt. He, indeed, had not waited for the moment when his whole brigade reached the top of the bank; for, having gathered some knots of men on either side of him, he rode forward gently a few paces, then waited until he gained some increase of numbers, and then again moved on, thus canvassing, as it were, for followers, and gradually carrying forward with him more and more of the troops. At first, he got on slowly; for the bulk of our officers having had no order to dispense with formation, they judged, when they gained the top of the bank, that they ought to strive to form line before they advanced, and they were labouring to that end; but when it came to be understood that an advance without formation was sanctioned by the generals or compelled by stress of events, the whole of the force, though clubbed and broken into clusters of men, began to move up the gentle slope of the hill. For a little while every gun in the great battery above remained dark and silent.
Amongst the Russians who were plying their field-glasses from the parapet of the Great Redoubt there was a question meet for debate
'If the scarlet men of the sea were presumptuously bent upon storming the work, where was the great column of attack, and where the great column of support, and where the great columns of reserve that must needs have been formed for such an enterprise? Yet, if they had no such purpose, why were so many men coming up under the guns within grape-shot range? And unless those English were really attacking in force, why, in the name of the Holy Virgin and our own blessed Sergius,* why, riding forward even in front of the skirmishers, should there be that superb-looking horseman on the grey charger; - they meant, of course, Sir George Brown - whose visible rage no less than his general's hat clearly showed that he held high command?'
* The troops in and near the redoubt belonged to the 16th Division -a body which carried with it the ?Icon,' or pictured Image of St Sergius. This venerated image had been solemnly entrusted to the Division by the Bishop of Moscow.

Upon the whole, it seemed that the advance of the red-coated soldiery must be an irruption of skirmishers preparatory to an attack in force, but still an irruption so strong as to be worthy of all that artillery could do to crush it. So, the Russian sharpshooters having now for the most part fallen back, or moved aside out of the line of fire, the gunners in the Great Redoubt made ready to open fire upon our regiments with round-shot canister, and grape.
First one gun, then another, then more. From east to west the parapet grew white, and because of the bank of new smoke, no gun could any longer be seen by our men, except at the moment when it was pouring its blaze through the cloud; but on what one may call a glacis, at three hundred yards from the mouths of the guns, the lightning, the thunder, and the bolt are not far apart. It was at an early moment after emerging from the bed of the stream that the slaughter of our people began. Indeed some of them, when struck down, had so nearly reached the top of the bank that they fell back dead and dying into the channel of the river. Death loves a crowd, and many fell; but all who were not struck down continued to move forward. In some places, the closer portions of the advancing throng were eight or ten deep; and the round-shot, tearing cruelly through and through, mowed down so many of our devoted soldiery that several times by sheer havoc the clusters for a moment were thinned.
But only for a moment; because that singular tendency which had begun with the advance into the vineyards was now setting in more strongly. Moving to the attack without being ordered to make towards any given spot, most every officer; and man (except those towards the flanks who were engaged with the enemy's infantry) had instinctively proposed to himself the same goal; and this goal was the Great Redoubt. Upon the Great Redoubt, therefore, the regiments kept always converging; and in less time than it took the Russian artillerymen to sponge and load their guns, our people, inclining away from the flanks, and pressing in towards the centre, filled up every space cut clear by the shot; and this so constantly that, again, after a fall of many men, and again, and still again, there was always a crowd meet for slaughter.
Amongst the troops thus converging upon tile centre there was the right wing of the Derbyshire, the 95th Regiment, its foremost company led with unflinching boldness and zeal by Captain Sargent.*
* Before the crossing of the river, this wing of the 95th had become separated from the other one, and stood halted by a vineyard under a pelting storm of mitrail. For some time, General Pennefather was with this right wing, and by the side of Captain Sargent's company, which was not then aligning with the other three, but drawn up in front of them. Pennefather was so close to Captain Sargent that he could not have given any order without Sargent's knowing it; and, when the General rode off (as he presently did towards his right), Sargent was able to inform his commanding officer, Major Champion, that no recent order for the guidance of the wing had been given by the Brigadier. Although of a negative kind, this information was at the moment of great importance to Champion; and, the troops being all this while under a severe fire, he quickly came to his resolve. In answer to a remark from Sargent, he said to him at once: 'Then lead on with your company!' Thereupon Sargent led forward his company, which was followed by the other three, all four of course under the orders of Champion; and the way in which the onset was conducted is sufficiently shown in the text. These were the circumstances under which Champion stated in his official report that the right wing was led with "determined bravery' by Captain Sargent. Sargent was wounded, but he refused to go on board ship, clung fast to the campaign, and lived to bring his regiment out of action on the great day of Inkerman.
The Colonel was wounded, and Major Champion succeeded to the command of the regiment; but with this its right wing as before he continued to be present in person. Shot dealt havoc around him. Captain Eddington was shot in the throat and killed; Polhill was torn and slain with grape. Champion was a man of great gentleness and piety; and if he was not highly endowed with intellectual gifts, he was able to express the feelings of his heart with something of a poetic force. His mind was accustomed to dwell very much on the world that lies beyond the grave; and in the midst of this scene of carnage he gained, as it were, a seeming glimpse of the happy state; for when the younger Eddington fell at his side, Champion paused to see what ailed him, and looking upon his young friend's pale face, he saw it suddenly clothed with a 'most sweet expression.' It was because death was on him that the blissful look had come. In the mind of Champion the sight had a deep import; for he was of the faith that God's Providence is special, and to him the beautiful smile on the features of 'the dead' was the smile of an immortal man gently carried away from earth by the very hand of his Maker.
Yet this piety of his was of no unwarlike cast. Nay, he was of so noble a sort that, though he had not willingly chosen the profession of arms, yet, when he prayed, he was accustomed to render thanks to his Creator for vouchsafing to make him a hardy soldier; and being, lie said, very strong in the belief that he could die as piously on the battle-field as in 'a downy bed,' he pressed on, content with his 'Derbies,' to the face of the Great Redoubt.
And now, whilst the assailing force was rent from front to rear with grape and canister poured down from the heavy guns above, another and a not less deadly arm was brought to bear against it; for the enemy marched a body of infantry into the rear of the breastwork; and his helmeted soldiers, kneeling behind the parapet at the intervals between the embrasures, watched, ready with their muskets on the earthwork, till they thought our people were near enough, and then fired into the crowd. Moreover, the troops on either flank of the redoubt began to fire obliquely into the assailing mass.
Then, for such of our men as were new to war, it became time to learn that the ear is a false guide in the computation of passing shot; and that amid notes sounding like a very torrent of balls, the greater part of even a crowded force may remain unhurt. The storm of rifle and musket balls, of grape and canister, came in blasts; and although there were pauses, yet whilst a blast was sweeping through, it seemed to any young soldier, guided by the sound of the rushing missiles, that nowhere betwixt them, however closely he might draw in his limbs, could there be room for him to stand unscathed. But no man shrank. Our soldiers, still panting with the violence of their labour in crossing the river and scaling the bank, scarcely fired a shot, and they did not speak; but they, every one, went forward. The truth is, that the weak-hearted men had been left behind in the gardens and buildings of the village; the dross was below, and the force on the hill-side was pure metal. Our men were so intent on their purpose, that not one of them, it is said, at this time, was seen to cast back a look towards the ground whence support might be coming.
The assailants were nearing the breastwork, when, after a lull of a few moments, its ordnance all thundered at once, or at least so nearly at the same moment that the pathway of their blast was a broad one; and there were many who fell; but the onset of our soldiery was becoming a rush. Codrington, riding in front of the men, gaily cheered them on; and all who were not struck down by shot pressed on towards the long bank of smoke which lay dimly enfolding the redoubt.
But already-though none of the soldiery engaged then knew who wrought the spell-a hard stress had been put upon the enemy. For a while, indeed, the white bank of smoke, lit through here and there with the slender flashes of musketry, stood fast in the front of the parapet, and still all but shrouded the helmets and the glittering bayonets within ; but it grew more thin it began to rise; and, rising, it disclosed a grave change in the counsels of the Russian Generals. Some Englishmen - or many, perhaps, at the same moment - looking keen through the smoke, saw teams of artillery-horses moving, and there was a sound of ordnance- wheels. Our panting soldiery broke from their silence. 'By all that is holy! he is limbering up!' 'He is carrying off his guns!' Stole away! Stole away! Stole away!' The glacis of the Great Redoubt had come to sound more joyous than the covert's side in England.
The embrasures were empty, and in rear of the work, long artillery-teams-eight-horse aud ten-horse teams-were rapidly dragging off the guns.
Then a small child-like youth ran forward before the throng, carrying a colour. This was young Anstruther. He carried the Queen's colour of the Royal Welsh. Fresh from the games of English school-life, he ran fast; for, heading all who strove to keep up with him, he gained the redoubt, and dug the butt-end of the flag staff into the parapet; and there for a moment he stood, holding it tight, and taking breath. Then he was shot dead; but his small hands, still clasping the flagstaff; drew it down along with him, and the crimson silk lay covering the boy with its folds. His successor in charge of the colour, namely, centre sergeant Luke O'Connor, was brought down at nearly that moment by a shot which struck his breast; but William Evans, a swift-footed soldier, ran forward, and had caught up the fallen standard, when O'Connor (finding strength enough to be able to rise)made haste to assert his right, and then proudly upholding the colour, he laid claim to the Great Redoubt on behalf of the 'Royal Welsh.*
* It commonly happens that incidents occurring in a battle are told by the most truthful bystanders with differences more or less wide. All agree that young Anstruther rushed forward just as is mentioned in the text, and that being shot dead, be fell clasping the colour in the way above described; but, according to the testimony of some, the spot of ground where he fell was several paces below the redoubt. After the capture of the redoubt, sergeant Luke O'Connor, notwithstanding his wound, persisted in refusing to part with the honour of carrying the colour. Lieutenant Granville, and also, I think, some other officers of the regiment, observed that O'Connor was growing weak from the effect of his wound, and pressed him to go to the rear; but setting at nought all these counsels, O'Connor persisted in his determination to carry the cherished standard until the close of the battle. He received the thanks of Sir George Brown and General Codrington on the field; and, for having done what is above told, he was decorated with the Victoria Cross. He was also promoted. He is now (this was written in 1863) a captain in that same devoted regiment with which he had the glory of serving on the day of the Alma.
The colour floating high in the air, and seen by our people far and near, kindled in them a raging love for the ground where it stood. Breathless men found speech. General Codrington, still in the front, uncovered, saluting the crisis, waved his cap for a sign to his people, and then, riding straight at one of the embrasures, leapt his grey Arab into the breastwork. There were some eager and swift-footed soldiers who sprang the parapet nearly at the same moment; more followed. Fire opening then on our people from a battery higher up the hill-side, both Lawrence and his adjutant Ross were unhorsed by a blast of grape-shot; but the ground that received Lawrence falling was indeed the very goal he had sought, for he rolled at the foot of the breastwork. At each flank of the work, no less than along its whole front, agile men were now fast bounding in.
The enemy's still lingering skirmishers began to fall back, and descended -some of them slowly -into the dip where their battalions were massed. The bulk of our soldiery were up, and they flooded in over the parapet, hurrahing, jumping over, hurrahing- a joyful English crowd.
The cheer had not yet died away on the hillside, when from the enemy's battalions standing massed in the hollow there rose up, as though it had been wrung from the very hearts of brave men defeated, a long, sorrowful, wailing sound. This was the bitter and wholesome grief of a valiant soldiery not content to yield. For men who so grieve there is hope. The redoubt had been seized by our people; it was not yet lost to the Czar.
At the sight of the brass howitzer which was found in the work, a characteristic desire to assert the claims of private or corporate ownership began to seize upon the crowd; and more than one man -so they say -scratched his mark upon the piece, that he might make it the peculiar trophy of himself or his regiment. But there was a better prize than this within the reach of a nimble soldier; for of the guns moving off towards the rear there was one which, dragged by only three horses, had scarcely yet gained the rear of the redoubt. Captain Bell, of the Royal Welsh, ran up, overtook it, and, pointing his capless pistol at the head of the driver, ordered him, or rather signed to him, to stop instantly and dismount The driver sprang from his saddle and fled. Bell seized the bridle of the near horse, and he had already turned the gun round, when, Sir George Brown riding up angry, and ordering him to go to his company, he of course obeyed, yet not until he had effectually started the horses in the right direction; for they drew the gun down the hill, and the capture became complete.*
* The gun is now at Woolwich. The horses served for some time in our 'Black Battery.'

Of the men who had moved forward from the top of the river's bank, many now lay upon the hill-side dead or wounded; and the Royal Fusiliers, with fragments of other regiments, were still engaged with the enemy's infantry; but the greater portion of five battalions were now upon the ground which the enemy had made his stronghold.*
* The 33d, the 'Royal Welsh' (or 23d), the 'Derbies' (95th), the 19th, and the 2d battalion of the Rifle Brigade.

Yet the tendency to converge towards the redoubt as their goal had so closely compressed the assailing mass, that its front now hardly outflanked the parapet; and all the assailants of the redoubt were either within the work or closely gathered round it.
These men by their impetuous onset had apparently bewildered the enemy; for though having on this one hill-side sixteen unbroken battalions of infantry supported by a powerful artillery as well as by the cavalry arm, he nevertheless for the moment hung back, as though minded to acquiesce in his loss. Our soldiery, on the other baud, were well inclined to rest and make themselves at home; and General Codrington, alighting from his horse, began to show the men how best to establish themselves on the ground they had won by lying down outside the parapet, and resting their rifles upon its top.
Thus the assaulting force had carried the great field-work which guarded the key of the enemy's position on the Alma; and if at this time the supporting Division had been half-way up the hill, or even if it had been beginning to crown the banks of the river on the Russian side, the toils and perils of the day would perhaps have been over. But our men were only a crowd; and they, all of them, wise and simple, now began to learn in the great school of action that the most brilliant achievement by a disordered mass of soldiery requires the speedy support of formed troops.
Then -and then, as is said, for the first time -the men cast back a look towards the quarter from which they might hope to see supports advancing; but when they carried their eyes down the slopes strewn thick with the wounded and the dead, they saw that, from the ground where they stood down home to the top of the river's bank, there were no succours coming.
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Go to part 5.