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Return to part 4.


Where were the supports?
The right of the 1st Division was formed by the brigade of 'Guards.' In its origin, the appellation given to the regiments called 'the Guards' imported that the personal safety of the sovereign was peculiarly committed to their charge. Princes have imagined that, by specially ascribing this duty to a particular portion of their armed forces rather than to the whole, and by granting some privileges to troops specially distinguished as their chosen defenders, they secure to themselves good means of safety in time of trouble; and that still, upon the whole, they do more good than harm to their military system, by establishing a healthy spirit of rivalry between the favoured body and the rest of the army. The danger is, that a corps thus set apart will come to be considered as a great reserve of military strength, and that, for that very reason, any disaster which it may sustain will be looked upon as more ruinous than a disaster of equal proportions occurring to other regiments.
With us, the corps of Guards numbers only seven battalions, distributed into three regiments, called the Grenadier Guards, the Coldstream, and the Scots Fusilier Guards; and each of these three regiments had sent one battalion to form the brigade of Guards now serving in the 1st Division. The officers of the corps enjoy some privileges tending to accelerate their advancement in the army. They are for the most part, men well born or well connected; and being aided by a singularly able body of sergeants and corporals, they are not so over-burthened in peace-time by their regimental duties as to have their minds in the condition which too often results from monotonous labour. They have deeply at heart the honour of the whole body of the Guards as well as of their respective regiments; and the feeling is quickened by a sense of the jealousy which their privileges breed, or rather, perhaps, by the tradition of that ancient rivalry which exists between the 'Guards' and the 'Line.'
The Guardsmen of the rank and file have some advantages over the line in the way of allowances and accoutrements. They are all of fine stature. Without being overdrilled, they are well enough practised in their duties; and whoever loves war sees grandeur in the movement of the stately forms and the towering bearskins which mark a battalion of the Guards. It is true that these household troops are cut off from the experience gained by line regiments in India and the colonies; but whenever England is at war in Europe, or against people of European descent, it is the custom and the pride of the Guards to take their part.
The officers of the Guards have so many relatives and friends amongst those who generate conversation in London, that when two or three of their battalions are sent upon active service, the war in which they engage becomes, as it were for their sake, a subject of interest in circles which commonly yield only a languid attention to events beyond the sea. Grief for the death of line officers is dispersed among the counties of the three kingdoms; and when they fall in battle, it is the once merry country-house, the vicarage, or the wayside cottage of some old Peninsular officer, that becomes the house of mourning. But by the loss of officers of the household regiments the central body of English society is touched, is shocked, is almost angered; and a commander who has to sit in his saddle and see a heavy slaughter of the Guards, may be almost forced to think ruefully of fathers, of mothers, of wives, of sisters, who are amongst his own friends.
There was nothing in the history or traditions of the famous corps of the Guards to justify the notion that they were to be more often kept out of the brunt of the battle than the troops of the line; and in this very war they were destined to encounter the hardest trials of soldiers, and to go on fighting and enduring until the glory of past achievements, the strange ascendancy which those achievements had won, and a few score of wan men with hardly the garb of soldiers, should be all that remained of 'the Guards.' Still it is certain that the household battalions were more or less regarded as a cherished body of troops, and that the loss of the brigade of Guards would be looked upon as a loss more signal, and in that sense more disastrous, than the loss of three other battalions of equal strength.
The Duke of Cambridge is the grandson of King George III., and a cousin of the Queen. At the outbreak of the war he was thirty-five years of age. He had made the most of such experience as could be gained by following the vocation of a military life in the British Isles. He understood the mechanism of our army system; and so far as could be judged by the test of home service, he was a good and a diligent soldier. Nay, he had some qualifications for command which are not very common in England. He loved order, method, and organisation. Long before the war it had been said that he was gifted with that faculty of moving troops which is one of the prime qualifications of a general officer; and the skill with which his superb Division had been now deployed, seemed to give safe ground for saying that the flattering rumour was true. He was zealous and devoted to duty. He had the habit of exercising forethought. He was sagacious, and was more keenly alive than most other men of our land - service to passing and coming events. He had a good military eye.*
* A few words which fell from Lord Raglan in October 1854 have caused me, perhaps, to speak with more confidence on this subject than I might otherwise venture to show. In that month~I believe on the 15th-Lord Raglan spoke to me of the exceeding anxiety of the Duke of Cambridge about the Inkerman position, and he said that in consequence of this pressure measures had been taken. Exactly three weeks afterwards the very ground about which the Duke had been so anxious was the scene of mighty onslaught which commenced the battle of Inkerman.

He was a great respecter of the public voice in England, and was even, perhaps, too ready to suffer himself to be swayed by light, transient breezes of 'opinion.' He had no dread of innovations; and the beard that clothed his frank; handsome, manly face, was the symbol of his adhesion to a then new revolt against custom. He was much loved, for he was of a genial temper; and his rank was so well helped out by his hereditary faculty of remembering those with whom he had once conversed, that, far from chilling his intercourse with other men, it enabled him to give happy effect to the kindliness of his nature. But, after all, what a general has to do is to try to overcome the enemy by exposing his own soldiery to all needful risks. At any fit time he must be willing and eager to bring his own people to the slaughter for the sake of making havoc with the enemy; and it is right for him to be able to do this without at the time being seen to feel one pang. Nay, however certain it may be that his gentler nature will overcome him on the morrow, it is well for him to be able to pass through the bloodiest hours of battle with something of a ruthless joy. The Duke of Cambridge was wanting in this kind of truculence; and, however careless of his own life (for he had the personal courage of his race) he was liable to be cruelly wrung by the weight of a command which charged him with the lives, of other men. He was of an anxious temperament; and with him the danger was that, in moments when great stress might come to be put upon him, the very keenness of his desire to judge aright would become a cruel hindrance. Nor was he a man who would be driven to burst his way through scruples and doubts by the impulse of any selfish ambition. Far from straining after occasions for acting on his own judgment, he would have liked, if he could, to receive a series of precise orders which would serve to guide him in every successive change. But a general of division must not expect to be long in a campaign without being thrown upon his own judgment. Lord Raglan had furnished the Duke with one order -an order 'to support the Light Division in its forward movement' -the Duke of Cambridge had begun to obey it by following the advance of the Light Division, and bringing his force home down to the enclosures; but having thus come to the end of the open ground, he felt the want of some new sanction before he carried his Division into the vineyards. He knew that, for a while at least, the superb array of his Guards and Highlanders would be shattered by passing through enclosures, and he wished for another order from Headquarters before he submitted to see his beautiful line broken up. The order 'to support the Light Division' was becoming an imperfect guide, because that same Light Division had rushed head-long upon a task which was dissolving great part of it into a vast swarm of skirmishers. Were the Guards and Highlanders to do the like? Were they to do thus, although the efficacy as a force acting in support of the troops in advance was likely to depend upon their being able to come up in good order? The 1st Division was halted; yet the Light Division was moving rapidly forward.
Why was there this failure of concert between the Light and the 1st Divisions? Why was there no man there who could link the one Division to the other by a few decisive words?
Lord Raglan had already given his orders, and at this moment, led forward by a golden chance, he was riding far away in another part of the field. Sir George Brown, already in the enclosures, and having no line of skirmishers to cover the advance of his battalions, was unable to govern the movements of his Division in such a way as to prevent it from getting too far in advance of the Guards and Highlanders; and afterwards, when Sir George went forward person with that part of his Division which stormed the redoubt, he seems to have found no means of communicating with the Duke of Cambridge and pressing for the immediate support the 1st Division.
Every moment was precious; for the men of the Light Division were moving down at a run through the vineyards, or wading across river.
At the time of this halt the battalion of Grenadier Guards was across the great road. Thither now, from the west, a horseman came galloping up. Of an actual order General Airey was not the bearer; but he was a man whose loyalty towards his chief made him always feel certain that what he himself saw clearly to be right was exactly what his chief desired to have done; and the result was, that in an emergency he was able to speak with a weight which virtually brought to bear upon the matter in hand the whole power of Headquarters. His keen eye had detected the halt of the 1st Division, and he saw also that the Light Division was pushing forward at a run. Another man would have gone round or sent to the commander of the forces for his opinion; but every moment of the lapsing time was bringing danger.
General Airey rode straight up to General Bentinck,* and explained it to be Lord Raglan's meaning that the 1st Division should instantly continue its advance in support of the Light Division.
* Lord Raglan had made an order specially providing that bearer of an order for a divisional general should deliver it to the first brigadier he happened to find, to be by him transmitted to the divisional chief.

'Must we,' asked Bentinck -' must we always keep within three hundred yards of the Light Division?' 'No,' said Airey, not ne cessarily at any fixed distance; that would not be possible. What His Royal Highness has to do is to support the Light Division by advancing in conformity with its movements.' At this moment the Duke of Cambridge rode up, and to him Airey repeated it to be Lord Raglan's meaning that the Division should instantly 'push on' H. R.H. then gave orders for the immediate advance of the Division, and Clifton, I think, was the aide-de-camp who carried the order to Sir Colin Campbell. Then the 1st Division moved forward.
Now the enemy, whilst he dealt with the tumultuous onset of Codrington's brigade, had rightly enough given some of his care to the more ceremonious advance of the 1st Division; and since the Guards confronted both the Causeway batteries and the Great Redoubt, they of course underwent for a time a fire of artillery, and some men were struck down.* The Grenadiers and the Scots Fusiliers suffered the most. This loss did not occur as a consequence of any mistake: it was in the order of things that it should be. But when men are new to war, and so placed in the battle-field as to be for the moment cut off from all knowledge of what is going on elsewhere,' they are prone to imagine that a force which they see undergoing slaughter, yet having no immediate means of attack or resistance, must needs be the victim of some piece of forgetfulness or error; and when once this notion has got its lodgment in the brain of an officer, his next step probably is to try to avert what he fancies to be an impending disaster by venturing to disobey orders, or by counseling another to do so.
* Even when the Great Redoubt had been dismantled, and the Causeway batteries withdrawn, there were some guns in battery at more remote spots, which seem to have been brought to bear on the Guards.

Afterwards-but not, it seems, by any formal order to halt - the advance of the 1st Division was again stopped for a time; yet Codrington's brigade had then begun to rush forward. From the ground on which he was riding, Sir De Lacy Evans could see in profile the swift disordered advance of Codrington's brigade, and the stop to which the 1st Division had come. He understood the danger; and, comprehending at once that the advance of Codrington's brigade was a movement requiring instant support, he took upon himself to send a message conveying his opinion to the Duke of Cambridge.* The Division went forward, and, breaking into the enclosures, began to work its difficult way through the vineyards.
* Evans sent the message by Colonel Steel, who chanced to be near him at the time. Steel was Military Secretary, and he seems to have fulfilled his mission in a way which caused it to be understood that the message he brought was an order from Lord Raglan (Note to 3rd Edition)

But when a division of infantry extended in line is marched through gardens and walled enclosures, the power of the general commanding it must always be more or less thrown into abeyance, because the want of an unobstructed view and of free lateral communication makes it impossible for him to know what is going on along the whole line, or to send swift orders to the more distant companies. For a time his authority is necessarily dispersed among many; and if the force is moving deliberately and in the face of an enemy, numbers of little councils of war will of necessity be going on here and there, in order to judge how best to deal with what seems to be the state of the battle in each field, each garden, each vineyard.
Still, the Guards descended towards the bank with so much of the line-formation as was permitted by the obstacles they had to overcome. Upon gaining the river's side, the Coldstream broke into open column of sections, in order to make the most advantage of the ford; and when it reached the opposite bank it preserved its column-formation for a time, in order to march the more conveniently round an elbow there formed by the river. When this movement was complete, the colour-sergeants went out to take ground, and the battalion opened out into line-formation with all the precision and ceremony of a birthday review. On the right of this battalion, and moving with less deliberation, the Scots Fusilier Guards got through the enclosures and the river. On the right of that last corps there marched the battalion of the Grenadier Guards. The Grenadiers were a body of men so well instructed, and so skillfully handled, that in working their way through the enclosures they were able to preserve all the essential elements of their line formation.*
* No less than seven of the officers serving with this battalion had acted as adjutants of the regiment, and to this circumstance the skill with which it was carried through the enclosures is in some measure ascribed.

When they came to the bank they looked for no ford, but, treating the river as a brook-as a brook which a soldier must pass without picking his way* -the battalion marched through it in line;** and though there were some points where a passage was easy, others where the soldiers had to wade deep, and some few -so they say - where the men were put to their swimming, still each file kept its place in the line with a near approach to exactness. At length - but after a painful lapse of time, for Codrington's disordered battalions were clinging all this while to the parapet of the Great Redoubt - the brigade of Guards stood halted, and formed anew under cover of the bank on the Russian side of the river. Their people were sheltered; but the heads of their colours, protruding a little above the top of the bank, could be seen by men looking down from the redoubt.
* For very good reasons, soldiers in marching are called upon to go straight through brooks and pools of water without picking their way.
** With the exception of one (the 2d) company, commanded by Prince Edward of Saxe-Weimar, which, happening to be near the bridge, filed over it.

The Highland brigade at this time was not under a heavy fire, and Sir Colin Campbell effected the operation of passing the river very simply; for, without attempting formal evolutions, each of his regiments, whilst it advanced, tried to keep up, as well as the nature of the ground would allow, the rudiments of its line-formation; and when it gained the opposite bank, its array was carefully restored. As soon as one of the regiments was duly formed on the Russian side of the river, it was moved forward; and since the ground. presented more obstacles towards our left than towards our right, the brigade fell naturally, and without design, into direct echelon of regiments. The 42d was in advance; on the left of that regiment there was the 93d, somewhat refused; and on the left of the 93d, but still further refused, there came the 79th.
But already there was nearly an end of the precious moments in which it was possible for the 1st Division to bring an effective support to the troops in the Great Redoubt.
Nor did General Buller succeed in bringing his battalions to the rescue. We saw that the 19th Regiment had slipped from his control and joined with Codrington's brigade in storming the redoubt. The two battalions which remained in his power were the 88th and the 77th Regiments. He was in person with the 88th some way above the bank of the river; and the 77th, under the orders of Colonel Egerton, was on the extreme left of the English infantry line. The 88th and the 77th were not at this time under fire; but before them, at somewhat long distances, there were heavy columns of Russian infantry; and the enemy's horsemen, though not, it seems, visible at this moment, were known to be hovering on the left front of the English line. Buller, however, had not yet apprehended that the Russians were preparing any enterprise against his left flank; and when he saw how matters stood in the redoubt, he rightly determined to advance at once with the two battalions which remained under his control. He therefore sent an order to Colonel Egerton directing him at once to move forward with the 77th, and he himself prepared to advance at the same moment with the 88th.
Colonel Egerton was a firm, able man, and he felt the momentous importance of the duties attaching upon an officer who had charge of the extreme left of our infantry line; for it was obvious that a successful flank attack upon the one battalion which he commanded would bring into grievous jeopardy the whole array, English and French. The dips and hollows which marked the hill-side towards his left, made it hard for him to see what the enemy was intending to do; and he failed to infer that the Czar's renowned forces were really abstaining from the enterprise which seemed to be almost forced upon them by the nakedness of our left wing, and by their strength in the cavalry arm. At the moment when Buller's order was brought to him, Colonel Egerton was so deeply impressed with a sense of the danger which he had to withstand in this part of the field, that -deliberately, and with a firmness which might have won him great praise if the actual course of events had brought him his justification - he took upon himself a grave burthen.*
* Colonel Egerton was the brilliant officer who, with only four companies of his 77th Regiment, proved able to exert a strong sway over the issue of the great Inkerman battle.

He took upon himself to say that, in the circumstances in which he stood, he ought not to obey the order. This answer the aide- de-camp carried back to General Buller. Buller was a near-sighted man;* and being, it would seem, distrustful of what had been his own impression of the enemy's attitude, he acquiesced in Colonel Egerton's decision, allowed the 77th to remain where it was, and not only refrained from advancing with the 88th, but threw the regiment into square, as though it were about to be attacked by cavalry.**
*It has already been said that Sir George Brown, who commanded the Division, and Codrington, who commanded its 1st brigade, were both of them near-sighted. The Light Division was the force which had to feel and fight its way to the key of the position; and it was an error to allow it to be carried into action by three near-sighted generals.
** It seems that the order to form square was carried to all the three regiments of the brigade, including the 19th, and that a wing of the 77th was at one moment complying with it. The officers of the 19th, however, were apparently so convinced of the unfitness of the order, that they deliberately disobeyed it. Lieutenant Lidwill of the 6th company was told to pass down the word to 'square on the left centre company,' but he says:- 'I saw it was madness, and would not pass on the order to the 7th and 8th companies.'
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So when the men of Codrington's force looked back to whence they came, and when also they looked to their left rear, they saw they were alone -still alone-upon the hill-side. Then such of them as had the instinct of war began to under-stand that the blood of their comrades had been shed in vain.
For they were only clusters of men without the strength of order; and masses of infantry, in a perfect state of formation, were heavily impending over them. The columns which were the nearest to them were in the dip behind the redoubt, and so placed that, without any danger to them, the Russian battery which had been planted higher up on the side of the Kourgane Hill could throw its fire into the site of the redoubt. The guns of this battery-the one that had brought Colonel Lawrence and his aide- de-camp, and perhaps many more, to the ground-were soon brought to bear upon those of our soldiery who stood within the redoubt; and this fire, after killing and wounding several men, drove the rest to seek cover by betaking themselves to the outer side of the parapet. Their movement, though it wanted the sanction of orders, was scarcely wrong or unsoldierly; for, since the men were without formation, their duty became like the duty of skirmishers, and the parapet of the redoubt supplied that kind of shelter which the need of the moment demanded. Yet the movement looked like the beginning of a retreat, and apparently for that reason mainly General Codrington strove to check it,* for being at the moment on the outside of the work, he for the second time put his horse at the parapet, and again entered the redoubt, with a hope that the men would follow him in once more.
* We saw him at one moment busied in establishing some of his men on the outside of the parapet, but it did not of course at all follow that he would approve the reflux movement of those soldiers who being within the work now began to pour out of it.

But, this time, his example was little observed; for almost every man, being driven by want of formation to rely upon his own means of making a stand, was busied with the work of settling himself down as well as he could for a stubborn defence; and it was plain (as Codrington himself had been showing the men some few minutes before) that the best ground for making a stand was the foot of the parapet on its outer side.
When good infantry soldiers, in the immediate presence of a powerful enemy, are disordered, but still undaunted, the slightest rudiment of a fieldwork is of infinite value to it - not simply nor chiefly on account of the shelter which it affords, but rather-because it gives a base and nucleus for that coherence which is endangered by the want of formation. If our men, then lying or kneeling along the foot of the parapet, had been well covered at the flanks, it would have been their duty to hold the ground firmly against even a great body of infantry attacking them in front.
But on either flank, as well as in front of the lengthened crowd of English soldiery which lay clustering about the parapet, the enemy's masses were gathered. On their right rear there was the double-battalion column of the Kazan corps still engaged with the Royal Fusiliers. On their left and left front, there were the two remaining battalions of the Kazan corps and the four battalions of the Sousdal corps; but in their immediate front, and posted in the hollow behind the redoubt, they had before them the four superb battalions of the Vladimir Regiment. These forces were supported by the four battalions of the Ouglitz corps, which stood massed in one column on a higher slope of the Kourgane Hill. The two battalions of sailors also were in this part of the field; and, except as regards his loss of an advantageous site for a battery, and his loss too of one gun and one howitzer, the discomfiture up to this time sustained had not lessened his strength in artillery. Moreover, 12 squadrons of Hussars and 11 sotnias of Cossacks stood drawn up close at hand on the enemy's extreme right; so that (omitting the Kazan column, which was occupied with the Royal Fusiliers) there were impending over our disordered soldiery, then kneeling or lying down by the parapet of the redoubt, 16 battalions of infantry in a state of perfect formation, supported by powerful batteries, and by 2700 horse.
And by this time there had sprung up amongst the Russian infantry on the slopes of the Kourgane Hill a sentiment of warlike indignation. Any Russian officer who had been standing on ground high enough to command a view of the river, must have seen that, from the moment of their first outset on the left bank, the troops which stormed the redoubt were an isolated, and, for the most part, a disordered force; and even for some minutes after seeing them carry the work, he would be unable to make out that any supports moved up from the river were coming as yet to their aid. Naturally he would be shamed to think that many thousands of the once famous Russian infantry had been yielding up the Great Redoubt to a body which might almost be called a mere flush of skirmishers. Besides, it was known by this time in some of the Russian battalions, that of the pieces which had armed the redoubt, two were wanting, and to recover these there arose a burning desire. Unless the stain was to be lasting, it seemed clear that the red-coats still clinging to the dismantled redoubt must be driven at once down the hill.
Propelled, it would seem, by this warlike sentiment, the great column formed of the Ouglitz battalions, and posted on the high ground above the redoubt, began to descend towards our people; and for a few moments it came on, hot with zeal or anger, the men of the front ranks discharging vain, passionate shots whilst they marched, and young soldiers in the centre of the column shooting wildly into the air above them. Soon, however, this body was halted.*
* No mention of this suddenly arrested advance is made in the Russian accounts, and I imagine that it was a movement spontaneously undertaken by the colonel, but soon afterwards stopped by orders from some one of higher authority. The movement was observed by English officers so placed as to command a view of this part of the field, but it has been only by comparing their testimony with my knowledge of the position occupied by each Russian corps, that I have been able to infer the identity of the battalions they saw with those of the Ouglitz regiment.

But it was in the great Vladimir column that there sprang up the warlike spirit which was destined to bring the foot soldiery of Russia and of England into a closer strife. The column, we know, was a mass composed of the four battalions of the Vladimir corps; and although it stood near to the English soldiery lying clustered along the outer side of the parapet, still, because drawn up in the dip behind the rear of the earthwork, it could not be perfectly seen by even such of our men as were standing up, and could not be seen at all by those who were lying down or kneeling.
For the honour of having led this high-mettled column against English infantry two men contend. From the time when Prince Mentschikoff rode off towards the sea, Prince Gortschakoff had been left in command of the whole of the forces opposed to the English; and General Kvetzinski, who commanded the Division to which the Vladimir battalions belonged, was under Prince Gortschakoff's orders. Each of these the two last-mentioned- Generals says that (without knowing of the presence of the other) he gave orders for the advance of the column, and led it on in person. Their statements may perhaps be reconciled; for it is possible that Gortschakoff and Kvetzinski-the one riding with the left, the other with the right, of the column -may have, both of them, done what each of them said that he did. In that view of the matter the coincidence would be accounted for by supposing that the resolve of each of the two Generals sprang from the same cause - sprang in fact from the warlike anger which was heaving the general mass. I am, however, inclined to believe that Prince Gortschakoff is mistaken in his statement;* and that the impulse he gave to the Vladimir battalions was one given some minutes later, and after the movement now spoken of.Be this as it may, it is certain enough that -either alone, or jointly with Prince Gortschakoff- Kvetzinski led on the column.
* I found this belief upon a comparison of Prince Gortschakoff's statements with the known facts.

These troops of the 16th Division had been touched with the warlike fire which a patriot priesthood can draw from Gospels, Epistles, and Psalms. With the baggage of the Division there was carried an image of the blessed Sergius; and when these troops were ordered to the south, the Archbishop of Moscow had taken care to whet them for the strife. 'Children of the Czar '-so ran the Primate's blessing-' Children of the Czar our father, and Russia our mother, my warrior brethren! The Czar, your country, the Christian faith, call you to brave deeds, and the prayers of the Church and country are with you.
Should it be the will of God that you too face the foe, forget not that you are doing battle for the most pious Czar, for our beloved country, for holy Church, against infidels, against persecutors of the Christian faith- persecutors of men united to us by ties of religion and of blood -insulters of those who bow before the Holy Places, sanctified by the birth, passion, and ascension of Christ. Blessing and honour to him who conquers, Blessing and happiness to him who, with faith in God, and love for his Czar and country, offers up his life as a sacrifice! It is written in the Scriptures, concerning those of olden times who fought for their country, "By faith were kingdoms conquered" (Heb. xi. 33). Now, by faith you too shall be conquerors. Our most holy father Sergius whilome blessed our victorious war against the enemies of Russia. His image was borne in your ranks in the days of the Emperor Alexis, of Peter the Great, and, finally, in the great war against twenty nations in the reign of Alexander the First. That sacred form journeys with you also as a token of his fervent and beseeching prayers to God on your behalf. Take unto yourselves, moreover, the triumphal war-cry of the Czar and prophet David, "In God is my salvation and glory!"'*
* Psalm ii. 8; "Eastern Papers," part vii. P.50.

The Vladimir column came on. It moved slowly as though it were held in by some kind of awe or doubt. Still it moved, and without firing a shot; for the orders were not to fire but to charge with the bayonet. Huge and grey, the mass crept gliding up the slope which divided it from our soldiery.
Our men, gathered round the parapet, were kneeling or lying down; and being thus low they could not see into the dip which lay at a little distance before them; but mounted officers, of course, could see farther, and even men on foot (especially those near to either flank of the redoubt), if they stood up for a moment to gain a wider view, could see a whole field of bayonet points, ranged close as corn, and seeming to grow taller and taller. And though none of our men knew the strength of the column which was closing upon them, yet, sometimes from what he himself saw, but more commonly by hearsay, almost every man came to know that towards the part of the parapet where he lay there was a mass of Russian soldiery coming.
The great Vladimir column at length emerged from the dip, and still withholding its fire, continued to move slowly forward, so that presently our men lying down, with their rifles leveled across the parapet, and their eyes a little above its top, were face to face with the approaching mass.
Whether owing to any high quality of the soul, or to a want of imagination, or only, after all, to a certain hardness of temperament, it is certain that the slow approach of massed infantry does not weigh on the hearts of our people as it does on the troops of the Continent; and, when our soldiers are formed in their English array, they see in a column opposing them a sensitive, frail human structure which, although indeed strong potentially, is nevertheless for the moment, and until broken up or deployed, a mere victim, a manacled giant, against men firing into its depths from a largely extended front. Even now, though our men lay in clusters without formation, they were ready enough to begin shooting into the column; and those who first caught sight of the Russian helmets were going to deliver their fire, when suddenly they were checked by a voice which implored every man to stay his hand.
When troops are about to be overpowered, confusing rumours flit round them. The voice which had stayed the fire of our men was a voice crying out, 'The column is French! -the column is French! Don't fire, men! For God's sake don't fire!' At this moment Colonel Chester was sitting in his saddle close to the redoubt, and when he saw the soldiery beginning to catch the belief that the approaching column was French, he eagerly strove to undeceive them. Enforcing his words by gesture, he was impatiently moving his uplifted sword, as though he would say to those who might see without being able to hear, 'No! no! nonsense! the column is not French- it is an enemy's column. Fire into it! fire into it!' Whilst thus striving to correct the mistake he was struck first by one shot, and then almost instantly by another. Upon receiving the first shot, he seemed to put his hand to the wound, but when the second shot struck him he dropped from his horse and fell dead.
Repeated again and again, the prohibition against opening fire traveled fast along the line; and presently it was further impressed, for a bugler of the 19th, under orders from a mounted officer, began to sound the 'cease firing.'
Our men, obeying the voice thus enforced by the appeal of the bugle, withheld their fire and remained still. The belief that the column must be French was confirmed, if not caused, by observing that it delivered no fire; and although Kvetzinski has said that the front-rank men had brought down their muskets as though for a charge with the bayonet,* still the slow, formal movement of the approaching mass was so little like what the English regard as a 'charge,' that our people, so far as I know, never thought of accounting for the silence of the enemy's firelocks by suggesting that his movement was intended to be an attack with the bayonet. The Vladimir mass now halted,** as if from a suspicion of some snare, or perhaps from a dread of the unknown; and this indeed was natural enough, for although but imperfectly seeing our recumbent soldiers, the front-rank men of the column could by this time discern many forage-caps and a crowd of English faces of a fresh-coloured hue very strange to their eyes, and besides, the muzzles of rifles leveled thickly across the parapet.
* His expression, as rendered from the Russian into French, is, 'l'arme au bras prete a la baionette.'
** The Russian accounts do not speak of this halt. They represent the whole advance of the column as a bayonet-charge, and it seems quite true that the column really withheld its fire; but it would be a mistake to suppose that the forward movement of this body was marked with any of the swiftness or violence commonly associated with the idea of a 'charge.' To English eyes and English ears the slow, cumbrous advance of the Vladimir column was as different from a 'bayonet charge' as a funeral is from a horse-race, or a short, swift 'burst' with the hounds.

From mistake on one side, and misgiving on the other, there had come to be a strange pause; yet not along the whole line; for, either with a part of the Vladimir column or else with some other body of troops, two or three of the companies of the 33d were exchanging at this time a sharp fire. The men of the column took the fancy of pouring the main volume of their shot towards the ground where the colours of the 33d were upraised. The colours were new; and, as though the mere richness of their crimson folds were enough to draw the eye and the aim of the Russian musketeer, they were riddled in two or three minutes with numbers of balls. Of those who stood near them a large proportion were struck down.*
I do not see anything in the Russian narratives which I can identify with the combat in which a part of the 33d was engaged, and I have not been able to say which of the Russian corps it was with which the 33d was at this time exchanging fire.
General Codrington, seeing that the fruits of the exploit performed by his brigade were going to be lost for want of supports, had already sent his aide-de-camp, Campbell, to press the advance of the Scots Fusilier Guards, the battalion most directly in his rear. But the very moments then passing were the moments charged with the result, and there were no other and later moments that could ever be used in their stead.
It is said-but my faith in men's impressions of what passed at this minute is wanting in strength -it is said that one of the heavy columns which the enemy had on his extreme right was now seen to he marching upon the left flank of the English soldiery who lay clustered along the parapet of the redoubt;* and it seems there are grounds for believing that the left of our line was the spot where a conviction of the necessity of retiring was first acted upon. According to testimony which seems to be trustworthy, a mounted officer** rode up to a bugler of the 19th Regiment, and ordered him to sound the 'retire.' The man obeyed; and buglers along the whole line, from left to right, took up and repeated the signal.
* The Russian accounts do not confirm this belief.
** Afterwards the bugler described the officer in a way which might have enabled a court of inquiry to identify him. I may say that he was not an officer of the regiment to which the bugler belonged, that he was not a general officer, and that he did not deliver the order as coming from any one other than himself. The incident goes far to justify the opinion of officers who think that (unless it is strictly confined to the business of guiding skirmishers) the use of a bugle during an action is dangerous. See in the Appendix a Note respecting the often repeated 'apparition of the unknown mounted officer.'
But the instinct of self-preservation, no less than the natural courage and tenacity of the soldier, made almost every man of the force very unwilling to abandon the ground; for it happened that at this time a brisk shower of missiles was passing over the heads of our men without doing them harm; and hearing how thickly the balls were raining into the ground behind them, they knew that a retreat would not only be an abandonment of ground dearly won, but also would bring them at once under a heavy fire. So strong was their conviction of the expediency of holding fast to the ground where they lay, that the sounding of the 'retire' was believed to have originated in some error; and in order that they might determine what should be done, the officers of several regiments, but more especially of the 23d, gathered into a group and began to consult together. Being firm, proud men, with a great self-respect, they did not, it seems, crouch for shelter under the parapet whilst exchanging counsel, and, on the contrary, remained standing upright, but under so thick a flight of balls that several -nay, they say almost all of them -were struck down and killed. As before, so after the conference our officers continued to say that the sounding of the 'retire' must have been a mistake, and that the force ought to hold its ground.
* I shall presently give the names of the officers who were killed in the 23d and the other regiments which stormed the redoubt, but I cannot undertake to say which of them fell at this time. In genera], it seems to be almost beyond the power of human testimony to fix the time and the spot at which an officer falls when he is killed in battle. The difficulty is occasioned, not by the dearth, but by the vast abundance of testimony -testimony all seeming to be perfectly trustworthy, yet strangely contradictory. It will be seen, however, that the number of officers killed in the 23d was very great; and there is an im pression that no small proportion of them met their death in the way above stated.

But then, again, and from the same quarter as before, a bugle sounded the 'retire,' and again, as before, the signal was taken up along the line. The repetition of the signal seemed to make it almost certain that the order must be authentic; but the troops were yet slow to persuade themselves that this was the case, and they still lingered at the parapet. Then a sergeant of the 23d, standing upright in order to make himself better heard told the men that they had twice heard the 'retire' sounded, and that they must do their duty and obey. Whilst he spoke he was shot down and killed. But it was flow judged by officers and men that a signal twice made and twice carried on along the line from regiment to regiment was not to be neglected. The retreat began; and the men quitting the shelter of the breastwork, fell back into the open ground, and incurred the fire which was pelting into the slope beneath.
As the advance had been, so also the retreat was for the most part without order, but for the most part also it was not hurried. Our soldiers in their retreat took care to ply the enemy with fire; and they picked up and carried off with them those of our wounded officers and men whom they found lying wounded on the slope. The retreat, speaking generally, was like the movement of skirmishers when they find themselves recalled to their battalions by sound of bugle.
There was, however, one part of the retreating force in which the men had become thronged together, and these presently we shall see face about with a mind to protract the struggle.*
* These, I believe, were chiefly men of the 23d and 95th regiments.

Upon this crowd, and upon the lesser clusters of our of our soldiery then retreating down the hillside, the enemy might have inflicted grave losses; but apparently there was some spell which bound him; for when the Vladimir column had moved forward to the front of the breastwork, it used a strange abstinence, attempting no movement in pursuit, and coming at once to a halt. Of the two missing pieces of ordnance which the enemy had yearned to recover, one, they saw, had disappeared;* whilst the other (the howitzer) was found lying on the ground dismounted, and it proved so unwieldy that Kvetzinski says his Vladimir men were unable to drag it away. It remained in the redoubt.**
During this conflict the, five battalions:*** which stormed the redoubt had undergone cruel slaughter. In the 23d Regiment, besides Colonel Chester, Wynn, Evans, Conolly, Radcliffe, Young, Anstruther, and Butler, and 3 sergeants, were killed; and Campbell, Hopton, Bathurst, Sayer,**** and Applethwaite, and 9 sergeants, were wounded. Of the rank and file 40 were killed and 139 wounded.
*This was the shot-gun, now at Woolwich, that was taken by Captain Bell.
** And is the howitzer before spoken of as being now at Woolwich.
*** These five battalions, observe, were not quite identical with the troops of equal strength which followed Codrington to the top of the bank. They no longer had with them the Royal Fusiliers, but had received the accessions which brought back their strength to that of 'five battalions.'
****Sayer was one of those struck down by that salvo-like discharge which preceded the dismantling of the redoubt.

In the 33d, Lieutenant Montagu and 3 sergeants were killed, and Colonel Blake, Major Gough, Captain Fitzgerald, Wallis, Worthington, Siree, and Greenwood, and 16 sergeants, were wounded.* Of the rank and file 52 were killed, and 172 were wounded.
In the 95th, Colonel Webber Smith, Dowdall, Eddington, the younger Eddington, Polhill, Kingsley, Braybrook, and 3 sergeants were killed; and Hume, Reyland, Wing, Sargent, Macdonald, Garrard, Braybrook, Brooke, Boothby, Bazalgette, Gordon, and 12 sergeants; were wounded. Of the rank and file 42 were killed and 116 wounded.
In the 19th, Stockwell and Wardlaw were killed; and Cardew, Saunders, M'Gee, Warden, and Currie, and 4 sergeants, wounded. Of the rank and file 39 were killed and 170 wounded.
In the 2d battalion of Rifles, 2 sergeants were killed, and the Earl of Errol and 1 sergeant wounded. Of the rank and file 9 were killed and 37 wounded.
So, of the five battalions which had stormed the redoubt, there was a loss, in killed and wounded, of about 100 officers and sergeants, and 800 men.
* Colonel Blake would not report his wound, lest the account should alarm his wife and family. His horse was struck in three places. Siree, though badly wounded, insisted upon remaining out on the hillside all night, in order that men in a worse condition should be first attended to. Wallis was badly wounded, but he tied a handkerchief round the place, and remained with his regiment to the close of the battle. Worthington died from the amputation which was necessitated by the wound he received.

Please go to part 6.