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Return to part 7.


After only retiring so far as to be nearly abreast of the Great Redoubt, the column defeated by Lacy Yea's Fusiliers was able to rally and again show a front to the English;* for it had on its right the great Vladimir column, which still stood halted near the parapet of the Great Redoubt. On the right rear of the Vladimir men there was a, double- battalion column, formed out of the Kazan corps.**
* After their defeat, the two battalions which composed the column seem to have parted from one another. The two bodies into which it resolved itself remained, bravely lingering on the hillside, though, having lost most of their officers, they were in a helpless condition.
** The column defeated by the 19th Regiment, and by some of the men of the 23d.

On the right of that last column, but still further held back, there was another double - battalion column, formed of the Sousdal corps; and next to these, but much more in advance, and standing on the extreme right of the whole of the Russian infantry, there were posted the two remaining battalions of the Sousdal corps. Somewhere in this part of the field, there were the two battalions of sailors. As an immediate reserve, or rather as a support for all these forces, the four Ouglitz battalions were kept in hand on the higher slopes of the Kourgane' Hill, and were still, as before massed in column. At some distance on the extreme right of the Russian position, the enemy's cavalry stood posted as before, confronting from afar, but never provoking, the horsemen of our Light brigade. After allowing for casualties, and especially for the heavy losses sustained by the column which engaged our 7th Fusiliers, it may be conjectured that these Russian forces on the Kourgane hill amounted to some 15,000 men. Except the Kazan battalions, none of these troops had been hitherto engaged in hard fighting, for the triumphant Vladimir column had not yet encountered formed troops. Nearly all the Russian artillery had been taken away from the front, and, except that there were five pieces of ordnance not yet withdrawn from the Lesser Redoubt, the enemy had no guns now remaining in battery. The impending struggle was a fight -a sheer fight -of infantry.
At the moment when the troops which had stormed the redoubt began to retreat, the 1st Division had not yet emerged from the cover afforded by the river's bank; but General Codrington's message hurried the advance of the Scots Fusilier Guards.* The battalion climbed up the bank, formed line with a good deal of haste, and began to move forward.
* We saw that, at the time of passing the river, the left- flank company got parted from the rest of the battalion. That separation lasted during the period of the struggle which followed; and when, therefore, in this Note I speak of the Scots Fusilier Guards in general terms, it must be understood that I mean to designate that body of seven companies which remained together, when the left-flank company had got parted from the rest of the battalion.

At this time, there were numbers of stragglers of the Light Division standing about near the bank of the river; but in front of the left centre of the Fusilier Guards there was a large disordered body (men chiefly, I believe, of the 23d and 95th Regiments), who had just let go their hold of the redoubt. These men had faced about to the front, and were firing in the direction of the great column of the Vladimir corps then halted within the redoubt. The moment the heads of the Fusilier Guards rose clear of the ground which till then had been giving them shelter, the men found themselves under a flight of the enemy's missiles, and the higher they marched, the more they incurred the fire which seemed to be directed against the light infantry men in their front. Many of the Fusilier Guards were struck down. Still, their onward movement was maintained.
Suddenly the parapet of the redoubt became thickly lined with Russian soldiery; and, in the next instant, the fire of the enemy's musketry came heavily pouring down into the confused body of light-infantry men who had been hitherto making a stand in front of the Fusilier Guards. The crowd of light-infantry men which received this fire gave way; and in another instant, it was coming down in a mass towards the left centre of the Fusilier Guards. Perhaps the haste with which the Fusilier Guards had been pushed forward was one of the causes which hindered them from meeting the emergency by a fitting manoeuvre. It does not appear that any step was taken to make the battalion open out. So presently, the descending crowd came into bodily contact with the Fusilier Guards; and this so heavily, that the crowd broke through a great part of the left wing of the advancing battalion.
The weight of the retreating throng at that one spot was so great and so unwieldy, that a soldier of the Scots Fusilier Guards was thrown, it is said, to the ground with such force as to break his ribs.* The part of the Scots Fusilier Guards which had thus been thrust out of line by physical pressure was of course in a state of confusion.
* His name, I have heard, was Hesketh.

The remnant of the battalion thus maimed was, at the moment, without support; for, directly in its rear, there were no formed troops coming on; and of the two battalions on its right hand and its left, neither one nor the other had hitherto come up abreast of it. On the other hand, the force which our Fusilier Guards undertook to attack was that majestic Vladimir column which had just been defeating Sir George Brown. With a strength of no more than perhaps some four or five hundred men, the remnant of what had been the centre battalion of the brigade of Guards was advancing all alone, not merely against a breast-work thick lined with Russian soldiery, but also against a hitherto victorious column which was nearly 3000 strong. Still, the maimed battalion pushed on; but by this time it had so far lost its symmetry that it had come to be, as it were, two sides of a triangle - two sides of a triangle whereof the salient pointed straight to the front.
At the foremost point or apex thus formed, Lindsay was carrying the Queen's colour; and the swiftness of his onward movement, coupled with the eagerness of those who were near him to keep up with the colour, may have been the cause which refracted the line. There was a good deal of impetuosity at this time, and it would seem that the conception of what was the needful thing to do was-not so much to labour after the restoration of complete order, but rather-to carry the redoubt, and break down the great column by a rush; for in the midst of such shouts as 'Forward Guards! Forward Guards'- Hugh Annesley was heard cheering thus- the bent and irregular line pressed on; and at length it had moved so far up the slope as to be within some thirty or forty yards of the Work. Then numbers of the Russians burst out over the parapet, and some, it is said, came straight on, with their bayonets down 'at the charge.' The Queen's colour seemed to be in danger; for it was difficult to imagine that these imperfectly formed companies of the Fusilier Guards could maintain themselves long against the overwhelming weight of the column in their front. But the immediate cause which brought about the retreat was, after all, the word of command. I believe that the order to retire which now reached the battalion was given by the authority of General Henry Bentinck, the officer commanding the brigade. It was delivered to the line by the Adjutant of the Fusilier Guards. With pistol in hand- for some of the Russian soldiery were coming close down- Drummond, the Adjutant of the battalion, rode up and gave the order to retire. By these words, as I gather, the battalion was stopped; but it did not instantly obey the command to retire. There was a reluctance to fall back; and it would seem that the feellug which caused this reluctance was not altogether a false instinct; for, however imperative the necessity for retreating may have been, the order had come too late to avert the impending disaster; and it is likely enough that, being, as they were, in the close presence of a powerful enemy, our men may have fancied there must needs be some mistake in an order which directed them to go about at a moment when no due arrangements had been made for covering their retreat. Be this as it may, the Adjutant (as it was his duty to do) repeated the order. It seems he repeated it thrice; and the last time, be was no longer content to say, 'the battalion will retire!' for he told it with force that it 'must.'
I know of no means that were taken for covering the retreat. If any were tried, they failed; for, the moment the battalion obeyed the word of command, it lapsed into a state of disorder, and then fell back in confusion. Seeing this, the soldiery thrown out by the Russians in advance of their great column pushed forward with in-creasing boldness, and the Queer's colour was now in greater danger than ever. But borne by a resolute officer, and surrounded by resolute men, it was guarded with care to the last, and kept safe from the enemy's touch.* At one moment, the foremost of the assailants were so close, that a soldier of the Fusilier Guards received a wound in the hand from, a bayonet. It was then that the Fusilier Guards suffered the chief part of their losses. By its retreat, the battalion seemed, as it were, to draw the enemy forward; for the great Vladimir column, which had hitherto stood halted within the redoubt, now broke out over the parapet, and undertaking pursuit, began to glide down the slope.
* It was for his resolute defence of the colour at this juncture, that Lindsay received the Victoria Cross.

For some time, a great part of the Fusilier Guards remained in confusion on the lower part of the slope; but Dalrymple's, and also, I think, Jocelyn's companies, were rallied so quickly as to be enabled to partake of the fight which engaged the Grenadier Guards; and, before long, the main part of the battalion had not only been reformed in advance of the road running parallel with the river, but was briskly resuming its place in the centre of the brigade of Guards.**
** In the report which the Duke of Cambridge addressed to headquarters the day next hut one after the battle, H. R. H. states that the Fusilier Guards reformed 'with the greatest alacrity.' Holograph MS. Report of the 22d September 1854, by H.R.H.

In the course of this struggle grave losses befell the Scots Fusilier Guards. Lord Chewton and 3 sergeants were killed. Colonel Dalrymple, Colonel Berkeley, Colonel Hepburn, Colonel Haygarth, Astley, Buiwer, Buckley, Gipps, Lord Ennismore, and Hugh Annesley,* and 13 sergeants, were wounded; and of the rank and file 17 were killed and 137 wounded.
* It happened to me afterwards to see and wonder at the high courage and composure with which Annesley bore his dreadful wound. A musket-shot had entered his jaw, and passed, tearing its way through the mouth. The wound was of such a kind that it seemed as though nothing but death could be of use to him. Yet he was not only uncomplaining, but able to think and act for others.

When Colonel Hood consented to move forward his battalion against the column just defeated by Lacy Yea, he at once caused his men to ascend the bank which had hitherto sheltered it;** and, as soon as the battalion was on the top, its left wing began to incur a good deal of fire from men acting with the Vladimir column. Burgoyne, carrying one of the colours, was wounded; and, the charge of the colours then devolving on Lieutenant Robert Hamilton, he also in the next minute was struck down by shot; but he quickly rose from the ground, recovered his hold of the standard, and was able to carry it to the end of the battle. Under this fire, the battalion dressed its ranks with precision, and marched forward in faultless order.*** This perfect order it kept till its left wing encountered some of the clusters of men coming down from the Great Redoubt.
** Colonel Hood had not failed to seize the precious opportunity which was offered to his battalion by the sheltering steepness of the bank. In a private letter he writes: 'Under the steep bank of the river, we closed in to our centre; and to this manoeuvre our after-success was mainly attributable.'
*** 'We formed in perfect and compact order on the top of the bank, and then advanced steadily up the intrenched position-.' -Colonel Hood, private letter.

Then the battalion neatly opened its ranks for the passage of the retreating soldiery, and afterwards formed up anew.* This done, it marched on.
* 'Our 6th and 7th companies opened out to let them pass, and closed up as coolly as if in Hyde Park. '-Colonel Hood, Private letter.

Meanwhile, General Codrington had been labouring to bring together the remnant of his brigade. Sergeant O'Connor, despite his grievous wound, still bore the colour of the Royal Welsh, which he had been carrying with loving care throughout the worst stress of the fight. The missing colour of the Royal Fusiliers, now committed to the honour of the Welsh regiment, was borne by Captain Pearson. Around these two standards General Codrington rallied such men as he could gather, and made them open out and form line two deep. The body thus formed numbered about 300 men, and General Codrington wished to place it on the left of the Grenadiers, in order to fill a part of the chasm at that moment lying quite open in the centre of the Brigade of Guards.**
** Of course it is not intended that these words 'chasm' and 'interval' (which occur in several places) should be taken as indicating that the Scots Fusilier Guards were far away, but merely that for the moment, the main body of the battalion had lost its formation, and was reforming upon an alignment little in rear of that on which the Grenadiers were standing.

But it occurred to him -for he was himself a Guardsman, and he knew the feelings of the corps- that to place soldiers of the line a breast of the Grenadiers, and in the room of the broken regiment, might give pain to a battalion of the Guards; so be sent to the Grenadiers to know if they would like troops to come up to fill the empty space. The answer was a proud one. It was also, perhaps, a rash answer; for the Vladimir column -compact and strong, with a sense of the power it had just put forth- was not only impending over the left front of the Grenadiers, but also in part confronting the vacated interval. However, the answer was 'No!' and the Grenadiers, with their left flank stark open, but in beautiful order, contentedly marched up the slope.*
* It was in disobedience to the contingent orders he had received that Colonel Hood thus advanced with the Grenadiers.In his journal he writes: 'Last order received by me was from Captain Fielding, Brigade-Major (when battalion was lying down under cannonade and shelling) "The Brigadier desires you to conform to any movements on your left."' Now the movement on Colonel Hood's left, to which, by the words of General Bentinck's orders, he thus found himself told to conform, was the retreat of the Fusilier Guards. In other words there had occurred an event which placed Colonel Hood under orders to retire. Therefore it was that, immediately after the sentence above quoted, he wrote in his journal these words: 'Thank God, I disobeyed!!" Advanced steadily in line.

The sentiment which had thus rejected the aid proffered by General Codrington was not one universally entertained by the officers of the Guards. A little later, and at a moment when the Grenadiers were halted on the slope, with the Vladimir column impending over their left flank, Major Hume of the 95th, and an ensign of the same corps, came bearing the colours of their regiment, and having with them eight men. Hume, accosting Colonel Hamilton, who commanded the left wing of the Grenadiers, said that the eight men then following the colours of the 'Derbyshire' were all that remained together, and that he wished to take part with the Grenadiers in continuing the fight. Colonel Hamilton, assenting, told Hume to fall in on the left of the Grenadiers. Afterwards, other men of the 'Derbyshire' came up and joined their colours. A few moments later, Colonel Berkeley came up, bringing with him some men of the Scots Fusilier Guards, and Colonel Dalrymple also acceded with a company of the same regiment which he had held together from the first. With General Bentinck's sanction, all these portions of what had been the centre battalion formed line on the left of the Grenadiers. These accessions, of course, did but little towards filling the vacated interval; but on the left of the chasm still open, there stood the 'Coldstream' battalion. This battalion of the Guards confronted the centre and right of the great Vladimir column, and was drawn up in line with beautiful precision. It had been much less exposed to fire and mishaps than either of the other battalions of the brigade; and, besides, had not been pressed forward (as each of the two other battalions had been) to meet any especial emergency. So it fell to the lot of this Coldstream battalion to become an almost prim sample of what our Guards can be in the moment which precedes a close fight. What the best of battalions is, when, in some Royal Park at home, it manoeuvres before a great Princess, that the Coldstream was now on the banks of the Alma, when it came to show its graces to the enemy. And it was no ignoble pride that caused the battalion to maintain all this ceremonious exactness; for although it be true that the precision of a line in peace-time is only a success in mechanics, the precision of a line on a hillside with the enemy close in front is at once the result and the proof of a steady warlike composure. And it ought to be borne in mind that what our troops were now undertaking in this part of the field was -not to swell the tide of a victory, but -to try to retrieve misfortunes.
Happily, it is then, just then, after a discomfiture sustained in their front, that English soldiery advancing in support often give superb proof of their quality; for by nature they are so constituted, that the ill fortune of their comrades does not commonly affect them with feelings of discouragement, but, on the contrary, is apt to heat their blood by rousing an emotion like anger; and, when they have thus been wrought upon, they are sterner men for a foe to have to do with than they are when all has gone well.
The extreme left of the Coldstream was nearly in the centre of the troops which the Duke of Cambridge commanded, and with this battalion, accordingly, His Royal Highness was present in person. With it, also, there was a visitor, whose presence showed the strength of the tie between the officer and his regiment. Colonel Steele had broken loose from his duty at Headquarters, and was riding with his own beloved "Coldstream".*
* He was military secretary to Lord Raglan.

Further to the left, and in the same formation, the three battalions of the Highland Brigade were extended. But the 42d had found less difficulty than the 93d in getting through the thick ground and the river, and, again, the 93d had found less difficulty than the 79th; so, each regiment having been formed and moved forward with all the speed it could command, the brigade fell naturally into direct echelon of regiments, the 42d in front.
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And although this order was occasioned by the nature of the ground traversed, and not by design, it seemed, nevertheless, so well suited to the work in hand that Sir Colin Campbell did not for a moment seek to change it.
These young soldiers, distinguished to the vulgar eye by their tall stature, their tartan uniforms, and the plumes of their Highland bonnets, were yet more marked in the eyes of those who know what soldiers are by the warlike carriage of the men, and their strong, lithesome, resolute step. And Sir Colin Campbell was known to be so proud of them, that already, like the Guards, they had a kind of prominence in the army, which was sure to make their bearing in action a broad mark for blame or for praise.
From the time when General Buller had judged it right to abstain from bringing his force to the support of his comrades in the Great Redoubt, the two battalions which remained under his control had stood halted near the bank of the river, and one of them, the 88th, was still formed in a hollow square, as though expecting a charge of cavalry. Sir Colin Campbell conceived that this attitude of the 88th was unsuited to the time and the place, and, not knowing that General Buller in person was directing the regiment, Sir Colin, in some anger, took upon himself to request, nay, almost to command, that the hollow square should be instantly changed into line-formation. When the ranks of the Highlanders came up to this part of the ground, and still went on continuing their advance, a man of one of the halted regiments - a man speaking perhaps in a coarse cynic spirit, perhaps in the deep, honest bitterness of his heart-cried out, 'Let the Scotchmen go on! they'll do the work!' Then the Highlanders marched through, and continued their forward movement.
After this, the 88th, although still formed in square, and the 77th, then extended in line, were both of them for the moment falling back; and: meanwhile the now dispersed soldiery who had been forced to relinquish the redoubt were spread out along the lower part of the slope firing powerless shots towards the earthwork. It seemed to Sir Colin Campbell that this state of discomfiture; on the part of Sir George Brown's troops was fast involving the fate of the battle, and that it was a thing of great need to show, and to show at the very instant, a steady and well-formed battalion ranged frank and fair on the slope. With this intent he was carrying forward the 42d, and placing it in advance of the alignment which the Coldstream was taking up on his right. The 42d had just been taking ground to its left, and was still in the formation which had been resorted to for effecting the change -that is, it was in open column of companies, 'right in front,' and facing westwards, but was preparing to wheel into line. So far as concerned all this part of the field, the fight was in its crisis. The Staff of the 1st Division were near the left, or left front of the Coldstream, and not far from the ground where the grenadier company of the 42d stood ranged. It was in this condition of things that men heard a voice exclaiming, and uttering mischievous words.
'The brigade of Guards will be destroyed,' said one adviser; and he asked whether it ought not to fall back a little in order to recover its formation?
These words, as I hear, were not spoken by an officer holding any high rank, and accordingly owe all their importance to the answer they quickly elicited and the change which thereupon followed.

He who answered the question* was a veteran soldier, and it was with a deference no less wise than graceful that the Duke of Cambridge loved to seek and to follow his counsels.
* He answered the question the moment he heard its purport told to him. He had not himself heard it fall from the lips of the officer with whom it originated. Note to 3d Edition.

Whilst Ensign Campbell was passing from boyhood to man's estate, be was made partaker in the great transactions which were then beginning to work out the liberation of Europe. In the May of 1808 he received his first commission - commission in the 6th Foot; and a few weeks afterwards -then too young to carry the colours -he was serving with his regiment upon the heights of Vimieira. There, the lad saw the turning of a tide in human affairs; saw the opening of the mighty strife between 'Column' and 'Line';* saw France, long unmatched upon the Continent, retreating before British infantry; saw the first of Napoleon's stumbles, and the fame of Sir Arthur Wellesley beginning to dawn over Europe.
* In his most interesting and most valuable 'Life of the Duke of Wellington,' Mr Gleig repeats the description of Vimieira, which the Duke once gave in his presence at -Strathfieldsaye. The Duke's words are thus given by Mr Gleig: 'The French came on, on that occasion, with great boldness, and seemed to feel their way less than I always found them to do afterwards. They came on, as usual, in very heavy columns, and I received them in line, which they were not accustomed to, and we repulsed them three several times.'

He was in Sir John Moore's campaign, and at its closing scene-Corunna. He was with the Walcheren expedition; and afterwards, returning to the Peninsula, he was at the battle of Barossa, the defence of Tarifa the relief of Taragona, and the combats at Malaga and Osma. He led a forlorn hope at the storming of St Sebastian, and was there wounded twice; he was at Vittoria; he was at the passage of the Bidassoa; he took part in the American war of 1814; he served in the West Indies; he served in the Chinese war of 1842. These occasions he had so well used that his quality as a soldier was perfectly well known. He had been praised and praised again and again; but since he was not so connected as to be able to move the dispensers of military rank, he gained promotion slowly, and it was not until the second Sikh war that he had a command as a general: even then he had no rank in the army above that of a colonel. At Chilianwalla he commanded a division. Marching in person with one of his two brigades, he had gained the heights on the extreme right of the Sikh position, and then bringing round the left shoulder, he had rolled up the enemy's line and won the day; but since his other brigade (being separated from him by a long distance) had wanted his personal control, and fallen into trouble, the brilliancy of the general result which he had achieved did not save him altogether from criticism. That day he was wounded for the fourth time. He commanded a division at the great battle of Gujerat; and, being charged to press the enemy's retreat, he had so executed his task that 158 guns and the ruin of the foe were the fruit of the victory. In 1851 and the following year he commanded against the hill-tribes. It was he who forced the Kohat Pass. It was he who, with only a few horsemen and some guns, at Punj Pao, compelled the submission of the combined tribes then acting against him with a force of 8000 men. It was he who, at Ishakote, with a force of less than 3000 men, was able to end the strife; and when he had brought to submission all those beyond the Indus who were in arms against the Government, he instantly gave proof of the breadth and scope of his mind as well as of the force of his character; for he withstood the angry impatience of men in authority over him, and insisted that he must be suffered to deal with the conquered people in the spirit of a politic and merciful ruler.
After serving with all this glory for some forty-four years he came back to England; but between the Queen and him there stood a dense crowd of families - men, women, and children -extending further than the eye could reach, and armed with strange precedents which made it out to be right that people who had seen no service should be invested with high command, and that Sir Colin Campbell should be only a colonel. Yet he was of so fine a nature that, although he did not always avoid great bursts of anger, there was no ignoble bitterness in his sense of wrong. He awaited the time when perhaps he might have high command, and be able to serve his country in a sphere proportioned; to his strength. His friends, however, were angry for his sake; and along with their strong devotion towards him there was bred a fierce hatred of a system of military dispensation which could keep in the background a man thus tried and thus known.
Upon the breaking-out of the war with Russia, Sir Colin was appointed-not to the command of a division, but of a brigade. It was not till the June of 1854 that his rank in the army became higher than that of a colonel.
Campbell was not the slave, he was the master of his calling, and therefore it was that he had been able to save his intellect from the fate of being drowned in military details. He knew that although a general must have a complete mastery of even the smallest of such things, still they were only a part -a minute though essential part -of the great science of war. He understood the precious material whereof our army is formed. He heartily loved our soldiery; for he was a soldier, and had fellow-feeling with soldiers, and they had fellow-feeling with him. Instinctively they knew that, together, they might do great things -he by their help, they by his. Knowing the worth of their devotion and their bodily strength, he cherished them with watchful care; and they, on their part, loved, honoured, and obeyed him with a faith that all he ordered was right. He set great store upon discipline, but it was never for discipline's sake that he did so (as if that were itself an end), but because he knew it to be one of the main sources of military ascendancy. So, although the officers and soldiers serving under him got no more rest than was good for them, they were never vexed wantonly; and in proportion as they grew in knowledge of their calling, they came to understand why it was that their chief compelled them to toil.
A bodily ardour for fighting may be more or less masked and hidden; but he to whom this great passion has not been vouchsafed by nature, is wanting in one of the qualities which go to make a general. For warfare is so anxious and complex a business, that against every vigorous movement heaps of reasons can for ever be found; and if a man is so cold a lover of battle as to have no stronger guide than the poor balance of the arguments and counter-arguments which he addresses to his troubled spirit, his mind, driven first one way and then another, will oscillate, or even revolve, turning miserably on its own axis, and making no movement straight forward. Now, it is a characteristic still marking the Scottish blood, that often-and not the less so when it flows in the veins of a gentle-hearted being-it is seen to fire strangely and suddenly at the prospect of a fight. Campbell loved warfare with a deep passion; and at the thought of battle his grand, rugged face used to kindle with uncontrollable joy.
'The brigade of Guards will be destroyed, 'ought it not to fall back?' When Sir Colin Campbell heard this saying, his blood rose so high that the answer he gave -impassioned and far-resounding - was of a quality to govern event.
"It is better, sir, that every man of Her Majesty's Guards should lie dead upon the field than that they should now turn their backs upon the enemy!'
Then speaking apart to H.R. H. the Duke of Cambridge, Sir Colin counselled him to go straight on with the Guards, and at the same time he himself undertook to turn the Redoubt by at once moving up with his 42d Regiment. Doubts and questionings ceased. The advance was continued. Sir Colin Campbell rode off to his left.
It was upon Sir Colin Campbell now, as on General Buller a short time before, that there devolved the anxious duty of securing the Allied armies from any flank attack which might be undertaken against them at a moment when our troops were engaging the enemy in front; and Sir Colin, at one moment, judged that with the battalion which formed his extreme left he ought to stand ready to show a front in any direction. He, therefore, sent Sterling to direct that the 79th should go into column.*
* It is from a body of troops massed in column that the greatest variety of manoeuvres can be quickly and safely evolved. When a battalion extended in line is called upon to change its front, the radius of the segment in which it must wheel is of course very long.

But, seen in the dim field of battle an enemy's force bears marked on its front faint, delicate, momentous signs, analogous to those which, in speaking of a man or a woman, are called 'expression of countenance;' and it is given to men who know and love the business of war to be able to read those signs. Sir Colin Campbell well understood that the enemy ought to assail his left flank with a storm of horse, foot, and artillery; and, to deal with any such onslaught, he at first took care to stand ready; but when he came to ride forward and gain higher ground, the old soldier was able to divine that with all their horsemen, and all their columns of infantry, the Russians would venture nothing against his flank. He therefore recalled his order to the 79th, and allowed it to go forward in line.
Including the chasm which divided the Grenadier Guards from the Coldstream, the whole line in which the Duke of Cambridge now moved forward to the attack of the Kourgane Hill was more than a mile and a half in length.*
* The 1st Division alone was upon a greater front than had been covered by the 47th Regiment, Pennefather's brigade, and the Light Division all put together, yet it did not cover a foot more of ground than was right. We before saw the effect produced by trying to put ten battalions upon ground which was now found to be not more than enough for six. It is hardly necessary to say that a knowledge of the quantity of ground covered by a single battalion in a barrack-yard would not give a sufficient clue for getting at the extent of ground which was covered by six battalions drawn up in line upon a field of battle. Sir Colin Campbell was free to take ground to, his left, and he took it amply, contriving to outflank, or almost to outflank, the enemy's infantry array.
It was only two deep; but his right regiment was supported by a part of Sir Richard England's Division; and Sir George Cathcart was on its left rear with the part of his Division then on the field. On the extreme left and left rear of the whole force there was the cavalry under Lord Lucan.
These troops were going to take part in the first approach to close strife which men had yet seen on that day between bodies of troops in a state of formation deliberately marshalled against each other. The slender red line which began near the bridge, and vanished from the straining sight on the eastern slopes of the Kourgane Hill, was a thread which in any one part of it had the strength of only two men. But along the whole line, from east to west, these files of two men each were strong in the exercise of their country's great prerogative. They were in English array. They were fighting in line against column.
* The French had not been engaged in any conflicts of this sort for, though the head of Canrobert's Division confronted formed troops for a moment at a distance of a few hundred yards, it dropped back, as we saw, without fighting. Evans's struggle had been in thick ground, not allowing regular array. Codrington's people (including Lacy Yea's Fusiliers as well as the stormers of the redoubt) had had hard fighting, and against troops in perfect order, but they had gone through their struggles without the advantage of being themselves in a state of formation.

After the rupture of the peace of Amiens, Sir Arthur Wellesley, being then in India, became singularly changed, growing every day more and more emaciated, and seemingly more and more sad. He pined; and was like a man dying without any known bodily illness, the prey of some consuming thought. At length he suddenly announced to Lord Wellesley his resolve to go back to England; and when he was asked why, he said, 'I observe that in Europe the French are fighting in column and carrying everything before them; and I am sure that I ought to go home directly, because I know that our men can fight in line.' From that simple yet mighty faith he never swerved; for always encountering the massive columns of infantry, he always was ready to meet them with his slender line of two deep. With what result the world knows.*
* An account of Sir Arthur Wellesley's pining sickness- his 'wasting away,' as he himself described it-is given in published accounts of men who remarked it (in Malcolm's book, I think, or Monro's), and his disclosure of the motive which caused him to return to Europe was preserved and handed down by Lord Wellesley. What I have ventured to do is to seem to connect the pining sickness with the mighty resolve which was destined to change the fate of the world.

Long years had passed since the close of those great wars, and now once more in Europe there was going to be waged yet again the old strife of line against column.
Looking down a smooth, gentle, green slope, checkered red with the slaughtered soldiery who had stormed the redoubt, the front-rank men of the great Vladimir column were free to gaze upon two battalions of the English Guards, far apart the one from the other, but each carefully drawn up in line; and now that they saw more closely, and without the distractions of artillery, they had more than ever grounds for their wonder at the kind of array in which the English soldiery were undertaking to assail them. 'We were all astonished,' says Chodasiewicz -yet he wrote of what he saw when the English line was much less close to the foe than the Guards now were -we were all astonished at the extraordinary firmness with which the red-jackets, having crossed the river, opened a heavy fire in line upon the redoubt. This was the most extraordinary thing to us, as we had never before seen troops fight in lines of two deep, nor did we think it possible for men to be found with sufficient firmness of morale to be able to attack in this apparently weak formation our massive columns.


Beginning on our right hand with the Grenadier Guards, and the few men brought up along-side them under Dalrymple, Berkeley, and Hume, and going thence leftwards across the still open 'chasm,' to the Coldstream battalion, and, lastly, going yet further leftwards to the array of the Highland Brigade, we shall now see what manner of strife it was when at length, after many a hindrance, five British battalions, each grandly formed in line, but imperilled by the yawning gap at which tacticians might shudder, marched up to the enemy's columns.
Advancing upon the immediate left of the ground already won by Pennefather's brigade, the Grenadiers were covered on their right, but their left, or to speak more exactly, the left of the few men aligning with them, remained altogether uncovered; and it was over the very ground thus lying wide open before them that the Vladimir battalions stood impending.
The Grenadiers were marching against the defeated but now rallied Kazan column which had fought with the Royal Fusiliers, when Prince Gortschakoff rode down to the two left battalions of the Vladimir, and undertook to lead them forward in person. First sending his only unwounded aide-de-camp to press the advance of any troops he could find, the Prince put himself at the head of the two left Vladimir battalions, and ordered them to charge with the bayonet. The Prince then rode forward a good deal in advance of his troops and his order for a bayonet charge was so far obeyed, that the column, without firing a shot, moved boldly down towards the chasm which had been left in the centre of our brigade of Guards. The north west angle of this strong and hitherto victorious column was coming down nearer and nearer to the file-the file composed of only two men which formed the extreme left of the Grenadiers. Then, and by as fair a test as war could apply, there was going to be tried the strength of the line-formation, the quality of the English officer, and the quality of the English soldier. Colonel Hood brought the line to a halt, and was about to execute the manoeuvre which will be presently mentioned, when his troops had to meet new peril in the apparition of that unknown 'mounted officer' who so often comes riding up in moments of crisis, directs the troops to fall back, and then all at once gallops away without having been surely identified. The horseman approached the left flank company of the Grenadiers, and cried out 'Retire!' But Colonel Henry Percy looking at the Vladimir column, and seeing at the instant what ought and what ought not to be done, met the danger by promptly insisting that the movement really meant to be enjoined by the mounted officer must needs be that very one which the conjuncture seemed to require. 'Retire!' said Colonel Percy. 'What the devil can they mean? They must mean 'dress back'' and in the next moment, Percy (acting under the authority of Colonel Hamilton who commanded the left wing), aided by Neville his senior subaltern, began causing the left subdivision of the left flank company to 'dress back' at such an angle as to make it face the Vladimir column; and this, it quickly appeared, was exactly what Colonel Hood wished, for he rode up and directed Colonel Percy to go on with the operation.
The wound Percy received at this time did not hinder him from completing his task, and in a few moments the subdivision stood ranged on a line so refracted as to be forming an obtuse angle with the rest of the battalion. So whilst, with the main part of his force, he still faced the Kazan battalions that had confronted him from the first, Colonel Hood showed also a front - a small, but smooth, comely front -to the Vladimir column now coming on with a mind to turn his left flank, and march straight down through the chasm. In an instant, his ready manoeuvre brought the Vladimir troops to a halt; and men seeing the stately battalion thus adapting its front to the exigency, and stopping the enemy's column, might well enough say that the colonel was handling his fine slender English blade with a singular grace - with the gentleness and grace of the skilled swordsman, when, smiling all the while he parries an angry thrust. In the midst of its pride and strength, the Vladimir found itself checked, nay, found itself gravely engaged with troops so few as to comprise but half a company of our Guardsmen. They were aided, however, by Dalrymple with the company of the Scots Fusilier Guards which we saw him bring up; for he put his line into conformity with the change of front effected by Percy; and the like was done also by those few other soldiers under Berkeley, and Hume who had ranged themselves on Colonel Hood's left. Thus the fire of perhaps altogether some six or seven score of men was brought to bear upon the Vladimir column, and with effect, for it poured into a close mass of living men. Colonel Dalrymple fired in volleys, and complacently counted them, reckoning up no less than fifteen; but the Grenadiers chose another method, and stood file-firing along their whole line. See diagram Second Fight for Kourgane Hill.)
On the left of the chasm still open in the centre of the brigade of Guards, and on ground less advanced than that reached by Colonel Hood's Grenadiers, there stood the Coldstream battalion commanded by Colonel Upton, and drawn up in magnificent order; but to this spot, apparently, the 'unknown mounted officer' must have sped, when he vanished from the sight of the Grenadiers, for down the ranks of the Coldstream the word was passed to 'Retire;' and 'the retire,' moreover, was sounded by buglers along the line ;* but the false command was met by an outburst of regimental opinion expressed in loud cries of 'No No!' This resistance alone, it would seem, proved strong enough to counteract the false order, for the Coldstream battalion kept its ground, then advanced, and was soon directing its fire upon the two more battalions which formed the right wing of the Vladimir.
* With respect to the 'unknown mounted officer,' and the perturbing commands often given to our troops in action without apparent authority, see Appendix, No. VI.

We shall see the share that other Russian and other British troops were destined to have in governing the result of the struggle; but if for a moment we limit our reckoning to the troops which stood fighting at this time, it appears that the whole of the four Vladimir battalions and the lessened mass of the left Kazan column were engaged with the Grenadiers and the Coldstream. In other words, two English battalions, each ranged in line, but divided the one from the other by a very broad chasm, were contending with six battalions in column. And although of these six battalions standing in column there were two which had cruelly suffered, the remaining four had hitherto had no hard fighting, and were flushed with the thought that they stood on ground which they themselves had reconquered.
Go to maps. Go to illustrations.
Go to part 9.