Mrs. Duberly's War: Journal and Letters from the Crimea, 1854-6

By Frances Isabella Duberly; Christine Kelly | Go to book overview

CHAPTER I
The Voyage

Even before Britain declared war on Russia on 28 March
1854 (see Appendix I) troops had been posted to Malta in
anticipation of their deployment to Turkey. Early in April
these regiments, reinforced by others, transferred to
Gallipoli ready to defend the Mediterranean should the
Russians break through the Turkish defences and reach
Constantinople. In all, the initial expeditionary force
eventually consisted of one cavalry and five infantry
divisions, numbering about 26,000 men. The 8th Royal
Irish Hussars, accompanied by Fanny Duberly, were
among the last to leave England. By the time they arrived
in Turkey both the British and the French armies had
been ordered to Varna in Bulgaria to support the Turks
who were besieged at Silistria on the Danube. After a few
days in Constantinople the Hussars joined them there.

Lord Raglan left England in mid-April, travelling via
Paris for a council of war with Marshal St Arnaud, the
commander of the French Expeditionary Force (which also
numbered around 26,000 men). Unlike his French
counterpart, Raglan did not enjoy the total authority
suggested by his appointment as 'General Officer
Commanding the Forces eastwards of Malta' but presided
over a fragmented command system.

The Commissariat and the Purveyors departments,
responsible for feeding and clothing the patients in military
hospitals and the soldiers in the field, answered to the
Treasury in London rather than the commander-in-chief.
Both had suffered from years of neglect and cost-cutting,
including the disbanding of essential baggage-trains (see
p. 26J, note 8). And both were administered by inflexible

-1-

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Mrs. Duberly's War: Journal and Letters from the Crimea, 1854-6
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Maps and Illustrations ix
  • Notes on Endpapers x
  • Chapter 1 - The Voyage 1
  • Chapter 2 - Embarkation and Encampment at Varna 17
  • Chapter 3 - The Expedition to the Crimea 54
  • Chapter 4 - Balaklava October-November 1854 75
  • Chapter 5 - Balaklava December 1854– March 1855 113
  • Chapter 6 - The Camp 154
  • Chapter 7 - The Fall of Sebastopol 200
  • Notes and Commentary 263
  • Biographical Notes 307
  • Appendix I - How the War Began 327
  • Appendix 2 - The Battle of Balaklava 334
  • Books Referred to and Further Reading 343
  • Acknowledgements 345
  • Index 347
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