War with Russia - Alliance of England, France and Turkey

On the 12th of March, 1854, a treaty of alliance between England, France, and the Porte, was signed by the representatives of those powers.

The treaty consists of five articles. By the first, France and England engage to support Turkey in her present struggle with Russia, by force of arms, until the conclusion of a peace which shall secure the independence of the Ottoman empire, and the integrity of the rights of the Sultan. The two protecting Powers undertake not to derive from the actual crisis, or from the negotiations which may terminate it, any exclusive advantage. By the second article the Porte, on its side, pledges itself not to make peace under any circumstances without having previously obtained the consent and solicited the participation of the two Powers, and also to employ all its resources to carry on the war with vigor. In the third article the two Powers promise to evacuate, immediately after the conclusion of the war, and on the demand of the Porte, all the points of the empire which their troops shall have occupied during the war. By the fourth article the treaty remains open for the signature of the other Powers of Europe who may wish to become parties to it; and the fifth article guarantees to all the subjects of the Porte, without distinction of religion, equality in the eye of the law, and admissibility into all employments. To this treaty are attached, as integral parts of it, several protocols. One relates to the institution of mixed tribunals throughout the whole empire; a second is relative to an advance of 20,000,000 fr. jointly by France and England; and a third relates to the collection of the taxes and the suppression of the haratch or poll-tax, which, having been considered for a long time past by the Turkish Government as only the purchase of exemption from military service, leads, by its abolition, to the entrance of Christians into the army.

The Russians continued to prosecute the war eagerly on the banks of the Danube, but any temporary success was more than counterbalanced by subsequent and more brilliant Turkish victories.

In consequence of the atrocious conduct of the military authorities of Odessa, in firing upon an English flag of truce, a division of English and French steam frigates appeared before Odessa. On their arrival the greatest terror pervaded the city. The wealthy hired all the post-horses to remove to the interior, and the inhabitants sought refuge in the neighboring country; but the English and French steamers having withdrawn, after taking a survey of the roads, the alarm subsided, the population returned, and the shops were reopened. On the 21st of April, however, the appearance of thirty-three sail on the horizon created still greater terror, for it was evident that they were coming to avenge the insult above alluded to, and which, even at Odessa, was the subject of universal reprobation. The next day nothing could exceed the consternation, everybody being in constant apprehension of a catastrophe. The fears redoubled when after a bombardment of eight hours, the gunpowder magazine blew up, and the military stores were seen on fire. The sight of wounded soldiers brought in from the batteries, and the brutality of the governor and his forces towards the inhabitants, were not calculated to allay their terror. This affair produced great discouragement among the troops, and an excellent effect on the population, who perceived that the Russian army was unable to protect them; and that, if the city were not reduced to ashes, it was solely owing to the generosity of the allied Powers.

On the 14th June, the, Duke of Cambridge with his staff, the brigade of Guards, and the Highland brigade (42d, 79th, and 93d regiments), arrived at Varna, where a numerous Anglo-French army was already encamped. It is probable that the unexpected and retrograde movement of the Russians upon the Pruth - intelligence of which reached the allied generals about this time - occasioned a deviation from the plan of operations originally contemplated, as it obviated the necessity of any active cooperation with Omer Pacha's army on the Danube. An expedition upon a gigantic scale was, however, planned, its destination being the Crimea and Sebastopol.

The result of the Baltic operations may be given in few words. The fleet of the Czar, outnumbered by that of the allied powers, was detained in captivity at Helsingfors and Kronstadt, declining alike every offer of battle, and unable to stay the devastation that was effected along the Finnish shore of the Bothnian Gulf. Scarcely a Russian merchant vessel escaped the vigilance of the cruisers; and the whole line of her coasts, up to the shoals of Kettle Island, were shown to be at the mercy of the allies. In a national point of view, there was not much to boast of in the achievements of so stupendous a fleet. But there were individual acts of valor as bright as any that adorn the pages of naval history.

Until the last twelvemonth opened a new page in history, it could not have been anticipated that the battle-field of Europe would be a little arid peninsula in the remotest corner of the Black Sea, and that the armies of Britain, France, Turkey, and Russia would be concentrated in direct strife around a fortress, whose very name was hardly known in this country before the present war broke out.

Connected with the barren steppes of the mainland of Southern Russia only by the narrow strip of flat and sandy land, not five miles across, which constitutes the Isthmus of Perekop, the Crimea stretches out in a nearly northerly direction, in the form of a diamond-shaped peninsula, about one third the size of Ireland. At its western point is Cape Tarkham; at its eastern, Kertch and Kaffa, and in the south, the bay, town, and fortress of Sebastopol.

At least one third of the Crimea consists of vast waterless plains of sandy soil, rising only a few feet above the level of the sea, and in many places impregnated with salt; but all along the south-eastern side of the peninsula, from Sebastopol to Kertch and Kaffa, there extends a chain of limestone mountains. Beginning at Balaklava, nine miles east of Sebastopol, precipices fringe all this north-eastern coast; but at the foot of these limestone precipices extends a narrow strip of ground, seldom half a league in width, intervening between the hills and the shore. It is in this picturesque and delightful region that the Allied army established its base of op orations. A luxuriant vegetation descends to the water's edge. Chesnut trees, mulberries, almonds, laurels, olives, and cypresses grow along its whole extent. Numbers of rivulets of the clearest water pour down from the cliffs, which effectually keep off cold and stormy winds. Thickly studded with villages, and adorned with the villas and palaces of the richest Russian nobles, this tract offers a most striking contrast to the remainder of the peninsula or indeed to any part of Russia.

The possession of the Crimea, and the construction of a maritime fortress of the first order in the magnificent harbor of Akhtiar (for such was the former name of Sebastopol) were prominent parts of that vast scheme of policy, by which the genius of the Czar Peter, and his successors, transformed Muscovy into the Russian Empire.

The ever-memorable expedition of the Allies, designed to wrench this fortress and fleet from the possession of the Czar, set sail from Varna in the first week of September, 1854. No naval expedition ever before equaled it.

In the bay of Baltjik, where the expedition first rendezvoused, the sea was literally covered for a space of eight miles long with splendid shipping. Thirty-seven sail of the line - ten English, sixteen French, and eleven Turkish, about a hundred frigates and lesser vessels of war, and nearly two hundred of the finest steam and sailing transports in the world, lay at anchor, in one immense semicircle, nine or ten deep. The great line of battle-ships, with lights gleaming from every port, looked like illuminated towns afloat; while the other vessels, with position-lights hoisted at the main and fore, shed a light upon the sea, twinkling away until lost in the distance. Each division of the army carried lights, corresponding to the number of their division, and at night, when every ship was lighted up the scene was of the most extraordinary and interesting description. Constantinople, during the feast of Bairam, or the feast of Lamps, described in Moore's poems, would have been a worthy illustration.

On the 4th of September, 1854, six hundred vessels sailed from Varna, bearing the combined army of 60,000 in the direction of Sebastopol: at the same time intelligence was received by the commanders of a signal victory obtained by Schamyl at Tiflis, over the Russians under Prince Bebutoff. They lost on this occasion many men and horses, seven guns, 3000 tents, all their amunition, baggage, provisions, and retreated in some disorder from Kutais and Kars to Taflis.

On the 14th September, 58,000 men were landed at Eupatoria, about forty-five miles N. W. of Sebastopol. They subsequently advanced some distance inland without meeting with any opposition.

The place of debarkation had many advantages. It is a small town, containing only 4,000 inhabitants, weakly defended by a garrison of about 12,000 men, and in no condition to resist an invasion such as this. The commanders had intended, in the first place, to have thrown up entrenchments sufficiently strong to secure the place; but having experienced no resistance, the troops marched at once towards their destination. In this march they proceeded for about eleven miles, along a slip of land, having on the left the salt lake Sasik, and the sea on their right.

The country traversed is fertile, and well supplied with water by three rivers, the Alma, the Katcha, and the Balbek. On the left, or southern bank of the latter stream, the first obstacles encountered were the outworks recently thrown up by the Russians, and an old star fort. Having surmounted these, the Allies found themselves in possession of the high ground commanding the rear of the defenses on the northern shore of the inlet, and they were scarcely adapted to resist a strong attack.

As the Black Sea expedition was departing from Varna for the Crimea, the Baltic fleet, or the greater part of it, received orders to " bear up" for England.

On the night of the 18th September, 1854, orders were given by Lord Raglan that the troops should strike tents at daybreak. An advance had been determined upon, and it was understood that the Russian light cavalry had been sweeping the country of all supplies up to a short distance from the outlaying pickets.

At three o'clock next morning, the camp was roused by the reveille, and all the 30,000 sleepers woke into active life. Of Turkish infantry, 7,000 under Suleiman Pacha moved along by the sea side; next came the divisions of Generals Bosquet, Canrobert, Forey, and Prince Napoleon. The order of march of the English army was about four miles to the ri g ht of their left wing, and as many behind them. The right of the allied forces was covered by the fleet, which moved along with it in magnificent order, darkening the air with innumerable columns of smoke, ready to shell the enemy should they attack the right, and commanding the land for nearly two miles from the shore.

The troops presented a splendid appearance. The effect of these grand masses of soldiery descending the ridges of the hills, rank after rank, with the sun playing over forests of glittering steel, can never be forgotten by those who witnessed it. Onward the torrent of war swept, wave after wave, huge stately billows of armed men; while the rumbling of the artillery, and the tramp of cavalry, accompanied their progress. A halt took place about three o'clock, at a muddy stream, of which the men drank with avidity. At this stage they passed the Imperial post-house, twenty miles from Sebastopol.

Orders were given to halt and bivouac for the night, which was cold and damp, but the men were in excellent spirits, looking forward to the probability of an engagement with the enemy with perfect confidence as to the result.

On the morning of the 20th, ere daybreak, the whole force was under arms. They were marshaled silently; no bugles or drums broke the stillness; but the hum of thousands of voices rose loudly from the ranks, and the watchfires lighted up the lines of the camp as though it were a great town. When dawn broke it was discovered that the Russians had retired from the heights. It was known that the Russians had been busy fortifying the heights over the valley through which rims the little river Alma, and that they had resolved to try their strength with the allied army in a position giving them vast advantages of ground, which they had used every means in their power to improve to the utmost. The advance of the armies this great day was a sight which must ever stand out like a landmark of the spectator's life. Early in the morning, the troops were ordered to get in readiness, and at half-past six o'clock they were in motion. It was a lovely day; the heat of the sun was tempered by a sea breeze. The fleet was visible at a distance of four miles, covering the ocean as it was seen between the hills, and steamers could be seen as close to the shore as possible. The Generals, St Arnaud, Bosquet, and Forey, attended by their staff, rode along the lines, with Lord Raglan and his Generals at second halt, and were received with tremendous cheering.

The order in which the army advanced was in columns of brigades in deploying distance; the left protected by a line of skirmishers of cavalry and of horse artillery. The advantage of the formation was, that the army, in case of a strong attack from cavalry and infantry on the left or rear, could assume the form of a hollow square, with the baggage in the centre. The great object was to gain the right of the position, so that the attacking parties could be sheltered by the vertical fire of the fleets. As soon as the position of the allies could be accurately ascertained, the whole line, extending itself across the champaign country for some five or six miles, advanced. At the distance of two miles the English army halted to obtain a little time to gather up the rear; and then the troops steadily advanced in grand lines, like the waves of the ocean.

The French occupied the high road, nearest the beach, with the Turks and the English marched to the left. At about one o'clock in the afternoon, the Light Division of the French army came in sight of the village of Almatamak, and the British Light Division descried that of Burliuk, both situated on the right bank of the river Alma.

At the place where the bulk of the British army crossed, the banks of the Alma are generally at the right side, and vary from two and three to six and eight feet in depth to the water; where the French attacked, the banks are generally formed by the unvaried curve of the river on the left band side. A village is approached from the north by a road winding through a plain nearly level till it comes near the village, where the ground dips, so that at the distance of three hundred yards a man on horseback can hardly see the tops of the nearer and more elevated houses, and can only ascertain the position of the stream by the willows and verdure along its banks. At the left or south side of the Alma the ground assumes a very different character - smooth where the bank is deep, and greatly elevated where the shelve of the bank occurs, it recedes for a few yards at a moderate height above the stream, pierced here and there by the course of the winter's torrents, so as to form small ravines, commanded, however, by the heights above. It was on these upper heights, and to the sea, that the Russian army, forty-five thousand strong, besides six or eight thousand cavalry, and at least a hundred pieces of artillery, were posted. A remarkable ridge of mountains, varying in height from 500 to 700 feet, runs along the course of the Alma on the left or south side with the course of the stream, and assuming the form of cliffs when close to the sea. At the top of the ridges, between the gullies, the Russians had erected earthwork batteries, mounted with 321b. and 241b. brass guns, supported by numerous field pieces and howitzers. These guns enfiladed the tops of the ravines parallel to them, or swept them t6 the base, while the whole of the sides up which an enemy, unable to stand the direct fire of the batteries, would be forced to ascend, were filled with masses of skirmishers, armed with an excellent two-grooved rifle, throwing a large solid conical ball with force at 700 and 800 yards, as the French learned to their cost. The principal battery consisted of an earthwork of the form of the two sides of a triangle, with the apex pointed towards the bridge, and the sides covering both sides of the stream, corresponding with the bend of the river below it, at the distance of 1000 yards; while, with a fair elevation, the 32-pounders threw, very often, beyond the houses of the village to the distance of 1400 and 1500 yards. This was constructed on the brow of a hill about 600 feet above the river, but the hill rose behind it for another 50 feet before it dipped away towards the road. The ascent of this hill was enfiladed by the fire of three batteries of earthwork on the right, and by another on the left, and these batteries were equally capable of covering the village, the stream, and the slopes which led up the hill to their position. In the first battery were thirteen 32-pounder brass guns of exquisite workmanship, which only told too well. In the other batteries were some twenty-five gu ns in all.

The force of the British was about 26,000, that of the French about 23,000.

It had not escaped the observation of the allied Commanders that the Russian General had relied so confidently on the natural strength of his position towards the sea where the cliff rose steep and high above the gardens of an adjacent village, that he had neglected to defend this part of his works by masses of troops or by heavy guns. These military defenses were, on the contrary, accumulated on his right and centre. The plan of the battle was therefore formed so as to enable the French, and a Turkish division, in the first instance, to turn the Russian left, and gain the plateau; and, as soon as this operation was accomplished, so as to occupy a portion of the Russian army, the British troops and the French Third Division were to attack the key of the position on the right of the enemy, while the French completed his defeat on the upper ground.

General Bosquet's division crossed the river Alma near the mouth about 11:30; the Turkish battalions crossing at the same time close to the bar, and within musket range of the beach. This movement was unopposed; and, although a crowd of French skirmishers and light-infantry crossed the gardens and brushwood below the hill, which might easily have been defended, not a shot was fired on them, and not a gun seemed to bear on the line of march they followed. It was afterwards ascertained from the Russian prisoners, that Prince Menschikoff had left, this line unguarded, because he regarded it as absolutely impassable even for goats. He did not know the Zouaves. With inconceivable rapidity and agility they swarmed up the cliff, and it was not till they formed on the height, and deployed from be hind a mound there, that the Russian batteries opened upon them. The fire was returned with great spirit, and a smart action ensued, during which General Bosquet's division was engaged for some time almost alone, until General Canrobert came to his support. The Turkish division, which presented a very martial appearance, and was eager to fight, formed part of the army under the command of Marshal St. Arnaud; and some regret was felt by these brave troops that they had no active part assigned to them in the struggle.

While the French troops were scaling the heights, the French steamers ran in as close as they could to the bluff of the shore at the south side of the Alma, and commenced shelling the Russians in splendid style; the shells bursting over the enemy's squares and batteries, and finally driving them from their position on the right, within 3000 yards of the sea. The Russians answered the ships from the heights, but without effect.

At 1:50 a line of skirmishers got within range of the battery on the hill, and immediately the Russians opened fire at 1200 yards, with effect, the shot ploughing through open lines of the riflemen, and falling into the advancing columns behind. Shortly ere this time, dense volumes of smoke rose from the river, and drifted along to the eastward, interfering with the view of the enemy on the left. The Russians had set the village on fire. It was a fair exercise of military skill - was well executed - took place at the right time, and succeeded in occasioning a good deal of annoyance. It is said the Russians had taken the range of all the principal points in their front, and placed twigs and sticks to mark them. In this they were assisted by the post sign-boards on the road. The Russians opened a furious fire on the whole English line. The round shot whizzed in every direction, dashing up the dirt and sand into the faces of the staff of Lord Raglan. Still he waited patiently for the development of the French attack. At length, an Aid-de-Camp came to him and reported the French had crossed the Alma, but they had not established themselves sufficiently to justify an attack. The infantry were, therefore, ordered to lie down, and the army for a short time was quite passive, only that the artillery poured forth an unceasing fire of shell, rockets, and round shot, which plowed through the Russians, and caused them great loss. They did not waver, however, and replied to the artillery manfully, their shot falling among the men as they lay, and carrying off legs and arms at every round.

Lord Raglan at last became weary of this inactivity, and gave orders for the whole line to advance. Up rose these serried masses, and - passing through a fearful shower of round, case-shot and shell - they dashed into the Alma and floundered' through its waters, which were literally torn into foam by the deadly hail. At the other side of the river were a number of vineyards, occupied by Russian riflemen. Three of the staff were here shot down; but, led by Lord Raglan in person, they advanced, cheering on the men. And now came the turning point of the battle, in which Lord Raglan, by his sagacity, probably secured the victory at a smaller sacrifice than would have been otherwise the case. He dashed over the bridge, followed by his staff. From the road over it, under the Russian guns, he saw the state of the action. The British line, which he had ordered to advance, was struggling through the river and up the heights in masses, firm indeed, but mowed down by the murderous fire of the batteries; and by grape, round shot, shell, canister, case-shot, and musketry, from some of the guns in the central battery, and from an immense and compact mass of Russian infantry.

Then commenced one of the most bloody and determined struggles in the annals of war. The 2d Division, led by Sir de Lacy Evans, crossed the stream on the right. Brigadier Pennefather (who was in the thickest of the fight, cheering on his men), again and again was checked, but never drew back in his onward progress, which was marked by a fierce roll of Minié musketry; and Brigadier Adams bravely charged up the hill, and aided him in the battle. Sir George Brown, conspicuous on a gray horse, rode in front of his Light Division, urging them with voice and gesture. Meantime the Guards on the right of the Light Division, and the brigade of Highlanders, were storming the heights on the left. Suddenly a tornado of round and grape rushed through from the terrible battery, and a roar of musketry from behind it thinned their front ranks by dozens. It was evident that the troops were just able to contend against the Russians, favored as they were by a great position. At this very time an immense mass of Russian infantry were seen moving down towards the battery. They halted. It was the crisis of the day. Sharp, angular, and solid, they looked as if they were cut out of the solid rock. Lord Raglan saw the difficulties of the situation. He asked if it would be possible to get a couple of guns to bear on these masses. The reply was Yes and an artillery officer brought up two guns to fire on the Russian squares. The first shot missed, but the next, and the next, and the next, cut through the the ranks so cleanly, and so keenly, that a clear lane could be seen for a moment through the square. After a few rounds the columns of the square became broken, wavered to and fro, broke, and fled over the brow of the hill, leaving behind them six or seven distinct lines of dead, lying as close as possible to each other, marking the passage of the , fatal messengers. This act relieved the infantry of a deadly incubus, and they continued their magnificent and fearless progress up the hill. 'Highland ers,' said Sir C. Campbell, 'ere they came to the charge, don't pull a trigger till you're within a yard of the Russians!' They charged, and well they obeyed their chieftain's wish; Sir Colin had his horse shot under him; but he was up immediately, and at the head of his men. But the Guards pressed on abreast, and claimed, with the 33d, the honor of capturing a cannon. The Second and Light Division crowned the heights. The French turned the guns on the hill against the flying masses, which the cavalry in vain tried to cover. A few faint struggles from the scattered infantry, a few rounds of cannon and musketry, and the enemy fled to the south-east, leaving three Generals, three guns, 700 prisoners, and 4000 killed and wounded, behind them.

The loss on the part of the British was 2000 killed, wounded, and missing; that of the French, about 1400.

On the night after the battle the allied army bivouacked on the summit of the heights which they had so gloriously won; the French Marshal pitching his tent on the very spot occupied by that of Prince Menschikoff the morning before.

On the 23d the Allied armies left the Alma and proceeded to cross the Katscha; on the 24th they crossed the Belbec, where it had been intended to effect the landing of the siege materiel with a view to an attack on the north side of Sebastopol. It was found, however, that the enemy had placed a fortified work so as to prevent the vessels and transports from approaching this river; and it was determined to advance at once by a flank march round the east of Sebastopol, to cross the valley of the Tchernaya, and seize Balaklava as the future basis of operations against the south side of the harbor at Sebastopol.

The enemy did not hold Balaklava in any strength. After a few shots the little garrison surrendered, and as Sir E. Lyon's ship, the Agamemnon, reached the mouth of the harbor at the very time that the troops appeared on the heights, the British army was once more in full communication with the fleet.

The march of the French army which followed in the track of the British, was more prolonged and fatiguing. They did not reach the Tchernaya river until the 26th, having passed the previous night at Mackenzie's Farm. It was on this day that the French marshal, at length succumbing to his fatal malady, issued his last order of the day, in which he took leave formally of his troops, and resigned the command into the hands of General Canrobert.

Having swept the enemy from their path by the bloody triumphs of the Alma, the next step of the Allies was to lay siege to Sebastopol.

The bay of Balaklava, which now became the principal base of their operations, is a place admirably suited for the landing of stores and materiel. As a port it is the most perfect of its size in the world. The entrance is between perpendicular cliffs, rising eight hundred feet high on either hand, and is only wide enough to allow the passage of one ship at a time; but once in you find yourself in a land-locked tideless haven, still as a mountain lake, three quarters of a mile in length, by two hundred and fifty yards wide, and nowhere less than six fathoms deep, so that every square foot of its surface is available for ships of the greatest burden.

The bay of Balaklava was instantly adopted as the new base of operations of the British army, and never before did its waters mirror so many tall ships on their bosom.

From fifty to a hundred war-ships and transports were constantly at anchor, landing the siege-guns, stores, and provisions of all kinds. The only access to Balaklava from the land side is at the inner end of the bay, through a breach in the surrounding hills, which gradually opens out into an extensive valley, about three miles long by about two broad; it was in this valley that the serious part of the combat of the 26th October took place. Through this valley runs the road to the Tchernaya and Mackenzie's Farm, by which the Allies advanced to Balaklava, and which on the other side of the Tchernaya enters deep gorges in the mountains. On the side next the sea this valley is bounded by a line of hills stretching from Balaklava to Inkerman, and along the summit of which runs the road to Sebastopol. Another road in the opposite direction conducts to the valley of Baider, the most fertile district of the Crimea.

The port of Balaklava having been found barely large enough fox the landing of the British stores and guns, the French selected as their base of operations the three deep bays lying between Cape Chersonesus and Sebastopol bay. The country between Balaklava and Sebastopol, upon which the Allied army encamped, is a barren hilly steppe, destitute of water, and covered with no better herbage than thistles. The French took up their position next the sea; the British inland, next the Tchernaya. The front of the besieging force extended in a continuous line from the mouth of the Tchernaya to the sea at Strelitska bay, forming nearly a semicircle around Sebastopol, at a distance of about two miles from the enemy's works. The position was found to be close enough, as the Russian guns were found to throw shells to the distance of four thousand yards. A most unfortunate delay took place in landing and bringing up the siege guns and stores of the Allies; a delay which was improved to the utmost by the Russians, who kept large bands of citizens, and even women, as well as the garrison, at work in relays both night and day, in throwing up a vast exterior line of earthen redoubts and entrenchments, and in covering the front of their stone-works with earth.

The force disposable for the defense of Sebastopol was nearly equal in number to the besieging army; and as, from the nature of its position, the place could only be invested upon one side, supplies of all kinds could be conveyed into the town, and the Russian generals could either man the works with their whole forces, or direct incessant attacks against the flank and rear of the allies.

Never did any army ever undertake so vast and perilous an enterprise as that in which the allied commanders found themselves engaged.

Sebastopol is situated at the southern point of the Crimea, which puts out into the Black Sea, and is distant from Odessa, 192 miles; from Varna, 295, and from Constantinople, 343.

It is one of the most modern creations of the Czar, and stands, like an advanced post, near to Cape Chersonese its site, until 1786, having been occupied by a few straggling huts. Catherine II, on her accession, perceived its natural advantages as a naval port, the first stone was laid in 1780, and from that period it has rapidly increased in strength and importance. On, doubling the Cape, bordered with a vast chain of rocks and breakers, Sebastopol appears about six and a half miles to the east a remarkable picture, on account of its white cliffs, and the amphitheatrical appearance of the town.

The port of Sebastopol consists of a bay running in a south-easterly direction, about four miles long, and a mile wide at the entrance, diminishing to 400 yards at the end, where the Tchernaya or Black River empties itself. On the southern coast of this bay are the commercial, military, and careening harbors, the quarantine harbor being outside the entrance - all these taking a southerly direction, and having deep water. The military harbor is the largest, being about a mile and a half long by 400 yards wide, and is completely land-locked on every side. Here it is that the Black Sea fleet is moored in the winter - the largest ships being able to lie with all their stores on board close to the quays. The small harbor, which contains the naval arsenal and docks, is on the eastern side of the military harbor, near the entrance. The port is defended to the south by six principal batteries and fortresses, each mounting from 50 to 190 guns; and the north by four, having from 18 to 120 pieces each; and besides these, there are many smaller batteries. The fortresses are built on the casemate principle, three of them having three tiers of guns, and a fourth two tiers. Fort St. Nicholas is the largest, and mounts about 190 guns. It is built of white limestone; a fine, sound stone, which becomes hard, and is very durable, the same material being used for all the other forts. Between every two casemates are furnaces for heating shot red hot. The calibre of the guns is eight inches, capable of throwing shells or 68-pounds solid shot.

There were in the military harbor of Sebastopol twelve line-of-battle ships, eight frigates, and seven corvettes, comprising the Black Sea fleet, independent of steamers.

The town of Sebastopol is situated on the point of land between the commercial and military harbors, which rises gradually from the water's edge to an elevation of 200 feet, and contains 31,500 inhabitants. Including the military and marines, the residents numbered 40,000. It is more than a mile in length, and its greatest width is about three-quarters of a mile - the streets entering the open steppe on the south. The streets are built in parallel lines from north to south, are intersected by others from east and west, and the houses, being of limestone, have a substantial appearance. The public buildings are fine. The library erected by the Emperor, for the use of naval and military officers, is of Grecian architecture, and is elegantly fitted up internally. The books are principally con fined to naval and military subjects and the sciences connected with them, history, and some light reading. The club-house is handsome externally, and comfortable within; it contains a large ball-room, which is its most striking feature, and billiard-rooms, which appear to be the great centre of attraction; but one looks in vain for reading rooms, filled with newspapers and journals. There are many good churches, and a fine landing-place of stone from the military harbor, approached on the side of the town, beneath an architrave supported by high columns. It also boasts an Italian opera-house. The eastern side of the town is so steep that the mastheads of the ships cannot be seen until one gets close to them. Very beautiful views are obtained from some parts of the place, and it is altogether agreeably situated. A military band plays every Thursday evening in the public gardens, at which time the fashionables assemble in great numbers.

As Sebastopol is held exclusively as a military and naval position, commerce does not exist; the only articles imported by sea being those required for materials of war, or as provisions for the inhabitants and garrison. On the eastern side of the military harbor, opposite to the town, is a line of buildings consisting of barracks, some store-houses, and a large naval hospital.

The country around Sebastopol sinks gradually down, in a succession of ridges from the position occupied by the Allied army to the town; but for nearly a third of a mile, immediately in front of the town, the ground is quite flat, the ridges there having been long ago leveled by the Russians in order to give no cover to an attacking force. We have said that there is a circuit of five or six hundred yards of level ground immediately around the town, and it was beyond this radius that the Russians threw up their new works, erecting strong redoubts on several elevated positions; the Allies had to open their trenches at the distance of a mile from the body of the place, although within one hundred and twenty yards of the Russian batteries. The French were the first to break ground. At nine at night, on the 9th, the trenches were opened by one thousand six hundred workmen, divided into relief parties, and supported to defend the works. A land wind, and an almost entire absence of moonlight, favored the operations, and by breaking of day 1,014 yards in length were completed, without interruption from the enemy, of sufficient depth to cover the men.

Next night the British broke ground; but this time the garrison were on the alert, and kept up a very heavy but ineffectual fire. The British, who occupied much higher ground than the French, placed their batteries with great skill. The raised mounds or beds of earth, upon which the guns were placed, were erected precisely along the crest of the various ridges on which the batteries were planted, and, when finished, showed only the muzzle of the guns over the brow of the ridge, so as to present little to the direct fire of the enemy.

The besiegers' batteries were now drawing near completion and the governor of Sebastopol had sent a request to Lord Raglan, that he would spare the inhabitants by not firing upon the civilian part of the city, to which he replied, that he would grant a safe-conduct to such of the inhabitants as were desirous of leaving, but would promise nothing as to his mode of attack, save that the buildings marked by the yellow flag should be respected as hospitals.

Every means was adopted to keep up the spirits of the garrison, and balls even were given every other night.

On the 17th of October the dreadful work began, and no one then present will ever forget that memorable scene. The morning dawned slowly; a thick fog hung over the town, and spread far up the heights. Towards six o'clock the mist began to disperse, and the rich clear October sun every instant made objects more and more visible.

In the Allied lines, all the artillerymen were at their pieces, and as the iron muzzles of the guns became visible through the fog in the now un masked embrasures, a scattering and fast-increasing fire was opened upon them from the Russian lines. Soon the Russian works, crowded with grey figures, could be seen below, with, in rear, the large handsome white houses and dockyards of Sebastopol itself. Slowly, like the drawing back of a huge curtain, the mist moved off seaward, a cool morning breeze sprang up, and the atmosphere became clear and bright. Around were the wide extending lines of the besiegers, sloping down from the elevated ridges held by the British to the low grounds on the coast occupied by the French. Facing them below was the continuous line of Russian intrenchments of earthwork, interspersed with redoubts and stone towers, and loopholed walls, with the line-of-battle ships showing their broadsides in the harbor; and beyond all, the open sea, bearing on its bosom, like a dark belt, the immense armada of the Allied fleet.

At half-past six, the preconcerted signal of three shells went up, one after another, from a French battery, and the next instant the whole Allied batteries opened simultaneously. On the side of the British, seventy-three, and of the French, fifty-three, in all one hundred and twenty-six guns, one-half of which were of the very heaviest calibre, launched their thunders on the side of the Allies; while upwards of two hundred replied in one deafening roar from the Russian lines. Two long lines of belching flame and smoke appeared, and through the space between hurled a shower of shot and shell, while the earth shook with the thunders of the deadly volleys.

Distinctly amidst the din could be heard the immense Lancaster guns, which here, for the first time, gave evidence of their tremendous powers. Their sharp report, heard among the other heavy guns, was like the crack of a rifle among muskets. But the most singular thing was the sound of their ball, which rushed through the air with the noise and regular beat precisely like the passage of a rapid railway train at close distance - a peculiarity which, at first, excited shouts of laughter from the men, who nicknamed it the express-train. The effect of the shot was terrific; from its deafening and peculiar noise, the ball could be distinctly traced by the ear to the spot where it struck, when stone or earth were seen to go down before it.

The first few minutes' firing sufficed to show to each side, what neither had as yet accurately known, the actual strength of its opponents; and it now appeared, that even in the extent of the earthwork batteries thrown up since the siege began, the Russians immensely surpassed their besiegers. Besides their stone forts, and a long line of intrenchments, guns of heavy calibre had been planted on every ridge and height; and as fresh batteries were unmasked one after another, often in places totally unexpected, the Allied generals were completely taken by surprise at the magnitude of the defenses.

Opposite to the French lines, the main strength of the Russians lay in the Flag-staff batteries, erected upon a hill commanding the French works. They consisted of two tiers of intrenchments, each mounting about twenty five guns, the upper of which tier of cannon was unknown to the besiegers until it opened fire; with several large mortars placed on the summit of the hill And on he extreme right of the Russian lines was a ten-gun battery, most commandingly placed, so as to enfilade the French lines. In this quarter the Russians had not only a great advantage in point of position, but also their guns out-numbered those of the French, and it soon became evident that the French were fighting at a disadvantage, and were dreadfully galled in flank by the ten-gun battery. Suddenly, a little after nine o'clock, there came a loud explosion, - a dense cloud of smoke vas seen hanging over one of the French batteries, and the Russians were observed on the parapets of their works cheering vigorously. The flank fire of the ten-gun battery had blown up one of the French magazines, killing or wounding about fifty men, and blowing the earthwork to atoms.

The British batteries were more successful. The principal works opposed to them were on their right front, the Round fort, a Martello tower, which had been faced up with earth. A battery of twenty heavy guns was planted on the top of this tower, and exterior earthwork intrenchments had been thrown up around it, mounted with artillery of heavy calibre.

Next, nearly opposite the British centre, was the three-decker, the Twelve Apostles, placed across the harbor creek; and facing their left was the Redan redoubt, carrying about forty cannon, likewise surrounded by entrenchments armed with numerous guns. On the British side, the principal redoubts were the Crown battery, of 27 guns, in the centre, fronting the Twelve Apostles, and the Green-Mound battery, opposite the Redan redoubt.

At half-past three, a red-hot shot from the Russian three-decker, the Twelve Apostles, struck a powder wagon in the Crown battery, which exploded, killing one or two men, but leaving the works of the battery uninjured. The Russians cheered as before, imagining the same injury had been done, as previously to the French.

But while they were still cheering, a shell from the Green Mound battery lodged in the powder magazine of the Redan redoubt, and blew it up with a tremendous explosion. A white livid flame suddenly shot high into the air, followed by a report that made the very earth tremble in the Allied lines, and the next minute its garrison of hundreds, blown to atoms, were discovered strewing the ground to a distance around. 'In the midst of a dense volume of smoke and sparks,' says an eye-witness, ' which resembled a water-spout ascending to the clouds, were visible to the naked eye, arms, legs, trunks, and heads, of the Russian warriors, mingled with cannons, wheels, and every object of military warfare, and, indeed, every living thing it contained.' So powerful was the effect which this explosion produced on the moraleof the besiegers, which had been somewhat depressed by the misfortunes of the day, that the enthusiasm displayed was almost of a frantic nature. Both the English and French troops, as well as officers, doffed their caps, and threw them high into the air, at the same time giving a shout which might have been heard at Balaklava, a league off. The Russians, however, were nowise daunted, and resumed their fire with undiminished energy.

While this terrific cannonade was going on by land, the Allied fleets were seen bearing down upon the strong forts which defend the mouth of the harbor. It had been arranged between the Admirals and Generals, that as soon as the attention of the Russians had been attracted to the landward attack, the fleets should move forward and take part in a general assault. The French took the Quarantine fort, and other works on the south side of the entrance to Sebastopol bay, and the British took Fort Constantine and the works on the north side.

By half-past one o'clock, the action was fairly commenced, and the con joined roar from the guns of the fleet and in the forts, echoed by the thunders of the rival batteries on shore, baffled the imagination. Never before in the world's history was such a cannonade witnessed even the tremendous cannonade of Leipsic and Trafalgar fades into insignificance before so gi g antic a strife. The fleets advanced to the attack in two lines - the British from the north, the French from the south.

Directly the vessels came within 2,000 yards, the forts opened fire, which the Allies never attempted to reply to until they took up their positions. The cannonade of the French was terrific and continuous; enveloped in smoke, they kept up whole salvoes, which was terrific, the smoke being lit up by the volleys of flashes, and the roar of cannon continuous. The Turks followed the French in this sometimes in whole broadsides, again their fire running continuously along the line. There was less of this with the English ships, whose style of firing appeared less awful, but more business-like. The Russians used red-hot shot, rockets, combustible shell, and bar-shot; and the terrible effects of these soon made themselves apparent. The bar-shot cut the masts, spars, and rigging to pieces, and the rockets and red-hot shot raised conflagrations in many a the attacking vessels.

The allied vessels met with but little success, and towards night stood out to sea, the Russians cheering vociferously, and redoubling their fire.

Such were the incidents of this memorable opening day of the bombardment.

On the 18th, the fleet did not renew the attack; and as the French batteries were wholly silenced for the time, the enemy were enabled to concentrate a terrific fire upon the British trenches. During the previous day's firing, the Russians had discovered the weak points of their opponents, as well as their own, and before morning, had erected, with sandbags, batteries on new and commanding positions.

During the night of the 18th, the French worked incessantly, repaired all their batteries, and again opened fire on the morning of the 19th. Still they were unfortunate. About eleven o'clock a shell from the Russian ten-gun battery once more blew up one of their magazines, killing most of the men in the battery, and dismounting most of the guns; thus most of the French works were again silenced before two o'clock.

The British lines kept up a hot fire throughout the whole day; but though at times nearly one hundred shot and shell were thrown per minute, little or no effect was produced upon the Russian intrenchments. The enemy were provided with a perfectly inexhaustible supply of all the materials requisite for a desperate defense. The instant a shot or shell struck their works the hole was filled up with sand-bags; so that the besieged built up as fast as the besiegers knocked down.

The French had repaired their injuries during the night, but in order to fire with more destructive effect, advanced one strong battery about two hundred, yards nearer the enemy. This new advanced battery not only enabled them to maintain their ground, but even to destroy and silence their inveterate assailant, the Russian ten-gun battery.

During the 22d the cannonade from the French lines was incessant, and told with great effect; but early in the day the British batteries received orders to fire only once in eight minutes - occasioned by a deficiency of ammunition. The Russians worked their guns with great energy and precision, even under the hottest fire, standing to their pieces boldly as on the first day of the siege; and they continued to repair each night the injury done to their works in the previous day. The loss of the Allies up to this point of the siege was about twelve hundred men.

One feature in the memorable siege was the great use made of riflemen by the besieging force, and the extreme gallantry displayed by these men when at work.

Every day parties of skirmishers went out from the Allied lines, and lay under cover among the loose large stones about one thousand yards in advance of the batteries, and within two hundred yards of the Russian defenses.

This compelled the enemy to send out parties to dislodge them, and these, as they advanced for that purpose across the open ground, became exposed to the fire both of the skirmishers and of the trenches, and usually suffered severely.

On one occasion a private in the British lines who had fired his last cartridge, was crouching along the ground to join the nearest covering-party, when two Russians suddenly sprang from behind a rock, and seizing him by the collar, dragged him off towards Sebastopol.

The Russian who escorted him on the left side held in his right hand his own firelock, and in his left the captured Minié; with a sudden spring the British soldier seized the Russian's firelock, shot its owner, clubbed his companion, and then, picking up his own Minié, made off in safety to his own lines. Another of these fellows resolved to do more work on his own account, got away from his company, and crawled up close to a battery under shelter of a bridge. There he lay on his back, and loaded, turning over to fire; until, after killing eleven men, a party of Russians rushed out and he took to his heels; but a volley fired after him leveled him with the earth, and his body was subsequently picked up by his comrades riddled with balls.

Probably 100,000 shot and shell a-day, exclusive of night-firing, was the average amount of projectiles discharged by both parties in the extraordinary siege.

The darkness of the night was constantly interrupted by the bursting of shell or rockets.

The passage of the shells through the air, thrown to an amazing height from the mortars, appeared like that of meteors. To the eye, the shell seems to rise and fall almost perpendicularly; sometimes burning as it turns on its axis, and the fuse disappears in the rotation, with an interrupted pale light; sometimes with a steady light, not unlike the calm luminosity of a planet. As it travels it can be heard, amid the general stillness, uttering in the distance its peculiar sound, like the cry of the curlew. The blue light in a battery announces the starting of a rocket, which pursues its more horizontal course, followed by a fiery train, and rushes through the air with a loud whizzing noise that gives an idea of irresistible energy. So went on, day and night, ceaselessly, this unparalleled bombardment - a cataract of war, a Niagara of all dread sounds, whose ceaseless booming was heard for long miles around. Ship after ship, nearing the Crimean shores, heard from afar that dull, heavy sound, and all eyes were strained to catch sight of the dread scene, of that valley where the battle of Europe was being fought, where the cannon were ever sounding, and 'the fire was not quenched.'

While the operations were being carried on around the walls of Sebastopol, events of, if possible, still greater importance were taking place a few miles off, upon the flanks and rear of the investing force. In truth, the Allies were as much besieged as besiegers. For about a fortnight after an affair at the Mackenzie's Farm, on the 25th of September, nothing had been seen of the enemy, who had retired towards Bakshi-serai to await reinforcements. It was towards the end of the first week of October that the Russians began to assume the offensive. The Allies at first seem to have regarded their position as unassailable; but the enemy, thoroughly acquainted with every foot of the country, and consequently able to advance in the dark, soon showed them their mistake.

At daybreak on the 6th, the Russians made an advance in force, for the purpose of reconnoitering, from the Tchernaya into the valley or plain in rear of the heights occupied by the Allies; and, after surprising, in the grey of the morning, a picket of the Fourth Dragoons, drew off again, having accomplished their object. During the following night, a most daring reconnoissance was made, by a French officer and ten men, who, on their return to camp, reported that they had gone as far as the river Belbec, and had only seen the bivouac of the Russian troops who had made the reconnoissance the preceding day. In order to check further surprises from this quarter, parties of Zouaves and Foot Chasseurs were placed in ambuscade as outposts; every evening at six o'clock four companies of them concealing themselves in a ravine through which the Russians would advance, and remaining there until daybreak next morning.

The enemy, however, forsaking the line of attack by the road from Mackenzie's Farm, now began to appear among the mountains directly in rear of the Allied lines, and also close to Balaklava, advancing by a road from Kansara, through the hills, which was at first deemed by the Allied generals impracticable for artillery, and, consequently, along which no serious attack was anticipated. One day, however, a force of 2000 Russian cavalry, and 8000 infantry, with nine or ten guns, made its appearance in this quarter, but withdrew without showing fight.

As soon as it became evident that the principal attacks of the Russian relieving army would be directed against Balaklava, means were taken to put that place in a state of defense. One of the first, was to turn out the Greek and Russian inhabitants. The little bay, so narrow at its entrance that only one ship could get out at a time, was crowded with upwards of a hundred transports, in which, besides other stores, as well as in the buildings on shore, were large magazines of gunpowder; and as it was reported that the Greek population, besides acting as spies, had actually concerted to aid the Russian attack by simultaneously setting fire to the town, Lord Raglan ordered every one of them to be ejected from the place. At the same time, a redoubt, armed with heavy guns and manned with 1200 marines from the fleet, was constructed upon the summit of a conical hill, on the further side of the bay, about 1000 feet high, and commanding the coast road approaching Balaklava from the east. Other redoubts were so placed as to command the road from the Tchernaya, and also from Kamara, through the mountains.

Balaklava does not fall within the natural line of defense for besieging, Sebastopol. It is held as a separate post, three miles in advance of Sebastopol heights, which form the main position of the besieging force. The British occupied a convex line of heights, stretching from the Tchernaya, near its mouth, to the sea-coast, midway between Cape Chersonese and Balaklava. On the north-east is a valley or plain, not level, but broken by little eminences, about three miles long by two in width. Towards the Tchernaya this valley is swallowed up in a mountain gorge and deep ravines, above which rise tier after tier of desolate whitish rocks. At its other extremity the valley in a similar manner contracts into a gorge, through which the high road passes, leading down to Balaklava. On the crest of the Allied line of heights, overlooking this plain, the French had constructed very formidable intrenchments, mounted with a few guns and lined by Zouaves and artillerymen. Intersecting the plains, about two miles and a half from Balaklava, is a series of conical heights, the highest and farthest off of which joins the mountain ran g e on the opposite side of the valley, while the nearest one was commanded by the French intrenchments. On these eminences earth-work redoubts had been constructed, each mounted with two or three pieces of heavy ship guns, and manned by 250 Turks. At the end of the plain next Balaklava, and stationed at the mouth of the gorge leading down to it, ere the 93d Highlanders. In the plain, about ten miles from Balaklava, were picketed the cavalry, commanded in chief by the Earl of Lucan, consisting of the Light Brigade, 607 strong, and the Heavy Brigade, mustering 1000 sabres.

Such was the position of the rearward forces of the Allies on the morning of the 25th October, 1854, when the Russians, under General Liprandi, starting from Kamara about five o'clock, advanced to attack them. The cavalry pickets, riding in haste, soon brought intelligence of the attack to the Allied head-quarters, and measures were instantly taken to forward all the troops that could be spared from before Sebastopol to the menaced point.

The Duke of Cambridge and Sir George Cathcart were ordered to advance with the 1st and 4th divisions with all speed, while Bosquet's French division received similar orders from General Canrobert. Soon after eight o'clock, Lord Raglan and his staff turned out, and cantered towards the rear. The booming of artillery, the spattering roll of musketry, were heard rising from the valley, drowning the roar of the siege guns in front before Sebastopol. General Bosquet followed with his staff and a small escort of hussars at a gallop. From their position on the summit of the heights, forming the rear of the British position, and overlooking the plain of Balaklava, the Allied generals beheld the aspect of the combat. Immediately below, in the plain, the British cavalry, under Lord Lucan, were seen rapidly forming into glittering masses, while the 93d Highlanders, under Sir Colin Campbell, drew up in line in front of the gorge leading to Balaklava.

The main body of the Russians was by this time visible about two and a half miles off, advancing up the narrow valley leading from the Ycta pass. A mile in front of them were two batteries of light artillery, playing vigorously on the Turkish redoubts, and escorted by a cloud of mounted skirmishers, 'wheeling and whirling like autumn leaves before the wind;' following those were large, compact squares of cavalry; and in rear of all came solid masses of infantry, with twenty pieces of artillery in row before them. The enemy rapidly advanced his cavalry and horse-artillery, so as to overpower the detached corps of Turks before any troops could be moved forward from the main body to support them. In this he perfectly succeeded, and the second redoubt was abandoned, as the first had been - its defenders being severely cut up in their flight by the Cossack horse. They ran in scattered groups across towards the next redoubt, and towards Balaklava, but the horse-hoof of the Cossack was too quick for them, and sword and lance were busily plied among the retreating herd. The yells of the pursuers and pursued were plainly audible. As the lancers and light cavalry of the Russians advanced, they gathered up their skirmishers with great speed, and in excellent order; the shifting trails of men, which played all over the valley, like moonlight upon the water, contracted, gathered up, and the little pelotons in a few moments became a solid column. Then up came their guns, in rushed their gunners to the abandoned redoubts, and the guns of the second redoubt soon played with deadly effect upon the dispirited defenders of the third. Two or three shots in return from the earthworks, and all is silent. The Turks swarm over the earthworks, and run in confusion towards the town, firing their muskets at the enemy as they run.

Again the solid column of cavalry opens like a fan, and resolves itself into a long spray of skirmishers. It overlaps the flying Turks, steel flashes in the air, and down goes the poor Moslem, quivering on the plain, split through fez and musket-guard to the chin and breast-belt. There is no support for them. The remnant of the Turks, flying towards Balaklava., took refuge behind the ranks of the 93d Highlanders, and were formed into line on the wings of the regiment. The Russians by this time had turned the guns of the captured redoubt against the Allied front, but with little effect, as Sir Colin withdrew his Highlanders out of range, and the British Cavalry were hid from view by an undulating swell of the plain.

Encouraged by this retiring movement, the whole mass of Russian cavalry, about 4,000 strong, now came sweeping into the plain, with the obvious intention of breaking through the Allied line before reinforcements could arrive from before Sebastopol. This was the crisis of the day, as the slightest reverse to the Allies in this quarter would have been attended with serious consequences.

On came the foe in brilliant masses, pouring down at a canter into the plain and on to the high road. Here one body of horse, 1,500 strong, rapidly wheeling to their left, charged down the road towards Balaklava, against the single Highland regiment which there barred the way, and which awaited their approach in a line two deep. At 800 yards the Turks, drawn up on the wings of the regiment, discharged their muskets and fled.

'Highlanders! ' exclaimed Sir Colin Campbell, as he saw his men wavering on being thus deserted, if you don't stand firm, not a man of you will be left alive.'

At 600 yards the regiment fired, but with little effect, upon the Russian squadrons now advancing at a gallop. The anxiety of the onlookers grew intense as they beheld that immense body of charging cavalry within 150 yards of their Highland line, when down again went the level line of Minié rifles, a steady volley rang out, and the next instant the attacking squadrons were seen wheeling off to the right and left in retreat.

Meanwhile the main body of the Russian cavalry swept on straight across the plain, apparently with the design of carrying the thinly-defended heights at a gallop. But a foe intervened of which they did not make sufficient account. The instant they topped the little eminence in front of the British cavalry, the trumpets of the Heavy Brigade sounded the charge, and away went the brigade in two lines, the Scots Greys and Enniskillens in front, led on by Brigadier-General Scarlett. The Russians were likewise in two lines, and more than twice as deep. The shock was terrific, but lasted only for a moment. The handful of red-coats broke through the enemy, scattering the first line right and left, and then charged the second line, which came spurring up to the rescue. It was a fight of heroes. The position of the Greys and Enniskillens quickly became one of imminent danger; for while cutting their way in splendid style through their foes, the Russian first line rallied again, and bore down upon their rear. God help them they are lost! burst from the Allied generals and on-lookers when, like a thunder-bolt, the 1st Royals and 4th and 5th Dragoon Guards, forming the British second line, broke with one terrible assault upon the foe, cutting through the line of rallying Russians as if it were pasteboard, and then, falling upon the flank of the Russian line, disordered by the terrible assault, put it to utter rout. A cheer burst from every lip, and, in the enthusiasm, officers and men on the heights took off their caps and shouted with delight. The loss to the British in this splendid charge was very trifling. All danger to the Allied position was now past. The enemy had made their rush, and failed. The British and French divisions, arriving from before Sebastopol, began to take up a position in the plain, and the Russians drawing back and concentrating their forces, relinquished all the captured redoubts save one. The fight seemed over; when an unlucky mistake, the precise origin of which is still shrouded. in mystery, gave rise to a most brilliant but disastrous feat of arms.

The British cavalry had been advanced to the edge of the plain next the enemy, who were now slowly retiring up the narrow valley leading to the Ycta Pass, from which they had debouched in the morning. In a gorge of this narrow valley, at about a mile and a half distant from the British horse, a battery of nine heavy Russian guns was posted, with infantry and a body of 2,000 cavalry in the rear. Captain Nolan, of the Light Brigade, one of the best swordsmen and cavalry tacticians in the army, now came galloping up with an order from the Commander-in-thief to Lord Lucan to advance with the light cavalry, and, if possible, prevent the enemy from carrying off the guns which they had captured in the redoubts. The moment the Russians beheld the squadrons advancing, they covered the slopes of the valley with Minié riflemen, and quickly planted two batteries on the heights, one on either side of the gorge. Formed in two lines, the British light cavalry advanced rapidly into the valley of death - not a man flinching, and Lord Cardigan leading on with a coolness and contempt of danger that was magnificent. When they arrived at about 1,200 yards from the enemy, thirty Russian cannons simultaneously opened fire upon them, knocking over men and horses in numbers, and wounded or riderless steeds were seen flying over the field. Galloping on, they advanced up the valley, through this terrific cross-fire, towards the battery directly in front. The first line is broken, it is joined by the second, they never halt or check their speed an instant; with diminished ranks, thinned by those thirty guns, which the Russians had laid with the most deadly accuracy, with a halo of flashing steel above their heads and with a cheer which was many a noble fellow's death-cry, they flew into the smoke of the batteries, but ere they were lost from view the plain was strewed with their bodies, and with the carcases of horses, Lord Cardigan was almost unhorsed by a 32-pounder exploding within a foot of his charger, and a shell bursting at his side, struck Captain Nolan in the breast, and with an involuntary shriek, the gallant officer fell dead from his saddle. The Russian gunners stood to their pieces till the dragoons were within ten yards of them, and were sabred to a man. Without drawing bridle, the British horse next charged the mass of cavalry in front of them, routed it, and pursued it pell-mell. Whilst the pursuit was at its height, suddenly the order was shouted " Wheel about! " The enemy, instead of being broken by their own men flying, formed up four deep in front of the charging horse, while a mass of lancers descended into their rear. But, nothing daunted, the heroic light horse, facing about, charged again through the gathering forces of the enemy, repassed the guns, and closed in desperate contest with the Russian lancers. At this moment the Russian artillerymen, returning to the guns behind, sent a deadly shower of grape into the fighting mass of horseman, indiscriminately at friend and foe. The charge lasted barely half-an-hour, and but 198 out of 800 returned to the British lines. Whilst the batteries were firing upon the retiring cavalry, a body of French chasseurs d'Afrique charged at the guns erected on the left of the valley, and forced them to retire. After sabering amongst the Russian skirmishers, the chasseurs retired. This closed the operations of the day. The Russians withdrew their forces from the heights, and did not carry out their menaced attack on Balaklava.

The bombardment of the forts before Sebastopol continued without cessation all day.

Elated by their success against the Turks, and the capture of the guns of the redoubts, the Russians attempted a sortie from Sebastopol on the following day, the 26th October, whose strength exceeded 9000 infantry, with a numerous artillery; but no sooner had they entered within range of the Allies' guns, which, eighteen in number, had taken up their position, than the word, 'fire,' was given, and a volley of shell tore open the ranks of the Russians, and checked their advance. The guns being reloaded, a second discharge, no less severe in its execution, caused the enemy to wheel round and retire.

On Sunday, the 5th of November, 1854, one of the most sanguinary battles ever fought within the memory of man, took place on the heights of Inkerman, under the walls of Sebastopol.

It is a difficult task, in a few lines of prose, to render justice to a bravery which excels that sung by the blind and immortal bard of Greece. We might devote page after page to individual feats of heroic daring in this fearful struggle, when 8,000 British troops and 6,000 Frenchmen defeated an array of 60,000 Russians, who left more killed and wounded upon the battle-field than the whole force the Allies brought against them.

From the preceding pages, the position of the besieging forces is already familiar to our readers. A road connects Balaklava and Sebastopol. From this road to the heights which crown the valley of the Tchernaya, extended the British lines. These heights form a right angle nearly opposite the ruins of Inkerman, and there run parallel with the river from which the valley has derived its name. On the other side of the Tchernaya rise a succession of hills above the ruins of Inkerman, where the Russians had established themselves.

The night between the 4th and 5th November was passed without apprehension by the Allied troops. It had rained almost incessantly, and the early morning gave no promise of any cessation of the heavy showers which had fallen for the previous four-and-twenty hours. Towards dawn a heavy 'fog settled down on the heights, and on the valley of the Inker man. The fog, and vapors of drifting rain were so thick as morning broke; that one could scarcely see ten yards before him.

At four o'clock the bells of the churches in Sebastopol were heard ringing drearily through the cold night air; but the occurrence had been so usual that it excited no particular attention.

No one suspected for a moment that enormous masses of Russians were creeping up the rugged sides of the heights over the valley of Inkerman, on the undefended flank of the Second Division. There all was security and repose. Little did the slumbering troops in camp imagine that a subtle and indefatigable enemy were bringing into position an overwhelming artillery, ready to play upon their tents at the first glimpse of daylight.

Yet such was the case. The arrival of the Grand Dukes Michael and Nicholas, sons of the Emperor, with large reinforcements, determined Prince Menschikoff to make the attempt to annihilate the besieging forces, and raise the siege.

At daybreak (that is, at six o'clock), the alarm was given in the British camp that the Russians had surprised the advanced picquets, and were already in possession of all the heights commanding their position. The whole army stood to arms without delay. Presently a Russian battery appeared upon the crest of the height known as Shell-hill, near Careening Bay, whilst columns of infantry were descried already descending the hills, or marching up the ravines, which faced the front of the British position. The most serious attack of the Russians was, however, directed against the flank of the British army, along the heights running parallel to the valley of the Tchernaya.

The Russians in the front had now advanced to within five hundred yards of the encampment, and the action commenced. The musketry fire was awful, and the enemy who had now guns upon every favorable position, hurled shell and round shot at the advancing lines.

The enemy's columns continued to push forward, trying to overwhelm the British regiments with their superior numbers. And now (to quote the words of an eye-witness of the battle) commenced the bloodiest struggle ever witnessed since war cursed the earth. It has been doubted by military historians if any enemy have ever stood a charge with the bayonet, but here the bayonet was often the only weapon employed in conflicts of the most obstinate and deadly character. Not only did the English charge in vain, not only were desperate encounters between masses of men maintained with the bayonet alone, but they were obliged to resist bayonet to bayonet, with the Russian infantry again and again, as they charged the British with incredible fury and determination.'

The battle of Inkerman admits of no description. It was a series of dreadful deeds of daring, of sanguinary hand-to-hand fights, of despairing rallies, of desperate assaults, in glens and valleys, in brushwood glades and remote dells, hidden from all human eyes, and from which the conquerors, Russian or British, issued, only to engage fresh foes.

No one, however placed, could have witnessed even a small portion of the doings of this eventful day, for the vapors, fog, and drizzling mist, obscured the ground where the struggle took place to such an extent, as to render it impossible to see what was going on at the distance of fifty yards. Besides this, the irregular nature of the ground, the rapid fall of the hill towards Inkerman, where the deadliest fight took place, would have prevented one, under the most favorable circumstances, seeing more than a very insignificant and detailed piece of the terrible work below.

It was six o'clock when all the Head-quarter camp was roused by roll after roll of musketry on the right, and by the sharp report of field-guns.

Lord Raglan was informed that the enemy were advancing in force, and soon after seven o'clock he rode towards the scene of action, followed by his staff, and accompanied by Sir John Burgoyne, Brigadier General Strangwayr, and several aids-de-camp. As they approached the volume of sound, the steady unceasing thunder of gun, and rifle, and musket, told that the engagement was at its height. The shell of the Russians, thrown with great precision, burst so thickly among the troops that the noise resembled continuous discharges of cannon, and the massive fragments inflicted death on every side.

Colonel Gambier was once ordered to get up two heavy guns (eighteen pounders) on the rising ground, and to reply to a fire which the light guns were utterly inadequate to meet. As he was engaged in this duty he was severely wounded, and obliged to retire. His place was taken by Lietenant-Colonel Dickson, who, in directing the fire of these two pieces, which had the most marked effect in deciding the fate of the day, elicited the admiration of the army. But lon g ere these guns had been brought up, there had been a great slaughter of the enemy, and a heavy loss of the British. The generals could not see where to. go. They could not tell where the enemy were from what side they were coming, or where going. In darkness, gloom, and rain, they led the lines through thick scrub by bushes and thorny brakes, which broke the ranks, and irritated the men, while every place was marked by a corpse or men wounded from an enemy whose position was only indicated by the rattle of musketry, and the rush of ball and shell.

Sir George Cathcart, seeing his men disordered by the , fire of a large column of Russian infantry, which was outflanking them, while portions of the various regiments composing his division were maintaining an unequal struggle with an overwhelming force, went down into a ravine in which they were engaged to rally them. He rode at their head encouraging them, and when a cry arose that ammunition was failing, he said coolly: ' Have you not got your bayonets? ' As he led on his men, it was ob served that another body of men had gained the top of the hill behind them on the right, but it was impossible to tell whether they were friends or foes. A deadly volley was poured into the scattered British regiments. Sir George cheered them, and led them back up the hill, but a flight of bullets passed where he rode, and he fell from his horse close to the Russian columns. His body was recovered mutilated with bayonet wounds.

When he fell, Colonel Seymour, who was with him, instantly dismounted, and was endeavoring to raise the body, when he himself received a ball which fractured his leg. He fell to the ground beside his general, and a Russian officer and five or six men running in, bayoneted him, and cut him to pieces as he lay helpless. The Russians bayoneted the wounded in every part of the field, giving, no quarter, and apparently determined to exterminate the Allies, to drive them into the sea.

The conflict on the right was equally uncertain and equally bloody. To the extreme right a contest, the like of which, perhaps, never took place before, was going on between the guards and dense columns of Russian infantry of five times their number. The guards had charged them and driven them back, when they perceived that the Russians had outflanked them. They were out of amunition, too, and were uncertain whether there were friends or foes in the rear. They had no support, no reserve, were fighting with the bayonet against an enemy who stoutly contested every inch of ground, when the corps of another Russian column appeared on their right far to their rear. Then a fearful mitraille was poured into them, and volleys of rifle and musketry.

The guards were broken; they had lost twelve officers dead on the field; they had left one-half of their number dead on the ground; and they retired along the lower road of the valley; but they were soon reinforced, and speedily avenged their loss.

The French advance, about ten o'clock, turned the flank of the enemy.

When the body of French infantry appeared on the right of the British, position, it was a joyful sight to the struggling regiments. The 3d regiment of Zouaves, under the chiefs of battalion, supported in the most striking manner the ancient reputation of that force. The French artillery had already begun to play with deadly effect on the right wing of the Russians, when three battalions of chasseurs d'Orleans rushed by, the light of battle on their faces. They were accompanied by a battalion of chasseurs Indigénes - the Arab Sepoys of Algiers. Their trumpets sounded above the din of battle. Assailed in front, broken in several places by the impetuosity of the charge, renewed again and again, attacked by the French infantry on the right, and by artillery all along the line, the Russians began to retire, and at twelve o'clock they were driven pell-mell down the hill towards the valley, where pursuit would have been madness, as the roads were covered by their artillery. They left mounds of dead behind them. At twelve o'clock the battle of Inkerman seemed to have been won; but the day which had cleared up for an hour previously, again became obscured. Rain and fog set in; and as the Allies could not pursue the Russians, who were retiring under the shelter of their artillery, they had formed in front of the lines, and were holding the battle-field so stoutly contested, when the enemy, taking advantage of the Allies' quietude, again advanced, while their guns pushed forward and opened a tremendous fire.

General Canrobert, who never quitted Lord Raglan for much of the early part of the day, at once directed the French to advance and outflank the enemy. In his efforts he was most nobly seconded by General Bosquet. General Canrobert was slightly wounded, and his immediate attend ants suffered severely.

The renewed assault was so admirably managed that the Russians sullenly retired, still protected by their crushing artillery.

The loss sustained by the English army was 2,400 killed or wounded; of the French 1,726. The Russians, in killed, wounded, and prisoners, 15,000. An eye-witness thus describes the night after battle:

'On the evening of the battle I went over the field. All the wounded had been removed. There is nothing so awful as the spectacle of the bodies of those who have been struck down by round shot or shell. Some had their heads taken off by the neck, as with an axe; others, their legs gone from their hips; others their arms; and others again, who were hit in the chest or stomach, were literally as smashed as if they had been crushed in a machine. Passing up to Sebastopol, over heaps of Russian dead, I came to the spot where the Guards had been compelled to retire from the defense of the wall above Inkerman valley. Here the dead of the Allies were nearly as numerous as the enemy's. Beyond this the Russian Guardsmen and line regiments lay as thick as leaves, intermixed with dead and wounded horses. The path lay through thick brushwood, but it was slippery with blood, and the brushwood was broken down and encumbered with the dead. The scene from the battery was awful beyond description. I stood upon its parapet at about nine at night, and I felt my heart sink as I gazed upon the scene of carnage around.

'The moon was at its full, and showed every object as if by the light of day. Facing me was the valley of Inkerman, with the Tchernaya, like a band of silver, flowing gracefully between the hills, which, for varied and picturesque beauty, might vie with any part of the world. Yet I shall never recall the memory of Inkermann valley with any but feelings of horror; for round the spot from which I surveyed the scene lay upwards of five thousand bodies. Some lay as if prepared for burial, and as though the hands of relatives had arranged their mangled limbs; while others again were in almost startling positions, half standing or kneeling, clutching their weapons or drawing a cartridge. Many lay with both their hands extend ed towards the sky, as if to avert a blow or utter a prayer; while others had a malignant scowl of fear and hatred. The moonlight imparted an aspect of unnatural paleness to their forms, and as the cold, damp wind swept round the hills and waved the boughs above their upturned faces, the shadows gave a horrible appearance of vitality; and it seemed as if the dead were laughing, and about to rise. This was not the case on one spot only, but all over the bloody field.'

The whole of the 6th (the day after the battle) was devoted to the sorry task of burying the dead. A council of war was held, presided over by Lord Raglan, at which it was determined to winter in the Crimea, and orders were issued accordingly. Large reinforcements were demanded both by Lord Raglan and General Canrobert, which, with considerable promptitude were despatched by their respective governments.