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Bible. We are in camp before Sebastopol-on the field of Inkerman-within the roar of the enemy's cannon, and in the midst of shot and shell flying and bursting on either side. The officer who entertains me was engaged in the battle, and he walks with me a few steps upon the hill and points out the field. This,' said he, where we are now standing, is the famous sand-bag battery, which was taken and re-taken three times in the engagement, and here the Russians and English lay in heaps together. There the Cossacks came up the valley at half-past six in the morning 60,000 strong, to surprise our little band of only 8,000 men, and we fought them, hand to hand, with sword, pistol, and bayonet, for four hours, when we began to feel that we must soon be overpowered by numbers, and entirely cut off to a man; but the timely relief of the French, under General Bosquet, revived our drooping courage-we charged down the hill-soon put them to flight, and drove them from the field, and the French closely pursued them even within the walls of Sebastopol. But what a terrible sight it was the afternoon and evening after the battle, to see the dead and dying strewn over the field, mangled and cut to pieces! and then to hear the moan of the wounded and suffering as it sounded in our ears! Our tents, too, were all riddled and torn by balls and shot from their cannon and musketry, and our poor fellows were groaning for assistance. And we scarcely dare walk among the wounded, for the savage Russians, just able to crawl, would bayonet and shoot our men, as they were giving a cup of cold water to their suffering comrades. They even fired upon us from their batteries when we were burying their own dead upon the field. The next day we buried a thousand Russians in one grave,
VIEW OF SEBASTOPOL.
and when we came to one Englishman, our men said, "He must not go in with the Cossacks." I said, "Yes, they will now surely sleep quietly side by side," and we put him in too, and one grave closed over them all. I never saw a battle before, and never wish to see another. It was awful beyond conception!'
"Such is the description given me by one who was eyewitness and took part in this terrible conflict. I then proposed to walk across a little ravine to an adjoining height, where I could have a good view of Sebastopol.
'Yes,' said he, 'I think it can be done now with safety there is less firing than usual this afternoon; I would go with you, but I am on double duty and cannot leave the camp. Be careful and not get beyond our entrenchments. Lord Dunkellin was taken prisoner by a party of Russians just below this.'
"After a refreshing cup of tea, I retired for the night. There had been cheering along the lines in the evening, and we thought it might be a signal for the assault, which was daily expected; and, as you might well imagine, my dreams were filled with sounds of cheers, and charge, and all the excitement of battle. Nor was it all a dream, for the Russians made a sortie upon the trenches, and there was a heavier cannonading than usual that night, which shook the ground and tent around me. In the morning I was aroused early by the notes of the bugle, and beating of the morning drum to order and to arms for their daily drill. The music sounds beautifully through the encampment. The whole camp is soon astir, and formed in line, and as we ride along four miles in front, it presents a brilliant scene, with all the pomp and circumstance of war. We have now reached the extreme left of the English de
VALLEY OF DEATH.
fence, and another officer wishes to accompany us for the purpose of giving us the best possible view of Sebastopol and the entrenchments.' We walk a few steps to a height above the camp, and thence, with a good glass, can look directly into the town, the fortifications, and batteries in front of the walls; and it indeed seems as if the Allies had not made the least impression upon it. As our friends themselves assured us, 'it is stronger now than when they first began the siege, for the Russians have speedily repaired every damage, and have even erected mud batteries outside the walls to fire upon our lines.'
"Now,' said they, 'if you will walk half a mile further in front, we will give you a still nearer view.' So we descended into a deep ravine called 'The Valley of Death,' and here the shot and shell, thirteen inch and twentyfour and fifty-six pounders, lay like hailstones covering the ground, most of which, we were told, had been thrown from the Russian batteries during the first day of the bombardment, but now occasionally one is added to the number,—not a very comfortable announcement. We then ascended the height; and here we could not only see the streets and buildings of the town, and the whole line of fortifications and entrenchments, but also the flash of the evening guns, and could hear the shells whizzing through the air, and bursting around us. The English were firing from their battery a few rods below, and the French had just opened a new battery a short distance to the left; and the Russians were answering their fire from the town. I asked, 'Is it not rather dangerous here?' 'Yes,' said they, 'a chance shot might strike us, or it would not be surprising if the Russians should direct a shell toward us, seeing a little company together with spy-glasses in our
THE FRENCH CAMP.
hands.' We then rode across a large ravine, and came to the French camp. They occupy the extreme left or south side of the town, while the English hold the position to the right and north. The French have advanced much nearer the walls with their trenches than the English, and say they will be the first to make the assault and enter the town, and that they will even go in alone if the English are not ready to join them. From this point we had a fine view of the allied fleet lying off Cape Chersonese, watching the movements of the Russians, though they do not venture to enter the harbour, and risk a hand-to-hand engagement with them.
So I set out alone to cross the valley and ascend the hill; and then I saw another hill beyond, where a still better view might be obtained, and having gained this, I could see the Russian fleet, Fort Constantine, the narrow entrance of the harbour, where they have sunk their ships, the walls and fortifications of the town, with perfect distinctness. Yet I saw another height beyond, still nearer, and was advancing towards it when I suddenly came upon a dead Russian lying beside his horse upon the field, and then another near by-and cannon-balls and shells were now scattered thick around-and the dogs, preying upon the dead horses, began to bark at me-and the battery opened its fire, sending large shells whizzing through the air. Just then, too, I looked down into the ravine below, and saw a suspicious-looking party of men, and all at once it flashed upon me that I had probably gone beyond the English lines. I immediately beat a retreat, and hastened back to the camp, where I related the adventure to my friend. It was wise that I had returned, for, said he, the enemy's advance battery is just
VIEW OF THE ENCAMPMENT.
there, and the Cossacks frequently come over the hill, in reconnoitring parties.
"It is now evening and quite too late to return to-night to Balaklava, seven miles distant. I therefore accepted my friend's kind invitation to spend the night in his tent. We have very plain fare-cold salt pork, hard sea-biscuit, and coffee that is picked green, and roasted, and pounded fine with large stones-and this at the table of a commissioned officer in the English army; yet I relished it well, since it was most heartily given. As it is clear moonlight, I spend an hour in visiting the soldiers in their tents. I found one or more sick and suffering in almost every tent, wrapped in blankets, and lying on the cold, damp ground. They complained of want of warm winter clothing and suitable provisions, having nothing but salt meat and no wood to cook it, stale pilot-biscuit, and green coffee, and no fire to roast it, and no medical attendance whatever; and yet they are obliged to lie out in the trenches at night exposed to the wet and cold, and in constant fear of attack from the enemy. The night before, six had been frozen to death there; and the night before that, the Russians had made a sortie upon them, and bayoneted ten others. 'Our sufferings are very great,' said they, 'but we are ready to meet the Cossacks at any moment, and die for the glory of our country.' I could not but have a great sympathy for the poor, brave fellows. I spoke a kind word of encouragement, and distributed a few Bibles and Testaments to them, which they received with much gratitude and thankfulness of heart.
'As I returned home to my tent, the view of the encampment, stretching for miles along the hillsides and in the valleys around, and the watchfires blazing upon the