*CRIMEE. 13 L.A.S. of Second Staff Lieutenant Hippolyte DELPHIN, Camp de Traktir November 1855-April 1856, to his mother; 54 pages in-8.
The correspondence begins a few weeks after the fall of SEBASTOPOL and some time before the armistice and the Treaty of Paris which will end the war. The fighting having ceased almost immediately after the occupation of Kinbourn and Ochakov in October, the officer, based with his division at the Traktir camp, waits for the armistice; some fighting still takes place here and there. He thanks his mother for her shipments of supplies and provisions which add to his comfort. November 26, 1855. "We must occupy all this winter ... I have the whole inside of my tent dug out, and then a little wall will be built around it, so that I will be admirably protected from the cold. I'll have a little fireplace. The climate in the Crimea is excellent; "As for the war, it is out of the question at this time. It is generally thought, and in all good things, that we shall remain here until spring, and then we shall go elsewhere. The British would go to war in Asia, and we would return to Turkey... The Russians are "more civilized than is often thought"; two French prisoners were invited to dinner at Prince Gorschakoff's headquarters... December 10. On the morning of the 8th, the Russians, deceived by false reports, attacked with 4000 men the 7th of the Chasseurs, but lost the battle... December 31st. Calm continues to reign in the camp. "On our left is Sevastopol, whose northern part is still firing, sometimes softly, sometimes violently. The docks and barracks will soon be blown up, and then there will be nothing left of this unfortunate city "... January 20, 1856. He accompanied the general and the aide-de-camp of MAC-MAHON to Sevastopol: "We thus visited the Green Nipple, Malakoff, the curtain, little Redan, and big Redan. ...one wonders how we could have taken some of these works. ... It is prodigious and gigantic"... The Russians fired cannon shots at them... January 27th. A ship announced that Russia had accepted the peace agreement with the Western powers; news welcomed by the Army of the East... " The docks at Sevastopol have been hastily blown up and the Russians continue to abuse their artillery, but still without causing us any appreciable harm"... 3 February. "We are not moving, we remain on the alert, because here and until further notice, the war is still going on - fortunately it is not very worrying "... 10 February. The thaw came suddenly, causing flooding in the dug-out tents... 27 February, waiting for the armistice: "We are so close to the Russians that a collision could break out any day now, if we don't remove the possibility of it"... 18 March. When the armistice was over, he visited Sevastopol: "The small river of the Chernaya which serves as a limit to the two armies on part of the line offers the most curious spectacle. Each bank is populated by allied soldiers and Russians, and there are politeness, or exchanges, such as pipes, tobacco, jokes, memories. They are very keen to have coins bearing the effigy of the Emperor", sometimes in exchange for the little cross they wear around their necks... 24 March. On the so-called spring races, in the Chernaya valley, "a unique spectacle" bringing together the three armies... April 14. In the end, there would be no occupation in Turkey: "In the meantime, the evacuation has begun. The troops of Eupatoria, [...] of Kinburn are already embarked as well as the men of the 1848 and 1849 classes who are liberated - all this forms a force of about 20,000 men who are sailing towards France at the present time "... 3 letters to him are attached. Plus the translation of another letter.
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