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Colin Campbell, Lord Clyde
Chapter IV The Crimea


Soon after his return to England Sir Colin Campbell vacated the command of the Ninety-Eighth and went on half-pay. He had earned a modest competence, and after those long years of campaigning abroad he considered himself at the age of sixty-one entitled to enjoy peaceful repose at home for the rest of his life. But this was not to be; there was still before him much arduous and active service in the field before he went to his final rest.

Kinglake in his War in the Crimea pays Colin Campbell a fine tribute—not less fine, however, than deserved; a passage from which may fittingly be inserted here

“After serving with all this glory for some forty-five years, he returned to England ; hut between the Queen and him stood a dense crowd of families extending further than the eye could reach, and armed with strange precedents which made it out to be right that people who had seen no service should be invested with high command, and that Sir Colin Campbell should be only a colonel. Yet he was of so fine a nature that, although he did not always avoid great bursts of anger, there was no ignoble bitterness in his sense of wrong.

He awaited the time when perhaps he might have high command, and be able to serve his country in a sphere proportioned to his strength. His friends, however, were angry for his sake; and along with their strong devotion to him, there was bred a fierce hatred of a system of military dispensation which could keep in the background a man thus tried and thus known.”

The time was soon to come when such a man as Colin Campbell could no longer be kept in the background. England and France had formed an alliance in defence of Turkey against Russia, and in the end of March, 1854, war was actually declared. English troops had already been despatched to the East; Lord Raglan had been appointed to the command of the expeditionary force, and Sir Colin Campbell had been nominated to a brigade command. He embarked for the East on the 3rd of April accompanied by Major Sterling his brigade-major and Captain Shadwell his aide-de-camp. On the 23rd he reached Constantinople, where on the arrival of Lord Raglan a few days later he was appointed to the Highland Brigade consisting of the Forty-Second, Seventy-Ninth, and Ninety-Third regiments. That brigade and the Guards formed the First Division, of which the Duke of Cambridge had the command. The Highland Brigade was completed in the second week of June by the arrival of the Forty-Second.

Although himself a Highlander, it had never until now fallen to the lot of Colin Campbell to command Highlanders. But he understood the Highland nature, which has its marked peculiarities; and he speedily won the respect and goodwill of the fine soldiers whom he was privileged to command. A thoroughly good understanding soon grew up between him and them; not only was he commanding officer of the brigade; he was also regarded as somewhat in the character of the chief of a clan. He was fortunate in finding in the commanding officer of the Forty-Second, the son of his old chief Sir John Cameron of the Ninth, and not less fortunate in being able to avail himself of Colonel Cameron’s long experience at the head of a Highland regiment in many important details connected with the internal management and economy of the brigade.

In accordance with the scheme of operations agreed upon by the English and French commanders in conference with Omar Pasha at Varna, the allied armies were gradually concentrated about that place and inland therefrom in support of the Turkish army at Schumla. The position at Varna was found unhealthy and the Duke of Cambridge marched his division on to the plateau of Aladyn, where it was visited by Omar Pasha who expressed his great admiration of the magnificent appearance of the Guards and Highlanders paraded for his inspection. But tidings arrived that the Russians had raised the siege of Silistria and recrossed the Danube, and presently the troops of the Tsar withdrew altogether from the Principalities, The object for which the allied armies had been moved into Bulgaria no longer existed; and on July 18th the resolution was taken to make a descent on the Crimea and assail Sevastopol. The preparations for this daring enterprise were at length completed, and the Highland Brigade embarked at Varna on August 29th. Sir Colin sailed in the steam-transport Emu. He was now at length a Major-General after a service of forty-six years and one month; the date of the promotion was July 10th. “This rank,” he remarks philosophically, “has arrived at a period of life when the small additional income which it carries with it is the only circumstance connected with the promotion in which I take any interest.”

The voyage across the Black Sea, the landing on Crimean soil, and the advance to the Alma, are familiar history to every reader. Campbell had given up his journal before the landing, and all that he wrote of his personal experiences in the battle of the Alma is contained in two letters, one to his sister, the other to his friend Colonel Eyre. The former is a mere sketch, alluding to the fine courage exhibited by his young Highlanders and to the circumstance, mentioned with characteristic modesty, that “he was supposed to have made a disposition and an attack of importance which led to results of considerable advantage.” He thus concludes, “I lost my best horse—a noble animal. He was first shot in the hip the ball passing through my sabretasche, and the second ball went right through his body passing through the heart. He sank at once, and Shad well kindly lent me his horse which I immediately mounted.”

The letter to Colonel Eyre is more detailed. “When,” he writes, “ the Light Division was ordered to advance, we (the First Division) followed in close support. My brigade was on the left of the Guards. On the face of the slope immediately in front of the Light Division, the enemy had made a large redoubt protected on each side by artillery on the heights above and on either side, covered on flanks and front by a direct as well as an enfilading fire. This artillery was supported by numerous large masses of troops near their guns, and also by other large masses in rear on the inward slopes of the heights. These heights extended far to the enemy’s right, with a hare slope without hush or tree to afford cover down to the bank of the river, on which we had to form and advance to the attack after crossing.

“The vineyards and garden enclosures in the narrow valley through which the river runs, completely broke the formation of the troops. They crossed necessarily in a disorderly manner; but the left bank being high, I was able to collect my right regiment (the Forty-Second) under its cover. On gaining the top of the bank I observed a large portion of the Light Division advancing to attack the redoubt, which was a good deal to the right of my right regiment I hastened its formation, the other two regiments being still struggling through the difficult bottom from which I had emerged. . . The Forty-Second continued its advance, followed, as I had previously ordered, by the two other regiments (Ninety-Third and Seventy-Ninth) in fchelon, forming in that order as they gained in succession the summit of the left bank of the Alma. On gaining the ascent we found the enemy who had withdrawn from the redoubt, attempting to form on two large masses of troops advancing over the plateau to meet the attack of the Forty-Second. The men were too much blown to charge, so they opened fire while advancing in line, an operation in which I had practised them, and they drove before them in confusion with cheers and a terrible slaughter both masses and the fugitives from the redoubt.

“Before reaching the inner crest of the heights, another heavy mass of troops came forward against the Forty-Second, and this was disposed of in the same manner as the two first we encountered. I halted the regiment on the inner crest of the heights, still firing and killing more of the enemy as they were descending the inner slope, when two large bodies came down from the right of the enemy’s position direct on the left flank of the Forty-Second. Just at this moment the Ninety-Third showed itself coming over the table-land, and attacked these bodies, which did not yield readily. The Ninety-Third, which I had great difficulty in restraining from following the enemy, had only time to inflict great loss, when two bodies of fresh infantry with some cavalry, came boldly forward against the left flank of the Ninety-Third, whereupon the Seventy-Ninth made its appearance over the hill, and went at these troops with cheers, causing them great loss and forcing them away in great confusion. The Guards during these operations were away to my right, quite removed from the scene of this fight which I have described. It was a fight of the Highland Brigade.

“Lord Raglan came up afterwards and sent for me. When I approached him I observed his eyes to fill and his lips and countenance to quiver. He gave me a cordial shake of the hand, but he could not speak. The men cheered very much. I told them I was going on to ask of the Commander-in-Chief a great favour,—that he would permit me to have the honour of wearing the Highland bonnet during the rest of the campaign, which pleased them very greatly, and so ended my part in the fight of the 20th inst. . . . My men behaved nobly. I never saw troops march to battle with greater sangfroid and order than those three Highland regiments. . . . I write on the ground. I have neither stool to sit on nor bed to lie on. I am in capital health, for which I have to be very thankfuL Cholera is rife among us, and carrying off many fine fellows of all ranks!”

This description is not in Kinglake’s style, but in its soldierly curtness it may strike the reader as having the valuable attribute of greater directness and lucidity, and it was written by the man who not only controlled every movement on his own side of the fight on the left of the great redoubt, but also watched with cool, keen eyes every evolution of his adversaries. He had need to be on the alert, if ever man had; for he had to his hand but three battalions, and he had in his front no fewer than twelve Russian battalions each one of which was numerically stronger than any one of his three. Nor were his opponents raw militia or reserve battalions such as confronted Prince Napoleon’s division. The Russian regiments on the British side of the great road, the Vladimir, Sousdal, Kazan, and Ouglitz, constituted the Sixteenth Division, the division d’dite of the Tsar’s troops of the line; that same division which three and twenty years later won for Skobeleff his electrical successes. It was twelve battalions of this historical division against whose massive columns Colin Campbell led his brigade in the old two-deep British line formation with the result he has told in his quiet sober manner. No wonder that Lord Raglan’s eyes filled and his lips and countenance quivered” as, too much moved to speak, he shook the hand of the commander of the Highland Brigade.

“So ended my part in the fight of the 20th inst,,” writes Sir Colin in the soldierly and modest narrative of his share in the victory which he sent home to his friend Eyre. That narrative, lucid though it is, is also almost provokingly curt Fortunately, thanks chiefly to the industry of Kinglake, there exists the material for supplementing and amplifying it. According to that writer during the last of the halts on the march on the morning of the Alma, while the men were lying down in the sunshine, Sir Oolin, the provident soldier of experience, quietly remarked to one of his officers, “This will be a good time for the men to get loose half of their cartridges;” and Kinglake adds that, “when the command travelled along the ranks of the Highlanders, it lit up the faces of the men one after another, assuring them that now at length, and after long experience, they indeed would go into action.”

It does not appear that Colin Campbell ever made any reference to an incident which Kinglake mentions. The brigade of Guards before crossing the river was exposed, it seems, to a fire of artillery, which, as is not uncommon with that arm, struck down some men. There was a tendency to hesitation, when, according to Kinglake, some weak-kneed brother in the shape of an officer of “obscure rank” had the pusillanimity or the impertinence to exclaim, “The brigade of Guards will be destroyed; ought it not to fall back”    “When Sir Colin Campbell heard this saying,” says Kinglake in his high-strung manner, “his blood rose so high that the answer be gave—impassioned and far-resounding—was of a quality to govern events:— ‘It is better, sir, that every man of Her Majesty’s Guards should lie dead on the field than that they should turn their backs upon the enemy!’ Doubts and questionings ceased. The division marched forward.”

Mr. Kinglake owns that he did not himself hear the words; and it is permissible, therefore, to doubt whether they were uttered. They certainly are not in Colin Campbell’s manner. It would have been more like him to express himself in strong and frank vernacular to, or of the officer of “obscure rank” who had evinced a propensity for “falling back.” No doubt he was with the Duke of Cambridge in front of the left of the Coldstreams when the Guards were encountering obstacles among the vineyards before reaching the river. In that position the Highland Brigade would be under his eye. Sir Colin Campbell, a soldier inured to war, certainly was of great service on the advance to the brigade of Guards, scarcely a man of which had ever seen a shot fired in anger. He remained near the Duke of Cambridge until the Guards had crossed the river; and when the Light Division was retreating in disorder on the brigade of Guards he advised His Royal Highness to move the latter somewhat to the left, to avoid the dislocation of his line which otherwise would be occasioned by the rush of fugitives. After the momentary confusion caused by the retreat of the Light Division behind the advancing Guards to reform, the Duke thought it would he well to make a short halt for the purpose of dressing his line, but Sir Colin earnestly desired him to make no such delay but to press forward on the enemy with the initial impulse, and the advice was followed with triumphant result.

It fell to Sir Colin Campbell and his Highland Brigade to protect the left flank of the British army, with three battalions to vanquish and put to flight eight Russian battalions, and to compel the retreat of four more. The arena of this exploit was the slopes and hollows of the Kourganb terrain to the Russian right of the great redoubt from which the British Light Division had been forced to recoil with heavy loss. On the extreme Russian right flank and rear stood three thousand horsemen, and to protect his own left Campbell had given the order to the Seventy-Ninth, the left regiment of his brigade, to go into column. But a little later, when he had ridden forward and so gained a wider scope of view, it became apparent to his experienced eye that he need fear nothing from the stolid array of Russian cavalry on his flank. He therefore recalled his order to the Seventy-Ninth and allowed it to go forward in line. His brigade after crossing the Alma fell into direct khelon of regiments, the Forty-Second on the right being the leading regiment of the three, the Ninety-Third in the centre, and the Seventy-Ninth on the left. Just before the Guards began their advance on the redoubt which the right Vladimir column was still holding, Sir Colin Campbell was in his saddle in front of the left of the Coldstreams talking occasionally with the Duke of Cambridge. When the Guards began their advance Sir Colin also proceeded to act. He discerned that by swiftly moving a battalion up to the crest in front of him, he would be on the flank of the position about the great redoubt where the right Vladimir column was confronting the Guards. This attitude of his would probably compel the retirement of the Vladimirs; if it did not, by wheeling to his right he would strike the flank of the Russian column while the Guards were assailing its front. He had the weapon wherewith to effect this stroke ready to his hand in the Forty-Second, which having crossed the river now stood ranged in line.

Before his brigade had moved from column into line Campbell had spoken a few straightforward soldierly words to his men, the gist of which has been commemorated. “Now, men,” said he, “you are going into action. Remember this : whoever is wounded—no matter what his rank—must he where he falls till the bandsmen come to attend to him. No soldiers must go carrying off wounded comrades. If any man does such a thing his name shall be stuck up in his parish church. The army will be watching you; make me proud of the Highland Brigade I,s And now, when the time had come for action and that rugged slope had to be surmounted, he rode to the head of the “Black Watch” and gave to the regiment the command “Forward, Forty-Second!”

He himself with his staff rode rapidly in advance up to the crest. In his immediate front there lay before him a broad and rather deep depression on the further side of which there faced him the right Kazan column of two battalions, on the left of which was reforming the right Vladimir column whose retreat from the vicinity of the redoubt had been compelled by the pressure of the Guards on front and flank. Both columns had suffered considerably; but assuming their previous losses to have been one-third of their original strength, they1 still numbered three thousand against the eight hundred and thirty of the Forty-Second. And when Campbell looked to his left, he saw on the neck bounding the left of the hollow another and a heavier column consisting of two perfectly fresh battalions of the Sousdal regiment. This last column, however, was stationary, and notwithstanding that the men were out of breath Sir Colin sent the Forty-Second, firing as it advanced, straight across the hollow against the Kazan and Vladimir columns. The regiment had not gone many paces when it was seen that tho left Sousdal column had left the neck and was marching direct on the left flank of the Forty-Second. Campbell immediately halted the regiment and was about to throw back its left wing to deal with the Sousdal advance, when glancing over his left shoulder he saw that the Ninety - Third, his centre battalion, had reached the crest. In its eagerness its formation had become disturbed. Campbell rode to its front, halted and reformed it under fire, and then led it forward against the flank of the Sousdal column. The Forty-Second meanwhile had resumed its advance against the Vladimir and Kazan columns.

Before the onslaughts of the two Scottish regiments the Russian columns were staggering, and their officers had extreme difficulty in compelling their men to retain their formation, when from the upper ground on the left was seen moving down yet another Russian column, —the right Sousdal column—and heading straight for the flank of the Ninety-Third. It was taken in the flagrant offence of daring to march across the front of a battalion advancing in line. At that instant the Seventy-Ninth came bounding forward; after a moment’s halt to dress their ranks, the Cameron men sprang at the flank of the Sousdal column and shattered it by the fierce fire poured into its huddled ranks. And now, the left Sousdal column almost simultaneously discomfited by the Ninety-Third, and the Kazan and Vladimir columns which the “ Black Watch "had assailed being in full retreat, the hill spurs and hollows became thronged by the disordered masses of the enemy. Kinglake brilliantly pictures the culmination of the triumph of the Highlanders:—“Knowing their hearts, and deeming that the time was one when the voice of his people might fitly enough be beard, the Chief touched or half-lifted his hat in the way of a man assenting. Then along the Kourganfc slopes and thence west almost home to the Causeway, the hillsides were made to resound with that joyous assuring cry which is the natural utterance of a northern people so long as it is warlike and free.” It is curious that nowhere in his vivid description of the part taken by the Highland Brigade in the achievement of the victory of the Alma, does Kinglake make any mention of the bagpipes. It is certain that they were in full blast during the advance of the regiments and throughout the fighting, and their shrill strains must have astonished the Russians not less than did the waving tartans and nodding plumes of the Highlanders.

Sir Colin, careful ever in the midst of victory, halted his brigade on the ground it had already won, for his supports were yet distant; and mindful of his situation as the guardian of the left of the army, he showed a front to the south-east as well as to the east. The great Ouglitz column, four thousand strong and still untouched, remained over against the halted British brigade. Chafing at the defeat of its comrades, it moved down from its height, striving to hinder their retreat and force them back into action. But the Ouglitz column itself had in its turn to withdraw from under the fire of the Highland Brigade, and to accept the less adventurous task of covering .the retreat of its vanquished fellow-columns.

After the flank march to the south side of Sevastopol the allied forces took possession of the Chersonese upland, and the Highland Brigade, leaving the Ninety-Third at Balaclava, encamped with the Guards in rear of the Light Division. Lord Raglan was solicitous regarding the port of Balaclava which had become the British base of operations, and measures had already been set on foot to protect it by a series of batteries and fieldworks. On the 16th of October Sir Colin was assigned by the Commander-in-Chief to the command of the troops and defences covering the port, and he promptly undertook the important and responsible duty of protecting the rear of the army. The inner defences of Balaclava consisted of a series of batteries connected by a continuous trench extending from the sea eastward of the port round the landward face of the heights to the chapel of St. Elias near the road from Balaclava to the Traktir bridge. This line of batteries and trench was held by some twelve hundred marines landed from the fleet with a weak detachment of marine artillery. About Kadikoi, on the low ground at the head of the gorge leading down to Balaclava, were several batteries, and in front of that village was the camp of the Ninety-Third Highlanders -with Barker’s field-battery on its flank. The exterior line of defence consisted of a chain of redoubts on the low ridge dividing the southern or inner plain from the exterior or northern valley, along which on the 25th of October the British light cavalry brigade was to make its memorable charge. Those redoubts, which were still unfinished on the day of the battle, were very weak. They were garrisoned by Turks, and their armament consisted of but nine guns in all. It was to the assault of those poor redoubts that Liprandi’s field army, some twenty-four thousand strong, advanced across the Tchernaya at daybreak of the 25th. Doubtless the Russian general had ulterior designs, comprising the discomfiture of Campbell’s Highlanders and an attempt against Balaclava.

Riding with Lord Lucan in the early morning of the day of Balaclava, Sir Colin Campbell witnessed the advance of the Russian columns, and it was by his advice that the cavalry chief refrained from taking the offensive. One after another of the four easternmost redoubts fell into Russian possession. The Turks garrisoning No. 1 made a gallant and stubborn defence; but they were only six hundred against eleven battalions with thirty guns, and after losing one-fourth of their number they fled towards Balaclava followed by the garrisons of the other redoubts. The Turks rallied for a time on either flank of the Ninety-Third, which stood drawn up in line in front of the knoll before Kadikoi. Sir Colin’s active share in the further proceedings of the day was soon over. He sums it up in a few sentences of his official report:—“When the enemy had taken possession of the redoubts, their artillery advanced with a mass of cavalry and their guns ranged. The Ninety-Third Highlanders, with one hundred invalids under Colonel Daveney, occupied, very inefficiently from the smallness of their numbers, the slightly rising ground in front of No. 4 battery. As I found that round shot and shell began to cause casualties among the Ninety-Third and the Turkish battalions on their right and left flanks, I made them retire a few paces behind the crest of the hillock. During this period our batteries on the heights manned by the Royal and Marine artillerymen made excellent practice on the enemy’s cavalry' which came over the hill in our front. One body of that cavalry, amounting to about four hundred, turned to their left, separating themselves from those who attacked Lord Lucan’s division, and charged the Ninety-Third, who immediately advanced to the crest of the hill on which they stood and opened their fire, forcing the Russian cavalry to turn to their left; after which the latter made an attempt to turn the right flank of the Ninety-Third on observing the flight of the Turks who had been posted there. Upon this the grenadiers of the Ninety-Third under Captain Ross were wheeled up to their right and fired upon the enemy, and by this manoeuvre entirely discomfited them.” The. erratic charge upon him of four Russian squadrons gave the old infantry commander very little concern. That approach he confronted calmly in line, —the “thin red streak tipped with a line of steel” which a brilliant phrase-maker has made historical. When it was a subject of remark in his presence that the Ninety-Third never altered its formation to receive the Russian cavalry in a period when the square was the approved formation in which to meet an onslaught of horse, he said in his genial way, “No—I did not think it worth while to form them even four deep.” His concern was in the fact that his regiment was the only infantry body on the British side in the field, while the Russian chief was the master of many battalions.

Those six companies of kilted men, with a few guns, were the sole protection of the port the possession of which alone enabled the British army to remain in the Crimea It was in the consciousness of a momentous responsibility that, as he rode along the face of his noble regiment, he judged it wise to impart to the men the gravity of the occasion. “Remember," said he, “there is no retreat from here, men! You must die where you stand!” The cheery answer must have gone to his heart—“Aye, aye, Sir Colin; we’ll do thatI”

There were a great many young soldiers in the ranks of the Ninety-Third, and it needed to be controlled with a firm hand. As the Russian squadron approached, the impetuous youngsters of the regiment, stirred by their northern blood, evinced a propensity to break ranks and rush forward to meet the Muscovite sabres with the British bayonet; but, in the words of Kinglake, “In a moment Sir Colin was heard shouting fiercely, ‘Ninety-Third, Ninety-Third! damn all that eagerness!’” and the angry voice of the old soldier quickly steadied the line.

The main mass of the Russian cavalry, from which the four squadrons which were repulsed by the Ninety-Third had detached themselves, rode up the north valley until it was abreast of the abandoned redoubt No. 4, when it inclined to its left, crossed the low ridge and moved down the gentle hither slope falling into the inner valley. It was there met by the charge of the British heavy cavalry brigade; and during the short hut warm encounter Barker’s battery, at Sir Colin’s order, opened fire with round shot on the Russian centre and rear, The Ninety-Third watched with keen rapture their fellow-countrymen of the Scots Greys slashing their way through the graycoated mass of Russian troopers; and when the enemy’s column wavered, broke, and then fled in disorder, Scarlett’s victorious troopers were greeted from afar by the ringing cheers of the delighted Highlanders. When the brigade had completed its triumph, Sir Colin Campbell came galloping up to offer his congratulations. As he approached the Greys he uncovered and spoke to the regiment. “Greys! gallant Greys!” he exclaimed, “I am sixty-one years old, and if I were young again I should be proud to be in your ranks.” Sir Colin does not appear to have seen anything of the subsequent charge made by Cardigan at the head of the light cavalry brigade, which was made down the north or outer valley, on the further side of the ridge on the crest of which were the abandoned redoubts.

In the afternoon the troops which had moved down from the plateau in the morning returned to their camps, but the Forty-Second and Seventy-Ninth passed again under the command of their own brigade commander. The contiguity of the enemy’s forces in such great strength made very welcome the accession to Sir Colin’s scanty means of defence. During this critical night the Forty-Second and Seventy-Ninth held the ground between the Ninety-Third camp and "the foot of the Marine heights, and Vinoy’s French brigade was sent to the high ground overlooking the Kadikoi gorge to strengthen Sir Colin in the defence of his position. He was so apprehensive of a night attack that he placed the Ninety-Third in No. 4 battery, half the men posted behind the parapet, the other half lying down with their loaded rifles by their sides. He himself was on the alert throughout the night, moving about among the men; his anxiety was great, for he was not aware of the distaste of the Russians for night attacks. Amidst his cares it was pleasant to receive and promulgate the following general order complimenting himself and the Ninety-Third on their conduct on the 25th: “The Commander of the forces feels deeply indebted to Major-General Sir Colin Campbell for his able and persevering exertions in the action of the 25th; and he has great pleasure in publishing to the army the brilliant manner in which the Ninety-Third Highlanders under his able directions repulsed the enemy’s cavalry.”

For weeks, while the Russians were so close, Sir Colin never relaxed his activity and vigilance. Not for an hour did he leave the position. He was awake and about all night and' the little sleep he took was by snatches in the daytime. By constant industry and with many devices he laboured to strengthen and improve his defences. The first relief from toil and anxiety which he experienced was when on December 5th the Russian field-army withdrew across the Tcher-naya to Tchorgoum. “Then,” writes Shadwell, “that night for the first time Sir Colin lay down with his clothes off in the house; but even with a roof over his head h'e was restless; and such was the tension of his nervous system from the continuous strain of long weeks of anxious watching, that an officer who shared his room was startled in the middle of the night by his chief jumping up and shouting, ‘ Stand to your arms!’” Towards the end of December the Seventy-First Highlanders arrived and joined his command, and on Christmas Day he received the notification of his appointment to the colonelcy of the Sixty - Seventh regiment.

Towards the end of January, 1855, Sir Colin was able to have nearly all his troops hutted. Before the end of the first week in February the whole brigade was comfortably in huts; and he was able to spare daily large fatigue-parties for the carriage of shot and shell to the front. An experience he underwent on February 20th illustrates the risks and vicissitudes attending an attempt to effect a combined movement in the darkness of a winter night. Sir Colin had received instructions to support, with four infantry regiments and a force of artillery and cavalry, the movement of a considerable body of French troops under General Bosquet, with the object of surprising the Russian troops on the right bank of the Tchernaya behind the Traktir bridge. It was a bitter night of snow and frost, but the English details duly rendezvoused and marched to the named point without seeing anything of Bosquet’s people. Sir Colin covered the bridge and left bank with a couple of battalions, holding the rest in reserve; his troops were in position before daybreak. He was not entitled to take the offensive save in combination with the French, of whom there was no appearance. The Russians as day broke were seen taking up positions, but they remained on the defensive. Sir Colin stood fast until 8.30 A.M. expecting the arrival of Bosquet; then, concluding tbat the expedition had been countermanded, he prepared to return. His conjecture was correct; a countermand had been despatched which had duly reached Bosquet, but the messenger charged with the countermand for Campbell had lost his way and did not arrive. As the British force was about retiring the French general Yinoy appeared with his brigade. He had learnt at daybreak that no countermand had reached Kadikoi, whereupon the gallant Frenchman, unsolicited and on his own responsibility, hurried with his brigade to support bis English comrade who, isolated as he was and with an overwhelmingly strong force in his front, might well have found himself in difficulties. Vinoy’s kindly and helpful action was heartily appreciated by Sir Colin’s soldiers.

In the end of February the brigade of Guards came down to Balaclava from the front, and Sir Colin, who had succeeded the Duke of Cambridge in the command of the First Division, now had the whole of it under him. By steadfast labour and attention he had very materially increased and developed the strength and scope of the Balaclava lines. When he contrasted the existing with the early state of the position, he frankly owned that for a great part of the time he “ had held the lines by sheer impudence.” In May he experienced a great mortification in not being allowed to accompany, on the expedition to Kertch, bis Highland Brigade and other details of his original Balaclava command. Lord Raglan tried to pay him a compliment by explaining that he could not be spared from the position which he had guarded so long and so well; but Campbell felt the disappointment deeply, nor was it mitigated when a newly-arrived Highland regiment with detachments for the Brigade was sent off to join the Kertch expedition. On its return the First Division, now again reunited under his command, moved up to the front in the middle of June. It was in reserve and not engaged in the unsuccessful assault on the Eedan on June 18th; and thenceforth for a time it took its regular term of duty in the trenches. But Sir Colin was soon to undergo another disappointment. He had heen cherishing the hope that the division, which was in full efficacy and high morale, would take a prominent part in the final assault on Sevastopol, and he had prepared a scheme of operations in case the conduct of the assault should he committed to him. But he had now to endure the disruption of his command. The Highland Brigade was withdrawn from the First Division and formed into a separate division, the complement of which was to he made up "by the addition of other Scottish regiments. The nucleus of the new Highland Division, consisting of the Forty-Second, Seventy-Second, Seventy-Ninth, and Ninety-Third regiments, was sent down to Kamara in support of the Sardinians, and remained there until September when it returned to the front to serve as a reserve to the troops taking part in the final assault. The British assault on the Eedan unfortunately failed, and Sir Colin took up the defence of the trenches with his Highland regiments on the withdrawal of the troops employed in the abortive affair. The same evening he was desired by the Commander-in-Chief to hold himself in readiness to make a renewed assault on the Eedan with his Highlanders on the following day. But during the night the Eussians -withdrew to the north side. A patrol of the Ninety-Third entered the Eedan at midnight and found it abandoned. The long siege was over, and Sevastopol had fallen at last.

Sir Colin Campbell was a man who could admire a brave and skilful enemy. He wrote: “The Russians, it must he acknowledged, made a noble defence; and surely never was a retreat from an untenable position so wonderfully well-managed, carried out as it was in the face of a powerful enemy and without any loss whatever, while the withdrawal of the troops from their defences through the town and across a single bridge was being effected. I cannot conceive anything more perfect and complete in every detail than the manner in which they accomplished the withdrawal from Sevastopol and the transport of their troops across the harbour. . , , While they fired all the other magazines along the line of their defences, they did not touch those in the Great Redan—an act of great humanity, for the whole of our wounded who remained in the ditch and our trenches would have been destroyed. Indeed, before the Russians left the Redan some of our wounded were carefully dressed by them and placed in safety from the fire of our own shells.”

Campbell’s position in the Crimea had become exceedingly uncomfortable. Before the final assault General Simpson had informed him that he was desired by Lord Panmure to offer him the Malta command, an offer which appeared an indirect attempt to remove him from the army. Later he became by virtue of seniority second in command, and it was known that Simpson was about to vacate the chief command. The tone of the press was emphatic in favour of the employment of a younger man in that position, and the Government followed the lead of the journals. Sir Colin could not hut realise that his presence with the army in the Crimea was no longer desired by the War Minister. Having seen the Highland Division comfortably hutted for the winter during which no active operations in the field would be possible, he took farewell of his troops and sailed for England on November 3rd. Three days later was announced Sir William Codrington’s nomination to the chief command; and with that despatch came a letter from Lord Pan-mure to Sir Colin, the contents of which he did not learn until he visited his lordship on his arrival in London on November 17th. This letter, in Campbell’s own words, “ contained an appeal to my patriotism of the strongest nature, to induce me to accept a command under Codrington.” To his old friend Lord Hardinge, now Commander-in-Chief, Campbell frankly said that he had come home to tender his resignation. “But,” he added, “if her Majesty should ask me to place myself under a junior officer, I could not resist any request of hers.” He was promptly commanded to Windsor; and, to quote General Shadwell, “the gracious reception accorded to him by the Queen and the Prince Consort struck a responsive chord in Sir Colin’s heart. It completely dispelled all angry feeling from his mind, and in a true spirit of loyalty he expressed to her Majesty his readiness to return to the Crimea and ‘to serve under a corporal if she wished it/ ” At the Queen’s request he sat for his photograph, and by her Majesty’s special desire, “the gallant and amiable old soldier was asked to have it taken in the uniform he wore at the Alma and at Balaclava.”

On his way back to the Crimea he visited Paris where he was presented to the Emperor and Empress, and where to his great joy he found his genial Crimean friend General Vinoy. When he returned to the Crimea he found that the division of the army into two army corps, the Government’s intention to carry out which scheme Lord Panmure’s letter had intimated to him and to take the command of one of which it was that he had returned to the East, had not been effected, and that Sir William Codrington did not intend to carry out the arrangement until immediately before the army should take the field. The Highland Division was placed under him with the understanding that it should contribute the nucleus of an army corps to be formed later if hostilities were to be prosecuted. He quartered himself at Kamara with his division, resolved, as he wrote—“to accommodate himself to all that might happen, and that nothing should disturb the cordiality which ought to exist between himself and the commander under whose orders he was to serve.” He had not long to practise patience. By the end of February, 1856, an armistice was arranged and in the beginning of April peace was proclaimed. Before finally leaving the Crimea Sir Colin assembled the regiments of the original Highland Brigade that he might take farewell of the soldiers who had served under him since the beginning of the war. He was not much of an orator, but when he was moved he could be eloquent in language which went right to the hearts of soldiers. His farewell was uttered in the following words worthy alike of him and of them.

“Soldiers of the Forty-Second, Seventy-Ninth, and Ninety-Third!—old Highland Brigade with whom I passed the early and perilous part of this war, I have now to take leave of you. In a few hours I shall be on board ship, never to see you again as a body. A long farewell! I am now old and shall not be called to serve any more; and nothing will remain to me hut the memory of my campaigns, and the memory too, of the enduring, hardy, generous soldiers with whom I have been associated, and whose name and glory will long be kept alive in the hearts of our countrymen. When you go home, as you gradually fulfil your term of service, each to his family and his cottage, you will tell the story of your immortal advance in that victorious ichelon up the heights of Alma, and may speak of the old brigadier who led you, and who loved you so well. Your children and your children’s children will repeat the tale to other generations, when only a few lines of history will remain to record all the enthusiasm and discipline which have borne you so stoutly to the end of this war. Our native land will never forget the name of the Highland Brigade, and in some future war the nation will call for another one to equal this, which it never can surpass. Though I shall he gone, the thought of you will go with me wherever I may be, and cheer my old age with a glorious recollection of dangers confronted and hardships endured. The bagpipes will never sound near me without carrying me back to those bright days when I was at your head and wore the bonnet which you gained for me, and the honourable decorations on my breast, many of which I owe to your conduct. Brave soldiers, kind comrades, farewell! ”

This address, delivered with much feeling, was received with manifest emotion by the troops, who regarded as final the separation from the chief they had learned to regard with affection. They did not know that the farewell was to be but temporary, and that ere long the three regiments would be under his command in another continent, ready there to display the same soldierly virtues which had already earned them the gratitude of their chief and countrymen.

In the summer of 1856 Sir Colin was appointed to the post of Inspector-General of Infantry in succession to the Duke of Cambridge, who became Commander-in-Chief of the army on the resignation of Lord Hardinge. In December of that year he was sent to Berlin as the representative of her Majesty, on the errand of presenting to his Royal Highness the Prince of Prussia (afterwards the Emperor William the First) the insignia of the military Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath. During the first half of 1857 he was actively engaged in the official duties of his important position. Beginning with the depots in the south of England, he then spent some time in his inspections in Ireland, whence he visited Scotland and returned to London in the beginning of June. How retentive was his memory for faces, names, and events, is illustrated by the following incident told on the authority of the gentleman to whom Sir Colin related it “While,” said Campbell, “I was inspecting the depot at Chichester, I noticed that an old man, evidently an old soldier though in plain clothes, was constantly on the ground and apparently watching my movements. As I was leaving the barrack-yard at the end of the inspection, he came towards me, drew himself up, made the military salute, and with much respect said, ‘Sir Colin, may I speak to you! Look at me, sir! do you recollect me I5 I looked at him and replied, ‘Yes, I do.’ ‘What is my name?’ he asked. I told him. ‘Yes, sir and where did you last see me?’ ‘In the breach of San Sebastian, I replied, ‘ badly wounded by my side,’ ‘Right, sir!’ answered the old soldier. ‘I can tell you something more,’ I added—‘you were No. — in the front rank of my company.’ ‘ Right, sir! ’ said the veteran. I was putting my hand into my pocket to make the old man a present, when he stepped forward, laid his hand on my wrist, and said:—‘No, sir; that is not what I want; but you will be going to Shorncliffe to inspect the depot there. I have a son in the Inniskillings quartered at that station, and if you will call him out and tell him that you knew his father, that is what I should wish.’ ”

The anecdote is a typical sample of the kindly and self-respecting relations of the men of the old army with their officers, before the era of short service set in. When Colin Campbell commanded the Ninety-Eighth he knew the face, name, and character of every man in the regiment. When he was Commander-in-Chief in India, which position he was now immediately to attain, he could recognise by name all the Crimean men of his favourite regiment the Ninety-Third Highlanders.


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