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aside, and groups of oaks so dense that sidelong red-tiled roofs amongst them seem to be ploughing their way through a turbulent green sea. That is Beanfield, that is its appearance as you look at it from here, a stranger; but when
you have lived in it, you are scarcely able to look
upon it as one place, one thing. If you consider it in respect to its name, you remember how in its earliest records it is called Bon-field, because, as the antiquary of a later time observes, all the land in the neighbourhood was originally devoted to pious uses and the sustenance of a fair abbey; and a few centuries later, Bone-field, because, as the antiquary of a later time observes, it was the scene of a sharp conflict between the adherents of the Red and White Roses; then, finally, Bean-field, because, as the modern local antiquary asserts, it had to supply so many measures of beans to the followers of the sovereigns when they passed through it in the course of their royal progresses. And its name brings to your mind its charities, which lie like a benediction on most of the lands in the neighbourhood, so that there are few hay-stacks or corn-ricks for miles around which bear not about them a memorial of the beneficence of London merchants three and four centuries ago. The rent of that fine . mansion on the right supports eight decrepid old women in comfort, and the loppings and toppings of that piece of coppice beyond have apprenticed out, since they were first devoted to that purpose, many score of little orphan urchins.
Dear Beanfield! there are thoughts and memories connected with the half-year which I have spent amidst your quaint beauty and gentle stillDess, which I love to recal daily, although the least of them is a pain !
OMER PASHA'S CAMPAIGN.* Omer Pasha, who had found Mustapha Pasha's troops at Batum, reported to be twelve thousand strong, to consist of only about three hundred effective men, and who had laboured in vain to obtain reinforcements from the Crimea, landed at Suchum Kalah on the morning of the 3rd of October, quite unable to calculate what the numerical strength of his army was likely to be, or when they would be in a fit state to move. His first step was to commit Prince Michael, whose sympathies were decidedly Russian, by appointing him governor of Suchum, under his Mussulman name of Hamid Bey. Political communications were also opened with the Circassians. Explorations were made of the country around, as far as prudence would permit
. The mouth of the Ingur was also examined by the boats of the Cyclops and La Vigie. At the same time troops were being landed from the Crimea with great rapidity ; the Great Britain alone disgorged eighteen hundred men. Sebastopol had fallen, and twenty thousand
men joined within a fortnight. The avant-garde of the army of Mingrelia was soon pushed on to Shem-sarai, Prince Michael's “ sun
* The Trans-Caucasian Campaign of the Turkish Army under Omer Pasha: A Personal Narrative. By Laurence Oliphant. William Blackwood and Sons.
palace," and Sugdidi. On the 10th of October Omer Pasha himself started at the head of five thousand men, and two batteries of artillery ; and Mr. Oliphant joined the advance guard, at that time encamped within three hours' march of the Ingur, on the 30th of October. The road about seven miles from Shem-sarai crossed the Godova river, and then left the coast. The country was at first flat, but for the most part covered with a dense forest, with frequent swamps.
I found myself surrounded by a miscellaneous concourse, straggling by devious paths through the tangled underwood, or ploughing their way through the deep mud. There were infantry and cavalry in long lines winding between the magnificent oak and beech trees of which the forest is composed-Abkhasians on wiry ponies dodging in and out, and getting past every body—mules and pack-horses, in awkward predicaments, stopping up the road, on whose devoted beads were showered an immense variety of oaths by their drivers, who, in their turn, were sworn at by the rest of the world. There were some batteries of artillery, which looked so hopelessly imbedded that nothing short of British energy, as impersonated in Colonel Caddell
, who commanded, could have extricated them. There were broken-down baggage-waggons and broken-down mules, and everything but broken-down men. Here and there a pasha was squatted by the roadside indulging in his nargilhe, enjoying his “ kiel," and watching placidly the exertions of his troops.
Passing a pretty village perched upon the river-bank, where the peasants were grouped by the roadside selling Indian-corn cobs, and cakes made of the same grain, or of millet, to the passers-by, the road became more open and dry, and the occasional ravines were roughly bridged.. Mr. Oliphant found the advance guard encamped in a large plain near the village of Ertiscal, about twenty miles distant from Shem-sarai. It consisted of sixteen battalions of infantry and three battalions of Rifles. The Rifles, about two thousand strong, were considered to be the crack troops of the Turkish army, and they were commanded by an Englishman-Colonel Ballard.
On the following morning two battalions of Rifles led the way to the Ingur, followed by about six thousand infantry and artillery, the whole being under the command of Abdi Pasha. The main body of these troops halted at about an hour's distance from the river, while the Rifles, with two field-pieces and two battalions of infantry, took up a position on a large plain, separated from the river by a belt of wood about half a mile in width. The same afternoon Mr. Oliphant accompanied Colonels Simmons and Ballard down to the banks of the river, to have a first glimpse of the Russians. They penetrated by devious little woodcutters' paths to the river's edge, where, concealed by the thiek underwood, they could observe at their leisure the heads of the soldiers above the stockades, and here and there the gleam of a bayonet in the thick wood behind.
Mr. Oliphant was made of use to take drawings of the river and of the opposite bank. The river was at this point divided by a narrow stony island into two branches, each about thirty yards broad. The opposite bank was densely wooded, and trees had been felled and interlaced with those which were standing, in such a way as to form a most formidablelooking stockade for more than a mile. In the course of the day Ballard appeared with two companies of Rifles for a little practice, upon which occasion a poor little boy, about ten years old, a nephew of Prinee
Michael's, and dressed in the brilliant and picturesque costume of Abkhasian beys, received a ball in the leg.
My first experience of life in the Turkish camp (Mr. Oliphant relates) was most agreeable. The weather for a month past had been cloudless, and the days bright and sunny, but never in the least oppressive—the nights clear and frosty. Our tents were pitched at the edge of the wood, and the thick tendrils of a vine hanging from one tree to another at the door of mine, formed, with the aid of a blanket, a pleasant swing. Having so lately started, we were well supplied with luxuries, and provisions were purchasable in the neighbouring villages. But recomoitring was more interesting work than foraging, and next day I made another expedition, accompanied by some riflemen, to the river.
This time the enemy were on the alert. Whenever a speck of red was discerned, a shower of bullets informed them of the fact; so they put their Fez caps in their pockets, and crawled about as if they were deer-stalking. The most exciting operation was getting from one clump of bushes to another, when they were separated by the sandy bed of the river, and completely exposed to observation. "After several narrow escapes and with no small difficulty, Mr. Oliphant was fortunate enough to find the ford. Omer Pasha arrived himself next morning, and determined to erect two batteries upon points which commanded it. It is not a little illustrative of the part which a handful of Englishmen played in this episode, that no engineer officers being forthcoming from among the Turks, Colonel Simmons was obliged to give Mr. Oliphant a lesson in battery making, and sent him to Skender Pasha to get the men and gabions necessary for one battery, while he superintended the construction of the other. Skender Pasha contributed not only a working party of two hundred men, but, a regiment of infantry and two field-pieces, “ a command with which,” Mr. Oliphant amusingly relates,
“considerably astonished and overwhelmed.” Off, however, he marched, and half an hour afterwards was, with his men, silently and vigorously at work on the bank of the river, within about a hundred yards of the Russian sentries.
We had almost filled our front row of gabions when the Turkish major whispered that he saw the Russians coming down to the river in force. This was a most startling announcement. I certainly saw, through the darkness, three black lines drawn up upon the opposite shore. As my experience in military matters was exactly that of most other Lincoln's-Inn barristers, and my knowledge of Turkish did not include a single word of command, the thought of the two field-pieces and the regiment of infantry began rather to trouble me --more particularly as the artillery officer suggested something that I did not in the least understand. However, I peremptorily ordered him not, and discovered, to my intense relief, on looking through my opera-glass, that the Russians were, in fact, three rows of logs, which successive floods had stranded upon the bank.
Every nerve was strained, every sinew braced, to complete the batteries before dawn should disclose them to a lynx-eyed enemy. The men worked like ants, without the glimmer of a torch to light, or even the spark of a pipe to cheer them. The guns were not put in until the following night. During the day nothing could be done ; it was a period of perfect repose, and Mr. Oliphant spent it partly in the company of the old Pole, Skender Pasha (abbreviation of ÍskundarAlexander), who assured him he had eighteen serious wounds, not
counting the loss of some fingers, and others of a light and trivial nature. “ There certainly was,” Mr. Oliphant states, “a hole in his head, which looked as if nobody who was not accustomed to being seriously wounded could have received it and lived." The rest of the time was spent in his vine swing, with a presentiment that it was only the lull which precedes the storm. The whole army had now come up. Upon a hill commanding the river, about half a mile to the left, one battalion of Rifles, some infantry and artillery, were placed. On the right was the division of Skender Pasha, while about a mile to the right rear of him, Omer Pasha, with the main body of the army, was encamped. It consisted altogether of four brigades (thirty-two battalions) of infantry, four battalions of Rifles, and one thousand cavalry, with twenty-seven field-pieces and ten mountain-guns, or, in all, about twenty thousand
The remainder of the force, about ten thousand men, were employed protecting the depôts which had been established at Godova, Shem-sarai, and Suchum.
The whole army, with the exception of Skender Pasha's division, consisting of about fifteen thousand men, was under arms before dawn upon the morning of the 6th of November, and was marched off in a westerly direction, to cross the river by a ford lower down. “ It was a lovely morning," Mr. Oliphant relates, “and as I accompanied the army in its march across the charming country- now through noble forests, now over plains dotted with magnificent timber, past picturesque villages and Indian-corn fields, where the peasants collected to see us, and listened wonderingly to the stirring strains of each regiment as it marched past
I thought I had never enjoyed a morning ride more thoroughly, for with the charms of this novel and inspiriting scene was combined the impatient excitement of anticipation.'
At last, after marching for about seven miles, the troops debouched upon a plain near the river, and Omer Pasha and his staff drew up to inspect them for the last tinie before they crossed. Then he sent forward Colonel Ballard in command of the advanced guard, composed of three battalions and a half of Rifles and four guns, to lead the way across a branch of the river to a long, narrow island, near the other extremity of which a ford was stated to exist. The island was covered with a thick copse-wood, through which they pursued a narrow path, throwing out skirmishers on both sides. The main body of the army followed at no great distance in rear.
After having proceeeded through the wood for about two miles, they entered a plain at mid-day, and were immediately and unexpectedly greeted by a pretty sharp fire of musketry and a few round shot. The latter proceeded from a battery about six hundred yards distant, upon the opposite side of the river; the former from a wood immediately facing them, at the other end of the plain, about a hundred yards distant. The Rifles crossing this open ground with great rapidity, the wood was obtained possession of without difficulty; but unluckily the ford beyond was sought for in vain by Colonel Ballard and Mr. Longworth. Under these circumstances, nothing remained to be done, as far as Ballard was concerned, but to take advantage of every bush and stump at the water's edge, and fire away at the embrasures, which was done with the best effect, although not without great loss from the tremendous fire kept up
from the battery. One or two incidents occurred at this period worthy of being related. Colonel Caddell had dismounted, and was holding his horse and talking to a pasha, when a round shot came between them, went through his horse, killed his interpreter, and hopped into the ranks of a regiment in rear, doing a good deal of mischief, and finally disappeared down the bank, followed by the pasha, “whom,” Mr. Oliphant says, naïvely enough, “ I did not again observe on the field.” Another was a gallant old Turk, near seventy years of age, whose bravery as an officer, Mr. Oliphant says, would have distinguished him anywhere, but made him a positive curiosity in the Turkish army, and who, dashing into the wood with cheers of Allah ! to Ballard's astonishment, passed over the almost prostrate forms of his skilful riflemen, and drew in line on the river-bank outside the wood. It was not until they had fired a volley into the battery, and were beginning to feel the effect of their unprotected position, that Ballard could induce the old colonel to retire into the wood, and make him understand that it was his duty, under the circumstances, to conceal, and not expose
his It was drawing towards evening before Osman Pasha led his division by a second and third island, separated from the opposite shore by a narrow, but deep and swift stream, across which the troops made their way, driving the Russians before them, with a loss in killed and wounded of about a hundred and fifty men. At or about the same time, Colonel Simmons had succeeded in leading two battalions of infantry and three companies of Rifles across the river, at a higher point, so as to take the battery in reverse. After crossing a wood, with ditch and abattis beyond, this little column found itself close to the battery, and in the brief but hot struggle which ensued, the Turks lost about fifty men in killed and wounded, and Captain Dymock fell in the act of leading them on to the assault. One Hidaiot, a Pole, who could speak Russian, and who had acted as interpreter to Dymock, took his place, and making his voice heard above the din of battle, “ My children,” he called out to the Russian soldiers, who were hemming in the small band on all sides, “Ay; my children, you are surrounded-whole regiments of these infidels are coming through the wood.” The Russians, it appears, took the hint, for in another moment the battery was deserted ; and touching the guns with his sword, as a sign that he was their captor, this brave fellow returned to attend upon poor Dymock, who breathed his last in his arms. For his gallant conduct upon this occasion Hidaiot was made a major in the army, and received the order of the Mejidie.
Thus terminated the battle of the Ingur, at which the Russian force which opposed the passage of the Turks is said to have consisted of eight battalions of infantry (about five thousand men), three thousand Georgian militia, eight guns, and seven thousand volunteers, who are said, however, to have vanished into the woods as soon as they heard the first round-shot whistle over their heads. It is no disparagement to the strategic genius of Omer Pasha, whom it is the fashion with some to extol in the present day at the expense of the officers commanding the allied armies, to say that he had little or nothing to do with the results. These were brought about in part by the position taken up by Ballard and his Rifles (how the Turks would have acted without such guidance. is shown by the account given of the conduct of the old officer who