The Crimean Campaign with the Connaught Rangers (1854-55-56.)— By Lieutenant-Colonel
Nathaniel Steevens. (Griffiths and Farran.)— We must not quarrel with an old Crimean soldier for sounding an alarm at what he considers to be " Russia's insatiable ambition." Lord Beaconsfield's "insatiable ambition" is probably a greater danger to England, but it is not every one who can see that. Those journals would probably have never seen the light, but for the burst of anti- Russian feeling which the events of the last two years have excited. They are so interesting, that we may see in the fact a new illustration of the old proverb,—" It is an ill wind that blows nobody good." Lieutenant- Colonel (at that time Lieutenant) Steevens wont out with the regi- ment in April, 1854, and remained with it till after the conclusion of peace, as nearly as possible two years afterwards. The 88th took part in the battles of the Alma and Inkerman, where it was very severely handled and did excellent service, and furnished a detachment to the unlucky attack made on the Redan. Colonel Steevens, by the way, is very emphatic in his expression of opinion that an attack of this kind ought to be delivered, not by a body made up of detachments, but by one or more regiments, as may be required. The men do not understand one another enough, and are not used to act together. We may compare them with a cricket eleven which has never played together. The 88th went through the darkest days of the campaign, and though it did not suffer so much from sickness and hardship as did some regiments—as the 63rd, for instance—the record of what it endured is heartrending. As for the story of the official mismanagement, it seems inexhaustible. Fresh details of incredible folly turn up in every narrative that one reads. Here is a specimen :—" Our Ambassador at Constantinople very thoughtfully sent up a vessel full of cabbages and other vegetables, for the use of the troops, but because such articles were not included in the daily rations of the troops, neither the Quartermaster-General's nor the Commissariat Department would undertake to issue them, and con- sequently the vessel discharged these vegetables into the harbour." The 88th had luckily a quartermaster who had more sense than these highly-placed officials ; he saw the vegetables floating about, picked up loads of them, and did his regiment thereby a good turn.