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This introduction has been prepared to provide discussion about the Battle of the Alma in the Crimean War and especially about the book by A. W. Kinglake from which we have copied the entire Chapter 1 of Volume III, the description of the battle from the English point of view. We have divided the 51 sections of Kinglake's Chapter One into 10 sections for easier internet loading. The reader may go immediately to any of these or may read them in sequence. We also provide listings of the maps and of the illustrations. To enable the reader to shift directly between the text and maps or illustrations we have established links and interspersed them throughout the text. We have also scanned the rest of the chapters in Volume III in which the author discusses the decision not to march directly to Sevastopol but to march around the city and take up positions to the south and will add them to the web site as soon as possible.


Its origin, and an account of its progress down to the Death of Lord Raglan

A. W. Kinglake

Sixth Edition
Vol. III

William Blackwood and Sons,
Edinburg and London.





Position on the Alma


Mentschikoff's plan for availing himself of the position,
His forces,
His personal position,
His plan of campaign,
His reliance on the natural strength of the position,
The means he took for strengthening it,
Disposition of his troops,
Forces originally posted in the part of the position assailed by the French,
Forces originally posted in the part of the position assailed by the English,
Formation of the Russian infantry
Forces of the Allies,
The tasks undertaken by the French and the English respectively,


Conference the night before the battle between St. Arnaud and Lord Raglan,
The French plan,
The part taken by Lord Raglan at the conference,
French plan for the operations of the English army,
St Arnaud's demeanour,
Result of the conference


March of the Allies

Causes delaying the march of the English army


The last halt of the Allies before the battle

Go to part 1.



Meeting between M. St Arnaud and Lord Raglan


Bosquet's advance,
He divides his force,
Disposition of the main body of the French army,
Of the English army,
The leading Divisions of the English army deploy into line,
The Light Division not on its right ground,
The march continued


Spectacle presented to the Russians by the advance of the Allies,
Notion which the Russian soldiers had been taught to entertain of the English army,
Surprise at the sight of the English array,
Fire from the shipping,
Followed by a retrograde movement of Russian troops confronting the French


Half-past one o'clock. Cannonade directed against the English line,
Men of our leading divisions ordered to lie down,
The Frist Division deployed into line,
Sir Richard England ordered to support the Guards,
Fire undergone by our men whilst lying down,


Cannonade directed against Lord Raglan and his staff


The Allies could now measure their front with that of the enemy,
The bearing this admeasurement had upon the French plan,
The ground which each of the leading divisions had to assail,
The village of Bourliouk set on fire by the enemy,
The effect which this measure had in cramping the English line,


General Bosquet
His plan of operations,
Advance of Autemarre under Bosquet in person,
Advance of the detached force under Bouat,
Further advance of Autemarre's brigade,
Guns brought out against him from Ulukul Akles,
Bosquet, after a momentary check, establishes himself on the cliff,
Measures taken by Kiriakoff upon observing Bosquet's turning movement,
Horsemen on the cliff,


The effect of Bosquet's turning movement upon the mind of Prince Mentschikoff,
His measures for dealing with it.
His flank march,
Mentschikoff on the cliff,
His batteries at length coming up, there begins a cannonade between his and Bosquet's artillery,
Bosquet maintains himself,
Mentschikoff counter-marching,
Position of Bosquet on the cliff

Go to part 2.



St Arnaud orders the advance of Canrobert and Prince Napoleon,
The order into which the Allies now fell,
Lord Raglan's conception of the part he had to take,
Artillery contest between the Russian and the French batteries,
Canrobert's advance across the river,
His troops are sheltered from fire by the steepness of the hillside,
Duty attaching upon the commander of the 1st French Division,
General Canrobert,
His dilemma,
The course he takes,
Prince Napoleon's Division,
Fire sustained by the rearward portions of the French columns,
St Arnaud pushes forward his reserves,
The ill effect of this measure upon the French troops,
Their complaint that they were being 'massacred,'
Anxiety on account of Bosquet,
State of the battle at this time,


Opportunities offered to Mentschikoff
The battle at this time languished,
Causes which had occasioned the failure of the French operations,


A desponding account of Bosquet's condition is brought to Lord Raglan,
Lord Raglan resolved to precipatate the advance of the English army,
Grounds tending to cause, or to justify, the resolve,
Order for the advance of the English infantry


Evans detaches Adams with two battalions, and with the rest of his Division advances towards the Bridge,
The conflict in which he becomes engaged,

Go to part 3.



Advance of the Light Division,
The task it had before it,
Means for preparing a well-ordered assault were open to the assailants,
The Division not covered by skirmishers,


The tenor of Sir G. Brown's orders for the advance,
The advance through the vineyards, and over the river,
Codrington's brigade finds the top of the left bank lined with Russian skirmishers,
Course taken by General Buller,
Nature of the duty attaching upon him,


The 19th Regiment,
State of the five battalions standing crowded along the left bank of the river,
Sir George Brown
General Codrington,


Codrington resolves to storm the Great Redoubt,
His words to the men,
He gains the top of the bank,
Lacy Yea and his Fusiliers,
The heaving of the crowd beneath the bank,
Effect of the converging tendency which had governed the troops,
Endeavours of the men to form line on the top of the bank,
The task they had before them,
Advance of the Right-hand Kazan column,
The column is defeated, and retreats,
The Left Kazan column


The storming of the Great Redoubt,
No supports yet coming up from the top of the river's bank

Go to part 4



The Guards,
The Duke of Cambridge,
Halt of the 1st Division before entering the vineyards,
General Airey comes up,
His exposition of the order to advance in support,
The Division again stopped for a time,
Step taken by Evans,
The 1st Division resumes its advance,
Want of free communication along the line passing through enclosures,
Advance of the Guards to the left bank of the river,
Time was lapsing,
No support brought by the two battalions which remained under Buller,
The cause of this,


State of things in the redoubt,
Battery on the higher slopes of the hill brought to bear on our men,
Our men lodge themselves outside the parapet,
The forces gathered against them,
Warlike indignation of the Russian infantry on the Kourgane Hill,
Movement of the Ouglitz column,
Advance of the Vladimir column,
Confusing rumours amongst our soldiery,
Unauthentic orders and signals to the men,
A bugler sounds the 'retire,'
Double motive for remaining where they were,
Conference of officers at the parapet,
Their fate,
The 'retire' again sounded,
Our soldiery retreat from the redoubt,
Losses of the regiments which stormed the work

Go to part 5.



Cause which paralysed the Russians in the midst of their success,
Apparation of horsemen on a knoll in the midst of the Russian position,
The road which Lord Raglan took when he had ordered the advance of his infantry,
L:ord Raglan's position on the knoll,
His instant apprehension of the advantage gained,
His appeal for a couple of guns,
Progress of the battle then going on under his eyes,
A French aide-de-camp on the knoll,
His mission,
Lord Raglan's way with him


Causes of the depression which had come upon the French,
Operations on the Telegraph Height,
Backwardness of the 3d French Division,
Prince Napoleon,
The mishaps which befell him,
The materials from which the bulk of the French army is taken,
The great difference between their choice regiments and the rest of their troops,
Each Division, therefore, is furnished with a Zouave or other choice regiment,
Prince Napoleon is abandoned by his Zouave regiment,
Also St Arnaud was riding with this Division, and he therefore was answerable for its place in the field,
D'Aurelle's brigade thrusts itself forward in advance of Prince Napoleon,
But in an order which incapacitates it from any immediate combat,
Helplessness of the deep column which was formed by D'Aurelle's brigade andPrince Napoleon's Division,
Condition of Kiriakoff on the Telegraph Height,
The 'column of the eight battalions,'
Kiriakoff is invested with the charge of this column,
He marches it across the front of D'Aurelle's brigade,
And then advances upon the right centre of Canrobert's Division,
The head of Canrobert's Division falls back,
State of the battle at this time

Go to part 6.



The two guns which Lord Raglan had called for are brought to the top of the knoll,
Their fire enfliades the Causeway batteries, and causes the enemy to withdraw his guns,
It ploughs through the enemy's reserves and drives them from the field,
The Ouglitz column was stopped in its advance,
So also was the Vladimir


Progress hitherto made by Evans,
Guns heard resounding from the knoll,
Their visible effect upon theCauseway batteries,
Evans advancing,
Advance of the 47th, of the 30th, of the 55th,
The enemy does not further resist this advance with his infantry,
Evans, joined by Sir Richard England in person, now has with him thirty guns,
Sir Richard England's dispositions for bringing support to Evans,
Evan's's situation in the meantime,


Protracted fight between the Royal Fusiliers and the left Kazan column,
The 55th attacking the column in flank,
Defeat of the column,
It is arranged that the defeated column is to be pressed by the Grenadier Guards,

Go to part 7.



State of the field in this part of the Russian position,
Advance and discomfiture of the Scots Fusilier Guards,
The Grenadier Guards,
Their march up the slope,
Codrington rallying some men of the Light Division,
And proposing to place them in the vacated interval between two battalions of the Guards,
His proposal rejected by the Grenadier Guards,
Continued advance of the Grenadiers,
These joined afterwards by other soldiery aligning with them on their left,
The Coldstream,
Temper of English soldiery advancing after a check,
Advance of the Highland Brigade,
The two battalions remaining with General Buller,
Suggestion that the Guards should fall back,
Sir Colin Campbell,
Campbell's answer to the suggestion that the Guards should fall back,
His disposition of the Highland Brigade,
The nature of the fight now about to take place on the Kourgane Hill,


Prince Gortschakoff's advance with a column of the Vladimir corps,
Apparation andvoice of 'the mounted officer,'
Manoeuvre executed by the Grenadier Guards,
Its effect,
The Coldstream,
Assailed by orders to retire,
Its resistance,
The Grenadiers and the "Coldstream' engaged with six battalions in column,

Go to part 8.



The stress which a line puts upon the soldiery of a column,
And upon a general who has charge of columns,
Impressions wrought upon the mind of Kvetzinski by the English array,
The sight of a battalion advancing upon his right front convinces him that he must move,
Meantime the columns along the redoubt are becoming distressed by the fire of the Guards,
Continuance of the fight between the Grenadier Guards and the left Vladimir column,
Defeat of the left Vladimir column, and of the left Kazan battalions,
Kvetzinski's oblique movement of retreat with the right Vladimir column,
The Duke of Cambridge is master of the Great Redoubt,
Kvetizinski is wounded and disabled,


Sir Colin Campbell's conception of the part he would take with his brigade,
The 42d was at his side,
Sir Colin Campbell and the Highland Brigade,
Their engagement with several Russian columns,
Defeat of the four Russian columns,
Stand made by the Ouglitz battalions,
The enemy's neglect of other measures for covering the retreat,
Slaughter of the retreating masses by artillery,
Losses sustained by the enemy on the Kourgane Hill,
By the Guards and Highlanders,


The scarlet arch on the knoll,
Retreat of the last Russian battalions which had hitherto stood their ground,
Final operations of the artillery,
Their losses,


Lord Raglan crossing the Causeway,
Prince Mentschikofff on ground not far off,
The part he had been taking in the battle,
His reappearance in the English part of the field,
His meeting with Gortschakoff,
His omission to take measures for covering the retreat,
He is carried along with the retreating masses,

Go to part 9.

PART 10.


The array of the English army on the ground they had won,
Operations of the English cavalry,


Progress of a French artillery train along the plateau from west to east,
Officers descrying the 'column of the eight battalions,'
The column torn by artillery fire,
And moved eastward by Kiriakoff,
Its demeanour,
Is halted on the right rear of the Telegraph,
The part it had taken in the battle,


A flanking fire from the French artillery poured upon the troops on the Telegraph Height,
Condition of things in that part of the field,
The result of what Kiriakoff had hitherto observed in the English part of the field,
His conviction that in that part of the field the English had won the battle,
He conforms to the movement of the troops retreating before the English,
His retreat not molested by French infantry,
Kiriakoff's artillery,


Great conflux of French troops towards the Telegraph,
Capture of the Telegraph,
Nature of the combat at the Telegraph,
Turmoil on the Telegraph Height,
Marshal St Arnaud,


Opportunity of cutting off some of the enemy's retreating masses,
Vain endeavours of Lord Raglan and of Airey to cause the requisite advance of French troops,
St Arnaud. The extent to which his mind was brought to bear on the battle,


The ground reached by Forey with Lourmel's brigade,
Position taken up by the rest of the French army,


The position taken up by Kiriakoff,
The effect produced upon the Allies by his soldierly attitude,
He moves forward some cavalry,
Lord Raglan's vexation,


Question as to the way in which the retreat should be pressed,
Lord Raglan's opinion,
His plan,
It is proposed to the French,
They decline to move,
Question whether another method with the French might have answered better,


The close of the battle,
The cheers that greet Lord Raglan,
His visit to the wounded,
The Allied armies bivouacking on the ground they had won,
Arrival of the troops under Colonel Torrens,


Continuation of the Russian retreat,


Losses of the French, Of the English, Of the Russians,
The trophies of victory were scanty,


Question as to the expediency of attacking the Russian position in front,
The plan actually followed by St. Arnaud,


Summary of the enemy,


The meed of glory fairly earned on the Alma,
How far the Allies were entitled to take glory to themselves,


Cause tending to impair the efficiency of the French army,


Effect of the battle upon the prospects of the campaign.

Go to part 10.

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