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Old 12-04-2018
Theodoric Theodoric is offline
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im waiting for action
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Old 07-01-2019
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Pueblo Indians. The sedentary Pueblo Indians of the Rio Grande valley likewise engaged in the vengeance-motivated

warfare that was common to kinship-based societies. Pueblo warfare was not, however, limited to blood feuds. Living in and near the densely populated but resource-poor Rio Grande valley, Pueblo tribes such as the Hopis, Zunis, Piros, and Tewas fought with one another to secure control of the region’s limited supply of arable land. Such economically and territorially motivated warfare led the Pueblo Indians to make their adobe towns—called pueblos—powerful defensive fortifications. They did so by building their settlements atop steep mesas, by constructing their multistory buildings around a central plaza to form sheer exterior walls, and by limiting access to the main square to a single, narrow, easily defended passageway. Navajo and Apache raiding parties consequently found the Pueblo Indians’ settlements to be tempting but formidable targets.
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Old 07-01-2019
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[Pg 519]




[Pg 521]


Introductory note 527
Plan of the expedition 529
Ruins in Verde valley 536
Classification of the ruins 536
Cavate dwellings 537
Montezuma Well 546
Cliff houses of the Red-rocks 548
Ruins near Schürmann's ranch 550
Palatki 553
Honanki 558
Objects found at Palatki and Honanki 569
Conclusions regarding the Verde valley ruins 573
Ruins in Tusayan 577
General features 577
The Middle Mesa ruins 582
Shuñopovi 582
Mishoñinovi 582
Chukubi 583
Payüpki 583
The East Mesa ruins 585
Küchaptüvela and Kisakobi 585
Küküchomo 586
Kachinba 589
Tukinobi 589
Jeditoh valley ruins 589
Awatobi 592
Characteristics of the ruin 592
Nomenclature of Awatobi 594
Historical knowledge of Awatobi 595
Legend of the destruction of Awatobi 603
Evidences of fire in the destruction 606
The ruins of the mission 606
The kivas of Awatobi 611
Old Awatobi 614
Rooms of the western mound 614
Smaller Awatobi 617
Mortuary remains 617
Shrines 619
Pottery 621
Stone implements 625
Bone objects 627
Miscellaneous objects 628
Ornaments in the form of birds and shells 628
Clay bell 628
Textile fabrics 629
Prayer-sticks—Pigments 630
Objects showing Spanish influence 631
[Pg 522]The ruins of Sikyatki 631
Traditional knowledge of the pueblo 631
Nomenclature 636
Former inhabitants of Sikyatki 636
General features 637
The acropolis 643
Modern gardens 646
The cemeteries 646
Pottery 650
Characteristics—Mortuary pottery 650
Coiled and indented ware 651
Smooth undecorated ware 652
Polished decorated ware 652
Paleography of the pottery 657
General features 657
Human figures 660
The human hand 666
Quadrupeds 668
Reptiles 671
Tadpoles 677
Butterflies or moths 678
Dragon-flies 680
Birds 682
Vegetal designs 698
The sun 699
Geometric figures 701
Interpretation of the figures 701
Crosses 702
Terraced figures 703
The crook 703
The germinative symbol 704
Broken lines 704
Decorations on the exterior of food bowls 705
Pigments 728
Stone objects 729
Obsidian 732
Necklaces, gorgets, and other ornaments 733
Tobacco pipes 733
Prayer-sticks 736
Marine shells and other objects 739
Perishable contents of mortuary food bowls 741
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Old 07-01-2019
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Objects Found at Palatki and Honanki

The isolation of these ruins and the impossibility of obtaining workmen, combined with the brief visit which I was able to make to them, rendered it impossible to collect very many specimens of ancient handiwork. The few excavations which were made were limited almost wholly to Honanki, and from their success I can readily predict a rich harvest for anyone who may attempt systematic work in this virgin field. We naturally chose the interior of the rooms for excavation, and I will say limited our work to these places. Every chamber was more or less filled with débris—fragments of overturned walls, detached rock from the cliff above, dry alkaline soil, drifted sand, dust, and animal excreta. In those places where digging was possible we found the dust and guano so dry and alkaline that it was next to impossible to work for any length of time in the rooms, for the air became so impure that the workmen could hardly breathe, especially where the inclosing walls prevented ventilation. Notwithstanding this obstacle, however, we removed the accumulated débris down to the floor in one or two chambers, and examined with care the various objects of aboriginal origin which were revealed.

In studying the specimens found in cliff-houses due attention has not always been given to the fact that occupants have oftentimes camped in them subsequently to their abandonment by the original builders. As a consequence of this temporary habitation objects owned by unrelated Indians have frequently been confused with those of the cliff-dwellers proper. We found evidences that both Honanki[Pg 570] and Palatki had been occupied by Apache Mohave people for longer or shorter periods of time, and some of the specimens were probably left there by these inhabitants.

The ancient pottery found in the rooms, although fragmentary, is sufficiently complete to render a comparison with known ceramics from the Verde ruins. Had we discovered the cemeteries, for which we zealously searched in vain, no doubt entire vessels, deposited as mortuary offerings, would have been found; but the kind of ware of which they were made would undoubtedly have been the same as that of the fragments.

No pottery distinctively different from that which has already been reported from the Verde valley ruins was found, and the majority resembled so closely in texture and symbolism that of the cliff houses of the San Juan, in northern New Mexico and southern Utah, that they may be regarded as practically identical.

The following varieties of pottery were found at Honanki:

I. Coiled ware.
II. Indented ware.
III. Smooth ware.
IV. Smooth ware painted white, with black geometric figures.
V. Smooth red ware, with black decoration.

By far the largest number of fragments belong to the first division, and these, as a rule, are blackened by soot, as if used in cooking. The majority are parts of large open-mouth jars with flaring rims, corrugated or often indented with the thumb-nail or some hard substance, the coil becoming obscure on the lower surface. The inside of these jars is smooth, but never polished, and in one instance the potter used the corrugations of the coil as an ornamental motive. The paste of which this coiled ware was composed is coarse, with argillaceous grains scattered through it; but it was well fired and is still hard and durable. When taken in connection with its tenuity, these features show a highly developed potter's technique. A single fragment is ornamented with an S-shape coil of clay fastened to the corrugations in much the same way as in similar ware from the ruins near the Colorado Chiquito.

The fragments of smooth ware show that they, too, had been made originally in the same way as coiled ware, and that their outer as well as their inner surface had been rubbed smooth before firing. As a rule, however, they are coarse in texture and have little symmetry of form. Fragments identified as parts of bowls, vases, jars, and dippers are classed under this variety. As a rule they are badly or unevenly fired, although evidently submitted to great heat. There was seldom an effort made to smooth the outer surface to a polish, and no attempt at pictorial ornamentation was made.

The fragments represented in classes iv and v were made of a much finer clay, and the surface bears a gloss, almost a glaze. The [Pg 571]ornamentation on the few fragments which were found is composed of geometric patterns, and is identical with the sherds from other ruins of Verde valley. A fragment each of a dipper and a ladle, portions of a red bowl, and a rim of a large vase of the same color were picked up near the ruin. Most of the fragments, however, belong to the first classes—the coiled and indented wares.

There was no evidence that the former inhabitants of these buildings were acquainted with metals. The ends of the beams had been hacked off evidently with blunt stone axes, aided by fire, and the lintels of the houses were of split logs which showed no evidence that any metal implement was used in fashioning them. We found, however, several stone tools, which exhibit considerable skill in the art of stone working. These include a single ax, blunt at one end, sharpened at the other, and girt by a single groove. The variety of stone from which the ax was made does not occur in the immediate vicinity of the ruin. There were one or two stone hammers, grooved for hafting, like the ax. A third stone maul, being grooveless, was evidently a hand tool for breaking other stones or for grinding pigments.
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Old 07-01-2019
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Official British Observer with the Russian Armies in the Field




Tidings from the Tsar of Germans,

Tidings to the Russian Tsar.

"I will come and break your Russia,

And in Russia I will live."

Moody was the Russian Tsar,

As he paced the Moscow street.

"Be not moody, Russian Tsar,

Russia we will never yield.

"Gather, gather, Russian hosts;

William shall our captive be.

"Cross the far Carpathian mountains;

March through all the German towns."

Marching Song of the Third Army.

[Pg ix]

For the last ten years or more I have paid long visits to Russia, being interested in anything that might conduce to closer relations between the two countries. During this time the whole course of Russia's public life has brought her far nearer to England—in particular, the creation of new legislative institutions, the wonderful economic development of the country, and the first real acquaintance which England has made with Russian culture. I always travelled to Russia through Germany, whose people had an inborn unintelligence and contempt for all things Russian, and whose Government has done what it could to hold England and Russia at arm's length from each other. I often used to wonder which of us Germany would fight first.

When Germany declared war on Russia, I volunteered for service, and was arranging to start for Russia when we, too, were involved in the war. I arrived there some two weeks afterwards, and after a stay in Petrograd and Moscow was asked to take up the duty of official correspondent with the Russian army. It was some time before I was able to go to the army, and at first only in company of some twelve others with officers of the General Staff who were not yet permitted to take us to the actual front. We, however, visited Galicia and Warsaw, and saw a good deal of the army. After these[Pg x] journeys I was allowed to join the Red Cross organisation with the Third Army as an attaché of an old friend, Mr. Michael Stakhovich, who was at the head of this organisation; and there General Radko Dmitriev, whom I had known earlier, kindly gave me a written permit to visit any part of the firing line; my Red Cross work was in transport and the forward hospitals. My instructions did not include telegraphing, and my diary notes, though dispatched by special messengers, necessarily took a month or more to reach England; but I had the great satisfaction of sharing in the life of the army, where I was entertained with the kindest hospitality and invited to see and take part in anything that was doing.

The Third Army was at the main curve in the Russian front, the point where the German and Austrian forces joined hands. It was engaged in the conquest of Galicia, and on its fortunes, more perhaps than on those of any other army on either front, might depend the issue of the whole campaign. We were the advance guard of the liberation of the Slavs, and to us was falling the rôle of separating Austria from Germany, or, what is the same thing in more precise terms, separating Hungary from Prussia. I had the good fortune to have many old friends in this area. My work in hospitals and the permission to interrogate prisoners at the front gave me the best view that one could have of the process of political and military disintegration which was and is at work in the Austrian empire. I took part in the advanced transport work of the Red Cross, visited in detail the left and right flanks of the army, and went to the centre just at the moment when the enemy fell with overwhelming[Pg xi] force of artillery on this part. I retreated with the army to the San and to the province of Lublin. My visits to the actual front had in each case a given object—usually to form a judgment on some question on which depended the immediate course of the campaign.

I am now authorised to publish my more public communications, including my diary notes with the Third Army. I am also obliged to the Liverpool Daily Post and Mercury for leave to reprint my note of September 1914 on Moscow. I think it will be seen that if we lost Galicia we lost it well, and that the moral superiority remained and remains on our side throughout. We were driven out by sheer weight of metal, but our troops turned at every point to show that the old relations of man to man were unchanged. The diary of an Austrian officer who was several times opposite to me will, I think, make this clear. When Russia has half the enemy's material equipment we know, and he does, that we shall be travelling in the opposite direction.

It was a delight to be with these splendid men. I never saw anything base all the while that I was with the army. There was no drunkenness; every one was at his best, and it was the simplest and noblest atmosphere in which I have ever lived.

Bernard Pares.
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Old 07-01-2019
Froggy Froggy is offline
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October 30.

My visits to the scenes of fighting in the Warsaw area have been of interest. The main scene of the most critical fighting, Pruszkow, we did not visit. The Germans tried to force their way up here from the south, close to the Vistula, and got to within some nine miles from Warsaw. If they had captured the town (about 900,000 inhabitants, of whom 300,000 are Jews), and occupied the Vistula bridges, they would have established an enormous political and military advantage, which could not have been reversed without the greatest difficulty. Though Warsaw was beyond their line of defence, the Russians made every effort to hold it.

We visited a point in the centre of the line of defence, where the Russians held good under heavy losses; their rifle pits were close up to a copse and gardens, and they had tried to secure a footing even closer in. From thence their line ran in a convex curve to Rakitna. Here their artillery had battered in the sides of the lofty and impressive church, leaving standing the woodwork of the roof and two irregular pinnacles. The Germans fired from this church; they had confined several of the inhabitants in the vaults. The buildings near the church were reduced to ruins. Close up against the village lay[Pg 38] graves of the attacking Siberian regiment, marked by lofty well-cut orthodox crosses, the men lying together under a vast regular mound and Colonel Gozhansky and six of his officers under separate crosses at the base, while at the head stood one great cross for all the dead of the regiment. The inscriptions were throughout in almost identical language, ending: "Sleep in peace, hero and sufferer." In a small garden close by, the Germans had buried their dead so rapidly that some of them were still uncovered. On two neighbouring crosses they had paid their tribute to "six brave German warriors" and to "six brave Russian warriors." Through a great hole in the ruined church one caught sight of a crucifix, untouched but surrounded with marks of shot in the wall. In the neighbouring township of Blonie, the town hall had been set on fire.

Blonie, which was the northern point of the line of battle, lies about eighteen miles due west of Warsaw; from thence runs an excellent broad chaussée, embanked and lined with poplars, going straight westward towards the frontier. At Sochaczew the high bridge over the river was broken off clean at both ends and the central supports entirely destroyed, but there were few other marks of war. At Lowicz the bridge had been destroyed and, as at Sochaczew and Skiernewice, had been very rapidly repaired by the pursuing Russians. Lowicz lies in flat country, through which the rivers make deep furrows. It is a clean and picturesque little place, with a symmetrical central square flanked by large buildings and with the fine parish church at the western end. The Poles of this part wear very distinctive[Pg 39] national costumes; the women have skirts in broad and narrow vertical stripes, with orange, or sometimes red, as the foundation of colour, the narrow stripes being usually black, purple and yellow; round their shoulders they wear what look like similar skirts, fastened with ribbons at the neck, and they have variegated aprons, in which the foundation colour of the dress is absent; the general impression in the fields or on the sky line is of a mass of orange. The old men wear grizzled grey overcoats and broad-brimmed hats, and the younger men elaborate and tight-fitting costumes that suggest a groom of the eighteenth century, or loose zouave blouses and trousers of blue or other colours. Houses in the villages are spacious and plastered white, with sometimes a certain amount of decoration, usually in blue. At Lowicz there were some marks of war. My host for the night, an old soldier from Orenburg who had served under Skobelev, spoke with indignation of the recent German occupation; they had taken all the supplies that they could find. But there were no signs of any permanent occupation, and the German requisitions could not have been very thorough, as one saw many geese, pigs and, above all, very fine horses in this part, and the inhabitants had quite settled down again to their ordinary occupations. From such accounts as I have read of the conditions in Germany, I should think that one would see there fewer young and middle-aged men and less field work going on than in this no-man's land that has lain between the two hostile lines of defence and has been traversed by each army in turn.

[Pg 40]From Lowicz to Skiernewice there runs south-westward a chaussée and also a more direct road that passes through an area of sand and mud. Napoleon used to say that in his campaign of Poland (1807) he had discovered a fifth element—mud. There is no other obstacle, the broad undulating plains suggesting parts of the north of France; combining lights and shades, they offer scope for the artist, and the long lines of well-to-do villages have a pleasing effect that is enhanced by the graceful local costumes. The peasants are well built and good featured, often with a military air and carriage; their manners are excellent, and their intercourse with the Russian soldiers is both courteous and cordial. They were at any time ready to come and help in the frequent breakdowns of our motors, and I noticed, to my surprise, after experiences of other years in Warsaw, that they felt no difficulty in understanding Russian and in making themselves intelligible to us. At some points on our road there were marks of rearguard fighting, and as we were told, two or three wounded, but we saw hardly any prisoners, except a body of Landwehr men, and no trophies. At the village of Mokra (which means "damp") the houses still bore the ordinary German chalk marks assigning the billets to given numbers of men. At Skiernewice the coal stores at the station had been fired and were still burning: but the town was comfortably held by the Russians, and we found no difficulty in the matter of supplies and quarters. Skiernewice will be remembered as one of the last stopping places in the Russian empire on the road from Moscow to Berlin, and also as a former meeting place of the three emperors.[Pg 41] It has great preserves for pheasants, which are only touched during the visits of the Sovereign. There is the usual central square of Polish houses, and here, as in Sochaczew, the Jews were in evidence, though they have been removed from some military centres where they have given assistance to the enemy. From Skiernewice we travelled a considerable distance south-westwards, passing over a fine military position carefully prepared by the Germans, and commanding a view of some ten miles to the north-east, but abandoned without any sign of resistance. At every point we met the picturesque-looking peasants returning to their now recovered homes.

At a low-lying village we saw vedettes riding to and fro, trains of supplies, vans of the Red Cross being loaded with wounded, and in front of the poor thatched cottages a line of deeply hollowed trenches, from which rose a colonel, a simple homely man in workday uniform, to offer us part of the repast. There was the strong family feeling typical of any gathering of Russians. We passed along the line chatting with the men; a young colonel galloped up to invite us to visit his guns; but we turned to a nearer battery, of which the old commander did us the honours. These men were from a military province in the heart of Russia, and their faces passed into a broad friendly grin as they stood to their guns for us, sat to be photographed at their tea-drinking, and told the story of their last fighting. They had been firing for all the last two days. At about half a mile lay a copse on a hill, at first held by the Germans, and behind it a long wooded ridge near which were German rifle pits. The[Pg 42] German artillery put up a cross fire from both sides. Their shells had done very little damage. The Russian infantry charged up the nearer slope and drove the Germans with the bayonet through the copse. Here there were more than three hundred German dead; among them boys of thirteen and fourteen, whose soldiers' pay-books gave their ages. One officer remained standing just as the blow had caught him. In the night the Germans had rapidly withdrawn and were now several miles away.
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On a bare slope to the right of the battery stood an infantry regiment, which in eighteen days' fighting had been reduced to about half its strength. As we approached, we saw it drawn up under arms and in a hollow square. A priest was preaching. He was arrayed in rich blue vestments, which showed up in the dull earthen colour of the slope and of the soldiers. His strong handsome features and long hair recalled pictures of Christ. His deep voice carried without effort to the ranks in the rear. As I approached, he was saying, "Never forget that wherever you are and whatever is happening to you the eye of God is on you and watching over you." After the sermon followed prayers, a band of soldiers at his side, led by a tall Red Cross soldier, joining in the beautiful other-world chants of the Eastern Church; they were trained singers and sang just as in church, without any accompaniment and with perfect balance and rhythm, the tall soldier conducting them very quietly with his hand. At one point, the prayers for the Emperor, all crossed themselves. All fell on their knees again at the prayers for the Russian troops,[Pg 43] for the armies of the Allies and that God should give them every success. Once more all knelt at the prayers for their slain comrades, while the beautiful "Eternal memory" was chanted by the little choir. The rest of the service was standing; the men remained firm and motionless, in fixed and silent attention. There were impressive moments when the priest placed a little Gospel, bound in blue velvet, on an improvised lectern of six bayonets crossed in front of him, and when turning to all sides shadowed the men with a little gold cross which he waved slowly with both hands. After the service the Colonel stepped forward and with a quick movement called for the salute to the flag, and every musket was raised with a dull rattle that sounded out over the vast open space under the grey sky. Next he read out in a loud clear voice a message from the Commander-in-Chief congratulating the regiment on the brilliant bayonet attack at Kazimierz, and called out: "For Tsar and country, Hurrah!" This cheer rose like low thunder and died away in distant peals. Some twenty to thirty men had received the cross of St. George for personal bravery, and these, at a word from the Colonel, stepped out and filed by with quick springing step, circling round the priest and the piled bayonets, then stopped in front of him to kiss the Cross which he pressed in turn to the lips of each. Then the whole regiment fell into movement and swung round the open square, the cross movements, carried out slowly and in perfect order, giving the appearance of a labyrinth. One could not tell which way the men would turn, but they swung round with precision and came forward with the strength[Pg 44] of a great river. An officer had asked me to carry a postcard message for him, and while he wrote "I am alive and well" and a short greeting, we were caught in the current, which parted to each side of us at the words of the kneeling writer, "Brothers, don't come over me." As each section passed the saluting point, the officer ordered the salute, the Colonel replied with a word of congratulation, and the men gave a short sharp cry expressing their readiness for work. There was a remarkable regularity and springiness in the march of the men, and their motion was that of an elemental force moving well within its strength, like the flow of the Neva. After the march past the Colonel handed to us a whole bundle of postcards for home.

We passed from the bare grey slope with all this strong life on it and drove forward to the next village, lately held by the Germans and now abandoned. Here we saw a very different spectacle, showing the effectiveness of the Russian artillery. The houses were for the most part long and spacious, built of huge stones with a superstructure of wood and roof of thatch. Some of them still remained intact; but most had only the stone basis standing. Everywhere were groups of the bright orange-coloured peasants, just returned, and in one house stood an old woman making her first examination of her devastated home. We stood in the slush on the dirty lane listening to the last report of a mounted staff officer, and as the Germans were evidently retreating rapidly we turned back to Skiernewice. We had followed the Russian advance some seventy miles from Warsaw.

It is well to recognize the value of these operations.[Pg 45] The Germans would obtain obvious advantages from a rapid seizure of Warsaw. So far western Poland, lying between the two military lines of defence, had been a kind of no-man's land, and as the main operations were to north or to south, the Germans had made here a number of raids and had secured partial and transitory successes. They now, as at Grodno, tasted the actual Russian line of defence. The Russian forces in the centre were much stronger than anticipated, and making a great effort, not only repulsed the attack but made any real success on the German side impossible. The political aspect of the attempt and the character of its failure are illustrated by the following incident. The King of Saxony, whose ancestors were kings of Poland, had sent a court official with presents and decorations for those who should take part in the capture of Warsaw, and this official was himself captured by Cossacks after the repulse. The Germans, on the failure of their attempt, withdrew quickly but in good order, leaving few prisoners and spoils of war. The country was not devastated. There had been, after the repulse, some disgraceful incidents, e.g. they had made a Polish landowner and his servants stand in the Russian line of fire: and clocks and ornaments were taken away. But I have no evidence of any atrocities such as those in Belgium, and these could hardly have escaped observation. The German troops seem to have been partly reservists, with whom excesses are less likely. The signs indicate that the retreat is definitive, and such is the inference from the reported incendiarism at Lodz, which is full of German factories.
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January 29.

On my way to the H regiment I had to pass over a commanding plateau, and from hence, looking backward, I could see endless and intermingling lines of wooded hills with the main masses of the Carpathians in the far distance. I commented to my orderly on the beauty of the view, and as usual when I made any pointless remark, he replied courteously, "I understand," which meant "I don't."

Shrapnel was falling by a fir-wood on the crest, and we took a lower road to the regimental staff. The Colonel was a soldier of an English type, with a grace which I have seldom seen in a man. Altogether, minds seem[Pg 119] more at ease at the front than anywhere else in Russia; there is the fullest consciousness of heavy losses and of straining conditions, but all this seems only to make every-day life more simple. There was a strange incident after lunch: one of the regimental doctors had just gone out of the door when he was bitten by a mad dog that was running wild in the woods, and the place had to be burnt out with a hot iron. One comes on many "extras" of this kind, which have nothing to do with the war but seem to fit themselves into it.
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The staff of the V regiment was in the usual hut, clean, comfortable and decorated with religious pictures, as most of these Polish cottages seem to be. It was the usual family party, the little colonel being a sort of paterfamilias, the major a kind of uncle, and the younger men like cousins of different degrees. It was very interesting when the reports came in from other parts of the huge front and the day's changes were filled in on the maps—as usual, on the whole satisfactory.

The colonel of artillery was a bronzed man whose face was a mixed suggestion of a raven and of a kind Mephistopheles. He was a strong Conservative, and had friendly discussions with the chronicler of the regiment, a highly cultivated Liberal with a beautiful voice and the features of a youthful Mr. Pickwick. The war brings all sorts of political views together, and the exchange is always free, equal and without rancour.

When I got to know these good people, I told them I thought they spent a lot of time in copying out verses. "Position warfare"—standing in the trenches—is not an eventful life; and while I was with the regiment three sets of verses were put on the machine and circulated to the battalions. One of these, with a number of jokes about "Wilhelm," was written by a soldier in the ranks; and another was the composition of a non-commissioned officer, also of this regiment. This second was headed by the word which is in every one's thoughts here, "Forward," and contained one verse which had almost the smoothness and simplicity of Pushkin, and is, therefore,[Pg 145] not for translation. The third set came from Pickwick Junior, and I give a rough rendering of it which, I am afraid, only spoils it—

Now in this year of heavy trial

Happy is he who for his land

Has passed at price of self-denial,

Into the heroes' shining band—

Who of his hopes and love the whole

On his dear country has bestowed,

With all the ardour of his soul,

His highest aims, his mind, his blood.

'Twill pass, the battle and its blare;

'Twill sink, the endless crash of guns;

And, in their place, the burning prayer

Of mothers orphaned of their sons.

The meadows will be green again,

The corn will ripen on the plain.

The spite of war will pass away,

And happy peace once more will reign.

These are the simple thoughts that are in most people's minds here—the more so the nearer one is to the front. There one finds least of all doubt of the blessings of peace, and least of all doubt of the need to go to the end, and of the certainty of the final result. But Russia has done and is doing a giant's task, and one will meet cripples at every turn for many a year to come.

My friends possessed an interesting little book in a black paper binding which they kindly lent to me. It was the song-book of the German army, which, with a soldier's Prayer-book, is carried in every German knapsack. It is called "War Song-book for the German[Pg 146] Army, 1914," and was issued by the Commission for the Imperial Book of Folk-songs. Roughly, about the ten best things in German patriotic and military song are to be found here, with a few of the best-known folk-songs and a number of inferior ditties which vainly attempt to be light. Prussia has more than her share, for there are very few good Prussian songs, though such as there are are military. "Fredericus Rex" and "Als die Preussen marschirten vor Prag"—surely an unfortunate reminiscence in the present war—are both historic and have the merit of plainness. The year 1813, a year of liberation and not of aggression, gives three magnificent songs: "The God that bade the iron grow," by Arndt, and "Lützow's wild hunt" and the "Sword Song" of Körner, the latter written a few hours before the author of "Lyre and Sword" met his death in a cavalry charge at the battle of Dresden. But, of course, I expected also to find—and am sure that I should have found in God-fearing 1870—the same writer's "Prayer in Battle," one of the most real and masculine of hymns, and his soul-stirring "Landsturm." As to the omission of the "Landsturm," an Austrian prisoner explained it to me by saying, "This is no war of liberation." Of the less specially national songs there is Schiller's magnificent picture of the soldier of fortune, "Wohlauf Kameraden aufs Pferd, aufs Pferd," some of the verses of which have certainly been too faithfully followed in Poland. One finds also the top thing in German war lyric, "I had a trusty Comrade" of Uhland—a word-perfect poem which I shall always associate with the Saxon grave outside Saint-Privat where I heard it sung by veterans of 1870.[Pg 147] There is also the simple trooper's song "Morgenrot"; I should have put in "Die barge Nacht," but one verse is certainly too plain-spoken for present German hopes. Martin Luther's "Safe stronghold"—"Now thank we all our God," sung by Frederic's soldiers on the battlefield of Lützen—and the Evening Prayer—these are the other best things in the collection; but it is spoilt by the unnecessary and improbable allusions to the successful wooing of French and Russian damsels, and beer is too much mixed up with Bible.

I left my friends singing. The Raven, with a plaintive and sentimental look, was with bent head putting in his bass to the admirable tenor of Pickwick Junior. My own contribution was about the "leaders" who "marched with fusees and the men with hand-grenades" (British Grenadiers). One scout, who usually works alone, had taken an unexploded Austrian shell back into their very lines, made a small bonfire round it, and was waiting outside for it to explode; but the result, when I left, was not yet known.

March 13.

I have just visited "The Birds," a very tight place for the Russian soldier to sit in. I was in this part once before, for it was here that Dr. Roshkov set up his tent, or, to be more exact, his earthwork bandaging room in the foremost trenches.

The divisional general was kindness itself; for I stumbled on him in the darkness by opening a wrong door, and his revenge was to ask me in and offer me a bed. The next day I visited the divisional lazaret, where[Pg 148] an English lady, Miss Kearne, is working with admirable skill and devotion for the Russians. Nearly all the wounded came from "The Birds," and nearly all had been wounded while sitting in the trenches or looking through the embrasures—that is, without taking any risks, which in "The Birds" all are strictly forbidden to court.

One soon felt one was coming to a warm place. The driver of my army cart explained that the open space over which we were passing was often covered with stray bullets, and there, sure enough, were the Austrian trenches just across the river. The village on our side had a high church, now smashed by the Austrian fire into an imposing ruin. Around it the shells continue to fall freely, and women and children going for water along the village streets are sometimes hit by stray bullets. Roshkov and his comrades have been sent to another part of the front; but a Red Cross "flying column" from the Union of Russian towns is working here under fire, and I met one of its students on horseback taking wounded to the rear.

I delivered a greeting from England to the scouts who were drawn up in the village, and then set off with their leader for the advance posts across the river—as I may say, "The Birds Proper." The chief scout was almost a boy, who had joined the army as a volunteer only at the beginning of the war. He was a Musulman, with a most determined face and a manner of complete ease and indifference. He explained that we were passing over ground often swept by the fire, and added casually, "You've a bad coat; it is fur-lined; the fur might stick[Pg 149] in your wound and give you lockjaw, so that you would probably die." Whether he was right or not I have no idea. The soldiers who accompanied us insisted on walking above the covered way, until we told them that we should join them unless they came down to us.

At last we passed some trenches and came out into the open above the river. It is the peculiarity of "The Birds" that we hold a strip of land across the river a mile and a half long, but nowhere more than 300 yards deep. When the Russians rectified their line after the advance to Cracow, they decided to retain certain vantage-points of this kind; however cramped the position and however difficult the conditions of defence, the advantage will be felt when, as on the San earlier, the time comes for another move forward. These advanced lines are connected with our side by bridges which are constantly under fire, as the favourite offensive of the Austrians is a hail of artillery; yet they have never succeeded even in endangering the communications, and their frequent musketry fire is disregarded.
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Old 07-01-2019
Froggy Froggy is offline
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We were able this time to cross the bridge at a walk, and passed along the lines, guesting with different officers, and ultimately taking up our quarters in a spacious earth hut ten yards from the front, which was protected by a high line of excellent earthworks. One advanced post which we visited was only sixty yards from the enemy, and in general the distance from trenches to trenches was 400 to 200 yards. Artillery fire is seldom brought effectively to bear here, but a shower of bullets is kept up, mostly explosive, as one can tell from their splutter; and the enemy have made machines for lodging bombs of various[Pg 150] kinds at this short range within our trenches. There is little work for scouts here; the distance is too short, and the opposing sentries are often not more than twenty-five yards from each other. My young host reassuringly mentioned that shrapnel would penetrate our roof, and in the night there was the constant thud of bullets striking against our shelters, while often our door was lit up by the reflection of the frequent rockets sent up by the enemy. Inside, however, our accommodation was first-rate, and we soon slept soundly.

Next morning we went along the front line. The men were everywhere in their places, this line being fully occupied day and night. I had been told I must not stand anywhere behind an embrasure, so we took our view in peeps, mostly from the side. At one point we looked over the top of the works, with the result that there was an immediate volley. One man had been wounded by a bomb in the night, and another was shot through an embrasure, as the shadow made by a head at once draws fire. Some soldiers were busy making little mirrors, so as to see from the side; another had made a bomb-throwing machine out of an Austrian shell, which he fired off in front of us, the officer first calling out to two exposed soldiers, "Here, Beard and Black Collar, get out of the way!" One man's hand was shot through an embrasure.

The most difficult part of the lines was on one of the flanks, where they passed close to the river and were separated from the Austrians at one point by a distance of only twenty-five yards. Earlier it was worse. The two lines were eight yards apart, the bayonets actually[Pg 151] crossed over the earthworks, and the Austrians held their rifles over their heads in order to fire down into the Russian trenches. At that time a flank fire also swept these trenches, which were now protected by many transverses. Yet I found the men perfectly cool and natural, just going about the work as they would have done any other.

The bridge on our return was only under a partial fire; but the enemy was again heavily shelling the village.
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