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1855.)

KARS.

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Russian attack. Earthworks were erected in every place in which they seemed to be required. Mouravieff arrived before Kars with an army of 50,000 men, a portion of which was detached to watch Erzeroum. It was now August, and the town was fully invested by the Russians. In order to get rid of as many useless mouths as possible, Williams directed the bashi-bazouks, or Turkish cavalry, to cut their way through the Russian army; which they did, with some loss. And now all that remained was to husband the resources the town contained, and prepare as well as possible to meet any attempt of the enemy to take it by assault. On the 29th September a great effort was made by General Mouravieff. His army advanced under the obscurity of the morning, and endeavoured to force its way into the town; but was met with such a resistance, that, after furious and repeated attacks, it was obliged to retire, leaving 5000 dead on the field. Williams did the best he could under the circumstances in which he was placed. He doled out biscuit, flour, and gruel flavoured with horse-soup, in quantities barely sufficient to sustain life; but at last these resources failed too; some died of hunger, others became idiotic from the same cause. There was no hope of relief or assistance. Selim Pasha, who might have come to his assistance, refused to advance. Omar Pasha, the ablest and most enterprising of the Turkish generals, was too far off to be able to reach him during the winter. Α. continued resistance could only increase the sufferings of the defenders. Therefore, on the 24th of November Williams sent Captain Teesdale under a flag of truce to ask a conference with Mouravieff. The request was at once granted.

The Russian general might have compelled Williams to surrender at discretion, but he displayed on this occasion a noble generosity that did him infinite honour. Instead of showing mortification at having been so long detained before Kars, and prevented from pushing his conquests in Asiatic Turkey, as he probably would have done but for the persistent resistance which Williams had offered, he warmly testified his admiration of the ability of the general, and the heroic endurance of the garrison; he granted terms which satisfied the demands of war without outraging humanity. The English officers who thus came into the power of the Russian general and his officers were

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treated by them with the most delicate attention and the greatest repect; and provisions were despatched in abundance for the use of the starving garrison. As we have already intimated, the progress of the siege and the defence was watched with the deepest interest at home, and served in no small degree to swell the cry for administrative reform, which had already made itself loudly heard both in the legislature and in the country.

But it is now time that we should turn to the negotiations for peace, which, although, as we have seen, they had been momentarily interrupted by the return of Lord John Russell from Vienna, were still being carried on. The demands made on the part of the allies had been placed under four heads, which were known and talked of under the name of the 'four points,’ till that phrase had become familiar as a household word throughout Europe. These points were:

1. That Russia should abandon all control over Moldavia, Wallachia, and Servia.

2. That Russia should relinquish her claims to control the mouths of the Danube.

3. That all treaties calculated to give Russia a preponderance in the Black Sea should be abrogated.

4. That Russia should renounce the claim she made to an exclusive right to protect the Christians in the Ottoman dominions.

The third point was the one that presented the chief difficulty. The Russian plenipotentiaries were neither prepared to admit the solution of it by the diminution of the Russian fleet in the Black Sea, nor to suggest any other way in which the object for which the allies contended might be effected. The discussions were then suspended for a time, to allow a reference to be made to the czar. On the 17th of April the conferences were resumed ; but the Russian ministers declared that they were not empowered to suggest any plan. On the 19th of that month the allies proposed, and on the 21st Prince Gortschakoff refused to consent to that plan; but Count Buol offered another, which, as has already been related, Lord John Russelí personally thought might be accepted, but which his instructions prevented him from accepting, and therefore he withdrew from the conferences altogether, as did also M.

1856.)

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Drouyn de Lhuys the French plenipotentiary, who perfectly agreed with him in his opinion. The proposal of Count Buol was, that the third point should

be secured by allowing Russia, Turkey, England, and France, each to have the same number of ships in the Black Sea; so that the three allied powers together, might, whenever they chose, have a fleet three times as numerous as Russia could have. The English government, however, did not consider that this proposal would afford Turkey a sufficient security against Russian ambition, and they pressed Austria to join with them in demanding better securities, and if they should be refused, in carrying on the war against Russia. To the pressure thus brought to bear on her, Austria replied by making various other proposals, having for their object the limitation of the Russian fleet in the Black Sea, or the counteraction of the dangers with which it threatened Turkey. But none of these proposals seemed sufficient to the allies, and it is by no means certain that any of them would have satisfied the czar. Austria considered that, having made these propositions to the allies in vain, she had exonerated herself from the obligation to take up arms. However, the rejection of his proposals did not discourage Count Baol. He still persevered in his efforts to bring about an agreement between the belligerents. Four new points were brought forward by him, which in substance were nearly the same as the four old points, but were somewhat differently worded. The first redressed the Moldavian frontier, so as to render it more defensible against Russian invasion. The second took from Russia all control over the mouths of the Danube. The third proposed that no fleet and no naval station of any country should be permitted in the Black Sea, but that Russia, Turkey, England, France, Sardinia, and Austria might each of them have the same number of small armed vessels in that sea, to act as a sort of maritime police and to protect the coast; on the cther hand, merchant-ships of all countries were to be allowed re-ly to enter it. Other questions were left to be settl.d by subsequent negotiations.

The czar, without hesitation, accepted these propes ils as a basis for negotiating a treaty of peace; and on the 16th of January the news of his acceptance of them arrived in

Paris and London. In the former city, and indeed throughout the whole of France, the announcement was welcomed with warm and heartfelt satisfaction. The French were beginning to be weary of a war in which they had no very direct interest; which was enormously costly; and in which they bad won an increase of prestige and military glory, which might be impaired, and hardly could be im. proved, by the continuance of the war.

The reception which the news met with here was less warm. England had, or appeared to have, a more visible and direct interest than France in the satisfactory settlement of the Eastern question. With her greater wealth, she was less oppressed by the burden of the war than France had been. She had, too, hitherto played but a secondary part in the war. She had been repulsed at Sveaborg, and she had failed in the attack on the Redan. The chief glory of the capture of Sebastopol belonged to France. It was urged, bowever, that our inferiority in this respect was owing, not so much to the greater bravery of the French troops, as to the mal. administration of the English government, but it was asserted that this had now been remedied, and that great preparations had been made, at a vast expense, for continuing the war. A fleet of forty-four mortar-boats and floating batteries, and one hundred and sixty gunboats propelled by steam, bad been got ready to sail with the larger ships into the Baltic; and it was hoped that this force would enable us to take Sveaborg and Cronstadt, and to dicta'e terms of peace in the capital of the Russian empire. The consequence was, that the feeling of satisfaction which was produced by the announcement of the probable conclusion of the war was largely tempered by a feeling of disappointment, that this costly and formidable armament should not be employed. At one time, indeed, it seemed not improbable that France would have retired from the contest, and have left England and Turkey to carry it on alone. An eventuality for which Lord Palmerston declared that he was fully prepared. However, the acceptance of the basis of negotiation by the Russian emperor had virtually terminated the war.

A congress was held at Paris, at which England was represented by Lords Clarendon and Cowley. An armistice was at once concluded ; on the 30th of March the treaty was signed by 1856.]

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the plenipotentiaries of the great powers; and on the 27th of April the ratifications were exchanged.

Thus ended one of the most formidable wars in which this country was ever engaged. It caused the loss of the lives of about twenty-two thousand British soldiers, of whom only some four thousand died by violence, the remainder being victims of disease, caused in most instances by exposure to wet and cold, by the want of proper food, clothing, or shelter from the inclemency of the weather. It cost this country in money at least 50,000,0001., besides the far heavier loss, the amount of which it is impossible to estimate, arising from the disturbance of our home trade, and the interruption of our commerce with foreign nations. Still, it exhibited the extent of our resources by the buoyant elasticity with which the country recovered her. self, after the tremendous contest in which she had been engaged.

Before the members of the conference, by which the pacification was brought about, separated, they agreed to the following very important improvements of international law relating to maritime operations in the time of war: •1. Privateering is and remains abolished.

2. The neutral flag covers enemies' goods, with the exception of contraband of war.

*3. Neutral goods, with the exception of contraband of war, are not liable to capture under an enemy's flag.

•4. Blockades in order to be binding must be effective; that is to say, maintained by a fo 'ce sufficient really to prevent access to the enemy's coast.'

The concurrence of the government of the United States of America was sought for these resolutions. refused to the first, but given to the rest. The rejection was caused by the refusal of the European powers to agree that for the future all private property should be exempted from capture by ships of war.

The reception which the intelligence of the conclusion of peace met with in the Crimea was memorable. The allies on the south side of the harbour of Sebastopol hailed the news with a noisy exultation which must have been distinctly heard and understood on the opposite side of the harbour. The Russians, who still held possessiou of the northern part of the town, received it in sullen silence.

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