Date: 4 June 1855
Recipient: William Agnew
Book: Annie Grace Fenton letter-book, Royal Photographic Society Collection, National Media Museum, Bradford

Head quarters
June 4th 1855

Dear Sir,

I have just received a message from Mr Smith – post master at Constantinople to say that he has found great difficulty in getting back the photographs from the embassy, & that he had at last been obliged to write a very peremptory letter to Mr Alison secretary of legation in order to recover them. You will doubtless have received them by this time. I am now at Head Quarters taking the few photographs that I am yet in want of. Lord Raglan gave me a sitting this morning and I have obtained a very good likeness of him[.] General Pelissier with whom I breakfasted this morning is coming the day after tomorrow at 5 in the morning. It is impossible to work after 9 or 10 from the intense heat wh sends the stoppers flying out of my bottles & spoils every picture. I am almost at the end of my materials having only 1 oz of nitrate of silver left & shd soon be away if it were not for these great guns each of whose portraits has to be hunted down. I dont think I shall get Canrobert’s likeness as he is away at Schorgoun with the part of the army recently sent out in that direction. I go out occasionally that way in the afternoon for a ride as it is a new spot and surrounded by beautiful scenery & if I can get him to come to headquarters I will. I shd to day have hunted up Omar Pasha who is here but my horse slipped his halter last night & has taken & has taken [sic] 6 men to hunt him through the different camps[.] I believe they have caught him

I have got Russells likeness. The sanitary commissiors have left. As for your question about the name of the picture Genl Barnard says you are quite safe in calling it “The Seige of Sebastopol as there is little doubt that the south side will soon be taken[.] Pelissier is thoroughly in earnest, & when any attack does not succeed to his mind, he sends the same troops to do it over again. The expedition to Kertch has been a great blow to the Russians. I was with it, & with every one else was astonished at the little defense that was made of so important a place point. I took 2 water coloured sketches of Yenikale,

Two days since I dined with Lord Raglan & while a [sic] dinner a despatch came from Sir E Lyons wh his lordship read aloud to us stating that we had taken or destroyed 250 vessels in the sea of Azoph & other news wh you will get by telegraph while I am writing this. This morning we have the news that the Russians had abandoned Sonjah Kaleda leaving to us 60 guns & 5 mortars. Yesterday a strong reconnaisance was made as far as Baidar through a beautiful country, The complete stoppage of the supplies of the Russian army coming from the sea of Azoph will compel them soon to evacuate the Crimea even if not soon driven out. If the attack of Anapa succeeds Sir G Brown ’s expedition will have nothing left to desire. Hallewell is quartermaster general of the expedition. Lord Raglan spoke very highly of him to me[.] Reinforcements left here for Sir G Brown & I have no doubt that in 2 days time that we shall hear of the attack on Anapa. It is said that all the Russian forces in Circassia are concentrating there. If true there will be a tough contest there, tho’ our men are so keen that there can be no doubt of the result if once they can get to close quarters. I shall bring the negatives with me [ – ] it wd not be safe to send them and to get them home uninjured, even with my own supervision will cause me much trouble unless I am lucky enough to get them shipped in a vessel going straight to England. I sent you a packet of portraits some days ago, probably before leaving I shall send another

I am yours truly.
R Fenton