Date: 4 June 1855
Recipient: Grace Fenton
Book: Joseph Fenton letter-book, Gernsheim Collection, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, Austin

Head Quarters June 4th / 55–

I wrote you a short note by the last mail to tell you that I had got back from Yenikali all safe, After posting it I went down to Balaclava & then varnished a lot of my negatives & went in a boat to the sea outside Balaclava for a bath[.] Most glorious it is taking a leap out of a boat into the clear deep water[.] Lots of people go towards evening & the sea is quite studed [sic] with boats of bathers & Anglers in coming back I passed a steamer with soldier [sic] on board & seeing 88 marked on some of their caps I asked if Capt Maynard was on board ’To be sure he is” was the answer so I climbed up & found him in the cabin sitting over his wine. He did not know me for I am rather feirce looking just now, my face is as red as a soldiers packet & my linen shirt has been succeed [sic] by a red flannel one. Edmund is very pleased at getting out You will have heard that your Major Horton has died of Cholera[.] I took his likeness in a group about a week before did I tell you on my last letters that I dined with Lord Raglan the other night, he spoke very highly of Halliwell [sic] & said that Sir G Brown calls him “his eyes” & places the greatest confidence in him, Yesterday being Sunday I went to morning service at a little wooden church there was one lady present Mrs Escourt Genl Escourts wife, It was quite a refreshing sight her white bonnet & muslin full among the warlike dresses around[.] I enjoyed much listening to the church service once more what a contrast its peaceful spirit is to the harsh scenes of violence & suffering one sees all round[.] After service I set off with Angell & Capt Chetwoode for a ride we went beyond Kamara for a mile or so to a little Chapel on the hill & there turned away to the right till we reached a fountain we had noticed two days before, there we rested & let our horses get their fill of the long rich grass in which they were nearly hidden we watched with our glasses the French returning from a reconnaisance on which they had started in the middle of the night[.] The Woronzoff road along which they were coming was at the opposite side of the Valley to where we were & though it seemed so near as if 20 min walk would take us there it must have been some miles across for we could not with the naked eye distinguish cavalry for Infantry[.] In an hour or so we went down towards the Tchernaya[.] I tried to cross the ford & had nearly got over when a sentry shouted to me to come back I did not hear him, for the rush of the water but Angell [sic] shouted out my name & on looking round I saw the man had snatched up his musket & was pointing it at me, I have had many rows with the French sentries they are brutal to every one their own people not excepted being in Civilian dress I am much exposed to their rudeness but as yet I am happy to say I have always been able to set them down[.] The Sardinians are quite a pleasant contrast in their behaviour to the French, After a very nice bathe we were riding along the bank just ready to start when we saw a struggle in the water, we hurried up & saw one fellow struggling to the bank & another disappearing under the water, the first was handed out, he had gone in to help the other, while the Sardinians were calling out for help several of us were off our horses & getting rid of our clothes, but Donald Campbell of the next hut to ours, Jumped in with all his clothes on & without taking his spectacles off another officer jumped in horse & all but Campbell caught him by the head & pulled the poor fellow out he was nearly gone but we got him round at last[.] It was rather a droll sight when we saw that he was recovering the Englishman who was bathing on the other side had swam over & was bustling about I had nothing on but boots & shirt Campbell had stripped & was wringing his clothes the other Officer the same & the Sards vocifirating, When the man had quite got round, they brought him to thank Campbell which as neither spoke the others language was not a very lucid thanks giving however wishing to speak in intelligible language the man pulled out his purse & wanted Campbell to take it. Tuesday. Yesterday morning I went to breakfast with H Pellisier [sic], The horse I am riding (one of Halliwells [sic]) had broken loose in the night Sparling having been drunk & not having fastened him properly[.] Three men went out to find him but I saw no more of him that day & had to borrow a nag & a patched up saddle with stirrups too short, a mile to go to the head quarters of the French Army, we were 20 at breakfast in a darkened hut two other Englishmen Genl Rose & Capt Foley being of the party It was rather stupid Genl Pellisier [sic] kept all the conversation to himself & his conversation is not brilliant He is a very good impersonification [sic] of the French Army, for he is rough in his manners tho’ not without a certain bon hommie [sic] he cares nothing for the sacrifice of life & does not seem troubled with scruples of any kind[.] His face has an expression of brutal boldness something like that of a wild boar, However he is coming tomorrow at 5. A.M. to have his likeness taken I mean to have a good one of him[.] I could not get out afterwards for want of a horse, so I stopped & wrote my letter for the day[.] I & Angell [sic] were invited to dine with Lord Raglan[.] Lady G Paget was there she is very pretty & is at present the belle of the Crimea[.] Lord George was there too & for once got very chatty champagne had something to do with it[.] I was on Lord Raglans’s right & Lady Paget on his left so I had plenty of conversation with her[.] Prince Edwd of Saxe Weimar was there too he is a very nice quiet fellow plain but a good figure & seems a great favorite here, in honor of the Ladys presence we had rather a swell dinner, While at table a telegraphic message came to say that poor Admiral Bruce was very ill of Cholera & not expected to recover he died at midnight & no one was ever more regretted for he was a universal favorite & had done an immense deal for the improvement of Balaclava[.] I am afraid of the preparations for coming away remembering the trouble I had in disembarking I do not like the prospect of going through it all again & in such hot weather too[.] Sparling is gone down to-day to pack up boxes of negatives[.] There are very few vessels going straight to England & I must get one that does to send the men & baggage by even if I come home myself by Marseilles which I shall try to do –