(CRIMEAN WAR.) GOUGH-CALTHORPE, Somerset John.
Copies of Letters from Lieut. the Honble. Somerset John Gough-Calthorpe A.D.C. to Field Marshal Lord Raglan written during the Crimean War to different members of his family, &c.
A fascinating family archive of 144 frank and detailed letters in typescript, from the originals, that Calthorpe wrote to his family and friends, spanning the years from 8 April 1854 to 24 July 1855. Somerset John Gough-Calthorpe (1831-1912), 7th Baron Calthorpe, was aide-de-camp to Lord Raglan, commander of the British expeditionary force in the Crimea. The letters differ considerably from the versions polished for publication and issued anonymously as Letters from Head-Quarters; or, the Realities of the. War in the Crimea (1856 and three editions by 1858). Of particular interest is a lengthy account (letter 57) of the Charge of the Light Brigade, accompanied by a hand-drawn, coloured map of dispositions at Balaclava. In this letter, Calthorpe puts the blame for that fateful charge squarely on Captain Louis Nolan, who was killed in the attack: “Captain Nolan went, but very much exceeded his orders: telling Lord Lucan that he was to charge the Lt: Cavalry at all hazards and retake the guns. Lord Lucan said it was madness to attempt it, and that it was taking the Light Cavalry to certain destruction. However, the order was of course obeyed.” Loosely inserted is an autograph letter signed from Charles Somerville Orde (1859-1937, banker and captain in the 2nd (Norfolk and Suffolk) Great Yarmouth Volunteer Corps), addressed to “My dear Calthorpe” (dated 25 September 1901), presumably Somerset Frederick Gough-Calthorpe (1862-1940), 8th Baron Calthorpe (whose large armorial bookplate is present in both volumes), son of Somerset John Gough-Calthorpe; it was this member of the Gough-Calthorpe family who was responsible for producing the two volumes (“It was a labour to undertake to type so much – so well done – I congratulate you”).
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2 volumes, quarto. Early 20th-century red cloth, gilt lettered spines, red speckled edges. 418-page carbon-copy typescript, rectos only. 3 hand-drawn maps (2 coloured). Spines sunned, a few light abrasions to covers, inner hinges split but sound, but overall in very good condition.