BELL, General Sir George. 21665



The Crimea Archive of General Sir George Bell, comprising: his Autograph Journal entitled ‘A Few Rough Notes by an Old Soldier’, February 1853 to 6 September 1855, in 2 vols. 8vo, his fair copy written up from his correspondence; over 45 original Autograph Letters, mostly signed G.B., to his wife and his aunt, from the Crimea, some sent in the expectation of publication, including vivid accounts of the Battles of the Alma and Inkerman. 100s of pages. 2 vols 8vo, worn roan binding, clean and legible. Over 45 original letters, of considerable length, many cross written, some envelopes marked ‘all well’ (sent privately by General Wetherall). Carte de visite photograph of the General in old age, and a few copy letters are included. Gallipoli, Alma (on the day of the battle), Varna, Balaclava, Sevastopol, 1854-1855. General Sir George Bell (1794-1877) fought in the Peninsular War, Canada (1836-38), and the Crimea. He was the author of a popular autobiography, Rough Notes by an Old Soldier during Fifty Years Service (1867). These two volumes have been used by Bell for his later published Rough Notes. They include an eyewitness account of the Charge of the Light Brigade, 25 October 1854: “Memorable day. The story of this day will be told by a thousand tongues & in many languages … the brigade went madly forward at the charge, dashed in amongst the Cossacks and cut them down right and left, but they had gone too far and now the Russian field batteries opened on them with distinctive power … Trumpets sounded the retreat and our cavalry fell back in a gallop, the Cossacks pursued & strange to say the Russians unmindful of their own people poured volleys of shot & shell into both parties until few were left to return to their respective lines. It was a terrible slaughter.” The letters are numbered, but the archive requires sorting and cataloguing.