Dover, May 26th, 1809.. 1809.. Very good. - Over 90 words penned on 8-7/8 inch high by 7-1/4 inch wide creamy white paper. In his letter addressed to Captain Trench, Colin Campbell (who would be promoted to Lieutenant that same year) reports receiving the orders to inspect the regiment and acknowledges receiving the Captain's letter reporting the march of the Warwick Militia. Signed "Colin Campbell". Folded horizontally and vertically for mailing, the letter is docketed on the verso. There is a small ink smudge to the bottom edge, else in very good condition.
"Dover 26th May 1809 / Sir / I have received your letter of this day by Express containing the Regiments orders for my inspecting the detachment of the 6th Infantry stationed at this place and reporting the number of Men fit for active service. - / I will make my Report to this Effect tomorrow. - / Your letter of yesterdays date reporting the march of the Warwick Militia to this place states the move for the 6th & 7th Inst. which I conclude to be meant for the Month of June next. / I have the honor to be Sir / Your most obedient Servant / Colin Campbell ... / To Capt. Trench".
Colin Campbell, 1st Baron Clyde (1792-1863). Born Colin Macliver to a carpenter in Glasgow, Scotland. At the age of 15, watching an inspection of troops in the company of his uncle Colonel John Campbell, he was enlisted by the Duke of York under his maternal name. He fought throughout the Peninsular War, and held his first command during the War of 1812. He was made a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in 1849 for the skill and valour of his service during the Sikh War, where he was wounded. Sir Colin Campbell accepted command of the Highland Brigade at the start of the Crimean War. Following the battle of Alma, he landed his regiment at Balaklava and took position on the plains in front of the British troops as the Russian Cavalry charged. To avoid being outflanked, Sir Colin extended the lines of his 93 Highland Regiment into what was to become the famous "Thin Red Line", only two deep instead of the usual four. With nerves of steel, Sir Colin and his men held their first volley until the Russians were well nigh upon them and fired the second at only 50 yards, successfully shattering the Russian Cavalry charge.
The Battle of Balaklava, fought on October 25, 1854 was a key battle in the Crimean War. Aligning the allied forces of the United Kingdom, France and the Ottaman Empire against Russia and its allies. This was the first attempt by the Russians to break the Siege of Sebastopol. The battle combined elements of great heroism and creative military maneuvers on the part of the British with incompetence and poor communication. Sir Colin Campbell's successful stand against the Russian Cavalry was followed by an uphill charge of the British Heavy Brigade and the order that the Light Brigade prevent the Russians from carrying off captured British guns. Poor communication resulted instead in Lord Cardigan's charge on the Russian gun battery down in the valley, the famous "Charge of the Light Brigade". First Edition.