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[Illustrated with over two hundred and sixty maps, photos and portraits, of the battles, individuals and places involved in the Crimean War]
Lieut.-General Sir Charles Ash Windham had served his country in the Grenadier Guards for some 23 years before retiring on half pay in 1849. The outbreak of the Crimean War led him back to active duty, being appointed assistant quartermaster-general of the 4th division; he arrived in the Peninsula with his division on the 14th September 1854. Just six days later he and his men were on the field at the Battle of Alma, although only slightly engaged, and he was also present at the battle of Balaclava. He was greatly distinguished at the battle of Inkerman, and owing to the death or disablement of superiors, was in charge of the whole of the 4th division for a time.
He devoted every moment of the winter of 1854 to the care of his staving, ragged men who were suffering from the dearth of supplies during the terrible privations on the Russian steppe. Windham became a national hero for his actions in leading the gallant, but abortive, assault on the feared “Redan” fortification at Sebastopol on the 8th September 1855. Promoted immediately for his distinguished conduct to Major-General, he ended the war as the chief of staff of the army under Sir William Codrington.
He served prominently during the Indian Mutiny, and despite a fierce resistance to overwhelming numbers of rebels at Cawnpore he was driven back through the town. He was unfairly castigated by the press and never received a further active command; the erroneous blackening of his name is laid to rest by the correspondence which was printed in this volume for the first time, in short he was hiding the errors of a subordinate.