THE BATTLE OF ZEIDIKAN.
[from the daily telegraph.] Erzero um, J une 19, According to reports that have reached here, there has been sharp fighting all along the Turkish line near Delibaba. From the account that I have received, the battle opened with a series of manoeuvres ; at first the infantry steadily advanced in skirmishing order, and, being well supported, succeeded in pushing the Russians back, with heavy loss on both sides. . The rifle is described as haying been exceedingly : sharp and destructive. Soon the fight became general ' and extremely fierce and bloody, being brought up. For some time the, combat raged in the centre and along the Turkish right. Meanwhile the Russians made a supreme effort .with their right and gradually succeeded in taking up a position < which gave their artillery command of the Turkish line. From the heights the Muscovite gunners opened a terrible cross fire, which ' checked - the movements of , their opponents,, and threatened to inflict on them serious jlosses. The Turks having strengthened, their artillery to meet this new attack, ■ a wellsustained fire was maintained, and a regular artillery battle ensued. Whilst this was proceeding, the Russians made a simultaneous assault on both $ai)ks with large bodies of cavalry. Thus pressed at all poinfca, and enduring a galling fire from the enemy's artillery in itis new position, the Turks were forced to retire ; and, still fighting, they made an orderly retreat into the plain of Passin. 1 The former plan of the Russians of falling back is now apparently changed, j Pbubaba, Jnne 19, I send some further details of the great battle. A very large force' of Russians of all arms advanced towards Zeidikah, and posted light troops on the hills.' The Turks withdrew to a village called Thaha — a shepherd's resting-place, abandoned in winter, and not to be confounded with Daher, eight miles off. At six 6'clock the, next morning, after some.unimportant outpoßt combats, the Russians developed a movement on Zeidikan. Imme- - diately six Turkish batterses,, whjich all the field artillery available, and: three mountain guns, moved out to meet the enemy. Two batteries and six battalions were left to guard the road and a reserve remained in the village. About noon the Turks came up with the Russians, about six miles from the Thaha. Soon after, heavy Russian guns, from a commanding position on the top af a ridge, 4000 yards off, opened a brisk ard welldirected fire on the eminence occupied by the Ottoman troops, during which General Sir Arnold Kemball, and Captain Norman were in considerable danger, the latter having received a cut from the
splinter of a shell, and a Turkish colonel was killed. On Saturday morning, at six o'clock, six large masses of Russian infantry made a general advance, under cover of a terrible artillery fire, the shells, however, falling short. As they approached, the Turks poured in a steady and effective fire. The enemy still pressed forward, and succeeded in crossing the intervening ridge between the two positions, having despatched a strong body to turn the Turkish right flank. For two hours, in the face of a destructive fire from the Russian artillery, the Turks stood to their guns with remarkable courage, nothing daunted by their losses. As the Muscovite skirmishers descended and crossed the ridge, it was wonderful to observe the skill with which they made their choice of ground, and the rapidity with which they threw up thejir breastworks. Were it not for this, 'their loss must have been severe, so excellent and well-sustained was the fire with which they were met. At . nirie o'clock the Russians brought tip four field guns on a ridge, which enabled .them to rake almost the entire frontfof the Turkish line. From this moment the losses of the latter became serious ; their men feifr rapidly, their artillery was dislodged, aip their infantry, left exposed, without support, to a murderous fire. . For over twenty minutes the Ottomans stood with unflinching courage before his new attack, and- at this crisis it was that Mehemet Pasha, thew cominanderj fell, "sword in hand, iff front ai his men. fit is but right to add that the Turkish, offidera imitated the heroism, qf their leader,. ,an!i sustained their! in the desperate contest. To increase ,the difficulties amunition fell : short, and much wild cavalry and infantry firing took, place. At 9.45 . the Russian ' fire was' actually ploughing' the aground, their shells falling like hailstones. Their , flank^ njovements oow ..commenced with energy, .'. preceded byVa, .hurricane of iron missiles that made wide gaps in the Ottoman centre/ tearing its front ranks to pieces. - The height- which the Turks held at the opening of the battle no longer became tenable. , The,-, pile of Ottoman corpsas oh, that h'lf vs a monument to steady ,updaurited courage,. The survivors were driven off.by the Russians at 11.45 o'clock, A cavalry, charge.; from the Muscovite forces completed L we disconfiture of their opponents. The Turks lost 350 in prisoners, and had 1000 killed and wounded. General Kemball escaped by the .^eetness of his, hoijae, the Cossacks havjng toed hard' io^aptju^e'hlbi*, 1 as they believed' there was an ' English? officer in command. Moukhtar Pasha is still in a critical position at Khorem Duzee. The Turks are confident, and declare they will fight a decisive battle Vnere T £ffey stand. Their cenire is very strongly p-laced at present,' - ' ■'■:.-, >
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THE BATTLE OF ZEIDIKAN., Grey River Argus, Volume XXI, Issue 2821, 28 August 1877
THE BATTLE OF ZEIDIKAN. Grey River Argus, Volume XXI, Issue 2821, 28 August 1877
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