But this hopefulness was a shining military quality in the midst of the despondency that settled upon the allied generals after their first failures, and at Balaklava and Inkermann he displayed the promptness and resolution of his youth.
BALAKLAVA, a village in the Crimea, east of Sevastopol, famous for a battle in the Crimean War.
The action of Balaklava (October 25th, 1854) was brought about by the advance of a Russian field army under General Liprandi to attack the allied English, French and Turkish forces besieging Sevastopol.
They made a gallant resistance, but the Russians quickly cleared the ridge, capturing several guns, and their first line was followed by a heavy mass of cavalry which crossed the ridge and descended into the Balaklava plain.
Scarlett, was in the Balaklava plain; the other, the Light Brigade under Lord Cardigan (4th and 13th Light Dragoons now Hussars, 8th and 11th Hussars and 17th Lancers) in the valley to the north of the Vorontsov ridge.
The Russian cavalry mass, after crossing the ridge, moved towards Balaklava; a few shots were fired into it by a Turkish battery and a moment later the Heavy Brigade charged.
This famous charge occupied less than five minutes from first to last, and at the same time some of the Russian squadrons, attempting to charge the 93rd Highlanders (who were near Balaklava) were met by the steady volleys of the "thin red line," and fled with the rest.
It was under these circumstances that an order was given by the British headquarters, which led to the charge for which above all Balaklava is remembered.
Part of this ridge, called Home Ridge and culminating in a knoll, was occupied by the British, while farther to the south, facing the battleground of Balaklava, a corps under General Bosquet was posted to cover the rear of the besiegers against attacks from the direction of Traktir Bridge.
This attack was to have, beside its own field artillery, the support of fifty-four heavy guns, and the Russian left wing on the Balaklava battleground was to keep Bosquet occupied.
They reached Scutari on the 4th of November, in time to receive the Balaklava wounded.
The Crimean War broke out shortly afterwards, and Gordon was ordered on active service, and landed at Balaklava on the 1st of January 1855.