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the Kars River, and passes northwest through Bardees, Penjak, and Tausgerd to the main river; on an affluent of this branch, coming in from the south between the two places last named, is the important point of Olti.
The northern branch of the Euphrates, known as the Karu-su, rises in the Dumli-Dagh northwest of Erzeroum, runs from east to west through the plain of Ova, and then south into the Pashalic of Musch. Its course is slow and regular; the banks flat, and covered with bushes; throughout most of the year there are good pastures in its valley.
The south branch of the Euphrates, the Murad, rises in the Ararat chain west of Mount Ararat, and traverses the Pashalic of Bayazeth from northeåst to southwest. The water is clear and good, abounding in fish, especially trout. At first only about thirty feet wide and from three to five feet deep, it is soon enlarged by its numerous affluents from the mountains, and upon entering the Pashalic of Musch has become a considerable streain.
In the upper valley of the Murad are Toprakh-Kalé and Dijadin. This valley is closed to the east by a spur of the Ararat range. On the eastern slope of this spur rises the Maku, which empties into the Araxes; in the valley of the Maku is the fortress of Bayazeth.
None of the rivers mentioned are navigable within the limits of the theatre of war; they are mountain-torrents, subject to great inundations during the melting of the snows and after heavy rains.
The highest point of the Ararat range is the loftier peak of Mount Ararat; only two other peaks rise into the region of perpetual snow. The range is usually covered with thick forests, in which snow often lies until midsummer. The mountains are difficult and the passes few. The climate of the trans-Caucasus varies much; in the valleys it is hot and often unhealthy, on the mountains and high plateaus it is cool and healthy. Many of the towns on the coast of the Black Sea are unhealthy in the extreme.
The Pashalics of Akhaltzik, Kars, Bayazeth, Musch, Erzeroum, and Trebizonde are much more healthy than the Caucasus, and quite as productive. The regularity of the seasons in Kars, Erzeroum, and Bayazeth is equally favorable to the development of vegetable and animal life. By the side of the olive, vine, and almond are found the richest pastures and most fertile fields. Kars
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with better cultivation would be the granary for all the surrounding country, but the Pashalic of Bayazeth is under the best cultivation.
Prior to the Persian war of 1827, and the Turkish war of 182829, the Allaghez range formed substantially the central Asiatic boundary of Russia; but by the peace of Turkmanchai the Persian boundary was carried to the Araxes, and the important position of Erivan gained. By the treaty of Adrianople the Turkish boundary was carried forward to its present position, and the important points of Akhaltzik, Ahalkalaki, and Alexandropol (formerly Gumri) gained by Russia. These places, and Erivan, have been converted into strong fortresses and depots of supplies, and the roads leading through them to the front and rear, as well as those connecting them, have been made practicable for artillery and wagons. The railroad system of European Russia has been extended to within eighty miles of Tiflis, so that it is now entirely practicable to reinforce the armies of the Caucasus at short notice.
It is now necessary to allude to the roads of the theatre of war, so far as we have any knowledge of them.
The coast-road from Fort St. Nicholas to Batoum is practicable for wagons; beyond that point to Trebizonde it is a mere path, unless recently improved. The road from Akhaltzik to Ardahan, sixty-five miles, winds through gently undulating and wooded hills until the Ulgar Pass is reached, about half-way to Ardahan ; here there is a steep ascent; hence to Ardahan and beyond the descent is easier. From Ardahan to Erzeroum, by way of Dadaschin, the Karatschli Pass, Olti, and Noriman, is one hundred and twenty-two miles. The Karatschli Pass leads over the main Ararat range, from the valley of the Kur to that of the Tchorokh; there are some steep places in this pass, but it affords the best communication with Erzeroum, and is preferred by the inhabitants to the Saganlugh. It may be well to state that the portion of the Ararat range near the Karatschli Pass sometimes receives the name of the Karatschli Mountains, while the Saganlugh Pass, or rather Passes, give their name to the corresponding part of the Ararat range and spurs. These passes, and the mountains near by, are covered with dense forests of oak and pine, so thick that the snow remains late in the summer. They are intersected by rocky valleys with marshy bottoms.
From Alexandropol to Kars is about forty-three miles, by way of Kniss; from Kars to Kotanli is seventeen miles. From the latter point two roads lead across the Saganlugh and reunite near an old stone-bridge over the Araxes at Kerpi-Kev, or Kopri-Koi; this is a well-preserved bridge of seven arches, attributed by tradition to Darius Hystaspes.
The Saganlugh forests, already alluded to extend from the Kotanli base to the castle of Zevin, and from seven to fifteen miles on either side of the two roads. Deep and difficult ravines afford good positions of defence at almost every step.
The left-hand road, called the Medjingherte road, first traverses Aspuga and the gorges of Delli-Musa-Perun, thence following the banks of the Khami torrent, it passes by the villages of Sarakamish, the gorges of Milli-Duz, the castle of Medjingherte, and the village of Khorasan to Kerpi-Kev, fifty-four miles.
The right-hand, or Zevin, road passes through the villages of Kekutsch, Tchirikli, Kijil-Killissi, the castles of Zevin and Zaghin, and the village of Ardost, seventy miles.
From Kerpi-Kev to Hassan-Kalé is ten miles, thence to Erzeroum twenty-seven miles, making from Kars to Erzeroum one hundred and eight miles by Medjinglerte, and one hundred and twenty-four miles by Zevin. From Kars to the foot of the Saganlugh the country is not difficult, and over the mountain-passes the difficulty in former times was less from the steepness of the slopes than from the marshes in the valleys, and the rocks and trees which narrowed the way; these difficulties have probably been somewhat lessened of late years.
From Ahalkalabi there is a mountain-road to Kars over the Ghegh-Dagh, fifty-two miles. From Ardahan to Kars there is a good road, fifty miles.
· From Sardar-Abad, near Erivan, there are two good roads to Kars, - one by Ketcheranka and Subotan, eighty miles; the other by Kaghizman, ninety-three miles. From Kaghizman there is a mountain-road by Getschevan to Hassan-Kalé.
From Erivan one road by Katch-Gheduk, forty-three miles, and another by Zer-Gheduk, sixty-two miles, unite at Bayazeth: these roads are good, but lack wood and supplies. Through Bayazeth passes the great road from Tebriz to Constantinople, passing through Dijadin and Toprakh-Kalé, over the ridges of the Kosch-Dagh,
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and through Deli-Baba to Hassan-Kalé and Erzeroum, one hundred and seven miles from Bayazeth. There is also a road from ToprakhKalé, through Melisgherd, Kniss, Mount Brigol, and Kuli to Erzeroum; from Kniss a branch leads to Musch : these are good roads, with abundance of wood, water, and forage.
From Erzeroum to Trebizonde by Baiburt and Gumisch-Khan is about one hundred and eighty miles : this road has long been a good one to Baiburt, but beyond was formerly very difficult even for pack animals; it is probably in a better condition now. From Erzeroum by Baiburt and Kara-Hissar to Sivas, two hundred and sixty-six miles, or by Erzingan, two hundred miles; both these are good wagon-roads, and traverse a fertile and well-peopled country. The caravan route to Sivas passes through Ach-Kalé, and Kilkil Tchifflilis, but is inferior to the other roads. About eighty miles from Sivas, at the village of Andnas, a road turns off to Tokat, eighty-seven miles, and thence to Samsun, one hundred and fifteen miles ; this road is said to be practicable for wagons. There is also a road leading up the valley of the Tchorokh from Batoum, through Artwin, Kiskin, and Ispira to Baiburt. Near Kiskin this road sends off a branch to Olti, and a little higher up the valley two other branches to the southeast, which near Gertum intersect the direct road from Ardahan, through Olti, to Erzeroum, and by another parallel branch communicate directly with Erzeroum.
The southern shore of the Black Sea is skirted by one or more parallel coast-ranges; the interior is made up of mountains, valleys, and lofty plateaus, but nowhere west of Erzeroum are the difficulties in the way of an army so great as east of that point, and the country furnishes large amounts of supplies. Unless changes have been made very recently, the only fortified Turkish places of any consequence in the vicinity of the Ararat range are Kars, Batoum, Ardahan, Bayazeth, Erzeroum, Toprakh-Kalé, Hassan-Kalé, Artwin, and Olti. Of these Ardahan and Bayazeth have fallen already; Batoum is probably securely invested from the land side; Erzeroum is weak, and will probably hold out no longer than the Turkish army is interposed between it and the Russians ; Kars is strong, but is not likely to hold out long after the fall of Erzeroum ; the others are too insignificant to check the progress of the Russians more than few hours.
A brief account of the operations of Marshal Paskevitch in this
quarter, in 1828 and 1829, will be found interesting and instructive. In 1827, by a series of bold and able movements, he brought the Persian war to a close, and acquired for his country the important provinces of Erivan and Nakshivan. The outbreak of the Turkish war in the spring of 1828 found him ill prepared for offensive operations, and by no means entirely ready for the defence of the frontier. With consummate ability he prepared for the task be
. fore him. The condition of the Caucasus was such that he was obliged to leave strong detachments to watch the native tribes and guard his communications; it was also necessary to observe the Persian frontier. Having provided for these necessities, he had remaining only thirty battalions, nine squadrons of regular cavalry, eleven regiments of Cossacks, and eighteen and a half batteries, of all kinds, for service on the Turkish frontier. He correctly assumed that for both defensive and offensive operations the central line, from Alexandropol to Kars, was the most important. Therefore he posted in Imeritia, to guard his right and the approaches by Batoum, a force of six battalions, one regiment of Cossacks, and sixteen guns; on his left, in Armenia, a force of three battalions, one Cossack regiment, and eight guns; at Nachischevan, on the Araxes, were posted two battalions, one regiment of Cossacks, and four guns. These, with other smaller detachments, reduced his force on the central line to some eighteen battalions, eight squadrons regular cavalry, seven and a half regiments of Cossacks, and fifty-six field-guns. These he posted in the early spring, so as to cover the defiles of Bordjom, Tschalki, and Ello Dara in the Allaghez range, and at the same time so that they could be rapidly concentrated at any desirable point; the mass of the force entered and occupied Alexandropol, then called Gumri. This force being entirely insufficient to operate upon Erzeroum, he limited his designs for the first campaign to gaining possession of the fortified places in the Pashalics of Kars and Akhaltzik, so as to throw the Turks back upon the Saganlugh and Karatschli Mountains. On the morning of the 14th June Paskevitch crossed the Arpa, about three miles from Alexandropol, with an effective force of 12,000 men, and fifty-eight field-guns; twelve siege-guns came up a few days afterwards. He had with him rations for forty days, 20,000 rounds of artillery ammunition, 1,845 wagons, and 2,250 pack-horses. On the 18th he reached the vicinity of
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