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PART III. At the date of our last paper* the general positions of the combatants in Europe were about as follows: The army of the Cesarowitch rested its left on the Danube, close above Rustchuk, crossing the Lom near Bassarabo, and thence following, in general, the heights on the right bank of the Kara Lom, with outposts well forward, and the right not very far west of Osman Bazar. A bridge at Pirgos facilitated the passage of supplies and reinforcements, and secured a retreat, in case of disaster, in the direction of the Upper Lom. This army consisted of the twelfth and thirteenth corps, with the eleventh division of the eleventh corps. Its front was covered by the eighth and twelfth cavalry divisions, and one brigade of the eleventh cavalry division. Some of these troops were occasionally detached to meet emergencies elsewhere.

The headquarters of the Cesarowitch were at Bjela, where the main road from Tirnova to Rustchuk crosses the Jantra River. The centre of the army of operations was at Tirnova, under General Radetzky, and consisted of the eighth corps and the fourth rifle brigade.

These troops were to aid in the defence of the Shipka Pass, and also watch the roads towards Osman Bazar and Lovatz, as well as the passes debouching between Elena and Tirnova. Detachments held Drenova, Gabrova, Selvi, and other points, supporting the troops in the Shipka and Hainkoi passes. The country south of the Balkans had been already evacuated by General Ghourka, who retired by the same pass through which he originally crossed.

The Russian right held its position in front of Plevna, occupying Poradim and Tirstenik, and consisting of the fourth and ninth corps, with one division of the eleventh corps; one division of Roumanians had crossed the Danube, and were between Nikopoli and Plevna. The headquarters of the commander-in-chief were at Gorny Studen, nearly midway between Bjela and Poradim, and about equally distant from these places and Tirnova. The fifth corps was at Gorny Studen. The Turkish right held Rustchuk, Rasgrad, and Osman Bazar. Their centre, under Suleiman Pasha, held Kissanlik, and was preparing to attack the Shipka Pass. The Turkish left, under Osman Pasha, held Plevna and Lovatz.

* North American Review, September - October, 1877, p. 246.

The Russian main army of operations, which appears to have been composed of seven army corps, in addition to the cavalry divisions, Cossacks, and other smaller organized bodies, such as one brigade of rifles, the Bulgarian legion, and sundry irregular corps, was in a central position with strong defensive positions on both flanks, the front covered by the Balkans, their base well secured between the mouth of the Osma at Nikopoli and that of the Jantra at Novigrad, - a distance of some forty miles.

a From Sistova it is about forty miles in a direct line to Plevna, Tirnova, and Jaslar, on the Kara Lom, respectively; and about thirty-two miles from Tirnova to the Shipka Pass. From Tirnova to Osman Bazar is about forty miles in a direct line, and about the same distance to Lovatz. From Plevna to Nikopoli it is about twenty-five miles.

The Russians have shown extraordinary marching capacity, and their central position places it in the power of an able commander to concentrate the greater portion of the army upon the separated masses of the Turks, who are broken into three distinct armies, with no possibility of direct and prompt communication or mutual support. The tenacity of the Russian troops is so great that such a concentration could safely be made, even were it necessary to leave greatly inferior numbers for a time in front of one or more of the Turkish armies.

General Zimmerman's command in the Dobrudscha was about eight miles in front of Tchernavoda, where the headquarters were. It was stated to consist, about the middle of August, of the fourteenth corps and one division of another corps. Kostendgi was held by two regiments of infantry, with five batteries in position, and the harbor defended by torpedoes.

Zimmerman's command was entirely inactive, with the exception of Cossack patrols and expeditions frequently sent to the front.

The mission of this army seems to be to hold and protect the important line of the Lower Danube, and to be prepared to advance upon Silistria or Varna whenever events justify such a movement.

We left the Russians awaiting the arrival of reinforcements. The Turks seem to have had no general plan of campaign; if they had, it will appear, as we progress with our narration, that it has not yet been carried into effect.

Before proceeding it is well to refer again to some of the events already recorded.

The additional details received in regard to the movernents of General Ghourka's column do not render it necessary to change the general description heretofore given, although they bring out in bold relief the great difficulties of the task, and the indomitable energy, prompt decision, and admirable skill of the commander. The exact composition of his command was as follows: Cavalry, half squadron of the guards, two regiments of dragoons, one regiment of hussars, three regiments of Don Cossacks, two squadrons of Ural Cossacks, acting as mounted pioneers; artillery, one battery regular horse artillery, two batteries of Cossack artillery, and two batteries of mountain guns, - thirty-two guns in all; infantry, one brigade (four battalions) of riflemen, four battalions of Bulgarians, two companies of Kouban Cossacks. The total force amounted to about ten thousand of all arms.

The movements of Ghourka do not appear to us, as some critics have maintained, ill advised, nor are the Russians wrong in holding the Shipka Pass as they are now doing. It was of the first importance to the Russians to obtain possession of at least one practicable pass through the Balkans before that line could be occupied in force by the enemy, so that when the country to the north was fully in the possession of the Russians, or the Turkish armies there were firmly held in a position to do no damage, the Russians might at once debouch upon Adrianople, and either cut off all the Turkish troops to the north of the Balkans or force them to fall back upon Constantinople by sea. The result of such a movement, promptly made, would probably be to give the Russians possession of Roumelia up to the line of Buyuk Chekmedgé.

Ghourka's movements upon Yeni Saghra and Eski Saghra were

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