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TSlE WAR. TtJRJCrSH PRISONERS AT BUCHAREST. A correspondent, writing from Bucharest on the í27th ult., says Three thousand :six hundred Turkish prisoners arrived here "tbia afternoon, under the â¢â charge .of thíI Fifth and Sixth Dqrfobantz Regiments I have just a;en about 1500 of the prisoners comfortably housed in one of the largest barracks in the outskirts of Bucharest, and I can per- sonally testify to the extreme care which the ⢠Rouafariians^ take of them. They are provided with tobacco and other similar luxuries, and the Roumanian troops who formed their escort have been placed in outhouses, while the Turkish prisoners hive been disposed of in the warm and comfortable rooms which the barracks contain. It is true that they have suffered very much on the road here I owmf to the .-want of clothes and to the extreme ^ey have endured during the last few da^s.- -There1 has certainly been no negligence on the part of the Roumanian authorities, who have I really believe, done their very best to provide for the comforts of the prisoners. The difficulty 0f deal- me- with several t housand men, with whom one cannot communicate verbally on account of the number of tongues which they speak, can only be realised bv those who have tried it. reaped Dy SUFFERINGS" OF TURKISH PRISONERS EN ROUrE. ^respondent of the Times at Bucharest says Details are slowly coming to light which give some idea of the hardship, 8uffered by the Turkish SSrSi2«r WaV° tb6 D*Dube durin* late storm. TLere are, of course, thousands of empty rear8'and constantly on the way to fhe rear, and yet many, not all, of the convoys of Kf b, ,ây âhid.7or tb. purpose of picking Up those who fell bv the waysIde, unable to proceed any further. These sufferers were, of course l«ft- u j ;r 'o death by the guards to freeze in Z m jf no means carrying them, and of Victims °Qly bee.n t0 "crease the number deliberate criml)8 8'nee, ot wag £ °ns was not due to nehs which sn f ^tt0 fchafc tboughtless- frequency-subjects the Russian sol- diers themselves to totally unnecessary suffering. I GET*.4? £ *5 ESrSS W .la No provision was f garian V1^ages for the proper suste captives, but when the Danube was niwwiflcrj 8I1d r suPDlies in abundance were Fimlfir! i f6 Roumanian villages, and from that time their lot was never so hard to bear. WANT OF FORETHOUGHT BY THE to, -7 RUSSIANS. Tkeei1/0rW8p<>ftdentof the Times at Bucharest convoys chartered bv â V J weauhy contractors, who re- c lve lof. per day from the Government whether the carts are m motion Or standing BTu Th^e con tractors pay the proprietors a* certain 8Um Z month tor their services, with animals and carts and the proprietors find provisions and forage hf t u? th61r fe0r868- In conse,fuence S tnis short-sighted arrangement, when the recent storm swept over Bastern Europe, the owners of the carts found themselves without depdts of forage on the lines of communication, and 900 horses perished in the vicinity of Sistova alone, while the total loss in draught animals must be numbered by thousands. This precarious system of transport worked well enough while the earth was uncovered and pasturage was abundant by the side of the roads; but the Russians apparently entertained the ide9 that snow never would fall while they were in Bul- garia, or, if it did, that their transport animals would find it to be a nutritious article of food. The supply of sheepskin coats has been utterly inadequate. The other day tenders were invited to furnish 17,000 coats in a week, and no one, of course, could accept the contract. Again, although the snow has arrived a month behind its usual time, no sledges have been thought of; and finally, when the roads of Bulgaria^ were temporarily impassable by waggons, the Russian Intendance invited from an acquaintance of mine a contract for the delivery of 5000 sledges in five days, when the whole available resources of Rou- manian manufacturers could not turn out more than 1000 per week. There is very often a hidden purpose in delaying these contracts for supplies until the necessity is pressing. A sudden demand for a large quantity of something special to be delivered in an impossible time, finds one contractor in possession of the required article, and as there are no competi- tors and the need is urgent this mysteriously provi- dent individual nets his own price. TURKEY AND ENGLAND. The Pera correspondent of the limes says: The Turks still believe that England is prepared to go to war if she cannot obtain from Ellssia such terms as L SwS f ptTT T,hl8Jbehef much encouraged ,r?m about military and naval preparatiGns being there made and about the growing English i hostinty to Russia. Some of these telegrams are, perhaps, deliberate fabrications or exaggerations others are not absolutely in bad faith, but bear a philo- §a V suifc the market for which nntf Tm-k Parfcly because all telegrams of,an rpLS?lr- /ua risk being stopped or de- th« uVpat- "^V^r'ttation is at variance with that of nnrt rml* f "f new»papers, and, if it be incorrect, f i en Pa,se false hopes in the Turks detri- hwkl Peace' gravest responsibility s incurred by t.bose who send them- The Turks, however, have â¢j ..e fcxpeefcationa of peacfe or of English o interfere with their military preparations, W g Pu«hed forward with the greatest possi vigour, more men having been got to the front than recently seemed at all probable. Hence tbrf^ofiw." now less despondenttha.n SlOce the fa.ll or'Pievna.. THE SITUATION AT ERZEROUM. t A special correspondent at Erzeroum gives an a. count ot the situation there to the 4th December, the date at which his latest communication was sent off. ia an interview which he had had with Mukhtar Pasha that general denied the current report that he was about to quit the city. He had on the contrary determined never to abandon it while a man was lett to stand by the"guns. Owing to the precau- tions he had taken he had no fear of the plaice being carried by a coup de main on any one particular point, though a general assault was to be dreaded. Jn riding out of the citv he saw what these precautions were. On the rampa'rts (he says) sentries at fifty yards intervals: in the covered ways a similar line; and fifty yards from the crest of the glacis a first hne of sentinels in rifle pits not twenty yards apart. Another fifty yards farther out a similar line, the rifo? pits alternating with those of the first line. And this in broad daylight. Add to this that Muhir All, the chief of irregular horse, patrols incessantly the ground over which an enemy could advance: and it will be seen that a surprise is hardly possible." For the moment the Russians confined themselves to the limife of the Deve-Boyun Pass and the mouth of the Olti Valley, where it debouches on the Erzeroum plain, in the former position they were to all appearance permanently camped. Their tents were covered with thick felt, and each hat1 a stove well supplied with L J-*>ree battalions from Trebizond had just reached the Turks, and been distributed in the vil- lages between Illidge and the mouth of the Qltl Valley to watch with the irregular cavalry thoroad by which Erzeroum could be turned and to secure the Irebizond road. It ia gupposed that a serious assault from many points would be almost sure to succeed, but«otriwithout hard fighting. CHBJSTMAS SCENES IN WAR TIME- The limes say8 Here we have been, endeavouring to make others merry, even if we could not be merry ourselves. There are sad hearts and needy homes among us; but we are at least free from the curse of violence, cruelty, devastation, and conscription. What was passing about the same time in both Turkey and Russia may be too clearly discerned from the descriptions of correspondents. One of them described.. ride over the field of Elena the day after the battle, and narrated how he came across seven or eight bodies at the fringe of the field three hundred on a plateau and in a valley beyond a hun- dred and fifty near a rivulet, and several hundred more near a gully where the crowning victory of the day was won. Altogether he reckoned the number of Russian dead alone lying in that battle-field at about twelve hundred and besides these were the Turks who had fallen, most of whom bad been buried He proceeded to relate the terror and suffering en- dured by some of the wounded, and told a hideous story ot one atrocity he had himself witnessed on < the day of the battleâa Bashi-Bazouk cutting the I throat of a wounded Bulgarian. A correspondent with the army of Sofia similarly reports the mutila- J tion of the Russian dead and the slaughter of the 1 Russian wounded by troops under Mehemet Al/a t direct command, and in spite of his vehement pro. ] tests. But behind the field of battle in Turkey < this correspondent reports a mass of misery among 1 ihe non-combatant population at Sofia scarcely less ] keen, and not less piteous. Thousands of wretched Deop'le, driven from their homes and rendered desti- i ;ure by the ever-extending ravages of the war, were I Irifting helplessly within the walls of the town, 1 rod, though more than one benevolent agency is at ] work there, the distress overwhelms the existing means 1 >f relief. The Turkish women, in particular, rendered >y the very nature of their education exceptionally J helpless, seemed able to do nothing but sit down opelesgly to cry and starve. This, moreover, it must e remembered, is but a single illustration of what as now been going on for months. Over the whole 0 â¢tfn'garia and the greater part of Roumelia these scenes of bloodshed, rapine, and desolation are to be witnessed. OSMAN PASHA. A correspondent at Bucharest says Osman Pasha arrived here, and put up at the Hotel Broft. He was looking well, and was carried up to his rooms in an armchair. A little girl, the daughter of a Roumanian lady living in the hotel, met him upstairs, and gave him a bouquet of flowers. He lifted her up and kissed her. He is accompanied by a Russian officer and a Russian under-offieer, without arms, stands guard before his door. It is supposed he will remain here some days on account ef his wound, which, although not dangerous, is painful. The surgeons have had a good deal of difficulty with Osman's wound. He obstinately refused to have it dressed, it is said, for three or four days, and it was with great difficulty two Sisters of Oharity finally per- suaded him to submit to having it cleaned and dressed. It is rumoured that Osman is to he tried by court martial for the slaughter of the wounded around Plevna, but I cannot ascertain that thfra is the slightest ground for the report. There is, how- ever, a widely expressed belief that he ought to be tried and punished. If Marshal Baume had killed the German wounded and prisoners that fell into bia hands it would probably have gone hard with him when he surrendered. There "o'lId have been a drumhead court-martial and a very short shrii t. Indeed, the Americans hanged the Southern General Wirz, the director of the Liby prison, for less atrocious crimes tban Osman has been guilty of, but the Russians seem to have no such design, probably as much from policy as anything. The Turks, know- ing they will be well treated, as far as it lays in the power of the Russians, surrender readily where they I would otherwise fight to the last gasp. There were only three Russian prisoners found in Plevna, and I suspect they were deserters. THE WEATHER IN BULGARIA. The Times special correspondent at the head-quarters of the Grand Duke Vladimir, army of Rustchuk, has the following under date December 22nd: The day after the Emperor's departure it began to snow and has continued on and off up to this morning. AU operations have necessarily been suspended. The snow is lying more than two feet deep, and with the strong east wind of the last two days many of the underground huts which the soldiers u had dug for themselves have" been completely buried. Two men who, from., necessity or choice, slept in the open air the night before last were frozen to death. The transport service has been interrupted, and many oxen, I "111 told, have succumbed to the severity of the weather between here and the Danube. A courier coming from the head-quarters of the Cesarewitch was obliged to leave his horses and cart on the road and make the rest of his way on foot. This is real Russian weather, but it is very remark- able that although the Russians are accustomed to it at home they appear to have made no prepa- rations for it here. As far as regards means of conveyance there are no sledges to replace the small four-wheeled waggons. I have seen only one, and that -was made by the servant of a Cossadk colonel. One would have supposed the Russians of all people in the world to have had a number of sledges in reserve for the sudden appearance of winter, and the consequence of the over- sight is a great deal of trouble. The Intend- ance Department informs the cavalry here that it cannot at present send any more hay and corn across the Danube, and a whole Cossack regiment is about to set out for Roumania to feed its horses. At the same time the health of the soldiers, at least here, is excel lent, in spite of the weather and all prognostications to the contrary. For instance, in one regiment of Don Cossacks, consisting of about 900 men, there are only thirteen ill, and none of those are suffer- mg from anything dangerous. No better example than the Cossacks could be taken, is they do most of the hard work during such weather as this, and are the most exposed, I believe that the Russian troops will endure the winter as well aathey did the scorch- ing hot summer, and with as little, if not less, sickness. THE PORTE AND THE BRITISH CABINET. I bear on fair authority (says the Times correspon- dent at Pera) that the Sultan has declared that the Porte would be prepared, if necessary, to concede Russia's inevitable demand-the free passage of the Dardanellesâbut for the opposition of Eng) tcd, whom as an old friend and powerfully ally the Porte id reluctant to offend. He considered England as the only Power likely to object to this, a view which is shared by some of the Sultan's ad- visers and members of the Cabinet. I cannot say what language the English Ambassador actually used, but I know he is believed here in circles usually wep informed to have held language calculated to encourage Turkey in resistance to Russia's demand, and to inspire the hope that it Turkey con- tinues the war rather than concede the free passage of the Dardanelles, England will sooner or later join her in resisting Russia. It is most important, therefore, that this belief should be either confirmed or dispelled by an explicit declaration oa the part of the English Government whether England is prepared to fight for Turkey, and, if so, in what case. The Porte is now waiting for an answer from England to its request for the good offices of the Powers. Upon that answer it will mainly depend whether Turkey will make such concessions as may procure peace or tate her stand on the Constitution and her promises of reform. Sfr Note conveying the request was obviously the echo of Lord Beaconsfield's last speech at the Mansion House. The best friends of Turkey now admit that it is hopeless for her to continue the war without an ally. Its continuation by her single-handed can only increase her already enormous sacrifices, and the ultimate concessions she will be compelled to make may involve possibly the overthrow of the Turkish Government in Constantinople and European Turkey. If on the approach of the Russians to the capita J, the Sultan retired to Broussa, it might possibly further involve the destruction of Constantinople itself and a mutual slaughter of the Turks and Christians. Hence philo-Turks and anti-Turks feel that grievous wrong would be done to Turkey and an injury to British interests if Turkey were en- couraged to continue the war by the hope of English assistance and that assistance should never be forth- coming. On the other hand, there are advisers who assure the Porte that even if the English Government now refuses the hoped-for assistance, it will, in the last extremity, be forced into war by the growing sentiment of hostility among the people of England against Russia. In order to stimulate this sentiment a mass of old telegrams, official and non-official, about Russian atrocities have recently been republished in English for circulation in a pamphlet, and, by a most unfor- tunate coincidence, the English Ambassador has just sent, or is about to send, to the English Foreign Office; a report on Russian atrocities made by Mr. Blunt. Such an act, at such a moment, will strengthen the general impression, even if erroneous, that the language or-attitude of the English Ambassador is calculated to. confirm the Porte in the belief that the popular, sentiment of hostility t) Russia will force the Government into war and to encourage the Porte in its reeistance to Russia. The Turkish journals them- selves make no mention of peace, but quote peace articles from other papers. WINTER IN BULGARIA. The Times correspondent at Bucharest writes: The t ilegraph lines are once more in working order between Bucharest and the outer world. Oa the 16th and 17th of December the rain fell steadily, but on the 18th the temperature became so low that the raip changed to an icy sleet, which covered the surface of everything it touched with a thickness of half an inch of "clear ice, the telegraph lines being covered until they assumed the size and appearance of small ropes. "On the 19th the sleet changed to snow, and a violent wind arose, which drove the snow in blind- ing clouds in every direction, filling up cuttings and railways, and stopping all locomotion on both kinds of communications. The overloaded telegraph wires, swayed by the wind, gave way in all directions, and we were isolated from the rest of the world. During the night the violence of the wind in- creased until it fairly shrieked and howled through the chimneys and ameng the gables of the houses like the wails from Dante's Inferno." The temperature gradually became lower, and on the morning of the 20th the storm was at its worst, Sledges made their appearance upon the streets, but it required no small amount of nerve to charter one. In the afternoon I drove out of town. On the chaussie near the barriers was a train of transport waggons, many of them overturned by the force of the wind-, which swept over the level plain, laden with stifling clouds of driving snow that cut the face like small arrows. I met a Roumanian coming in who had been out to his sheep-fold to see how his flock had withstood the storm. Twenty-five of them had been frozen to death. During the preceding night Beven persons were picked up in the streets of Bucharest and carried to the hospitals in a frozen condition. The pontoon bridge at Nikopol was broken; and the deputation from the Roumanian legislature, bearing the reply to the address cf Prince Charles, remains at Turnu Magurelle, being unable to cross the Danube. The Russian pontoon bridges at Simnitza and Petroshani remain uninjured by the storm. All the railways leading out of Bucharest are obstructed by the snow, and the efforts hitherto made to clear them have not yet succeeded. The wire between the Roumanian head-quarters in Bulgaria and Bucharest remained in working order i until the night of the 28th Dec., when it succumbed ] Up to last adviceaâaH Was stagnant at thafront, t.h( ? storm having enforced, the stoppage of all military operations. The suffering among the Turkish pri- soners taken at Plevna and the Russia troops about the Etropol Balkans, as well as those on their way- tc join Gourko, must have been terrible. Many of th. Turks had no overcoats when captured, and there i no shelter obtainable for large masses of men any where m Bulgaria outside the earthern huts built bi I the soldiers for their own use. Alter, the siege o" P.evna was ended the fuel of the Turks was exhausted and the Russians were compelled to haul wortr from considerable distances for their camp fires ana for cooking purposes. On the Roumanian side cl the investing lines thov. dug up s.umps and root v for firewood. The large masses of ruen encampd around Plevna swept the fuel from the whole county I for imles abound. Bttween Plevna and Sistova thee is absolutely nothing in the shape of firewod sufficient to warm a battalion. Consequently tie detachments of prisoners on their way to the Daniue { must have been terribly affeted by the piercing wild and its frozen burden of blinding snow. No detailsof the effacts of the storm upon the Tnrkish prisoners aid Russian troops caught on the inarchbave been recei-ed here, but it is to be feared that hundreds must hIVe perished. Residents of Bucharest state that a stormof like severity was never known before to come onso unexptctedly, and the degree of cold was most m- u«ual it this season. The cold and driving amw produced a terrible effect; noon a transprt train which had halted near Cotroceni, a subirb of Bucharest, to await the cessation of the stom. I visittd the spot, and found waggons md horses entirely buried in the snow. Worfing parties were engaged in extricating the train. (ver forty horses perished, and twenty-nine dead aen have ;een found already. They had sought shiter in their waggons, and were frozen to death wihin half a mile ot the village or suburb of Cotroeni. From this incident some idea may be formed of the effects of the storm in Bulgaria. This trang)ort train bad camped on a level plain, and was burid by the driving snow being Diled up around the hirem and waggons. RUSSIAN ATROCITIES. The tales of Russian atrocities have unexpecMly1 exercised a very important influence on the situaion. They are, says the Times correspondent, as pre- â >, posterpus and improbable as the worst yet circulated. | One story states that the Russians offered the grossest indignities to some Turkish women in ? mere wantonness of insult, compelling 200 wrmen to parade the camp with their persons .nde- cently exposed..Another is that the Russians com- pelled 2000 wounded prisoners to walk thxiugh the snow from Kara to Erzeroum. Such stories | may be treated as they deserve to be by Euiopean 1 critics. watching impartially from the distance, and j able to see that even were they true, they would j furnish no ground for England's going tc war j with Russia, and they may, therefor., be | prevented from producing on her foreign policy the effect which agitators for war here, j English as- well as Turkish, count on their producing. But their influence is incalculably mis- chievous on Turkish policy in Constat tinople, where J the ultimate authority rests with one man who brieves ) them when heard from the lips of trusted generals and counsellors; and such stories of insults offered by Giacurs to Moslem subjects naturally inflame him to resistance a outrancc. The same effect, too, is pro- j duced oh the Turkish population. | â 3


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