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THE PASSAGE OF THE DANUBE. The following is the official account of the Russian passage of the Danube writes the Correspondent of The Times, under date, Pera, June 24th:—" It is notorious that the Russians have .made great preparations to cross the Danube. In conformity to the rules of strategy, we recognized the inutility of occupy- ing the Dobrudscha in considerable force, and were there- fore content to place there posts of observations merely. On Friday night the Russians crossed between Matchin and Isaktcha, two hours' distance above Hirsova. The troops posted there did their duty bravely, but the enemy, dtsre- garding immense losses, crossed the river successively in boats. The corps of observation retreated in good order." The following is from the Special Correspondent of The Times, under date Bucharest, June 24 The preliminary operations of the Danube have commenced in earnest. The bombardments continued along the whole line to-day, in- cluding the batteries at Oltenitza, Beket, Grahova, and Kalafat. At three o'clock Yesterday morning ten com- panies of Russians crossed the Danube at Galatz in boats, and secured a position at the village of Zatoca, rising above the level of the surrounding marsh, which is still covered by water. This village is three kilometres south of the main channel of the river. After this force secured a footing, the bridge, which had been lying in readiness along the Galatz shore of the river, was swung into position, and reipforcements poured across to strengthen the pioneer battalions at Zatoca. A large number of rafts, which had been constructed in the River Sereth, were now hastily moved over to Zatoca, and a temporary hridge constructed across the deeper portions of the marsh lying hetween Zatoca and the mainland, whieh at this place rises several hundred feet above the level of the river. These heights were held by about 3,000 Turks, and the Russians, reinforced to about 8,000 men, at once commenced an attack upon the Turkish position. After an engagement lasting six horns, they carried the heights, the Turks falling back to Katchin. which is being hastily strengthened by new intrenchments. The Turks are said to have suffered heavily in the struggle for the possession of the heights, and 40 prisoners have already arrived in Galatz. The Russian loss is estimated at two officers and four men wounded, but these returns are undoubtedly incomplete, owing to the confusion of the moment. The Russians now occupy a position op the range of hills 12 kilometes from the point of crossing, and stretching from a point near Matchin south-east along the line in the direction of Isaktcha. The Russian troops have already commenced a movement the Turkish positions behind Matchin, and an action is now going on there. On the night of the '22nd the bridge at Ibraila was swung into position, and 2,000 Cossacks crossed upon it without meeting any resistance, as the Turkish positions are six kilometres from the tite de poat Matchin was evacuated by the Turks yesterday afternoon at 5, the garrison retiring without resistance when they saw them- selves taken in front and rear by the forces from Ibraila and Galatz respectively. The Turks retreated to Hirsova. The Bulgarian residents of Matchin met the Russians at the outskirts of the town with bread and salt and a Bible. The Russian troops are strengthening the fortifications of Matchin. The fall of Toultcha and Sulina cannot be far distant, as the Turkish forces occupying these points are cut off from their lines of communication and reinforcement. The total Russian loss during the capture of the heights opposite Galatz is now stated to be 15 officers and 200 men killed and wounded. This loss is not a heavy one, when the number of men engaged and the strength of the Turkish positions are taken into account." The Military Correspondent of The Times, telegraphing from Bucharest, on June, 25, says:—"At threeo'clock to-day the Russian batteries opened Are on the Turkish fortifica- tions of Rustchuk. The Turks reply promptly, and also fire shrapnel at the tower from whioh the bombardment is being watched. There will be little respect, apparently, for the Red Cross, which floats near. The inhabitants are flying in terror. There is no apparent effect as yet. The Special Correspondent of The Times telegraphing from Bucharest, June26,says:—"Further detailsof the bom- bardment of Giurgevo yesterday state that, besides the damage to the hospital, the residence of M. Calitzi, the finest in the city, the Gymnasium, the Hotel Europe, and two houses close to the hospital were nearly destroyed. Two men and a little girl were killed. Heavy firing was also heard yesterday on the river above the Giurgevo positions. The Emperor visited the wounded at Ibraila on Saturday. He dined here yesterday, but before going to Prince Charles's Palace at Cotroceni, he visited the two Russian officers in the hospital at Bucharest who were wounded during the torpedo expedition near Rustchuk. The Bashi-Bazouks near Matchin cut off the lips and noses of Russian soldiers. These mutilated bodies were seen by a foreign correspondent. During the bombardment of Giurgevo yesterday the Turks red upon the hospital in a way which argues a deliberate intention to disregard the rules of civilized warfare. There are no batteries in Giurgevo or in its immediate vicinity, and the Red Cross Flag is plainly visible but, as 13 shells struck the hospital, the affair evidently passes the bounds" of accident. The Correspondent of the Daily News says :—A Russian doctor who crossed with the first detachment of 800 men informs me that he does not believe out of this number twenty men are left who have not' been either killed or wounded. The Turks do not seem to have been taken by surprise at all, and appear to have made a very desperate resistance. They were seen before the troops crossed to bring down towards the spot where the troops would land mountain guns on horseback, and seem to have been aware of the Russian movement almost as soon as it began.


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