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earned, all found interesting employment. But the resting time had not yet come for the cavalry squadron of the 4th. They had to escort the General to a rendezvous with M. de St. Arnaud, half way between the two camps. For two mortal hours our horses slipped and paddled about ways hardly passable, till we joined the Colonel, who had arrived before us with the chief of his staff, Captain de Courson, and with a squadron of Spahis which Captain de Fleury had just formed at Orleansville.
Whilst our chiefs were conferring about our future operations, the escort fraternised; and narratives of our respective adventures were interchanged. Since the 14th of April, the day in which they quitted Orleansville, Colonel St. Arnaud's division had been more fortunate than ours, for they had had three serious engagements, on the 14th, with Bou-Maza in person. The red flag of the Cheriff had had the temerity to stand a charge of our cavalry. “Woe worth the day" to the Arabs, for their bodies were left thickly strewn over the plain of the Gri, and in the evening our troopers, though fatigued by a march of twenty leagues, were alert enough to bring heaps of spoil to their bivouac. On the 17th they had lost a brave officer, Lieut. Beatrix, the Chief of the Arab bureau at Tenes, who was cut off with four of his Moghrazenis,* and killed before there was time to rescue him.
The conference was long, and seemed very animated. Colonel St. Arnaud spoke with his usual warmth and conviction, sometimes putting his finger on the particular tracts of country on the map, which were to be the theatre of our operations, and sometimes pointing to the adjacent districts. From the spot where we had halted the view was indeed extensive. From it might be seen the table land of Bâle, one of the most important strategical positions of the whole cluster of mountains. This broad and fertile flat rests on rocky and wooded precipices. Ravines of very difficult access made it impossible to reach it, except by steep and narrow pathways; but this central point once attained, a march of a few hours could bring the troops, at the will of their General, into many different vallies. It was on the sea coast, a glimpse of which might just be caught on the horizon, beyond the steeps to the left, and above the crags and counterforts of the great mountain of Ouled
* The cavalry of Marqhzen, especially attached to the service of the police authority.
Iouness, that the companies of the Orleans chasseurs had had so sharp an engagement the evening before.
“There is, nevertheless," said Louis XIV., hearing that Vendôme, hardly arrived in Spain, had re-established the ascendancy of France in that country, "one man more.” In war indeed, a valiant chief, seconded by brave soldiers, is the giant Briarius of the fable, the giant of a hundred arms, the conqueror of all dangers. The chasseurs of Orleans were happy in having for their leader, on the 18th, the commandant Canrobert;* for the rapid coup d'oeil, his precise
* The commandant Canrobert was especially distinguished for his presence of mind under the most critical circumstances. The following trait is a good example of this. In 1848, then a Colonel of Zouaves, he was marching to Aumale-a-Zaatcha, to take part in the siege of that place. The cholera was decimating the column on the march. It was with difficulty that any advance could be made, and the beasts of burthen were encumbered by the dying, when intelligence was brought that the nomade tribes of the south were about to make an attack. An engagement, however, was to be avoided at any cost, for there were no transports for the wounded. In this dilemma, the Colonel immediately made his dispositions for action, and then, accompanied only by his interpreter, advanced to meet the nomades, addressing them in these words: “Know, all of you, that I carry the plague with me, and if you do not
orders, his energetic enthusiasm, and the confidence with which he had long inspired all, rescued them from very imminent dangers. On the 18th the Orleansville column had taken up a position towards the south of the table land of Bâle. At half-past two o'clock, Colonel St. Arnaud ordered two reconnoisances, one under the orders of Commandant Canrobert, who was to advance in a south-western direction, and in case he should not discover the enemy, to ransack the counterforts of Ouled-Iouness. A few Spahis as scouts, in advance, and three hundred infantry, formed the effective force of this little troop. The carabines of the chasseurs had a long range for the Kabyles at a distance, and their bayonets would be equally effective should they dare approach near. The Spahis sent forward as scouts had not given any notice of having seen the enemy. The Oued-met-Mour was already crossed. The section of the carabineers, who formed the advanced guard, was then slightly attacked on the right flank. All eyes turned
allow me to pass on, I will hurl it upon you.” The Arabs, who had for many days traced our progress by graves freshly dug, were seized with terror, dared not attack, and allowed the columu to proceed on their march unmolested.
in that direction, when cries and shouts from the narrow hollow of a wooded ravine, on the left, resounded through the air. At the same moment two thousand Kabyles rushed upon the chasseurs, who, nothing daunted by this sudden onset, being as suddenly rallied by their commandant, instantly attacked them; when, surprised at this audacity, the enemy hesitated, and our chasseurs attained the summit of a rocky flat, a good defensive post. There they were to remain till the arrival of a reinforcement, which the discharge of musketry would quickly bring from the camp of Bâle. To retreat, to traverse the ravine was impossible. This would have been devoting half the troop to death, and increasing the confidence of the Kabyles. Riflemen therefore got into ambush, two reserves being kept in readiness to support them. The balls of the Kabyles fell on the flat without effect, whilst the Orleans chasseurs, crouching on the ground, economised their ammunition, only firing when sure of their mark, so that every shot carried death. The commandant was everywhere, encouraging and animating the soldiers by inspiring words and a still more inspiring example. This obstinate defence, however, irritated the Kabyles till they became furious ; when, writhing with rage, they rushed upon