Feb 23rd 1854
Departure of troops from Liverpool
For nearly 40 yrs no event in connection with military affairs has excited so lively an interest and enthusiasm as the enrolment and departure from the principal ports of the kingdom of the British Troops, who, united with the soldiers of France are destined to vindicate the independence and redress the wrongs of Turkey, and to repel an aggression which endangers the peace of Europe.
During the last fortnight recruiting operations have been progressing and considerable accessions have been made daily to the military and naval services.
The most prominent event in connection to military movements in Liverpool has been, the arrival and departure of the 28th Regt of Infantry, which embarked yesterday on the steamer NIAGARA for Malta, and will sail today at 6am.
The regiment was concentrated in Preston at the end of last week after being separated for 2 yrs, were reunited, and on Monday Lieut’s MALCOLM and RAMADGE, with about 80 non-commissioned officers and men, arrived in Liverpool to take part in the charge of the embarkation of the ordinance stores, it being arranged the main body of troops would leave Preston yesterday morning.
From early morning the, “flags,” were surrounded by a vast crowd, dull, dirty and business-looking windows were hoisted as high as possible, displaying rows of faces, wearing an expression of eager interest and enthusiasm. The windows of the Town Hall overlooking the flags were crowded by ladies and gentlemen. His Worship the Mayor [J. B. LLOYD. Esq] and a party of his friends occupied the balcony, erected in front on the central window on her Majesty’s visit in Oct 1851.
The sound of the Regimental Band, shortly before 10 am, gave notice of their approach, as the troops, with glittering bayonets, turned through High St from Dale St a series of deafening cheers greeted them, which some officers acknowledged, the men restrained by discipline, seemed to treat all with stoical indifference. The iron posts separating the “Flags” from High St, somewhat interfered with, “the even tenor of their way,” detracted from the dignified appearance of the troops, who were obliged to break ranks and run after one another to, “close up.”
Headed by the band, who took their stand near Nelson’s Monument, and facing the Town Hall, the troops marched around the flags, and halted, while the band played, “Auld Lang Syne” and “God save the Queen,” the vast concourse of spectators cheering incessantly with unabated vigour, the excitement increased by the waving of hats and handkerchiefs, while at intervals, the church bell’s merry sounds could be heard.
Everywhere along the route to the Landing-stage, which lay along Castle St, James St, and over the South Dock bridge, the enthusiasm was of a lively character, young and old giving a lusty cheer as they passed.
The embarkation, shortly after 10 o’ clock, lasted about 20 mins, during which time the band continued to play various musical selections. Ever and anon the Woodside, Tranmere, and Rock Ferry steamers, laden almost to the water’s edge with spectators, passed alongside the tenders, the people on board cheering and waving handkerchiefs, heartily joined by those on shore.
The tenders the SATELLITE and the JACKAL had each a lighter in tow, there thus being 4 vessels in all for the shipment of troops. When the men were all on board the SATELLITE, then the JACKAL put off with the staff of the regiment, the Colonels and the band.
The vessels cast off, the band struck up the National Anthem, in answer to the salute from the thousands of spectators, the soldiers led by Lieut Col ADAMS gave three hearty cheers.
As they moved up the river several vessels saluted. The DANIEL WEBSTER and other American ships paying this nautical compliment.
The men appeared to enter upon the Eastern service with cheerfulness and alacrity, they carry with them for the most part, the Minie rifle, which, with its superior facility of handling has become a favourable weapon. It will carry bullets 1,000 yds and be effective at 900 yds, whereas the old bullet was only effectual at 500 yds.
Copyright 2002 / To date