'Camp Sebast. Siege train covering gun-wheels - with sheep skins - to prevent noise. Preparations to go out to trenches. Oct 1854'
Watercolour by Joseph Archer Crowe, special artist for 'The Illustrated London News', 1854.
Once the Allies had decided to subject Sevastopol to bombardment before commencing their assault, the siege train had to be unshipped and transported (in the case of the British) from Balaklava, a distance of twelve kilometres. The British landed 73 heavy guns, many of them naval pieces which had to be conveyed on spare travelling carriages (with larger wheels). In this scene the artist shows a trenching party preparing for a night's work: the wheels of the covering guns are covered with sheepskins to prevent creaking and avoid the Russians being guided to where the trenching-party was to begin digging.
The original for a print entitled 'Siege of Sebastopol - preparing a train for the trenches', published in 'The Illustrated London News', 4 November 1854.
NAM Accession Number
National Army Museum, Out of Copyright
National Army Museum, Study collection