the mortar was so hot that it blew pieces half an inch thick out of its chamber, and then we had to knock off for about three hours. We signalled to the Admiral, who sent some engineers to repair it. After that we went at it again till the next morning. During the first morning three of the enemy’s magazines were blown up, the first of which was that of the main arsenal. It was awful to see the roofs of the houses going up in the air, whilst every moment shells would be seen going into houses and setting them on fire. The town was all of a lump upon a hill. There appeared to be thousands of houses on Monday, but when we left it on the following Monday, the town was still in flames. We hear we are going to Woolwich to have a thorough repair. Eli W....”
[The bombardment of Sweaborg commenced at 6 a.m. on a Thursday and continued until daylight on Saturday. The town itself was burnt to the ground, not one house being left. The dockyards were completely destroyed and all the batteries and earthworks were knocked to pieces. Six magazines blew up, and Sweaborg no longer existed. The immense conflagration lasted 45 hours, and altogether the enemy received a terrible blow, whilst the British loss was insignificant in men and nothing in material. In the sea of Azoff the allies were taken measures to deprive the enemy of the new harvest and to cripple his other resources.
Lines by R. S. Montgomery, on reading of the bombardment of Sweaborg and the victory at the Tchernaya.
“Freely our banners float again, all stainless in the breeze;
And proudly swells the joyous tone of triumph o’er the seas!
Though in the tide of fight for once our flags might flutter down,
The foeman’s blood hath washed the stain that dimm’d our fair renown.
“Then tremble ye who long have sighed to see Brittania low;
Her brand is out and still can strike a full avenging blow.
And glory to the sons of France – the peerless and the brave,
Who with us fight for Freedom’s rights beyond the Euxine wave.
“St. George for merry England! How oft that pealing cry
Hath led our island warriors to vanquish or to die!
And ever if our ancient fame still unforgotten be,
All tyrants to the Ocean Queen shall bend the suppliant knee.
“St. Dennis also on for France! Your lilies fling to sky!
Remember Moscow’s flaming walls and boldly ‘do or die’.
Your sires who perished on those plains in many a frozen mound,
Would curse ye from their graves if now ye yield one inch of ground.
“St. Andrew, up for ‘Scotland dear’. Ring out your slogan brave!
And boldly let your pibroch peal, and wide your tartans wave!
Beneath the plaid there beats no heart that e’er in fear will turn;
You proved it on the bloody field of glorious Bannockburn.