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General Stone And The Bombardment Of Alexandria

General Stone And The Bombardment Of Alexandria image
Parent Issue
Day
28
Month
May
Year
1884
Copyright
Public Domain
OCR Text

Perhapa the most notable attlcle in the June Century is Miss Fanny Stone's "Diary of an American Girl In Cairo durlug the wai of 1&S2." Tiie following letter, whicli introduces the diary, expresses General Stone's views on the Knglish bombariiniPiH t Alexandrta: FLDUUS, Lonj Island,) F.mor of tra ti-Mum: A""- '- "Diíar Sir: My daugbter lias corrected the proof of her diary wliich you sent her. At your request 1 add a few wonls of explanation, jiivinr some icueral account of the clrcumstaaceu onder whlcli the diary was wiitteu. Aa you are perhaps aware, I was at that time, and had been for a dozen years, the Chlef of the General Staffof the Khedive of Egypf. My duties at that critical period requiied me to be a part of the time in Alexandi ia and a part of the time in Cairo. On tbc 6th of July 1 took the evening train for Alexandria, expecting to return on the 8th. On the Stb I found it iml)osible to leave, as uiatters looked vtry tlireatening, and I could not telegraph for my family to leave Cairo without creating more panic. I fc-lt that it was probable that the Biitish Admiral would eventually bomb-ird Alejandría, butl could notconceive thit he could bom bard an open ?eaport after havlng proclaimed that he entered its haibor "as a friend,"- cerlainly not without u;iving; such cle.-ir and rimely nolice that the tliousandsof Europeans regldlng in the interior cities (to whom 110 notice waBiglyen) would have opportunity to leave; forheand a'.l the British authorities must have known perfectly well that the bombardnient of Alexandria by any Europeaii fleet would Ciinse theenragcd inhabitants to wreak vengeance on all Europeans who might be in the country, of whatever nationallty. To iny astonisliiiient the notice of only twenty-four hours was glven, and tliat notice was gi ven Inte ia the aftenioon of the 9tli of July, afler the dsparture jrom Cairo of the kut train on that day for Alexandria. At the same time the fureign warships and ellips of refuge wera advised to quit the hirbor ui noonon the lOth! Thiti harbaruus disrugard on tlie part of the British of tlie Uves of citizens ol au othei' nationalitiea causeel me, as well as thousands of nthen, fearful anxiety, and caused the horrible death of scores of Emopeaiis - -Freneh, Gerinang, Austrians and Italians. I was torced to decide In a moment tlie best course to purgue to secure the safety of my wife and daughters a hundred and tvventy miles in the interior. There was no train to leuve Cairo until 8 o'clock a. tú. on the lOth, and that train would be due at Alexandria at 3 o'clock p. in., three hours after the departnre of the stiips of refuge. I feit that four ladies struggling in a railway station fora place, in the midst of a crowd of panic-stricken Europeans, would ':ave but (mail chance; and even shonld they succeed in securing places in the railway carriages, it was more than probable that they would be turned out at some polnt on tlie toad to make place for soldiers on their way to the th rea tened city. Even could tliey reach Alexaudria, the ships would uot h thcre to receive tbcm, and I could lind no place of safety for them in a town about to be bombarded. I hastened to the telegraph offlee and sent a dlspatch to the senior offleer of the Stuif at Cairo, lnformlog him that the Brltlsb were about to act, that I remained at my post, and confided my family to the honor of the Staft". It was a desperate situation, but my decisión proved to have been the correct one; for the families that left Cairo by the 8 a. m train of the lOih arrived too late to get on board the ships, and were subjected to the horrors of the boinbavdment. The following morning I placed my son on board the Lancaster frigate, and with a mail im ¦¦ - - about my duty near the Khedive, with as calm and cheerful a countenance as was possible. During the day of the Oth of July, the palace of Ras-ul-Tin was thronjjed with Eurnpean (ifficials of hi;n grade. Even alter the announceinent of boinbardinenj the English Conwil-Geïieral, the Englisli Postmaster General (of Eypt), the English Collector of Custonis, and the higli functionaries of the various administrations were quietly eating their dinners and suppers in the city they were about to boiubard, and jokingly discussing the probable effect of tlie heivy gun practice, apparently not thinking of or CTing for the women and children of nationalities other than British in the interior. All Brttish BUbject8 had been carefully sent away. On the lOth only five western official remained around the Khedive in hiá palace - one American and four Italians. One of these was myself ; another, an Italian rear-admiral; another, the physician to His llighness; another, hissecretary ; the other, his master of the ceremonies. These five, with a few Turkish, Armenian, and Eiryptian officers and officials, formed the little court of tlie Khedive through the scènes of the bombardment and the three ; days followlng, duiinsj which the palace I oí Hamleh was surrounded by troops sent 1 to burn it and shoot down all who should ( attempt to escape. Then came the British occupatlon of Alexandria, and the campaign against ! Arabi. During tliis campaign I did all of which I was cupable to aid the allies of the Khedive, well knowing that whlle such was my duty, yet the peí formalice of tliat duty.day by duy, and act by act must necessarüy add to the dangers clustering arounü my family In their isolation. In my position every act was, of course, well known and conspieuous to the erjemies of the Klieüirc. This situatlon continued for my family and myself until the 8th day of AuCUSl, Wlion I had tho lkapj naca r,f roftniir. iiir thcin on board the Dakalièh at IVit Saúl. ïhis happy rcsult was diie piincipally to the prompt decisión of Commander Whitehead, Uuited States Navy, who, not fearin; to take upon liimsclf respnnslbility wlien au American family was in dangor, promptly acceded to my request to enter the Suez caual, and at Ismallla todemand of the authorities at Cairo lliat the family should be brought thcro and delivered to him on the deck of the U. S. ship (uinncbaug. Meang were taken to cause iufornatlon of his resolve to reach the ears of Arabi, and he acted before being subjeoted to a demand In the name of the U. S. Government. Had Admira! Seymour gi ven even fortyeight hours' notice of his intentiou to bombard, he and his Government would have been spared tho frijfhtf ui respousibllit}' which now weihs upon them of cau?ing the horrible death of European men, women, and childreu, who ptrished of Efiypti.in women andchildren who perished In the bonibardment and in the p.Hiiic llight fiom the hastily bombardee! town. During the so-called " massacre " of June 11, 1882, in Alexmuli Ia, European men were strnck down by the infurinted popukce but not a ma in or child was injured. Durihjt the Chrlstian borubardment. of Alexandrla scores of Egyptlan women and children perished, and their husbauils, brothers, and fathers wreaked vepgeanoe. a little later, on the Innoceut and helplfss Europea ns at Taiitah and Mehallet-el-Kebir. Very truly voura, Lieut. General.'1

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Subjects
Ann Arbor Courier
Old News