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WAR VICTIMS. The following despatch from Mr. Layard was re- ceived at the Foreign Office, September 6 Therapia, Aug. 27,1877. My Lord,—I have the honour to enclose a copy of a letter addressed to me by Mr. Fawcett, describing the lamentable condition in which he found the fugitive Mus- sulman women and children at Rodosto and Adrianople. Mr. Fawcett had kindly undertaken to distribute some food and other necessaries among these poor people, which he was able to buy out of the funds so generously placed at my disposal by Baroness Burdett-Coutts.—"I have, &c., "The Earl of Derby. "A. H. LAYARD. Enclosure. I I I Therapia, Aug. 25, 1877. "'Sir,—In the private letter I addressed to your Excellency on the day of my arrival at Rodosto I en- deavoured to give an idea of the state of extreme destitution and misery in which I found about 1,200 souls, refugees from the villages at the foot of the Balkans. About 800 of these were Osmanli, prin- cipally women and children, and about 250 Bulgarians from the same district. To comprehend how they came to Rodosto, on the sea of Marmora, 250 miles away from their homes, it must be understood that these flying villagers took refuge in two large centres; the Osmanli crowded into Adrianople, and the Bul- garians into Philippopolis. The Valis of these places, being utterly unable to cope with an influx of misery, despatched them in batches, some on foot, and, when possible, some in arabas, to the neighbouring towns and villages. From the statistics I received from the Kaima- kam of Rodosto and also from personal observation I made in his district there are 2,700 refugees at Rodosto town, 1,500 having arrived in a frigate from Varna the evening of my leaving the place. At Tchorlou, on the Adrianople line, there are 400. At Soul<S Bourgas, also on the line, there are 400 in town and 400 Tartars in the adjacent country and in Kerabol, Heraclea, Visa Media, Malgera, and Kazan upwards of 1,500 more; which brings the total in the Rodosto district up to about 5,400 refugees of these not more than 400 are Bulgarians. I may inform your Excellency that Colonel Blunt of the new gendarmerie kindly voluntered to accompany me, and proved a most able auxiliary. On arriving at the town we were met by Mr. Dussi, the British Consular Agent, who is the most influential merchant there, and who, I was informed, had already disbursed considerable sums out of his private means to the fugitives. Accompanied by this gentleman we went to the municipality, where we were joined by the Kaimakam. We found these officials in a most per- plexed state of mind. The Government orders are that each adult fugitive should receive half an oke of bread-i.e., about lilb. English—per diem, and each child a quarter of an oke and nothing else. This was to be provided out of the municipality funds, which funds were then reduced to £ 15 Turkish, and they had no prospect of getting more. We made an inspection of the places where the poor creatures are lodged. We found the Bulgarians lodged in two schools nd a church they were toler- ably well clothed and had some cooking utensils with them, and the Greek community were doing some- thing for them; there was only one wounded woman among them, but many of them were suffering from intermittent fever and dysentery. We next visited the Osmanli fugitives, who were dispersed in 51 old houses throughout the whole town, and found them in a much worse condition than the Bulgarians: many women had nothing but their ferijees on, and 9 many children were stark naked; they seemed to have saved nothing, no cooking utensils, and no clothes. The municipality proposed that all these persons should be collected in the square, and that they, the municipality, should 'serve out the pro- visions and money we had brought. We distrusted this plan of proceeding, and decided to give away the stores personally, and, having hired arabas, and accompanied by a member of the municipality and his clerk, we made during two days a house-to-house visit and distributed to these unfortunates with our own hands about an oke and a half of rice per head, half a pound of coffee, and about five piastres each. This was quite a God-send to them, and was most thankfully re- ceived. There were scarcely any men, but those we did see were respectable-looking peasants. Most of the women said their husbands had been killed. In one house there were 32 women and some children all of these women bad lost their husbands, about a third were suffering from fever and dysentery there is only one doctor in the whole town, but the Vali of Adrianople promised me to send another at once. There were not many wounded o#e girl of 16 had a bullet wound in her back, the ball remaining in, and another through her arm; she was doing well. The most painful sight to see were infants at the breast dying of hunger, the mother's milk failing through their own starvation. We had some Swiss milk with us, but we could not make the poor people use it. We gave quinine to most who had fever. The state of the refugees in the town being such, it is easy to imagine what must be the condition of those in the small villages where the inhabitants are necessarily much poorer and less able to assist their distressed brethren. Next day we rode across to the Adrianople line at Moratlu. In consequence of the depredation of bands of Circassians we were obliged to take an escort of a Bimbashi and fifteen zaptiehs. During the three days we were at Rodosto some Circassians committed four daring robberies close to the town, one theft being four horses belong- ing to our Consular agent. "'On arriving at Adrianople we found a much larger number of refugees, but not quite In ao destitute a condition, though bad enough. Adrianople being a rich town and the seat of a villayet, the unfortunates obtained more assistance than at Rodosto; yet their state is most deplorable. The same amoumt of bread is served out as at Rodosto. There are upwards of 6,000 destitute Osmanli in the town and more arriving daily; about 1,600 Jews, and about 400 Bulgarians, the latter people having mostly taken refuge at Philippopolis. The English community have formed a committee, headed by Mr. Black, the manager of the Ottoman Bank, and by Mr. Blunt, Her Britannic Majesty's Consul. They have given shelter, food and clothes to about 800, who are therefore tolerably comfortably off; but they are scarcely a seventh part of the whole number. These are distributed in six good houses, each of which is looked after by one of the oommittee, and the cleanliness and sanitary arrangements are excellent. We visited some of the other houses, hired for the remaining refugees, and found them much the same as at Rodosto, in great misery, with much fever. Mr. Consul Blunt has also founded with the funds supplied by your Excellency two hospitals exclusively for women and children, and I need hardly add that he is working with his accustomed energy and devotion. Mr. and Mrs. Carnara. of the Ottoman Bank, are there almost all day, and the Sisters of Charity are there also, doing the good work to which they have devoted their lives. These two hospitals are a heart- rending sight, gray haired old women, young girls children, and infants in arms shot, maimed, and slashed with sabre and knife cuts. They were all Osmanli and gipsies, and all told the same tale, that their neigbours the Bulgarians, had fallen upon them and murdered them without sparing age or sex. There was one very horrible case, a very beautiful young woman, wife of a Turkish telegraph clerk, now lodged in Mr. Carnara's house. Her tale is that, only five days after she had been delivered of her first child, the Cossacks arrived, murdered her husband, then nine of them violated her one after another, and, lastly, attempted to kill her infant, she receiving some sabre cuts on her arms in her endeavours to shield the child. The number of wounded in these two hospitals is 101, and more wounded were coming in daily. From the abo .re statements your Excellency will see that it is most probable that some epidemic will soon break out; in fact, the doctors whom I saw said it was almost a certainty that such would be the case both at Rodosto and Adrianople. Having returned to Constantinople at once, I was unable to proceed further, bat I left Colonel Blunt at Soule Bourgas distributing the remainder of the rice, coffee, and money wehad taken up with us. On returning I met Mr. Murray, the Corre- spondent of the Scotsman, whom I had known be- fore, and who gave me the following dreadful details. He is the only European who has visited the district to the north-west of Eski-Saghra since the Russian passage of the Balkans. These places-viz., Kalofer, Carlova and Sopot—are near the pass through which the Russians first debouched on Southern Bulgaria. He states that these towns are wholly destroyed, and that the streets, the vineyards, and the fields are strewn with the putrefying corpses of men, women, and children. His account is, that on taking possession of these towns, the Russian commanders forced the Turkish peasantry to give lip their arms, promising them that they should be protected that on the ap- proach of Suleiman Pasha the Russians retired, hand- ing the arms above mentioned, and others also, to the Bulgarian peasantry, who immediately turned upon their Turkish neighbours and ruthlessly murdered them indiscriminately, the women being first subjected to the most horrible outrages. When Suleiman arrived, he hung every male Bulgarian he could catch, many, of course, escaping to the Balkans. The Bashi-Bazouks and Circassians are carrying on the work of reprisals in their own bloodthirsty manner. Mr. Murray found a few miles from Carlova a sort of camp of Turkish men, women, and children, whose number he estimated at 4,000, in a state of absolute starvation. It is these people I hope to reach and succour with a portion of the funds that have been in such a timely manner placed in your Excellency's hands. I hope, also, to make a further report to you on the last-mentioned statements, which are made on the authority of an Englishman whom I know. "It is impossible, without having personally wit- nessed it, to picture to yourself the extremity of misery into which a simple and industrious peasantry have been plunged. I have, &c., J. HENRY FAWCETT. His Excellency the Right Hon. A. H. Layard, &c.



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