143 Days to the Circassian Genocide 150th year Commemoration
1865 January 16/18 - Letter from Chief of Army Staff, General Kartsov to the Russian ambassador in Constantinople General Ignatiev about the continued migration of mountaineers and their poor conditions.
In response to message No. 845 of 19 December I think it is my duty to clarify the circumstances of the migration of themountaineer populations in the fall of this year. In anticipation of the difficulties that may encounter the Turkish government and the migrants themselves upon their arrival to Turkey in the winter season, last August his Highness ordered the commander of the territory of Kuban that the 15th of October is the deadline date for immigrants to leave, but in the report presented by Count Evdokimov, this deadline was extended for another two weeks, provided that no one is allowed to set out from their place of residence unless they can reach Fort Konstantinovsquih no later than November 1st. After the issuance of this decision, about 20 thousand people from the two areas of Abzakhyski and Bjedoghovski headed towards the sea. Unfortunately at that particular time, the area has witnessed heavy rains that lasted for more than two weeks. The rivers flooded, destroyed bridges and stopped Communications with beyond the Kuban completely for 3 weeks, and subsequently immigrants were unable to reach Konstantinovsquih before the beginning of December. There were two glorious Turkish steamships and a number of private ships, and on December 12th, when the ships were loaded by equal to half its cargo a storm hit and continued for 8 days, and one of the ships that had been loaded with 370 migrants did not hold, and was thrown by the storm to marine rocks near the beach, we could only save 120 passengers while the other 250 were killed. The survivors were taken to the hospital immediately. After the storm passed the ship completed its cargo and left to Kyustenj on 22nd of December while sailing ships left without passengers. At the beach of Fort Konstantinovsquih 10600 mountaineers remained. After receiving the news of the incident his Highness ordered to stop deportation until the middle of next March, to shelter some of them in the abandoned villages in the two Departments of Natokhaski and Shapsogski and the other part in the towns of Alvugin Adagomski and Tamaski, and to disbursed daily to the needy of them two pounds of bread or 7 Koubek in cash for each adult and one pound or 4 Koubek for each child. As you can see the displacement of mountaineers delayed for reasons beyond our control, and the Caucasian leadership took -in the right time -all the necessary procedures to secure the remaining immigrants within our territory. I will also issue an order preventing the staff of the Military Administration from direct communication with the Turkish government. Accept, Sir, my highest consideration.
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