- Project Runeberg -  Through the Caucasus to the Volga /
132

(1931) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Gerald C. Wheeler - Tema: Russia
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THROUGH THE CAUCASUS TO THE VOLGA
132
them had no firearms (cp. p. 115). Kasi-Mullah
withdrew into Daghestan, and, followed by the
faithful Shamyl, he fortified himself in the end in
his native town of Ghimri ; but many of his fol
lowers had now lost hope and fallen away.
In October 1832 the Russians advanced against
Ghimri. The approach was extraordinarily difficult,
scarred with ravines and deep precipices. When it
was said that the road was impassable for troops,
the Russian commander-in-chief, General Velia
minov, asked : "Can a dog make its way along this
road?" When they answered: "Well, perhaps a dog
could." "That’s enough!" said he. "Where a dog
can go, a Russian soldier can, too." About six
kilometres above and beyond the town Kasi-
Mullah and Shamyl had built a threefold wall in
the gorge, with a stone breastwork at the side;
and here the enemy had to get through. Near the
outer wall were two small stone houses. It cost the
Russians a bitter struggle to take this position,
and both sides fought heroically. When the first
attempt to storm the outer wall failed, General
Veliaminov had a drum brought up, on which he
sat down, and quite calmly began to examine the
enemy’s position through his glass. The defenders
soon caught sight of him, and the bullets whistled
round him ; men fell right by his side. The Prince of
Mingrelia, who was in command of a regiment,
begged the general to come farther away. Velia
minov calmly answered him: "Yes, Prince, it is
indeed a dangerous spot; will you, therefore, be so
good as to lead your regiment at once against the

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