- Project Runeberg -  Through the Caucasus to the Volga /
162

(1931) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Gerald C. Wheeler - Tema: Russia
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THROUGH THE CAUCASUS TO THE VOLGA
162
In June 1847 Vorontsov laid siege to Gherghebil,
which had been strongly fortified by Shamyl; he
tried to storm it, but was hurled back with heavy
losses and had to give up his purpose. He consoled
himself by taking in August the still more strongly
fortified a-ul of Salti after seven weeks’ siege, but
the Russian losses were 2,000 dead and wounded.
In July of next summer (1848) Gherghebil also
was tåken after twenty-three days’ siege by an
anny of 10,000. But they could not hold the town,
and had to retreat, followed by the Murids, so that
nothing was gained. In September 1848 the fort
of Akhti, on the Samur river near the southern
boundary of Daghestan, was attacked by Shamyl
in great strength ; it was, however, heroically
defended by Colonel Roth and 500 men for over
a week. Half the garrison was killed or wounded,
the main powder-magazine had blown up, the
walls were breached, the water used up, no food
could be cooked. Shamyl had promised Roth’s
young daughter to the naib that should first plant
his banner on the wall; but she and the soldiers’
wives were resolved to blow themselves up rather
than fall into the enemy’s hands. When all hope
had been given up a Russian force came at length
to the relief.
In the following years there were no movements
in the field of any importance ; both the Russians
and Shamyl mostly kept on the defensive, and on
neither side were there any defeats or losses ot
importance. Taught by his dearly bought experience
Vorontsov had gradually come to see more and

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