Added to these and other reverses in Europe, there came tale after tale of disaster in Asia. Kars, which had been besieged by the Russians, was successfully relieved by the Turks under Muktar Pasha, just as, a few months later, Erzeroum was twice attacked by the Russians, who were as many times repulsed. Then it was, when the skies were lowering on all sides, that the Russian emperor and his princes and generals began to look eagerly for aid from their ally north of the Danube; and then, for the safety of his own country, Prince Charles entered the field with his brave little army of Roumanians, and, recalling the days of Stephen and of Michael, and emulating the prowess of the field of Kalugereni, he succeeded in turning the tide of victory, and in saving the honour of that ally, from whom lie subsequently received such poor acknowledgment.
[Footnote 176: Daily News War Correspondence, vol. i. p. 73.]
[Footnote 177: There are two monuments, one at Simnitza and the other at Sistova, which are visible to the traveller as he passes up or down the river. The first indicates the spot where the Russians embarked, whilst the last is a handsome memorial to the slain.]
[Footnote 178: These operations are graphically described in the interesting work of Col. Fife Cookson, With the Armies of the Balkans, Cassell, 1880; in the Daily News War Correspondence, Macmillan, 1878; and in Ollier’s History of the Russo-Turkish War, Cassell.]
Up to August 25 we hear little or nothing of the movements of the Roumanians, and in every case the fighting was done by the Russians, either alone or in conjunction with their ruthless allies the Bulgarians, the operations being then spoken of as those of the ‘Russo-Bulgarian’ forces; but on the date named, or thereabouts, the main portion of the Roumanian army crossed the Danube, and thenceforward the Bulgarians are seldom mentioned, and the contest is prosecuted by the ‘allies,’ or the ‘Russo-Roumanian’ army. At first the Roumanian soldiers receive scant regard at the hands of the chroniclers: indeed, on one or two occasions they are referred to with marked contempt. Writing from Giurgevo on June 5 (that was before the Russians had crossed the Danube at Simnitza), one of the correspondents says:—’Whilst