John T. Baddeley
The Russian conquest of the Caucasus, With Maps, Plans and Illustrations. London, New York, and Calcutta, 1908
When a non-military writer deals with military affairs a word of explanation seems called for. Riding through and through the Caucasus unaccom-panied save by native tribesmen, living with them, accept-ing their hospitality, studying their way of life and character, conforming as far as possible to their customs, noting their superstitions and prejudices, writing down their songs and legends, I became interested, likewise, in all that related to that strife with Russia in which they or their fathers had, almost without exception, taken part. Nor is this surprising ; for the whole country teemed with memories of the fighting days, and wherever we rode, wherever we rested—in walled cities, in villages, on the hills or the plains, in forest depths, in mountain fastnesses —there were tales to tell of desperate deeds, of brave adventures, the battle shock of armies, the slaughter of thousands, the deaths of heroes. Dull, indeed, must he be whose blood is not stirred in a land so varied and beautiful, filled with memories so poignant.
Coming back from each of many excursions with in-terest heightened by all I had seen and heard, I sought to complete from books the information gathered, locally, from word of mouth. And not in vain. In the voluminous literature of the Caucasus I found a wealth of material relating to the various wars, yet, strange to say, not, even in Russian, any complete history of the conquest.
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