Page:Dictionary of National Biography. Sup. Vol II (1901).djvu/395

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Hamley
Hamley
383

was sent to Canada, where he remained nearly four years, devoting himself to reading and field sports. His fondness for the latter went along with a remarkable love of animals, especially cats. On his return to England he was stationed at Tynemouth and Carlisle. He had to live on his pay, and having incurred debts, he turned to literary work as a means of clearing them off. His earliest papers, 'Snow Pictures' and 'The Peace Campaigns of Ensign Faunce,' found ready acceptance, and appeared in 'Fraser's Magazine,' 1849–50. He was promoted second captain on 12 May 1850, and joined his new battery at Gibraltar. A lady who knew him well there says: 'He came to the Rock with the reputation of being very clever, satirical, and given to drawing caricatures. … Most people stood in awe of him, owing to his silent ways and stiff manner, and from his taking but little part in things around him, and never taking the trouble to talk except to a few. … He had a most tender heart behind his stiff manner, and many were the kind acts he did to the wives and children of his company' (Shand, i. 63). His connection with 'Blackwood,' to which his eldest brother, William (an officer of royal engineers), was already a contributor, began in 1851. His excellent novel, 'Lady Lee's Widowhood,' appeared in 1853, and was soon republished with drawings by himself, which show that his artistic talent fell little short of his literary gifts.

In March 1854 Colonel (afterwards Sir) Richard Dacres [q. v.], who commanded the artillery at Gibraltar, was given the command of the batteries of the first division in the army sent to Turkey. Hamley went with him as adjutant, and served throughout the war in the Crimea. At the Alma his horse was struck by a cannon-shot. At Inkerman his horse was killed, and he narrowly escaped being made prisoner. He had brought up three guns, and had planted them on the fore-ridge with a boldness and skill which seem to have attracted Todleben's notice (Kinglake, v. 195-7). On the death of General Strangways, at Inkerman, the chief command of the artillery passed to Dacres; Hamley became his aide-de-camp, and held that post till April 1856. He was four times mentioned in despatches (London Gazette, 12 Nov. and 2 Dec. 1854, 26 Jan. and 2 Nov. 1855), was made brevet-major on 12 Dec. 1854, and brevet-lieutenant-colonel on 2 Nov. 1855, and received the Crimean medal with four clasps, the Sardinian and Turkish medals, the legion of honour (5th class), and the Medjidie (5th class). He sent 'Blackwood' a series of letters from the camp, which were afterwards republished as 'The Campaign of Sebastopol,' and present a vivid picture of the course of the siege. A review of the 'poetry of the war,' and a paper on 'North and the Noctes,' were also written by him in the Crimea.

On his return home Hamley was quartered at Leith. and made the personal acquaintance of John Blackwood, with whom he was henceforward on terms of affectionate intimacy. Through Blackwood he formed many literary friendships: with Aytoun, Warren, Bulwer Lytton, Thackeray, and others. 'He hated fools, he had no tolerance for presumption, and he could never endure self-complacent bores' (Shand, i. 122), but with men he liked he was a most genial companion and a brilliant talker. He edited the first series of 'Tales from Blackwood' (1858, &c.), which included two Gibraltar tales of his own.

Early in 1859 he was appointed professor of military history at the newly formed staff college at Sandhurst. He remained there six years, and his lectures were the foundation of his great work, 'The Operations of War,' published in 1866. By this book he 'has done more than any other Englishman to make known to English officers the value of a methodical treatment of the study of campaigns' (Maurice, War, p. 9). The book was not intended for military men only, and its literary finish and the absence of pedantry made it attractive to non-professional readers. But he is himself open to the charge which he brought against other writers on strategy: that they 'treat their subject in too abstract a form.' He ignored national distinctions: he 'deliberately omitted all reference to the spirit of war, to moral influences, to the effect of rapidity, of surprise, and secrecy ' (Colonel Henderson, Journal of United Service Institution, xlii. 775). General Sherman, while expressing his high estimate of the work, remarked that in the criticisms of the Atlanta campaign due allowance had not been made for the local conditions.

The earlier volumes of Kinglake's 'War in the Crimea' were reviewed by Hamley in the 'Edinburgh' (April 1863 and October 1868), as he had more fault to find with them than would have suited Blackwood, their publisher. He became colonel in the army on 2 Nov. 1863, and regimental lieutenant-colonel on 19 March 1864. The latter promotion removed him from Sandhurst to Dover; but on 1 April 1866 he was made a member of the council of military education, and for the next four years he