[The following appeared in a May 1854 issue of Russkii Invalid, being a reprint from the Augsburger Allgemeine Zeitung. I do not know if the dates are in Russian or Western style. - M.C.]

From Missolonghi [Mesolongion] on 3 May [1854] was written:

"It would not be excessive to relate more information regarding the Turkish capture of the Christian camp at Peta. The Christians had long suffered shortages in foodstuffs. For this reason, on 24 April a small band of volunteers undertook a raid onto the Arta plain to drive off livestock. They found a flock of sheep but at the same time met with a detachment from the Arta garrison. A sharp fight took place which ended in favor of the Greeks', who lost only two or three men killed in all while the Turks were driven back toward the town with significant loss, unable to prevent the flock from being driven off. The next day, the 25th, was not so fortunate. Early in the morning the Greeks were attacked by a superior number of Turkish troops who, being divided into four columns and reinforced with four guns, moved straight at the position occupied by the Peloponesians, who were not yet experienced in war. In addition, a heavy rain was falling, which greatly interfered with the Greeks' use of their firearms. After a short resistance, the Peloponesians retreated, and this retreat under the heavy pressure of the Turks soon became real flight, causing disorder in the whole camp. The volunteers from the Ionian Islands and the martial Himariots resisted longer than the rest, not wanting their retreat to be without some vengeance, but finally the rout became general, directed toward the two nearest villages of Skoulikaria and Demarion. The Turks did not pursue the Christians there, which must be ascribed to the torrential rain or the surprise of the Turks themselves, who after the preceding fighting could not, of course, have expected such quick success. In this unhappy affair the Greeks lost 16 men in all. All the leaders soon gathered in the mentioned villages or closer to the Greek border. Missing were only Kalamogdarti from Patras and Ioniitsa Domenegini, the radical deputy from the island of Zante. Most likely, both were captured and taken to Arta. The number of Greeks who were gathered together in Peta was from 1000 to 1200 men, and if the Turks were twice or even three times this, then such a result to this business was highly natural, especially when we recall what disorder prevailed in the Greek camp. The Turks, instead of pursuing the enemy and making sure of his defeat, threw themselves upon the defenseless homes of Peta, putting many of them to the torch and turning all their attention to the booty that they had gotten. The Greeks in Peta lost a rather large amount of military supplies, a small sum of money that belonged to some of the leaders, and a very small store of flour. Persons worthy of all credence categorically maintain that several days before the attack on the camp, some English artillerymen were sent to Arta from the island of Santa-Maura through Slakhora. If that is so and if the more accurate shooting by the Turkish cannon was directed against Christians by a Christian hand, then the Turkish victory is nothing to be wondered at. Fuad-Effendi, during the attack, was also in Arta. When news of this scattering of the Greeks in front of Arta reached us here in Missolonghi, 300 Peloponesians had just arrived from Maina. Instead of being frightened by the unexpected news, this brave band calmly continued on their way to the border. Yesterday news was received from Thessaly that the Christians there besieging Demoko were forced to retreat in the face of superior forces under Zeinel Pasha, who attacked them with a large force of Egyptian troops with artillery." (From the Augsburger Allgemeine Zeitung.)

Translated by Mark Conrad, 2000.

Note: These events took place towards the end of an uprising in the northern part of Greece still occupied by the Ottoman Turks. The revolt began in early 1854, and would soon end after British and French forces occupied Athens and pressured the Greek government to end its support. At this time the Ionian Islands, including Santa-Maura (modern Leucas, or Levkas), were under a British protectorate dating from the Napoleonic Wars. In spite of a revolt against the protectorate in 1848, they would not be united with the Kingdom of Greece until 1864.