Mr. Atkinson to Mr. Evarts.
St. Petersburg, April 23, 1877. (Received May 9.)
Sir: The Emperor left the capital on the 20th instant for Kischineff, the headquarters of the army of the South. His return-route is arranged to embrace a visit to Moscow, and it is believed that should he not formally make a war-proclamation to the army at Kischineff, the announcement will be made at Moscow. I am informed that it is already in print, but as yet strictly withheld from circulation.
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The Emperor has this morning reviewed three detachments of the army. To the officers at Bierzoula, comprising the thirty-first division [Page 470]of infantry, the eleventh of cavalry, and the division-artillery, he said at 5.30 a.m. to-day:
Before your departure to the war I wish to speak to you. If you should have to fight the enemy, be brave and maintain the reputation of your corps. Among you are untried young soldiers never under fire, but I expect these to rival the more experienced on the field. I hope that you may return soon and with glory. Good-by, gentlemen.
Then, addressing the enlisted men, he said: “Good-by, boys!” (Rebatya!)
The address was received with great enthusiasm and cheering.
The army is reported as in fighting trim and brimfull of enthusiasm.
The Emperor will stop over night at Terespol, where another review will take place to-morrow, and still another review will be held at Un-geni later in the day. His Majesty returns to Kischineff to-morrow at midnight.
Among his escort are the ministers of war, of ways and communications, and of the court, the chief of the gendarmery, several princes of the blood, and General Ignatieff.
The Turkish embassy here has to-day packed up its effects and only awaits a telegram to leave Russia.
I have, &c.,