Stavka. 23 January, 1915.
Sincere thanks for two telegrams. Here everything is well. The weather is the same as with you. Give her my greetings. I kiss you and the children warmly.
Stavka. 24 January, 1915.
MY BELOVED SUNNY,
Both your sweet letters have deeply touched me - I thank you with all my heart for them.
It was hard to leave you and the children this time, because of the poor Little One's foot. I am so afraid that it may last a long time. Please do not overtire yourself now that you have to be upstairs with him so often - except, perhaps, when you are at the hospital.
Our journey has proved agreeable and quiet. How fortunate it is that the gentlemen have got accustomed to each other and no incidents occur! In the evening we played with Mamma's new dominoes and listened to Voeikov or Feodorov, who read Ania's amusing book to us.
I have found Nicolasha's Staff here in very good spirits. I am very glad to see old Ivanov, who has come for a few days on duty. Luckily he grumbled less than usual. He asks you to send him your new photograph; please do soit will please the dear old man. Kyrill and Petia are here; the latter will remain at N.'s disposal. I was so pleased to see the jolly, stout old Veselkin; he had dinner and tea with us and told us, mixed up with serious and interesting things, such stories that everyone shook with laughter. It is now the seventh time that he has travelled by the Danube to Serbia with his Supply Expedition. The risk increases more and more, as the Austrians are doing all in their power to blow up our steamers. God grant that they may be spared!
As on all my previous visits here, the first day turned out to be a frightfully busy one: only after lunch did I manage to get in a good walk, but for the rest of the time I received people until the evening.
Well, good-bye, my beloved Wify-teeny. May God bless you and the children! I kiss you and them affectionately. Give my warm greetings to A.
Always your hubby
NOTES: "The Little One": the Tsarevitch, Alexis. He is referred to as Baby... the Little One," or "Alexey." At this time he was ten years old.
The words "except, perhaps, when you are at the hospital must be taken as meaning "try to spare yourself as much as you can, except, perhaps, when you are on duty at your hospital." The Tsaritsa was untiring in her work as a nurse, and even assisted at operations.
VESELKIN: Rear-Admiral M. M. Veselkin, attached to the Stavka. He administered the flotilla commands in the DanubeDobroudja area. Commanded the warship "Borodino."
Stavka. 24 January, 1915.
Hearty thanks for dear letter. Both thank you for your greetings. It is cold, clear, windy. I saw today Engalychev, the Governor-General. His first steps are successful. I have written. Blessings and tender kisses to all.
NOTES: ENGALYCHEV: Prince P. N. Engalychev, Adjutant-General. He was the Governor of Warsaw, and had formerly commanded the Life-Guard Hussars. At one time the head of the Nicolaievsky Academy.
Stavka. 25 January, 1915.
Tender thanks for letter and telegram. To-day after divine service I distributed orders and crosses to the officers and other ranks of my composite Cossack Regiment. I had no time whatever to-day for writing. It is warmer, but windy. I embrace all closely.
26 January, 1915.
MY DEAR, BELOVED WIFY,
I thank you tenderly for your letters. I am so sorry that I did not write yesterday, but l had endless receptions. In Baranovitchi, after church, Crosses of St. George were distributed among my black, handsome Cossacks - many of whom have speared or cut down several of the enemy. I visited Nicholasha and inspected his new railway carriage; a very comfortable and practical one, but the heat in it is such that one cannot endure it above half an hour. We discussed thoroughly several important questions and, to my joy, came to an entire agreement on all those we touched upon. I must say, that when he is alone and in a good humour he is sound - I mean to say, he judges correctly. Everybody has noticed a great change in him since the beginning of the war. Life in this isolated place, which he calls his "hermitage," and the sense of the crushing responsibility which rests on his shoulders, must have made a deep impression upon his soul; and that, if you will, is a great achievement too.
I arrived here this morning, and was met by dear Olga and some others. She looks and feels absolutely well and sound again. We drove in my car to her hospital. After having visited the wounded, I went to her room, where we sat for a little while, and then returned to the train.
We had lunch and then sat together. As the weather was magnificent she suggested a drive. We drove out of the town, went up a steep hill and returned by another road through a pretty wood.
Mordv[inov], Drent. and N.P. came with us, and we all derived much pleasure from our walk. K. enjoyed it very much. At present we are both busy writing to you in my coupé, sitting so cosily side by side. My train leaves at 7 o'clock. Only think I I have just received a telegram from Doumbadze to the effect that the infamous "Breslau" has fired about 40 rounds on Yalta and considerably damaged the " Russia" Hotel. Swine!
Well, good-bye; God bless you and the dear children. Thank them for their letters.
Your dearly fondly loving and always, my treasure, Your old
NOTES: MORDVINOV: A. A. Mordvinov, formerly A.D.C. to the Grand Duke Michael. He was one of the Tsar's favourite A.D.C.'s during the war, and was very much liked by the Tsaritsa and her daughters. DOUMBADZE: General J. A. Doumbadze, a member of the Imperial suite and the mayor of Yalta, a fashionable watering-place in the Crimea. It will be remembered that the German cruiser "Breslau," together with the "Goeben." passed through the Mediterranean.
Kiev. 27 January, 1915.
Hearty thanks for letters. Have inspected a charming hospital belonging to both of the sisters, and then the hospital of the nobility for 85 officers. Agreeable, frosty weather. Had a very cordial reception. Tender kisses for all of you, and A.
Sevastapol. 29 January, 1915.
Have only just arrived. 2 degrees of heat. A great deal of snow. The fleet returned yesterday. I am now preparing to visit it. Tender kisses.
Sevastopol, 29 January, 1915.
Thanks for telegram. I am so happy to be here and to have an opportunity for thanking all those who work and serve so zealously. Before lunch I spent a little time on board the "Eustaphia" and the "Kagoula" and in the naval hospital. At noon I inspected the young sailors and visited the barracks of the naval training college for boys. The impression made by everything is delightful. Clear, mild, calm weather..
Sevatapol- 30 January, 1915.
Have visited all the fortifications and batteries on the north side. Saw a few wounded who have recovered. Pleasant, warm weather...
Sevastopol. 30 January, 1915.
Warm thanks for letter. Drove round the southern batteries in a car. I had inspected some of them in 1913. In the town I saw wounded officers and men from the front, sent here for treatment. A magnificent day. I am leaving now. Good-night. Tender embrace.
Telegram. Ekaterinoslav. 31 January, 1915.
Sincere thanks for sweet letter and two telegrams. I am very pleased with my cordial reception. Have inspected two splendid hospitals. The weather is still sunny. In the course of the day I shall inspect the Briansky arms factory.
I embrace all closely.