79 Don Cossack Artillery 1854
Set 79 includes a 6 pounder Russian field artillery piece, supported by four gunners. The gunners' sheepskin caps have oilskin covers, wear the shival long overcoat, and are armed with pistol and shashka/Caucasian pattern sword.
At the Battle of Balaclava, 25th October 1854, prior to the arrival of the charging Light Brigade, Russian horse artillery was formed in the North Valley with the 3rd Don Cossack Battery of eight guns in line to the left of the main body of Russian cavalry. Also present, the 12th Horse Artillery Battery was divided into two, with four guns to each flank of the cavalry. Although positioned slightly in rear of the cossack artillery, their four guns on the left flank of the cavalry probably gave substance to the claims that the Light Brigade charged a battery of twelve guns.
On being struck by the first line of the Light Brigade the Russian mass retreated in disorder taking the 12th Horse Artillery with it, to leave the dismounted cossack gunners who were left behind to be cut down by the British cavalrymen. They were left in no state to fire into the withdrawing Light Brigade.