It is clear from the sources that Lord Cardigan’s status did change some what as a result of the Crimean War however the three sources given provide different feelings and perspectives on whether he actually in fact became a national hero. The most contempory source by Captain Seagar is a snide towards Cardigan and there almost seems pleasurable that he has left the front, however the two modern sources from recent History books believe that he was a ‘national hero’ through his successes on the battlefield however it was the personal issues which led to the public no believing in him instead his performance in the Crimea.
Through Lord Cardigan’s successes on the Crimea it is defiantly possible that due to high media involvement in the England, among the public through his victories that may be slightly hyperbolic he could be seen by many as a ‘national hero’.
National hero infers that Lord Cardigan was seen as heroic by maybe just the public back home in England however as Captain Seager of source 4 would agree that the soldiers under him during the Crimea were almost jubilant with having ‘got rid of Lord Cardigan’ and that if ‘self-importance or bluster are necessary for command, then he is the man’ suggesting that he was only to care about himself which is supported through the catastrophic and almost suicidal Charge of the Lightbrigade in the Battle of Balaclava.
However Massic and Dutton who are both recent historians infer differently that in fact due to his strategic excellence that in result of the Battle of Balaklava he did become a national hero, and with this heroism he was given a sword of honour in August 1856 and promoted to Colonel in 1859. Dutton states that he was a ‘most gallant officer and displayed a keen enthusiasm for the duties and responsibilities of his brigade, of which characteristics seem furthermore plausible for someone named as a ‘national hero’.
However Captain Seager believes that this brand of a ‘national hero’ was not deserved however does not believe that he was a total failure as he strategically planned most of Balaklava. However the way in which Lord Cardigan had been born of noble birth and had paid his way to Lieutenant emphasizes his naivety and makes it almost a fake position however this can be counterbalanced by the awarding of the K. C. B in 1855. Dutton states that the Charge of the Lightbrigade was one of the reasons that Cardigan was so celebrated however with it being one of the biggest military disasters in the British history with a suicidal mission losing 300 unneeded casualties with an almost impossible and unimportant objective.
Agreeing with Captain Seager it seems less than likely that this disaster is celebrated by giving the commander of the offensive awards and fame. What can be concluded through my own knowledge and the three sources given is that Lord Cardigan was certainly not liable for the status of a ‘national hero’ due to military disasters and the attitude of them of who he commanded.
Even though both modern sources agree that he seemed deserved of that status, one who served him believes different and his military performance supports Captain Seagar in that he was not fit for the job and made murderous decisions such as to send 300 men into the valley of death. It seems that Lord Cardigan made his way to fame by buying his way up and being born to noble birth instead of a competent and experienced military commander that his exterior seemed to be.