The Istanbul Chronicle and Ottoman Gazette
Albanian Rebels repulsed at Leskovik
Another triumph for reinstated Meyvaci Ali
From our correspondent in Leskovik-in-Epirus, Davut Pasha
Dated the seventh day of Jumadal-Awwal 1321
After his success in beating off an attack by British naval forces at Fethiye last year, janissary officer and successful part-time fruiterer Meyvaci Ali further consolidated his reputation with a solid defence of the Epirot village of Leskovik last week.
An early morning raid by a band of Albanians misguidedly loyal to the rebel Ali Tepedeleni of Janina on the janissaries billeted in the village was heralded by a volley of fire from nearby woods which wounded one of the gate guards. Simultaneously, an assault group ran towards the wall at the edge of the village and occupied it.
On seeing the situation Meyvaci Ali roused his men from their beds and encouraged them to form up in the centre of the village, judiciously leaving a small rearguard in the nearest house. These opened fire on the rebels, wounding one and causing the others to take cover.
This enforced delay proved crucial as Yusbashi Ali was able to get his janissaries behind a wall to the east of the village and form a firing line there. Seeing their comrades formed up there, the rearguard which had been engaging the rebels with intermittent fire began to withdraw but were assailed by an assault which caused the loss of one of their number who was cornered in the house. Another janissary fell wounded as he made his way across the square.
Having all of his force, including the surviving gate guard, lined up behind the wall Meyvaci Ali awaited the rebel attack with some confidence. This proved to be well founded as fire from his janissaries kept the rebels pinned inside the house as well as wounding another of their number.
The failure of their surprise attack caused the rebels to mill about rather aimlessly for a while and no further attempts were made to expand their advance into the village. By late morning the rebels, perceiving there was little chance of crossing the village square to engage the defending janissaries without incurring considerable losses for poor rewards, settled down in and around the house.
About noon, having thoroughly pillaged the house and treated their wounded comrades, the rebels callously set the house on fire and duly took themselves off, retiring under cover of the smoke and leaving the loyal soldiers of the Sublime Porte in command of the village. The rascally Albanians carried their two wounded comrades away with them; the janissaries suffered three casualties - one man dead and two wounded.
The adventures of Meyvaci Ali: