The Crimean War (October 1853 – February 1856) was a conflict in which Russia lost to an alliance of France, Britain, the Ottoman Empire, and Sardinia. On 28 March 1854 France and Britain declared a war on Russia from the ambition of the French emperor Napoleon III to restore the grandeur of France. An introduction to history of the war can be found on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crimean_War.
There were numerous battles in this war. One of the famous battles was one-year long siege of Sevastopol. There is a website in Russian that covers this historical event and can be found at http://sebastopol.com.ua/.
Also a www.vgd.ru (biggest Russian genealogical website) has a separate section (30 pages long by now) where you can find everything you need about how to research this event if your ancestor participated in the siege. Here is a link to this section. http://forum.vgd.ru/314/24898/0.htm?a=stdforum_view&o=
A photograph of bearded soldiers-veterans caught my attention on page 30 of this forum. The photo was taken in 1901 by P.F. Rergert of all live veterans who participated in the siege. There is a list of all 41 soldiers on the forum.
Read every page of this forum. Use “right-click” “Translate with Bing” option as a starting point.
The most important thing is to write to Russian State Military historical archive in Moscow (Российский государственный военно-исторический архив). They have the information on Army soldiers. Fleet records are located in Russian State Navy archive (Российский государственный архив Военно-Морского Флота).
Just recently I have been contacted by one family researcher who had a photograph of his ancestor Ivan Vasilyevich (with the name and approximate year of birth 1830) who might have participated in this war as he had a medal on his chest. The request has been sent to the archive and the archivists confirmed that the Military archive indeed had his personal file. We are currently awaiting the records. Interesting enough ancestor Ivan Vasilyevich looked exactly the same as the above veterans.
Do you have any photos of your ancestors which need to be identified?