The declaration of the Revolution in the Peloponnese was made when the majority of the Ottoman army marched out against Ali Pasha in Epirus. The few Ottoman garrisons that remained in the Morea were soon besieged. However, it was not easy for the besiegers (most of whom were inadequately armed farmers) to constitute an effective armed force. The aide-de-camp of Kolokotronis, Photis Chrysanthakopoulos or Photakos, offers in his memoirs a graphic description of the difficulties during the first weeks.
[...]"Most of them had no arms and others had knives, some bradawls and the flags of most were their wives' kerchiefs. The simple-minded Greeks asked one another why they were gathered there and what they would do. The chieftains told them that they had gathered to kill the Turks in order to be free themselves. In the beginning of the uprising the Greeks automatically gathered in the camps in groups, families, villages and districts. But then Kolokotronis anticipated them and assembled them on his own command or on government order and did not allow them to gather automatically because he was afraid of scheming and desertion and wanted to have them all under his supervision. [...]
So, he started defining the chieftains of the bodyguard [...] and gave out diplomas to the other officers, which he defined for the company of the bodyguards.
This went on from Palm Sunday until Wednesday morning of Holy Week (6 April); then the Turks from Tripolitza came and dissolved us and only the diplomas remained. But Kolokotronis shouted "stay to fight, where are you going?" but this wasn't effective.[...]
From here Kolokotronis sent Panos immediately to the villages of Karytaina with a written order for all the people to take up arms and come to Piana, Chrysovitsi and Diaselo to form a camp. In fact, Panos was authorized to kill, burn houses and seize possessions to be given out to the soldiers if anyone should disobey. [...]
Having escaped the war and returned to Valtetsi we found Christians killed and none of us approached them. We had turned pale with fear because it was the first time we had seen people killed. But Kolokotronis, intending to encourage us took the pieces of each dead person and kissed them and said to the soldiers standing around that these people were saints and they would go to heaven as witnesses. Then we went near and buried them.[...]
This battle [= of Doliana, May 1821] is very important, because the battle of Valtetsi had preceded it and after these battles the Greeks became audacious and were no longer afraid of the Turks. They began searching out the Turks, unlike before when they said "the Turks are coming" and fled. The Greek forces chased the Turks many times and the Greeks lost many coats before getting used to taking the Turks' coats".
Photakos, Apomnimonevmata. Peri tis ellinikis epanastaseos tou 1821,
vol. 1, Athens, Vergina, 1996, pp. 87, 92, 93, 117 and 148 respectively (first edition: Athens 1899).