THE GRAND DUKE OF SAXE-WEIMARS HUSSAR REGIMENT
IN THE CRIMEAN WAR
(This is a translation of pages 129-209 of Vol. 2 of Istoriya 3-go dragunskago Ingermanlandskago polka 1704-1904, by V. I. Genishta and A. T. Borisevich. St. Petersburg, 1904-1906. Also included is a list of regimental officers during the war, taken from an appendix in Volume 1. Dates are Old Style; add 12 days to obtain the Western calendar. Translated by Mark Conrad, 2000.)
In January of 1854 the Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimars Hussar Regiment was located in Kharkov Province in the 8th Cavalry District of the Ukraine Military Settlement. [Note by M.C.: Many cavalry regiments were garrisoned in the military settlements of southern Russia. Here the wide steppe was favorable to the care and raising of horses.] The distribution of the regiment was as follows: regimental headquarters with the noncombatant company and the Leib-Squadron [Note by M.C.: The Leib-Squadron was also the 1st Squadron] in the town of Novo-Serpukhov; the squadrons were in various settlements: 2nd in Yakovenkov; 3rd in Barshchevaya; 4th in Gusarovka; 5th in Lozavenka; 6th in Protopopovka; 7th and 8th in the villages of Petrovskoe and Verevkina.
[Note by M.C.: The regiment was formed as dragoons in 1704 by Major Ungor, and fought at Poltava in 1709. The name Ingermanland was adopted from the Ingria region around St. Petersburg. The regiment took part in the Polish War of 1733-35, the Turkish War of 1736-39, and the 1742 war against Sweden. In 1763 the regiment became carabiniers, and fought in the Turkish War of 1769-74 and the Polish War of 1792-94. In 1796 the regiment again became dragoons, and at Friedland in 1807 some one-third of its officers became casualties. In the 1812 campaign, one-quarter of the officers became casualties at Ostrovno, and the depleted regiment acted as military police at Borodino. In 1826 the Ingermanland Dragoons became hussars, was in the Polish Revolt in 1831, and in 1841 began its association with the dukes of Saxe-Weimar that continued until 1914. This connection arose in 1841 since Tsar Nicholas Is sister Maria Pavlovna was married to Carl-Ferdinand, Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar, and their son Carl-Alexander was named honorary colonel. In 1864 the Ingermanland Hussars were numbered 10th, and in 1914 were stationed in Chuguev as the 10th His Royal Highness the Duke of Saxe-Weimars Ingermanland Hussars. At this time the regiments relics still included its standards from 1707 and 1712.]
[Note by M.C.: Every Russian regiment had a noncombatant company of support personnel engaged in tailoring, carpentry, leatherwork, maintenance of weapons, etc.]
The commanders were as follows: regimental commander Colonel Butovich; division commanders: 1st Colonel Sharistanov, 2nd Colonel Dekinlein, 3rd Colonel von Focht, 4th Major Polozov; squadron commanders: Leib-Squadron Captain Matveevskii, 2nd Major Markov 14th, 3rd Captain Marin, 4th Staff-Captain Aleshchenko, 5th Captain Sakovnin 3rd, 6th Captain Aristov, 7th Captain Zeibach, 8th Captain Khitrovo. (Moscow Section of the Combined Archive of the Main Staff. Regimental monthly reports for 1854, book No. 3916.)
The time for the wished-for campaign drew close After greeting the new year, on 2 January 1854 the regiment marched out and in less than four weeks reached Taurica Province (Note by M.C.: Taurica Province included the Crimean peninsula). On 29 January it occupied "temporary" quarters in Melitopol District at Bolshaya Znamenka and in the surrounding settlements. The regiment was given two weeks to rest after its 230-mile march, and afterwards on 12 February it was to move to Dneprovsk District by short marches in order to be on the direct route to the Crimean peninsula. 23 February the regiment was already in new temporary quarters in the town of Aleshka and the surrounding settlements.
The regiments movements from Novo-Serpukhov to Aleshka as recounted here were in connection with overall measures taken for the countrys defense. In February all border areas of European Russia were declared to be under martial law, and they were then divided into several military districts whose defenses were the responsibilities of specially designated forces. The districts were as follows: 1) Baltic Sea coast, subdivided into five sections; 2) Kingdom of Poland and the western provinces; 3) the region along the Danube River and along the shore of the Black Sea up to the mouth of the Bug River; 4) the Black Sea coast from the Bug River to Perekop and the Crimean peninsula; 5) the shores of the Sea of Azov and eastern Black Sea; 6) Caucasus and Transcaucasus. (Istoricheskii ocherk deyatelnosti voennago upravleniya v Rossii v pervoe 25-letie blagopoluchnago tsarstvovaniya Gosudarya Imperatora Aleksandra Nikolaevicha [1855-1880 gg.], compiled by Major General Maksimovskii and Colonel Khoroshkhin under the direction of Lieutenant General Bogdanovich, Vol. 1, pg. 356 et seq.) The Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimars Hussar Regiment was assigned to the third district under the command of General-Adjutant Prince Menshikov.
On 8 March the regiment quit its quarters at Aleshka and set off on the march to the town of Karasubazar, as ordered. Conditions on the march were very difficult. A participant of the march, Lieutenant Ye. F. Arbuzov, has the following to say about this in his Reminiscences (Voennyi Sbornik, 1874, No. 4. "Statya otstavnogo shtabs-rotmistra Ingermanlandskago gusarskago Velikago Gertsoga Saksen-Veimarskago polka Ye. F. Arbuzova: Vospominaniya o kampanii na Krymskom poluostrove v 1854-1855 g.g."):
After many diversions, irritants, deprivations, and various adventures, in the beginning of March our regiments Leib-Squadron, in which I commanded the 1st Platoon, was directed to camp at the Tatar Village of Az, beyond the Perekop isthmus, where we not only did not encounter any attention or hospitality from the villages inhabitants, but even nature itself seemed to be angry with us. After having marched 25 miles through springtime vegetation, we were wet, cold, and hungry, but did not find anything there to satisfy lifes basic necessities. For the whole squadron, as well as all the villages inhabitants, there turned out to be only a single well, some 150 feet deep, which in just a half an hour was entirely drained until there was only mud. As a result of this, watering the horses lasted about 48 hours straight.
After our stay at Az, a place we were glad to leave, the regiment moved onward and passed through the peninsulas entire steppe region, through the villages of Yushun, Aibary, Trekh-Ablam, and Sarabuz, to finally reach Simferopol safely.
The other squadrons, of course, underwent the same experiences. The regiment arrived at Simferopol around 22 March, so it must have endured much deprivation for almost two weeks. Finally, on 24 March the regiment was in cantonment quarters, if such can be termed the following dispositions: headquarters with the noncombatant company and Leib-Squadron in the town of Karasubazar; other squadrons: 2nd in Baksan; 3rd in the Bulgarian colony of Kishly; 4th in the Bulgarian colony of Crimea Station, 5th in Dzhavdzhurek; 6th in the town of Eupatoria; 7th in Dzhabach, and 8th in Tarkhan-Uch Kule (Monthly report for March, 1854.) The squadrons furthest apart, the 6th and 4th, were more than 100 miles from each other in a straight line.
After everything had been put in suitable order, the squadrons calmly awaited further orders, from time to time making moves from one part of the peninsula to another, namely:
a) In May, for example, on the 4th the regimental headquarters with the noncombatant company and Leib-Squadron left for Theodosia, as did the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Squadrons on the 5th. These squadrons had been assigned to "patrols along the Black Sea coast." (Monthly report for April, 1854.) On 30 April, the regimental headquarters with the noncombatant company returned to Karasubazar as before, while the squadrons were deployed near Theodosia in the surrounding villages (Zürichtal, Heilbrunn, Buten, Yenshin, Kishlavo) where they stayed until 26-18 May, when they went to Karasubazar. The other four squadrons stayed in Eupatoria and neighboring villages. (Monthly report for May, 1854.)
b) From 20 May to 1 June the whole regiment was on the march to newly assigned quarters on the Kacha River near the city of Sevastopol, to where the squadrons which had been around Eupatoria also came. On the 17th, regimental headquarters was installed in the village of Golumbei (Simferopol District), while the squadrons were in neighboring villages. The regiment maintained these dispositions until 1 July, with only the 7th and 8th Squadrons from 15 through 28 June being "detached to a position between Sevastopol and the St. George Monastery." (Monthly report for June, 1854.)
c) On 1 July the regiment changed its positions again. Using march routes provided by the staff of the commander of troops in the Crimea, General-Adjutant Prince Menshikov, the regiment moved to new quarters at Karasubazar, where headquarters was installed on 4 July and the squadrons were dispersed in nearby villages. On 17 July the regiment again left for temporary quarters at Simferopol and on the 30th was deployed as follows: regimental headquarters, noncombatant company, and 1st Division in the village of Sankt-Petersburgskiya Mazanki, 11 miles from Simferopol in the direction of Theodosia; 2nd Division in the village of Abdala; 3rd Division in the village of Chokurcha; 4th Division in Sarchikiat. (Monthly reports for July and August, 1854.) The regiment stayed in these dispositions until 12 September, preparing for whatever military events that might ensue
By this time the hostile intentions of England and France were finally revealed, culminating in March with an alliance with Turkey. On 10 April the enemy fleet bombarded Odessa. The successful operations of our forces in the Danube theater were not only halted, but our forces even began to draw back across the Pruth River to within the borders of the Empire. More and more signs pointed to the allies intention to transfer the wars center of gravity to the Crimea. In view of the possibility of a landing, Prince Menshikovs forces were reinforced and the total strength brought to 51,000 men positioned in various parts of the peninsula. The troops were in such widespread locations that it was only possible to concentrate no more than 30,000 men in the area of Sevastopol. (Totleben, Opisanie osady Sevastopolya, Part I, pg. 7; Istoricheskii ocherk deyatelnosti voennago upravleniya, op. cit., pg. 360 et seq.)
At ten oclock in the morning of 13 September 1854, from Sevastopol there were first seen two ships approaching from seaward, and behind them a dense cloud from a great number of steamships. A telegraph station a few miles from the city sent a notice that already 70 enemy ships had passed by Tarkhan-Kuta. Soon a report was received that the fleet that had appeared was sailing in three columns, that the number of ships was growing every hour, and finally at six oclock in the evening, it was reported that at least 106 enemy masts had been counted. Than a cossack galloped into the city and announced that the ships, visible or not, were so many they could not be counted.
In truth, from afar it appeared as if a big moving city was approaching with a multitude of smoking chimneys and factories. This was the allied fleet consisting of more than 330 ships of various sizes, carrying some 63,000 infantry, cavalry, and artillery troops with 134 field guns and 73 siege guns. (N. Dubrovin, Vostochnaya voina 1853-1856 g.g. (Obzor sobytii, po povodu soch. M. I. Bogdanovicha), St. Petersburg, 1876, pg. 78.) On this same day news of this reached the environs of Simferopol, and the Weimar Hussars were ordered to immediately move to that town. (Ye. F. Arbuzov, Vospominaniya, op. cit.) From this moment a new, long-awaited life began. It was on the field of conflict that the hussars were prepared to celebrate their ancestral regiments 150th jubilee.
From Simferopol the regiment was ordered to move as quickly as possible to the village of Burlyuk on the Alma River to join the main operational force. Ye. F. Arbuzov relays interesting details of this 25-mile march as follows:
After setting off in this direction, we met infantry and artillery also going there. The night was exceedingly dark. Stretched out on the road in a long line, the troops did not know where they were or how far it was to the Alma River and Burlyuk. In anticipation of an enemy attack, silence was observed as much as possible during the march. It was still completely dark when our small force, whose composition was still not known to us, approached the place designated for it. Not really sure of where we were, we set up a picket line in front and sent out patrols. In this way, we were deployed on the left bank of the Alma River across from the village of Burlyuk.
Thus, on 14 September the Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimars Hussar Regiment was already on the Alma.
Meanwhile, an event of the utmost significance occurred at the town of Eupatoria. At about noon on 13 September an enemy fleet dropped anchor off Eupatoria, where there was only a detachment of 740 men under Major Bronitskii, made up of weakened and sick lower ranks from different regiments. In accordance with the orders he had been given, at the enemys first appearance Major Bronitskii withdrew after managing in two hours to spill and scatter all the grain in the government stores
By six oclock in the evening Eupatoria was already occupied by an allied landing force of about 3200 men with 12 guns. (Dubrovin, op. cit., pg. 82 et seq.) After this, the allies landed their army south of Eupatoria at the so-called Old Fort. They accomplished this difficult operation completely unmolested but "with great difficulties." For example, landing the artillery and ammunition took several days. (M. I. Bogdanovich, Vostochnaya voina 1853-1856 g.g., Vol. III, pg. 12.)
Although it was difficult to prevent the Anglo-French from landing at a place that was excellently covered by the fleets guns, Prince Menshikov nevertheless had "means to hinder it" at his disposal. Prince Menshikov had cavalry with horse artillery which might have been used to good advantage. The entire allied cavalry at the landing consisted of a few hundred men mounted on horses worn out by the sea voyage, while our cavalry numbered up to some 3600 men. For example, by approaching the enemys positions at twilight and opening up artillery fire, the cavalry could have caused much confusion in the ranks of the yet unorganized, wet, cold Anglo-French. And by a series of attacks, even if each was insignificant, the cavalry could have further increased the disorder in the enemy camp. No one could have expected any serious results from such attacks, but they would have undoubtedly caused tangible losses to the Anglo-French and may have convinced them of the initiative of Russian troops in the first minutes of their entry onto Russian soil.
Prince Menshikov did not consider it possible to hinder the landing and it continued until the evening of 16 September. Only on the 18th did the Anglo-French find it possible to move along the sea coast, covered by the fleet, in the direction of the Alma River, on whose left bank we managed to concentrate 35,000 men with 84 guns. (Dubrovin, op. cit., pg. 88 et seq.)
What was our cavalry doing during this time? To this question, our regimental participant in the campaign, Ye. F. Arbuzov, would answer in his memoirs:
From the night of 14 September to noon on the 19th, our force coming from Simferopol, consisting of the Borodino and Tarutino Jäger Regiments, the Kiev and Ingermanland Hussars with their artillery, and two Don cossack regiments, remained in place, only sending out forward posts and mounted patrols. (Note: On the morning of 19 September, the Vladimir Infantry Regiment joined the force, and on the 20th, a quarter-hour before the start of the Battle of the Almathe Moscow Infantry, which arrived from Theodosia and entered a hot battle straight off the march.)
Bivouac life and common interest unites all the service branches into one cordial family, so to speak, and the advance-post duties which lasted a whole week in one place acquainted all the officers with the area around us. In our circles of comrades we often analyzed the advantages and disadvantages of our position. In this, all the officers were of the same opinion that our weakest side was the left flank, that that was the only place where it was possible to outflank us. Therefor, everyone unanimously recognized that it was necessary to protect it better, either by building field fortifications or positioning a sufficient amount of artillery there (Note: It must be noted that this was written when all the circumstances regarding the battle on the Alma had been explained in print for many years. Ye. F. Arbuzov published his memoirs in 1874, i.e. twenty years after In reality, the left flank was deemed inaccessible and not even watched over.)
Reconnaissance of 19 September. As mentioned above, it was only on the 18th that the allies army moved toward Sevastopol, and by two oclock in the afternoon of 19 September, after crossing the Bulganak River, it halted in sight of the Alma position, four miles away. Lord Cardigan was sent to reconnoiter with two cavalry regiments and started to press our cossack advance posts so energetically that Prince Menshikov was obliged to send out a special force both to support the cossacks and to discover the enemys strength and intentions. (Totleben, op. cit., Part I, pg. 118, and Leer, Entsiklopediya voenykh i morskikh nauk, Vol. I, pg. 131.) Ye. F. Arbuzov, a participant in this reconnaissance, describes it in detail in his memoirs as follows:
After noon on 19 September, the Borodino and Tarutino Jäger Regiments and both hussar regiments with their artillery marched out under the command of General Kiryakov in order to carry out a reconnaissance. After crossing the Alma River, the troops moved beyond Burlyuk village in the following manner: the Ingermanland Hussars went to the village of Dzhavdzhurek, covered by Light No. 12 Horse Battery which on coming into position immediately opened fire on an enemy battery standing opposite it. The infantry with its artillery deployed behind the hussars and a little to the left.
The Duke of Leuchtenbergs Kiev Hussar Regiment under the command of Major General Khaletskii moved a half turn to the left toward the sea. The regiment descended into a wide ravine near Dzhavdzhurek and hoped to approach as close as possible to the enemy battery using the cover of the ravines zigzag edges, aiming to hit the battery in the flank. General Khaletskii calculated that the enemys attention would be distracted by our regiment and the 12th Battery and supposed that the plan would be crowned by complete success, but that is not what happened in the event.
The Kiev men, unfortunately, were dressed in white jackets [kurtki], the result of which was that General Kiryakov, who stood behind with our infantry regiments, mistook our hussars for enemy cuirassiers and sent forward our foot artillery with orders to fire on them.
I do not know how true was the widespread rumor of that time that this order was actually given out by General Kiryakov, but in any case the firing was done and about twenty Kiev men fell as its victims. However, this error was soon cleared up, but the enemys attention was already turned to our cavalry, and an attack by the Kiev Regiment became impossible.
After about an hour of exchanging shots with the enemy battery, the 12th Battery drew back to its position behind the Alma. The Ingermanland men who were covering it came after, and following behind them our whole force returned to its bivouac.
In sum, instead of a serious cavalry fight there occurred only a minor encounter in which for us there was a sad misunderstanding with blood spilledfiring on our own people.
Also, the ranks of the Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimars Hussar Regiment incurred their first victim of the warHussar Nikanor Radkov was killed in the reconnaissance. (Moscow Section of the Combined Archive of the Main Staff. Regimental monthly reports, book No. 3916. Monthly report for September 1854.)
In this same action on the heights of Dzhavdzhurek village, Staff-Captain Voznitsyn was "seriously contused by a cannonball in the front of the head with trauma to the brain and darkening of sight. (Combined Archive of the Main Staff. Regimental personal service records of officers for 1855. Service record of Staff-Captain Voznitsyn. See Part I of Istoriya 30-go drag. Ingermanlandskago polka, Appendix No. 7, page 24. Note: "To cure this contusion," as noted in Staff-Captain Voznitsyns service record, he "stayed in the Simferopol Military Hospital from 20 September to 10 November 1854, and for complete recovery from the illness resulting from the contusion, he was granted six-months leave from 1 November of that same year." Subsequently, he recovered to some extent and continued to serve in the regiment for about three years, and in 1858 he was released into retirement as a captain.)
In addition, the regiment had 5 horses killed and 2 seriously wounded which were "shot due to being wounded too badly to recover." (Regimental monthly reports, book No. 3916. Monthly report for September 1854.)
Battle of the Alma, 20 September. Part of the regiment spent the eve of the battle in advance posts The 1st Division had just returned from the reconnaissance when it, too, was ordered to set out for the advance posts. (Ye. F. Arbuzovs Vospominaniya.)
The night was dark and cold. Fires twinkled in the gloom, and the nearby part of the sea was covered with clearly lit-up ships. In our position it was silent The hostile armies were quiet within sight of each other. Campfires had already burned down and only rarely did a small fire blink here or there. Before the sun rose the French admirals ship fired a dawn cannon. Soon afterwards the beating of reveille was heard in the French camp, and then in the English. Then our Russian encampment resounded with the hymn "Kol slaven." Regimental prayer services began among the troops, and the priests went around the battalions with cross and holy water. (Totleben, Part I, page 119.)
At 8 oclock in the morning the 1st Division was relieved by the 2nd, and the hussars set to boiling their kasha gruel But now the picture quickly changedYe. F. Arbuzov describes what followed thusly:
Hardly had the hussars set to cooking when the regimental commanders order rang out: "Saddle up!" ["Sedlai!"]. After a quick decision, the kettles of kasha were overturned bottom up, and work began at full speed. In seven minutes the regiment was already mounted on its horses.
Masses of advancing enemy troops appeared on the horizon opposite our position, and on the sea, keeping to the shore, an innumerable host of ships was moving toward Sevastopol, leaving behind it an endless line of smoke. On coming even with our position, the steamships halted opposite our forces flank. On land the enemy moved forward, pushing in our advance posts which while they retreated set fire to everything encountered on the way. Finally, the village of Burlyuk was also aflame.
The Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimars Hussar Regiment, standing on a hill behind of a deep ravine occupied by our infantry and artillery, was directed to the left toward the sea in columns from the right by sixes [kolonna sprava po shesti].
Hardly had we moved from place when one of the steamers opened up low-angle ricochet fire [nastilno-rikoshetnyi ogon] on us. I was the flank officer [flagovyi ofitser] setting the direction for the entire regiment, and it was easy for me to determine the path of the enemy shots by the dust raised by the projectiles as they ricocheted. Once I saw this, I was constantly changing my course in order to bring the regiment to its assigned position with the least loss, going now to the right and now the left, warning beforehand the squadrons following behind me. After going in this way about 1 1/2 miles under fire from the steamship, we arrived in place with the loss of four or five men in all. Then when we formed into close column [gustaya kolonna] at the very edge of the sea, the enemy ceased his firing. What prompted him to do this, to this day I do not understand, but I can speak of this since it was a true and done fact
Meanwhile, in the center of the position a heated battle had already begun: the enemy charged through burning Burlyuk, the artillery fire was increased, and the musket firing turned into an uninterrupted drum roll. What actually was occurring on the battlefield could not be seen by us (hussars) due to the smoke and fire.
Now, the following is what had occurred: the allies (more than 62,000 men) attacked our extended position (5 miles) occupied by only 32,000 men and obtained a decisive victory. In the course of four hours the Russian troops battled a stronger and better-armed foe. Our infantry, armed with smoothbore muskets, could only hit targets at 300 paces, while the enemy opened fire from 1200 paces, thanks to which we had losses of about 200 officers and more than 5500 lower ranks. (Totleben, pg. 134 et seq.) The complete absence of any kind of definite preparations in advance of the battle had a fatal effect on the actions of our forces. This was the cause for General Prince Gorchakov (commander of the center and right flank) and General Kiryakov (commander of the left flank) not agreeing on mutual actions. Neither one knew what the other was doing. In the army there reigned complete chaos, and Prince Menshikov (the commander-in-chief) personally took no steps in this regard.(N. Dubrovin, page 90 et seq. Note: History records that both of these generals, two years after the battle, were still arguing about who had control of the Borodino Regiment. Neither the one nor the other accepted that it had been part of the forces under his command, but again neither could prove his position was correct owing to the absence of written documentation (deployment orders), the sort of records "no one has yet been able to uncover." Not only the troops, but also the higher commanders were in complete ignorance in regard to what was planned. No one knew where his ammunition boxes and ambulance wagons were. First-aid points were not designated, the medical services were in total disorder, and so on.)
The lack of overall direction led to arbitrary actions in which everyone acted as he thought best. Some commanders retreated while others advanced The burning village of Burlyuk showed that the withdrawal of the Russian troops had begun. By this time our left flank was turned by Bosquets division, and against it were directed the strength of four French divisions accompanied by seventy guns. In the center and on the right flank there raged a bloody battle raged with the Englishbut all the heroic efforts of our soldiers were in vain. (Leer. Entsiklopediya, Vol. I, pg. 135 et seq.; Anichkov, Voenno-Istoricheskie ocherki Krymskoi ekspeditsii, (St. Petersburg, 1856), Part I, pg. 25 et seq. Note: We recall, for example, the glorious attack by the Vladimir Infantry Regiment, which incurred such heavy losses49 officers and some 1500 lower ranksthat it had to be reorganized as a four-company battalion Also, in the 16th Infantry Division, all the higher commanders, two regimental commanders, and indeed almost all battalion and company commanders were either killed or wounded, and so on.)
On seeing that in the center and on the left flank there were now not enough forces to turn events to our favor, at 4 oclock Prince Menshikov ordered the right flank to begin falling back. The commander-in-chief feared being cut off from Sevastopol and had only intended to delay the enemy at three successive and very strong positionsthe Alma, Kacha, and Belbek rivers, so as to have the allies reach Sevastopol weakened by significant losses. By delaying the enemy, Menshikov would also win time and hoped to receive the reinforcements he was waiting for. Victory and possession of the battlefield were important for the allies, while for us retention of the position was of no significance since in no case could we save Sevastopol from a siege. We could fight on the Alma for two or perhaps three days and nevertheless at the end of it would be forced to retreat (Totleben, pg. 133 et seq.; N. Dubrovin, pg. 97.)
Having accepted the full retreat of the right flank, General Kiryakov withdrew his troops to the next high ground so as to then "coordinate his movements with those of the right wing," and in front of the infantry he placed thirty guns to cover the retreat. To the right of the guns stood the hussar brigade and cossacks, and to the left was deployed the Volhynia Infantry Regiment. These were forces which had not yet taken part in the battle. In the places where the right wing and its reserve had been there now could be seen masses of enemy infantry and cavalry. (N. Dubrovin, Materialy dlya istorii Krymskoi voiny i oborony Sevastopolya, Issue II, pages 438 and 402. Novyya podrobnosti o srazhenie Alminskago srazheniya, by Lieutenant General Kiryakov, and Opisanie Alminskago srazheniya, by V. L. Lenchevskii. The following is also from these sources.)
The English noticed our rearguard standing firm on the heights, and when its guns opened up with battle fire [batalyi ogon] they then stopped and ceased their advance. By 7 oclock in the evening the enemy settled down in bivouacs in the midst of the positions which our troops had occupied during the battle.
Meanwhile, our infantry and artillery were already moving to the Kacha River, during which time General Kiryakov himself kept with the Weimar Hussar Regiment, which was accompanied by four guns of a Don horse battery. When in his consideration all the troops had already crossed over, he then moved with the hussars to the Kacha. In this way the rearguard enabled the main forces to move unmolested across the river where it itself arrived around 9 oclock at night. One cannot pass over what Ye. F. Arbuzov says in his memoirs about this retreat (Vospominaniya, page 393):
Fortunately, the enemy did not pursue us and the retreat could not have been done better, but woe to us if St. Arnaud had been more decisive. The great many dead and the large numbers of wounded stragglers significantly hindered our movement and made it hard to maintain our necessary order. Even now I can see the whole train of supply wagons which went past our regiment with the seriously wounded who had been picked up off the battlefield. On each of our wagons were about fifteen men, many of whom could not sit but lay pressed against each other. In general, at that time the medical services in the forces left much to be desired. There was a terrible shortage of bandages and lint for dressings even though at the same time the storerooms of the Simferopol post office were overflowing with them due to huge amounts having been sent from all corners of Russia. Lint and bandages were only in the lazaret wagons and were treated as precious. Among the soldiers, though, no one had any.
Another participant adds that the troops marched quickly with no guides or direction, in individual units which overtook one another and hurried onward, not knowing their route or the goal of our movement. (N. Dubrovin, page 97.) They went haphazardly by following the corpses fallen on the road and the debris of broken weapons and accouterments, and by morning reached Sevastopol. Some regiments stayed to spend the night on the Kacha, others went straight through to Sevastopol
In such circumstances the "steadiness of the rearguard," including the Weimar Hussars, had special importance, as in actuality "Prince Menshikov," in the words of one who was there, "soon after the battle lost his army." (N. Dubrovin, page 98.)
The good fortune referred to by Ye. F. Arbuzov had only relative significance, since, firstly, the battle on the Alma was a great moral victory for the Russian troops, who demonstrated miracles of bravery and by their uncommon firmness and courage to a significant degree impressed the self-assured Anglo-French of the true valor of the Russian soldier. (Note: This was especially shown in the subsequent military operationswhen self-assurance was replaced by caution ) Secondly, the tiredness of the enemy, his ignorance of the country, and the small size of his cavalry (10½ squadrons) strongly affected his decision not to follow the retreating forces, which could possibly inflict a new rebuff on the banks of the Kacha where there was a position similar to the Alma, and where consequently significant casualties would be unavoidable. In spite of the disorderly retreat, the soldiers morale was excellent. Admiral Stetsenko observed the following about this:
Many soldiers hurried to keep from being left behind by their units. Others lay down from exhaustion, many warmed themselves by campfires. Listening to their talk, I happily noted that there was no despondency, no depressed spirits, and in the majority of cases I heard that they had not been able to hold on only when almost all their leaders were killed or wounded. (Dubrovin, page 97, and the following sources: a) Totleben, page 134; b) Materialy dlya istorii Krymskoi voiny, page 410, translation from Guérin on the Battle of the Alma; and c) Sbornik rukopisei, predstavlennykh E.I.V. Gosudaryu Nasledniku Tsesarevichu o Sevastopolskoi oborne, Vol. I, "Vospominaniya i razsuzhdeniya kontr-admirala Stetsenko," page 217.)
There was also no despondency, of course, among the Weimar hussars, who as Ye. F. Arbuzov expressed it, "throughout the battle stood immobile" and were only onlookers to the sanguinary events. During the battle, by taking advantage of our numerical superiority over the allies cavalry, we should have been able to use our own mounted arm to good purpose. For example, after having the hussars or cossacks cross to the Almas right bank using a ford above the village of Tarkhanlar, which was on the left flank of the allies battle dispositions, and then face in the appropriate direction, it would have been possible to attackor at least threaten to attackthe English infantry, whose movements would then not have been so rapid and forceful. In any of these cases, just the expectation of an attack by our cavalry would have made the English infantry stop and change formation, and every halt by the enemy would have been to our advantage and cost him significant casualties from our accurate artillery fire. (N. Dubrovin, page 97.)
In consequence of the cavalrys inactivity, losses in the Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimars Hussar Regiment were insignificant, namely: Hussar Yemelyan Sklyarov was wounded, Hussars Borodin and Savostyanov were missing, and seven riding horses were killed. (Moscow Section of the Combined Archive of the Main Staff. Regimental monthly report for November 1854.)
Of the Weimar Hussars only Non-commissioned Officer Zakhar Smorodin received an award, as he earned the Military Orders medal for distinction as an orderly [ordinarets] when, heedless of a wound he received, he did not leave his commander until the end of the battle. (Moscow Section of the Combined Archive of the Main Staff. Files of the Inspection Department, 3rd Section, 1st Office, for 1854, group 1314, file No. 424; files on the Crimean campaign for 1854, file No. 3, report of Major General Butovich from 24 September 1854, No. 2675.)
In addition, Cornet Anuchin received an award as an officer candidate [yunker] in the horse artillery when, in the Battle of the Alma, he was contused in the right shoulder and for his demonstrated excellence was decorated with the Military Orders medal for distinction, and on 3 October he was promoted to cornet with a transfer to the Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimars Hussar Regiment. (Combined Archive of the Main Staff. Regimental personal service records for 1855, (Book No. 17,117, Part II). Service record of Cornet Anuchin.)
Retreat to Sevastopol, flank movement to Bakhchisarai, and movements of the regiment to 4 October. The troops retreating in complete disorder to the Kacha River encountered serious obstacles to crossing once they reached it Their supply trains, which even before the end of the battle had been sent away, were now on the rivers right bank. The reason that thorough disorder reigned here was not only the absence of a field position for the army, but also the lack of someone to carry out the duties of a Wagonmaster-General [general-vagenmeister]. (The description of disorder among the supply trains at the Kacha River is taken from N. Dubrovin.)
The trains were not notified that the army was falling back, so when they saw (first of all, one presumes) the retreating medical carts and wounded, there started a great confusion. Not being subordinate to a single person, all the regiments wagon trains, especially the officers carts, hurriedly harnessed their horses and charged forward to cross the river, heedless of maintaining order or waiting ones turn. The whole right bank of the Kacha was covered with houses and gardens enclosed by fences, so crossing it could only be done by following a narrow lane to the single ford. A terrible press arose in this lane. The carts crowding into it mixed with the artillery, became entangled, and created such a jumble that the crossing could only be completed by the morning of 21 September.
Troops who had been waiting to cross until nightfall, though, gave up and began crossing individually. Soldiers made their way between the trains, crawled through fences, and in various ways reached the heights on the rivers left bank, where they bivouacked.
The Weimar Hussars had only a short halt on the Kacha. Prince Menshikov had given orders that the forces crossing the river were to "camp overnight there" and at six oclock the next morning move to the Belbek where they were to deploy with their left flank toward the head of Sevastopol Bay, their right toward the Belbek, and their front facing toward the sea so that the road to Bakhchisarai was covered. But on the morning of 21 September, he changed his plan and ordered a march to Sevastopol. It was only by the evening that the regiments came together in the south side of the city, where they bivouacked between the Quarantine and Sarandinakin ravines in a place known as Kulikov Field. (N. Dubrovin, pages 101, 103 et seq. Note: The Belbek was a small stream flowing parallel to the Kacha and Alma rivers from east to west and emptying into the sea six miles from the Kacha.)
During the night of 23/24 September, Prince Menshikovs army left Sevastopol and moved toward Bakhchisarai in order to get onto the Perekop road, along which reinforcements were coming and which was used to bring up all supplies. Menshikov also wanted to take up a flanking position in case of an allied advance on Sevastopol. (Dubrovin, page 117.)
On 24 September, the Weimar Hussars marched out in General Zhabokritskiis column toward the town of Bakhchisarai. (Ye. F. Arbuzovs Vospominaniya, page 393. This is also the source for what follows.) Ascending to the top of the MacKenzie Heights, the column stopped to rest on a flat upland surrounded on all sides by woods, out of which issued very bad, narrow, and uneven forest roads. However, the columns baggage train following in the tail had not yet come up and was stretched out along the heights and the valley leading from them back to the Chernaya Stream.
Not half an hour had passed when the columns rest was interrupted by a cossack galloping up with a report that enemy movement was seen to the left along the Sevastopol main road, and that they had sent part of their forces along the forest road leading to our columns resting place. On receiving this news, the column quickly got up from its halt and after safely crossing over the Kacha River, stood facing it with the town of Bakhchisarai in the rear. The columns supply train, though, was still moving over the hills in the direction of the town with an appropriate covering force. The cossacks report was very important in the sense that it revealed the actual situation. At the same time that the Russian forces were making their flank movement to Bakhchisarai, the allies were completing their own flanking march to the south side of Sevastopol in order to establish their base of operations in Balaklava and Kamysh Bay and take the city after a heavy bombardment. These reciprocal flank movements were made "in the dark," and only chance corrected each sides ignorance of the other. (Anichkov, page 24; Leer, Entsiklopediya, Vol. II, page 312 et seq.)
Ye. F. Arbuzov says that a short time after we arrived in the above-mentioned place, the drawn-out echo of cannon fire reverberated down from the hilltop, and our train, which had been moving at a walk, now came down the slope at full speed, heedless of obstacles. It became clear to us that the enemy had seen our train and put artillery out on the road to open fire on it. (Totleben, page 155 et seq. Note: Actually, events were a bit different. Having unexpectedly encountered the train, enemy riflemen and artillery approached under cover, deployed on the steep declivity, and opened fire on the wagons descending the hills. At the same time, an English hussar regiment, after several shots from horse artillery, charged into the attack. Fourteen wagons from the from the transport park and several officers carts fell into the hands of the English Regardless of some unimportant inaccuracies, the following account is from Ye. F. Arbuzovs memoirs and gives many unique details, and at times is quoted directly.)
An unbelievable confusion ensued in the supply train from these cannon shots: broken wagons, killed and wounded men and horses, blown-up ammunition caissons, and smashed wheels impeded the galloping wagons the whole way. All these barricades, sprung up in an instant, were as quick as lightning thrown into the ravine by the train personnel, officers servants, and train escort.
There was no chance to help the train in time, as it was going along the crown of a hill covered with woods, with a steep ravine on the right. The enemy kept up a heavy fire along the entire road and increased the disorder.
At the very start of this catastrophe, a division of the Kiev Hussar Regiment was sent to the place of attack, but it did not have a clear path and had to move forward in single file along wooded upland paths between pieces of wreckage from the train. The enemy was already gone when the division managed to reach the top of the hill and the place where they had been, so the hussars turned right around and returned to their own position, not having rendered any help to the train. As a result of this incident with the supply train, says Ye. F. Arbuzov, many of our regiments officers were left with only what they were carrying on their horses and in their pockets. (Note: In the monthly report for November 1854, it is recorded that during this "sudden enemy attack on the train as it followed after the regiment past MacKenzies government house," two regimental horses and Colonel Sharistanovs official orderly [kazennyi denshchik] "went missing.") Ye. F. Arbuzov continues in his memoirs:
Our column camped in the valley of the Kacha River, near Bakhchisarai. It stayed in one place four or five days with no knowledge of where the enemy was heading or how large his forces were. Finally, to find this out, our whole column moved out to find the enemy. We ascended the Duvankoi heights and halted for a rest. The space we spread out in was a rather wide flat upland with sheer edges on the side towards the uninhabited native village [aul] of Duvankoi, located right on the bank of the Kacha. This village, in direct distance, was so close to the place in which we were resting that a person standing at the river could hear everything said in the column halted on the hilltop. However, in order for the column to reach the river, it had to make a detour of 2½ miles.
Our regiment watered its horses beginning with the 8th Squadron, and the others followed from the halting place down to the river in descending numerical order. The 1st Squadron, which I was in, had to go to the watering point last. (Note: The entire following story of the Leib-Squadrons misadventure that night is a direct extract from Ye. F. Arbuzovs memoirs.) Hardly had we reached the river and started to take the bits out of the horses mouths when there was a cry to us from the hilltop, "1st Squadron, return at once! The column is leaving the halting place!" Not having finished watering the horses, we hurried to return to the column. On coming to the place where it had been, we found not a single person, and even in the distance no one could be seen.
Meanwhile, evening began to fall, and we went forward almost at random. After going about 1½ miles in this manner, we met a noncommissioned officer of the 2nd Squadron standing in a field. He relayed orders to us from the regimental commander to go to the post station on the Belbek. Just where this station was located, and what was the way to get there, neither we nor the hussar who had met us knew. What to do? Again we went forward by feel, not knowing where we were going.
Complete darkness fell. The road along which we were making our way led us into the narrow valley of the Kacha River. Heights covered with woods and gardens stretched along both sides of the valley. In the deep darkness of the southern night, the squadron moved forward with all precautions: a vanguard and flank patrols. Anything that appeared in our path got the most careful scrutiny. As a result, the keen-eyed hussars, regardless of the darkness, soon found an enemy kepi and canteen in the road during our descent into the valley. These items clearly showed that the enemy had passed along this way, so precautionary measures for a squadron on the move were increased: the squadron commander, Captain Matveevskii, halted his command and had the junior officers take turns going ahead about two miles with five hussars to see if the enemy was on the road, either in ambush or in bivouac. He only moved the squadron forward when a hussar sent by us reported that the way was clear. We covered seven miles in this manner.
Finally, gently swaying lights appeared, which we immediately recognized as the lights on enemy ships. After looking around, we were sure that we were not far from the village of Mamashai, and to be exactthe place where our horse Lizard [Lizard] collapsed during a halt after the Battle of the Alma. Therefor, to our left there had to be the road going uphill to Sevastopol. Soon we even found Lizards dead body, which definitely confirmed our guesses.
After Captain Matveevskii was convinced that his squadron had arrived on familiar ground, he ordered Lieutenant Naumov to go with five hussars along the road to Sevastopol. The squadron itself began to slowly go uphill. Not half an hour had passed when a hussar sent by Naumov brought us the good news that our regiments bivouac site had been found. We headed in the direction pointed out to us and around sunrise came up to our regiment.
After resting no more than two hours, the column again moved forward. It came upon a ravine overgrown with small trees, near Sevastopols north side, and halted in it. We had no idea where the enemy was and whether or not he had occupied the north side. To find this out, the commander-in-chief sent Lieutenant Lintvarev of our regiment with one hussar and a Tatar scout as guide to Sevastopol with a written message to Admiral Kornilov (Leer, Entsiklopediya, Vol. IV, page 365.), who was aboard the steamship Vladimir. The message was rolled into a little ball and given to Lintvarev with the instructions that if he reached Admiral Kornilov safely, he was to give him the message, but if he was captured, he was to swallow it. What this message contained remained a mystery for us. Thanks be to God, Lintvarev carried out his assigned mission with complete success. He delivered the message as directed and in no more than an hour and a half returned to the column with the news that the north side was clear. (Note: Kornilov was commander of the north sides defenses.)
The column immediately came out of the ravine to occupy the north side and establish communications with the city across the bay. On this same day town residents and all the sick military personnel and horses which had been sent here before the fight on the Alma began to be ferried out of the city. Up until this day, all advance-post duties in Sevastopol had been carried out by sick men on horses from the supply train, including a sixteen-year old cornet from our regiment named Sekerin who, when sick, had to be forced by our officers to leave the Alma position.
When our column arrived at Sevastopols north side, the infantry and its artillery stayed there after only sending part of their forces into the city, and on the next day the cavalry with its artillery returned again to their previous position at Bakhchisarai. The cavalry stayed at that place until 24 September, sending only small detachments to the heights of Sevastopols north side to carry out advance-post duty.
The reconnaissance in force of 25 September and the regiments casualties. (N. Dubrovin, page 224 et seq., and Totleben, page 178 et seq.) In order to obtain more detailed information on the allies dispositions, the commander-in-chief ordered that a reconnaissance in force be carried out in the enemys rear. He gave this task to Lieutenant General Ryzhov, who was entrusted with the command of a composite cavalry division with a light Don cossack battery.
The object of this operation was to observe the enemys dispositions, try to capture more prisoners, and carry away guns, or at least spike them. The troops were ordered not to be drawn into a pursuit, not to attack infantry if it was ready to defend itself, and not to go past the road from Sevastopol to Balaklava. Since success depended entirely on speed and daring, and the enemy could not be allowed to know when we moved, it was ordered that the troops leave campfires in the places they had been staying. During the march itself, they were to be as quiet as possible, not smoke pipes, light fires, or even carry their percussion caps on their crossbelts until after crossing the Chernaya Stream.
On the night of 24/25 September, Ryzhovs entire force came to the MacKenzie Heights. At two oclock in the morning the column descended the heights and formed up in battle order in the Chernaya Stream valley. On the right flank the Weimar Hussars stood in two lines, on the left was Prince Leuchtenbergs Regiment, and in reserve under Colonel Poznyak stood the Composite Hussar Regiment, a squadron of lancers, and a horse battery. Four squadrons of the Composite Lancer Regiment, under the command of Colonel Yeropkin, were moved to the pass out of which flowed the Chernaya. By stopping here and closing off the pass, the lancers covered the battle lines left flank.
At dawn the force moved forward. The Weimar Hussars crossed the river at a ford, while the Leuchtenbergers went across a stone bridge (the Traktir Bridge). The reserve, however, halted without crossing the stream, having the mission of covering the withdrawal. In case the enemy began to press hard on our cavalry, two regiments from the 16th Infantry Division with one heavy and one light battery were sent forward to MacKenzies Farm to provide support.
The brigade ascended the Fedyukhin Heights undetected, and going in front of the hussars, the Crimean Tatar Half-Squadron attacked enemy advance posts, drove them away, and succeeded in seizing a mounted patrol of four English dragoons, of whom two were killed and two taken prisoner. During this time, Colonel Gersevanov of the general staff reconnoiteredas far as the terrain would allowthe enemy positions. Then when our cavalry noticed enemy infantry and artillery approaching, it started to retreat in order to exit the pass in good time. An enemy battery galloped out ahead and opened fire on the retreating Weimar hussars.
Although a diversion out of Sevastopol was made at the same time as the reconnaissance in order to draw the attention of the allies, the enemy showed absolutely no reaction and moved exclusively against the hussars.
Losses were not great in the Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimars Hussar Regiment: five regimental riding horses were killed. In addition, losses in wounded were: the commander of the 3rd Division, Colonel von Focht, Lieutenant Ryshetov, and Noncommissioned Officer Pendyukov.
Theodor Bogdanovich von Focht was not actually wounded, but rather, as described in his personal service record, "broke his right collarbone and badly injured his chest when his own riding horse, killed under him by an enemy cannonball, fell on him with its whole weight, and to recover from this broken bone he was in the Simferopol Military Hospital from 26 September 1854 to 8 February 1855." (Personal service record of Lieutenant Colonel von Focht [fon-Fokht] for 1855 (Book No. 17,117). Note: In the beginning of 1856 von Focht died while with the regiment.)
Lieutenant Reshetov received a serious wound and contusion. (Personal service record of Lieutenant Reshetov for 1855.) He was "wounded by a shell fragment in the middle of the back of the head, being seriously contused in the back of the head with trauma to the brain." To recover from his injury and contusion he was also in the Simferopol hospital, from 25 September to 21 October 1854, and then "to fully recuperate from illness" he was sent on six months leave. (Note: In 1857 Lieutenant Reshetov had to be retired.)
It has not been possible to find information about Pendyukovs wound, but it is reliably established that was captured. He only returned on 14 April 1856 and was enrolled into His Majestys Leib-Lancer Regiment. (Personal service record of Non-commissioned Officer Pendyukov for 1858 (Book No. 1447), No. 104.)
Ye. F. Arbuzov, a regimental participant in the reconnaissance, mentions absolutely nothing about the regiments casualties, nor about comrades who were hurt. But he does say that the reconnaissance that had been carried out by the whole cavalry first clarified the position that the enemy occupied on Sevastopols south side and then also determined the numbers of allied troops. (Note: This "reminiscence" of Ye. F. Arbuzov is brought forth just to show how inaccurate his stated facts sometimes are, facts which he sometimes molded when afterwards compiling his notes.) But in fact, this reconnaissance had no other result than, in the words of Prince Menshikov, "to reveal the incompetence of the brigade and regimental commanders." (N. Dubrovin, page 224.) It was made clear that the enemy was building a line of redoubts on the heights surrounding Balaklava, but what was happening on the side facing Sevastopol remained unknown. We only had the same information as before the reconnaissance, i.e. we only knew that the enemy was preparing for a formal siege and was building several siege batteries and a series of fortifications securing himself from our coming around the Balaklava side.
After the reconnaissance the Weimar Hussars again returned to the position at Bakhchisarai, where they stayed until 12 October. Being here for some time, they saw how after the first furious bombardment of Sevastopol on 5 October from land and sea, wagon trains came winding out of the city with wounded men who sometimes had not yet received the medical attention they should have gotten while on the battlefield. The hussars stopped many of the wagons on the road to bandage the men and give them what supplies they could. These maimed heroes, with their courage and fortitude when enduring suffering, unconsciously acquired the greatest respect from all who saw them.
Although "on the day of the first bombardment of Sevastopol the regiment was ten miles from the city, even so the bombardment was so heavy that it was impossible to make out individual cannons firing or even the salvos from batteries; it was an interrupted roar of siege guns, sounding forth so clear that they could have been thundering from our own position." (Ye. F. Arbuzovs Vospominaniya, page 397.) The day of battle for the Weimar hussars was approaching
The Battle of Balaklava on 13 October, the deeds of the Weimar hussars, losses in the regiment, and military decorations. The bombardment of Sevastopol on 5 October convinced the allies that it would be impossible to take the city by brute force, and therefor they decided to resort to a formal siege. By this time reinforcements had increased the enemys numbers to 85,000. (Totleben, page 233 et seq.)
Prince Menshikov, significantly inferior to the enemy in strength, could not undertake active operations, and was forced to limit himself to defense and a some reconnoitering of enemy positions while he waited for reinforcements hurrying from Kerch and Perekop. Although reinforcements began to arrive after about 20 September, they were insignificant. Moreover, they came to be replacements for our army which had continuously sent units to strengthen the Sevastopol garrison. (Note: From 1 through 21 October there arrived a total of 24 battalions, 12 squadrons, 12 sotnias, and 56 guns. From 21 September through 17 October there were detached to the garrison 31 battalions and 28 guns.) At last, by 10 October the 12th Infantry Division arrived in the Sevastopol area and it became possible to go over to the offensive. (Totleben, page 234 et seq.; Anichkov, page 37.)
Until 11 October, all the cavalry, including the Weimar Hussars, was bivouacked on the Kacha River, two miles from Bakhchisarai, and almost every day sent two, three, or more squadrons out on various expeditions. On 11 October Lieutenant General Ryzhov, commanding all the cavalry, received written orders from the commander-in-chief (Note: Prince Menshikov was named commander-in-chief on 12 November 1854; N. Dubrovin, Materialy, Issue III, page 267) to come to the MacKenzie Heights by 9 oclock in the evening with his artillery and cavalry (Note: with the exception of the march hussar regiment, sent to the mouth of the Kacha to maintain posts and keep the enemy fleet under observation. N. Dubrovin, Materialy, Issue IV, "Zapiski general-leitenanta Iv. Iv. Ryzhova o Balaklavskom srazhenii," page 389 et seq.), and from there descend the heights along with a jäger regiment and four rifle battalions [sic, should be four rifle companies M.C]. With all military precautions, he was to move in a direct line to the village of Chorgun to join General Liprandis force. This forces assignment was to attack the enemy positions at Balaklava with the intention that once the fortifications built in front of the town were occupied, there would be a basis for future offensive operations on a larger scale. (Note: The fortifications were in two lines: a) several redoubts on the hills separating the Balaklava valley from the Chernaya River, and b) a compact strongpoint at the village of Kadykioi and several batteries, connected by trenches, which directly protected Balaklava, the allies base of operations. The redoubts were occupied by 1000 Turks and the other fortifications by 3500 Englishmen, including the English cavalry, which was in bivouacs behind Kadykioi (Scarletts Heavy Brigade 800 men, and Cardigans Light Brigade 700 men, or 1500 men in all under the overall command of Lord Lucan). The numbers designating the redoubts started from the right flank and the one closest to the village of Komary was Redoubt No. 1.)
(Note: Ye. F. Arbuzovs memoirs are the best source for the battle of 13 October, and therefor much of it will be presented below verbatim, with necessary corrections made in notes. Also, we will dwell on historical misunderstandings which obscure the hussars actions at Balaklava, so as to confirm Ye. F. Arbuzov, who was one of the first to treat the matter of the hussars unjustly accused of retreat and even of running away.
For now, we note that our venerable historian M. I. Bogdanovich, whose description of the battle of 13 October was published in 1876 (see Vostochnaya voina 1853-1856 g.g., Volume 3), did not use Ye. F. Arbuzovs memoirs, printed in 1874 (see his citations for Chapter XXIII of Volume 3).
The Battle of Balaklava is set forth in detail for the following reasons: 1) this battle is of unique regimental interest; 2) the preserved regimental records provide new light on the established incorrect view of the hussars actions; and 3) this battle was the last major action [up to 1914 M.C.] in which the Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimars Hussar Regiment took part.)
In regard to the day before the battle, Ye. F. Arbuzov says the following (Vospominaniya, page 397 et seq.):
On 12 October General Ryzhovs entire column moved between the hills to the village of Chorgun, where it arrived around dusk. Immediately upon our arrival at Chorgun, we received an order not to set up campfires so as to prevent us being observed by enemy advance posts some two miles away from us on the Balaklava heights, and regimental commanders were summoned to General Liprandi. After receiving instructions from the force commander, they returned to their regiments and relayed these to their officers, who in their turn explained them to the soldiers.
This is how on 13 October we heard through the deployment orders that we were to take from the Turks the four redoubts erected on the Balaklava heights and drive them out of the village of Komary. Then we were to send the Kiev and Ingermanland Hussar Regiments across the already-occupied Balaklava heights to the enemy artillery park located to the right of Kadykioi. Once the hussars had put the parks wagons out of order, they were to retreat. After this, artillery fire was supposed to blow up the park, the enemy already having been deprived of the means to move it away. (Note: In his "Notes," General Ryzhov, commanding the cavalry, fully confirms what Ye. F. Arbuzov says. The general states the following: "I was ordered: on the occupation of the last enemy redoubt by our infantry, to immediatelyeven starting from the spot at full speed [v karer]throw ourselves at the English cavalry occupying a fortified position near the village of Kadykioi and the town of Balaklava. Now, full justice must be done to General Liprandi, whose orders, including the most trivial, were the most well thought out and sensible. Each commander was given clear, well-founded, and detailed measures to be taken in every situation that could possibly arise." We note that such an important source as General Ryzhovs notes on the cavalrys actions on 25 October were also ignored by M. I. Bogdanovich.)
After the orders were received, there began the usual preparations for battle. The first business, of course, was to hear prayer services. Then each officer gave his men instructions in case of his death and all his money. Letters were written to relatives. In the column all became noticeably quieter. Here or there was only a small candle glowing under a bush where some officer, lying on a rug, was finishing his letter.
Soon everyone in the force got busy and began getting ready to march forth. At about two oclock at night the column was already strung out in the narrow ways between the hills. In front marched the infantry, in the middle was the artillery, and the cavalry came behind. In spite of the short distance we had to go to reach the enemy, we only reached the Chernaya Stream at dawn. The artillery and infantry forded the stream and crossed a bridge over a small canal. They were in the valley of the Chernaya Stream opposite the Balaklava heights where the enemy redoubts were. The cavalry, under General Ryzhovs command, along with the artillery park, halted at the bridge without crossing the canal. At the same time we were doing all this, General Zhabokritskiis division arrived from Sevastopols north side and occupied the Fedyukhin Heights. (Note: As we will see later, the 3rd Division (5th and 6th Squadrons) of the Weimar Hussars was attached to this column.)
For the advance the Chorgun force was divided into three columns: a) the left column under General Gribbe, sent along the Baidar valley around the enemys right flank to occupy the village of Komary; b) the center column, divided into two echelons (Generals Semyakin and Levitskii), was sent against Kadykioi in the center of the enemy position; and c) the right column under Colonel Scuderi, which was to move in the direction of Redoubt No. 3. The cavalry followed after the right column and was ordered to cross the Chernaya, form into attack columns, and await orders from General Liprandi, commander of the Chorgun force. General Zhabokritskii, in conjunction with the cavalry, was to cover the Chorgun forces right flank. Ye. F. Arbuzov describes the subsequent events as follows (Vospominaniya, page 398 et seq.):
The weather was beautiful. With the first rays of the rising sun, the opening shot from our cannons reverberated between the hills, beginning a bombardment of the Turkish artillery in the redoubts on the Balaklava heights. In no more than an hour the Turkish artillery began to slacken noticeably. General Liprandi judged this moment to be the most suitable for the attack, and personally took the battalions of the Azov and Dnieper Regiments into battle. It was wonderful to see the fine infantry fellows, showered with a storm of bullets and canister, go bravely into the attack. At about six oclock the soldiers "Ura!" shook the air. In a single moment the Turks were forced out of their fortifications and Russian flags were planted on the redoubts of the Balaklava heights. (Note: Actually this was not so. Redoubt No. 1 was already occupied by 7:30 AM, and the other three were taken soon after. In his "Notes," General Ryzhov says the following regarding this: "The Turks wavered, did not stand firm in the face of the courageous approach of our powerful infantry, and ran, abandoning the redoubt and everything in it. The other redoubts were also taken, very easily. Some kind of panic and fear overcame the Turks so that they were unable to withstand the approach of our infantry and betook themselves away almost before they had to." "Zapiski," page 75.)
The impression made by this magnificent attack was unusually strong. Tears of joy and emotion at this great moment flowed from the eyes of those who were observing the course of the battle. Even now I can see Colonel Klunnikovs Don battery driving past our regiment. After this glorious victory, when the battery had shot off all its ammunition at the enemy, it was going to the artillery park to refill its caissons. The forage caps of the brave Don artillerymen flew high into the air, and with one voice a "Ura!" joyously spread through the ranks of our forces which had taken up their positions.
After the redoubts were taken, the 5th and 6th Squadrons of our regiment were sent, at General Liprandis orders, to the right flank, to the Chernaya Stream behind the Fedyukhin Heights (Note: to General Zhabokritskiis column). The 7th Squadron stayed behind covering the artillery while our remaining five squadrons and the whole of the Kiev Hussar Regiment were sent toward the supposed artillery park located at the bend in the enemys line of troop positions. (Note: The cavalry commander, General Ryzhov, describes the moment thusly: "My work began once the last redoubt was takenwork that incontrovertibly was the most difficult of that whole affair. I fully understood the task laid on me: with the 6th Divisions hussar regiments, in a weakened state though they were (they did not have more than ten files in each platoon, and some squadrons had even less), ascend a slope on which were all the English cavalry and even some of his infantry, in a fortified position. But it was not mine to reason why. It was enough that I received an order and I considered it a sacred duty to carry out what I had been charged with as best I understood it, placing my trust in Gods help. When General Liprandis adjutant transmitted the order to me, I moved my brigade, formed into columns of divisions [v divizionnykh kolonakh], into the attack in two lines, with the Leuchtenberg Regiment in front. I ordered the movement to be at a quick trot [bolshoyu rysyu], and did not set off at full speed as had been ordered, solely due to my experience with cavalry and keeping in mind that I had about a mile to cover before meeting the enemy. In this circumstance, horses would not otherwise have the kind of strength needed for a charge." "Zapiski," page 75.)
According to Ye. F. Arbuzov (Vospominaniya, page 399), the terrain which the hussars were to move across was:
such that immediately beyond the bridge over the canal, between the Fedyukhin Heights on the right and the Balaklava heights on the left, there spread the level and rather narrow valley of the Chernaya Stream. Right behind the Balaklava heights on the left there began a wide plain, gradually sloping away and then rising again to the position of the enemy. To the right of our intended route rose Sapun Hill, crowned with French guns. In front of us the angle in the enemy dispositions, toward which we were to go, was manned by the English. Turkish soldiers were positioned to the left on the heights between the town of Balaklava and the village of Kadykioi, also protected by artillery. In a word, the enemy position, relative to our movement, was in the form of a huge lunette with its throat facing toward us, whose flanks were Sapun Hill and heights next to Balaklava. The angle of the lunette was in the direction of the St. George Monastery. From the fortified heights, the enemy could freely fire upon the whole plain which we had to traverse.
As he himself acknowledged, General Ryzhov was familiar with the terrain only from maps, and with Captain Theoktistov of the general staff he arranged his regiments and was the first to ascend the slope. Behind him came the hussars in attack columns "When I rode up onto the height," says General Ryzhov ("Zapiski," page 76), "the following sight met my eyes: the entire English cavalry no more than 500 yards from me, drawn up in one line, resting its right flank [sic, from Ryzhovs point of view M.C.] on rough terrain and, in addition, protected by a rather strong battery emplaced in Kadykioi village. On its left flank, about 200 yards away, stood infantry in echeloned columns [ustupami v kolonnakh]."
According to General Ryzhovs testimony, here there occurred the following episode:
During the same time, General Liprandi gave me to know that since he thought two weak regiments insufficient, he was ordering the regiment of Ural cossacks to go, too. I (General Ryzhov) intended to keep this regiment in reserve, but as soon as another messenger sent by Liprandi directly to the regiment had announced his order, the regimental commander tore off at full speed without any thought or any of the necessary arrangements. Even worse, he set off from the right by sixes [sprava po shesti]. An officer sent with my (General Ryzhovs) orders was no longer able to stop them The Ural Cossack Regiment had edged far to the right of the enemy, along the edge of the heights, in the same formation as they had started, which is to sayin sixes. They moved with a frightful "Ura!" and quickly shifted back and forth in a long row like some kind of flock or flight of birds, but not, however, closing with the enemy.
It is highly probable that this strange attack by the cossacks had an indirect effect on the preparation for the hussars own attack. (Note: It is interesting that even in General Markovs History of Cavalry not only is this peculiar cossack attack not mentioned, but it is even said that the cossacks went into the attack as part of the second line. M. I. Bogdanovich and General Totleben do not mention the cossack episode at all. Markov, Istoriya konnitsy, Vol. 5, Section I, page 30; M. I. Bogdanovich, Vostochnaya voina 1853-1856 g.g., Part III, page 112; Totleben, page 241 et seq.) At ten oclock in the morning the columns of hussars began to ascend the slope. General Ryzhov describes what happened next as follows:
First to ascend was a division of the Leuchtenberg Regiment under the command of the truly brave Colonel Voinilovich, whom I ordered to bear to the left as much as required to be face to face with the red English dragoon guards. As the rest of the divisions each came up the slope, I directed them to parts of the enemy formation, since to conform to the extended English front I was forced to also stretch out both my regiments in a single line, and was left without a reserve. One could not help being amazed as the enemy, superior in numbers, allowed up the freedom to ascend the height and, it may be said, gave me the time to draw up my units right in front of his nose and send them to indicated points. But that is the way it was: the enemy stood calmly and waited as by agreement. The silence on each side was surprising; only the cossacks were shouting, but that was far off and no one paid them any attention. Only an enemy batterys heavy fire from the direction of Kadykioi reminded us where we were and why we had come. Finally my entire line flew quickly at the enemys front. The first to set off and the first to cut into the ranks of the red dragoons was Colonel Voinilovich. One and a half hours later this brave officer was cut down by two bullets in his chest. All my attention was turned to this bloody fight
Ye. F. Arbuzov, a participant in this attack, gives us the following interesting details which serve to supplement the above (Vospominaniya, pages 399 and 400):
Hardly had the hussars crossed over the crest of the Balaklava heights and at an accelerated trot begun to approach the described angle in the enemy position, when a fierce crossfire opened up on them from all the guns on the enemys flanks. Thus, to reach the artillery park as intended we had to pass through enemy fire for a further mile or two. (Note: It has already been mentioned above that the distance was less than 1 1/4 miles.) The closer we approached our assigned objective, the more noticeably intense the bombardment became. The fire from riflemen was added to that of the artillery, and from the slopes of the heights occupied by the enemy we were hit from all sides. We were literally advancing under fire. The hussar ranks grew thinner each second, but the squadrons pressed on undiscouraged. While still on the move we saw that we would not only have to deal with an artillery park, as supposed in our battle orders, but with English cavalry fully ready for battle. Between us and the English we could see their horse lines and serving tables.
In fine fashion the hussars deployed our front almost in front of the Englishmens noses, and with cries of "Ura!" the hussars skillfully charged into the attack. The horse lines and tables were overturned, and we fell upon the English. Our regiment had to fight with Queen Victorias Regiment of Dragoon Guards in their red coats.
The firing at us immediately ceased, and in its place there began a hand-to-hand fight. Neither we nor the English wanted to give way to the other. In the general melée, which lasted eight or ten minute, one could hear neither shouted commands nor the bugle due to the cries of "Ura!" Our hussars were, so to speak, grappled with the English. Finally, the latter turned around. We charged after them, but were turned back by General Ryzhov and went back to our force
General Ryzhov speaks openly about the trepidation he experienced ("Zapiski," page 77):
I held my breath, waiting to see how this would end. As I did not have any reserve, if the hussars turned back I would not have anything with which to stop the enemy, while the descent from the heights, with its unavoidable disorder, would help the enemy cavalry deal us a great defeat. With Gods help, the end was glorious for us. The hussars slashed away at a standstill for about seven minutes, and although they suffered significant losses (of the Leuchtenberg men 18 field and company-grade officers and 122 lower ranks, while for the Weimar Regiment 12 field and company-grade officers and 105 lower ranks) we nonetheless forced the stubborn enemy to show us his rear. The English cavalry turned back and took cover behind his infantry. I saw that it was necessary to halt the hussars chasing after them, considering that moment most suitable for returning back. Here on the spot, under very heavy fire from the enemy battery at Kadykioi, I formed them up as well as possible, and in good order and under the eyes of our force, I descended the slope to a place suitable for cavalry to occupy. I formed ourselves into two lines again, occupying the whole width of the valley, and designated places for the artillery and ordered them to unlimber their guns.
In relaying his impressions regarding this attack, Ye. F. Arbuzov rightly notes, among other things:
I do not know why the dragoon guards, the flower of the whole English cavalry, received us standing in place, not moving forward a single step. This considerate favor on their part gave us greatly improved chances in the attack. Had they struck us a full speed with the weight of their big horses, in all likelihood our own horses would not have had the strength to withstand them. All the more so since before our attack made contact with the English, we had to overcome two obstaclestables and horse lines which could not help but prevent us from maintaining a tight formation. Besides this, we were already weakened by significant casualties from being shot at and had to attack the enemy uphill. When two masses of cavalry attack each other, it often happens that one of them gives way even before the actual impact. Here, however, and as explained above, the actual clash occurred under conditions which were completely unfavorable for our hussars, and then there began a furious slashing away while standing in place.
Taking all this into account, one may venture to say that our regiments attack must be counted among the most noteworthy of cavalry actions, and that our hussars honorably carried out their duty in battle with the enemy.
The authoritative opinion of General Ryzhov regarding this attack is the same, and on this topic he states the following ("Zapiski," page 78):
I had served for 42 years, taken part in 10 campaigns, been in many great battles such as Kulm, Leipzig, Paris, and others, but never had I seen a cavalry attack in which both sides, with equal ferocity, steadfastness, andit may be saidstubbornness, cut and slashed in place for such a long time, and even in the whole history of cavalry attacks we do not find many such instances. Senior and junior officers served as examples for the soldiers, as evidenced by such a large number of wounded, and for the most part all these wounds were in the face or head. The commander of the Leuchtenberg Regiment, Major General Khaletskii, with his own hands cut down two men and was wounded by a saber; one blow cut his ear, and another his neck above his neck cloth. Of the officers with me, my adjutant and another orderly were wounded. My horse was killed under me. Even those most ill-disposed to us cannot call this fight anything but most daring, decisive, and exemplary, and in its own time it will take its place in the history of cavalry actions. I do not know why, in the report of this notable day, this attack was not written about in detail, unless, as it seems to me, it is not appropriate for such a weak unit to ascend uphill and attack a strong enemy in a fortified position.
However, in the history of cavalry actions this notable attack has received such a sorry aura that overall an historical misunderstanding has arisen, one that has grown so much that contemporaries greatly distorted their memoirs and induced historians into serious errors. In view of this, we will dwell below on the historical misunderstanding so that, in particular, incorrect and suspect judgements on the hussars actions will be eliminated.
The attack carried out by the hussars may be said to have completed the first part of the Battle of Balaklava, and therefor we will examine the deeds of the Weimar hussars as well as regimental losses.
Recalling individual regimental incidents during the attack, Ye. F. Arbuzov records the following for posterity (Note: in necessary instances we have added corrections and additions, these being based on archival information with appropriate citations):
When we rushed onto the dragoons, our regiments 2nd Squadron, being pressed from the left side, veered to the right at full gallop, pushed on the 1st Squadron and forced it to unwittingly do the same. As a result, the Leib-Squadrons 1st Platoon, which I commanded, did not have any enemy facing it at the moment we collided with the English, since the foes left flank ended opposite the right flank of our squadrons 2nd Platoon. Taking advantage of this, with my platoon I immediately struck the English squadrons left flank and rear, hewed into it, and seriously disorganized its alignment. I am embarrassed that I cannot give an account of what exactly I did there. I only remember that I struck one dragoon in the shoulder, and my saber bit so deep into him, that I only drew it out with difficulty. Now the cut-up dragoon fell from his horse and his spurs caught my horses bit reins [mundshtuchnye povodya] and tore them, so that my horse reared up and almost fell over.
The commander of the 3rd Squadron, Captain Petr Pavlovich Marin, was some distance in front of his command when it struck the enemy and was knocked off his horse. This brave officer did not panic, but again mounted his horse and cut his way back through the enemy front to reach his squadron. During this, he received three head wounds, of which one cleaved to the bone. In spite of this, after reaching his squadron he again took his place at its head and paid no attention to the blood streaming from his wounds. The sight of the brave commander, without his shako on his head and with blood clotting on his moustache, inspired his hussars even more. (Note: In Captain Marins personal service record it is noted that he was "seriously wounded in the top of the head by a broadsword and high on both sides by a blunt weapon." From 26 October 1854 to 15 February 1855, P. P. Marin was in the Simferopol Military Hospital to recover from his wounds, and for complete convalescence from illness resulting from his injuries, he was released on ten months leave starting 15 February 1855. Combined Archive of the Main Staff. Regimental service records for 1856, Major Marins personal service record.)
The commander of the 2nd Division, Colonel Mikhail Konstantinovich Dekinlein, who was a venerable 70 years old, (Note: According to his personal service record, at this time Colonel Dekinlein was 61 years of age) was splattered with the blood and brains of his trumpeter when that man was killed beside him, but he urged his horse to its utmost speed and boldly tore into the enemy ranks. He was unusually strong and the whole division saw him as without pause he cut a path for himself in the enemy formation. Before this action, Dekinlein and Marin had long been on bad terms with each other, but after the attack, the brave men gave each other his due recognition and after kissing heartily, became friends. They both served as best examples for their subordinates.
Major General Khaletskii, the commander of H.I.H. the Duke of Leuchtenbergs Kiev Hussar Regiment, commanded our brigade in this action due to the brigade commander, General Velichko, being sick. At the first clash with the enemy, General Khaletskii discharged his pistol and in the melée was wounded in the ear and neck. Then his saber was knocked from his hand and he was completely unarmed. The orderly who was with him, 65-year old Karp Antonovich Pivenko, a non-commissioned officer from our regiment, gave him his own saber. Pivenko then slid from his horse, picked up the saber that had been knocked from the generals hand, jumped back onto his horse, and then managed to deflect a blow that just then was being aimed at General Khaletskii. For this deed Pivenko received his second St.-George Cross. (Ye. F. Arbuzov, Vospominaniya, note on page 402. Note: It is very possible that Pivenko was put forward for this military decoration, but in actuality, as his service record shows, he was "given an additional one-third of the salary of a senior sergeant-major," "for distinguished bravery and courage in battle." It has not been possible to explain why such an exchange was considered. Personal service records of non-commissioned officers for 1858 (Book No. 1447), service record of Senior Sergeant Major Pivenko.)
(Additional Note: At this time Karp Yakovlevich Pivenko was about 55 years old. He was a noteworthy member of the lower ranks, and it was not for nothing that his personal service record is numbered No. 1. Of peasant stock from Kharkov Province, Pivenko was delivered as a recruit in 1829 by a woman landowner and generals wife named Karsakova. In a year he was enrolled as a private in H.I.H. the Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevnas (Yelisavetgrad) Hussar Regiment. In 1835, Pivenko was promoted to non-commissioned officer, and then in 1839to junior sergeant major [mladshii vakhmistr], and in 1842to senior sergeant major [starshii vakhmistr]. After serving in this rank for the regulation number of years, Sergeant Major Pivenko "took the examination in learned subjects for promotion to officer rank," but he did not pass the test and so was only awarded "one third of a cornets pay" along with the other "perquisites Most Graciously bestowed on such lower ranks." To give an idea of what was meant by "learned subjects" in those days, we note that the following was entered in Sergeant Major Pivenkos personal service record after the examination: "Short catechism, correct reading of printed books and handwriting, ability to write in accordance with the rules of grammar and accurately under dictation, generation of paperwork relating to the duties of a subaltern officer in military service, arithmetic up to the third rule inclusive, military regulations from recruit school up to battalion-level training inclusive, knows garrison, camp, and advance-post duties."
In 1848, Pivenko was given a years leave, and in 1850 he was "separated from the regiment." Pivenko could not bear life in retirement and in six months he began to petition to again enter service. "In accordance with his wish," in March of 1851 he was assigned to the Weimar Hussars in his previous rank of Sergeant Major. However, poor health deprived him of the opportunity to be an excellent sergeant major, so on 14 November 1854 he was made a non-commissioned officer.
Pivenko was a veteran cavalryman. He had: a) a St.-Anne medal for irreproachable service, b) the medal of the Military Order "for attacking an enemy square in the 1849 Hungarian campaign;" c) silver medals "for the taking of Warsaw by storm in 1831" and "for the pacification of Hungary and Transylvania in 1849;" d) Polish medal for distinction 5th class; and e) sewn-on chevrons 1) on the left sleeve of the coattwo gold chevrons for serving 12 and 17 years in non-commissioned-officer rank and three regulation chevrons for irreproachable conduct, and 2) trim sewn around the shoulder strap "for time spent in the Model Cavalry Regiment." Additionally, Pivenko had an inscribed silver medal for zeal, awarded on 4 October 1854 "for serving the regulation number of years for retirement."
We can also add that Pivenko was personally known to Emperor Nicholas Pavlovich. During a review once, the Sovereign offered to transfer him to the Company of Palace Grenadiers, but Pivenko, as related by Ye. F. Arbuzov, replied that he was ready to serve anywhere that it pleased His Imperial Majesty, but he asked as a favor that he be allowed to die as a hussar.
In the beginning of 1855, Karp Yakovlevich Pivenko was again promoted to senior sergeant major, but in this same year the regiment lost this loyal and brave hussar when he died from typhoid fever. With due honor, the regiment conducted the funeral of "dead hussar" Karp Yakovlevich, who was buried in the village of Petrovskoe in the Crimea )
Here is yet another interesting event. Non-commissioned officer Samoshchenko of the 1st Squadron took part in the attack on the English while mounted on an English horse. It happened this way: Samoshchenkos horse was killed at the very beginning of the attack. Left unharmed on the field, he followed after the regiment on foot. But after the attack began, and horses from slain English dragoons were starting to wander over the field, Samoshchenko caught one of them, mounted it, and charged into an enemy squadron. This incident shows how lengthy and prolonged was our attack.
When General Ryzhovs horse was killed under him, Non-commissioned Officer Zakharov gave him his own while he himself remained under heavy fire from the enemy batteries to recover the dead horses saddle. He did this calmly and without haste, and carried the saddle to the dressing station on his shoulders. (N. Putilov. Sbornik izvestii, otnosyashchikhsya do nastoyashchei voiny, St. Petersburg, 1855. Book 23, page 511, "Podvigi muzhestva, okazannye chinami otryada gen.-leit. Liprandi v srazhenii 13 oktyabrya 1854 g. na Kadykioiskikh vysotakh.") After rejoining the regiment, Zakharov turned over the recovered saddle to be returned to its owner. When he was asked why he did not just leave it on the dead horse, he answered, "What? You think you can leave a generals saddle in enemy hands?" (N. Dubrovin. Materialy, Issue IV, page 54. "Vospominaniya o Balaklavskom dele poruchica Koribut-Kubitovicha.") For this deed Non-commissioned Officer Zakharov was awarded the medal of the Military Order. (See Part I of Istoriya 30-go drag. Ingermanlandskago polka, Appendix 5, page 7. Ye. F. Arbuzov does not mention Zakharovs singular actions at all. But at the same time, this deed was even described in the well-known Sbornik Izvestii in 1855.)
Captain Khitrovo, commander of the 8th Squadron, showed incredible courage in this battle. (Ye. F. Arbuzov mentions Captain Khitrovo in his memoirs, page 403, as does Lieutenant Koribut-Kubitovich, page 53.) "This brave officer," says Arbuzov, "died as a result of his hot-headedness. He had an excellent jumper for a horse and while we were beginning to deploy from attack columns in order to strike the enemy, he commanded Form front!, and without waiting for the squadron to form up, he charged forward alone and immediately disappeared into the enemy ranks in front of the eyes of his squadron." Although Captain Khitrovo was wounded by a bullet and several saber cuts, he desperately fought the enemy that surrounded him. The squadron rushed to save their beloved leader, but it was already too late. His horse was killed under him and he continued to fight on foot, but soon fell under the enemys blows. (Note: Ye. F. Arbuzov tells how Khitrovo seemed to foresee his own death, and how on the eve of battle he took the trouble to give his commander a sum of money he owed to the treasury. When he was still a junker [officer candidate] in another regiment, the regimental cash box was stolen while he was on guard duty. As a result, Khitrovo and the regiments duty officer were fined the missing sum, which for Khitrovos share by 25 October was still about 1600 roubles. In order to keep his old father from having to pay this money, Khitrovo hastened to give it to his commander. Arbuzov also tells us that Khitrovo was mortally wounded and after the battle was picked up by the English and carried onto a steamship, where he was with captured Lieutenant Obukhov of the Kiev Hussar Regiment. After his return from captivity, Obukhov reported that Khitrovo had died no more than six hours after being carried onboard the steamer, which went to Scutari.)
Lieutenant Arbuzov took over the Leib-Squadron after "in the fury of the hand-to-hand fight Captain Matveevskii was seriously wounded in the eye, the bone of the orbit being split." Arbuzov, recalling casualties, recounts the following:
After we separated from the English and began to withdraw, I wanted to see my squadron better and bring it to good order, so I fell behind it and saw that instead of a whole squadron I only had no more than three platoons. All the rest had been either wounded or killed. During our retreat, enemy rounds again began to shower on us, and with each step the ranks of the squadron became thinner and thinner. By the time we came out of the cannon fire, the Leib-Squadron had become a half-squadron. It had only five or six files remaining in each platoon, when it had gone into action with twelve. Our 2nd Division suffered most of all. On coming out of action it had four or fewer files left in each platoon. [Note by M.C. This regimental history mistakenly says that the 3rd Division suffered most of all. Arbuzovs original accounts says "2nd Division," and I have made the correction here.]
Truly, losses in the regiment were great. According to General Ryzhov, casualties were: 12 field and company-grade officers and 105 lower ranks. Considering that the five squadrons of the Weimar Hussars which were in the attack had 28 officers and about 500 lower ranks before the battle (Moscow Section of the Combined Archive of the Main Staff, regimental monthly report for October 1854), we see that some 43% of officers and more than 20% of lower ranks became casualties. (Note: The count of officers who took part in the attack is taken from a list attached to an 1854 monthly report. Lower ranks are firgured as ten files in a platoon. We recall that General Ryzhov himself reports such a weakened state for the squadrons.)
Of the numbers mentioned there were: 1) killed (Regimental monthly report for November 1854; see also Part I of the regimental history, Appendix 6, page 8), Cornets Gorelov and Veselovskii, and 48 lower ranks; 2) wounded, 1 division commander (Major Polozov), all squadron commanders (Captains Marin, Matveevskii, and Khitrovo, Staff-Captains Aleshchenko and Svechin (Ye. F. Arbuzov, Vospominaniya, page 403), 5 subaltern officers out of the 19 who were in the attack (Staff-Captains Prince Khamzaev and Boglevskii, Cornet Rypinskii, Lieutenant Velichko, and Cornet Belyavskii), and about 50 lower ranks; 3) missing, Lieutenant Stavitskii and about 7 lower ranks. (Regimental monthly reports for the last third of 1854, personal service records of officers for 1856, and personal service records of non-commissioned officers for 1858.)
(Notes: In order to preserve and immortalize the names of these lower-rank heroes, fallen in the death of the brave, we list them here. Killed: junior sergeant majors Roman Pegusov, Osip Semenov, Andrei Grobovoi; non-commissioned officers Yelistrat Demchenko, Stepan Ivanov, Leontii Burlutskii; trumpeter Iuda Tarasenko; privates Miron Marin, Ivan Moskalev, Andrei Chernomord, Vavrolenets Pavlovskii, Nikolai Borshchenko, Ivan Kireev, Ivan Gavrilov Moskalev, Yemelyan Belugan, Nikifor Belov, Stanislav Dudkevich, Akim Kover, Semen Mankov, Danilo Prokopa, Mikhailo Sokolov, Mikhailo Tarasenko, Fedot Unukov, Samuil Tsylka, Yevsei Chernysh, Vasilii Budnikov, Yefim Bondarenko, Gerasim Belun, Ivan Godovikov, Semen Zlenkov, Vasilii Nikiforov, Khariton Plastun, Ivan Rybalkin, Pavel Lozovoi, Gavrilo Maksimov, Nikolai Savelev, Pavel Novikov, Fedor Paltsov, Kondrat Panasenko, Savva Bezsmertnyi, Aleksei Kozlov, Fedor Lanko, Nikita Maksimenko, Vasilii Movchan, Arefii Fedorov, Mikhailo Chernyak, and Prokofii Yaskova total of 48 men, comprising about 10% of those who took part in the attack. In the monthly reports the information is recorded in an inconsistent mannersome men being shown as wounded, some as missing in action, so that one must check each by name. In view of this, the figures given are only the approximate numbers of wounded and missing.
Ye. F. Arbuzov does not mention Cornet Veselovskii at all, even though he performed a rare feat which redeemed a past transgression. While serving in the replacement squadron of the Prince of Hesse-Kassels Hussar Regiment in 1849, V. P. Veselovskii committed a great misdeed. While in the town of Uman, "during guard duty at the guard house he argued and fought with Cornet Polyakov of the Klyastitsy Hussar Regiments replacement squadron." For this "conduct unbecoming an officer," Veselovskii, "after confirmation of sentence," was separated from service, and "if he wished to continue serving, then it would only be as nothing other than a private."
Branded by such a court sentence, the discharged cornet did not brood about the past and decided to expiate his misdeed through honorable service. By Highest order, in the beginning of 1851 Veselovskii was assigned as a private in the Hereditary Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimars Hussar Regiment, which he had chosen. After serving for a year and a half as a private, on 31 August 1852 Veselovskii was promoted to non-commissioned officer by Highest order "for distinguished and zealous service." Finally, on 27 March 1854 Veselovskii was promoted to cornet.
Thus V. P. Veselovskiis peacetime performance lasting three years partially erased his guilt, and on 25 October he fell in battle and washed away with his blood the stigma that lay over him
Although Major Markov 14th was squadron commander, in his "Memoirs" Ye. F. Arbuzov says that in the attack the 2nd Squadron was commanded by Staff-Captain Svechin.
Additional Note by M.C.: From the army gazette Russkii Invalid, 1854, No. 3-4, "By Highest Order dated 3 January 1854, Lieutenant from the Mountaineers ["Poruchik iz gortsev"] Prince Mutsal-Chikanov-Khamzaev 2nd, attached to the Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimars Hussar Regiment, is promoted to Staff-Captain, based on Article 653 of the 4th Supplement to Volume 5 of the Compilation of Military Regulations." Note that the Prince was not actually a member of the regiment, but only attached to it. He was one of many Muslims from the Caucasus Mountains serving as junior officers in Russian light cavalry regiments, with special terms of service.)
Recalling the duration (7-10 minutes) of the cavalry fight in which our hussarsas Ye. F. Arbuzov expressed it"were grappled with the English," it becomes apparent to us that the wounds incurred by the Weimar hussars were inflicted primarily by edged weapons. Additionally, thanks to the "furious slashing away while standing in place," for the most part the wounds were of a serious nature.
Truly, in the words of Ye. F. Arbuzov, Captain Khitrovo (commander of the 8th Squadron), Lieutenant Stavitskii, and Cornet Gorelev were all cut up. (Note by M.C. - The regimental history mistakenly says Khitrovo commanded the "3rd Squadron," but Arbuzovs original account in Voennyi Sbornik correctly says "8th," and I have corrected it here.) Such a fate likely befell Cornet Veselovskii. In addition, one must not doubt that there was no small number of men severely cut up among the slain lower ranks as well as the missing and wounded. (Note: A. M. Stavitskii was left on the battlefield and by a Highest order in 1857 was dropped from the rolls as "missing in action in the course of the late war." (See Part I of the regimental history, Appendices 6 and 7 on page 80.) It was not possible to uncover information about Veselovskii, as his service record has not been preserved, but in the monthly report V. P. Veselovskii was dropped as having been killed. Information has been preserved for some of the lower ranks, as will be mentioned below. Moscow Section of the Combined Archive of the Main Staff, regimental monthly report for October 1854.)
Other officers from those named above received the following wounds (Information on the wounds of these officers is taken from their service records for 1855 [Book No. 17,117, Part II.]):
a) Captain Marin, as mentioned earlier, received three woundsbeing "seriously wounded in the top of the head by a broadsword and high on both sides by a blunt weapon." (See Part I of the regimental history, Appendix No. 7, page 61. Note: After recovering from these wounds, P. P. Marin continued to serve in the regiment for about another ten years, and in 1866 was named commander of the Akhtyrka Hussar Regiments reserve squadron.)
b) Captain Matveevskii also received several injuries, "being seriously wounded by a broadsword in the right side of the face with damage to the outside corner of the eye socket where the cheekbone joins the forehead bone, accompanied by trauma to the brain, and lightly wounded (also with a broadsword) in the left side of the chest above the eighth rib and under the left side of the ribcage." (See Part I of the regimental history, Appendix No. 7, page 61. Note: "To recover" from his wounds, N. A. Matveevskii was in the Simferopol Military Hospital and the town of Karasubazar from 26 October 1854 through 3 November 1855, i.e. about one year. After returning to the regiment, he served less then two years, still suffering from his wounds, and died on 31 August 1857.The information given by Ye. F. Arbuzov regarding these wounds is not entirely accurate.)
c) Staff-Captain Aleshchenko received more than five wounds, being "seriously injured by a broadsword in the forehead, with damage to the bone, and slightly wounded by a saber in the face, neck, trunk, and upper extremeties." (See Part I of the regimental history, Appendix No. 7, page 13. Note: D. I. Aleshchenko was in the Simferopol Military Hospital from 14 October to 1 May 1855, and then, "in order to completely recover from the illness caused by his wounds," he was released on 3 May 1855 on eleven months leave, at the end of which he retired "due to wounds.")
d) Staff-Captain Svechin was contused in the chest when a cannonball tore off his horses head. (See Part I of the regimental history, Appendix No. 7, page 80. Note: He was in the Simferopol Hospital for over three and a half months and on 22 May 1855 was "released from service due to wounds, in the rank of captain.")
e) Staff-Captain Prince Mutsal Khamzaev 2nd, son of Chopolaev, assigned from the Caucasian mountaineers, was seriously wounded "in the head by a saber, across the left part of the rear of the skull and along the left side of the chin, in which two left incisors were knocked out, and was contused by shell fragments in the right elbow." (Regimental monthly reports for the last third of 1854, personal service records of officers for 1856. He spent over seven months recovering from his wounds.)
f) Lieutenant Velichko was contused by a cannonball on the outside of his right thigh and received an burn from a pistol discharged right in front of his face, across the middle part of the bridge of his nose from one eye to the other, 3 1/2 inches wide. (Combined Archive of the Main Staff, regimental monthly report for February 1855. Note: He was in hospital for almost three months and on 23 January 1855 was detailed "to conduct personnel and horses from the reserves to provide replacements for the regular cavalry.")
g) Staff-Captain Boglevskii "was lightly wounded by a broadsword on the outside of the right arm at the bend of the elbow." He was not hospitalized for this wound, but stayed in formation after being bandaged. (Moscow Section of the Combined Archive of the Main Staff, regimental monthly report for October 1854. Note: Though his wound was light, A. M. Boglevskii became an invalid and in January of 1857 was obliged to retire. )
h) Cornet Rypinskii was also lightly wounded by a broadsword in the right arm and, after being bandaged, stayed in formation.
i) Cornet Belyavskii was seriously wounded; he remained on the battlefield and was taken prisoner.
The following information is preserved regarding lower ranks wounds (See the personal service records of these lower ranks): 1) Senior Sergeant Major Patok was lightly wounded by a saber in the right shoulder and right cheek; 2) Junior Sergeant Major Glushkov lightly wounded by a saber in the lower lip on the right side, and Junior Sergeant Major Bukhanchenko lightly wounded by a saber in neck; 3) Non-commissioned officers: Ivanov seriously wounded by a saber in the right arm with injury to the tendons (Note: from captivity he was delivered to St. Petersburg in May 1856; see Part I of the regimental history, Appendix 7. Personal service record of Non-commissioned Officer Ivanov, No. 88.), and Galkin wounded by sabers, "lightly in the left cheek, the right thumb cut open, and the right hand pierced through"; Babyanskii lightly wounded by a saber to the head; Zaretskii lightly wounded by a lance in the back; Azarov lightly wounded by a saber in the left shoulder and loins; Chernousov lightly wounded by a broadsword in the right side of the face and lightly contused in the right shoulder; and Serdyuk lightly wounded by a saber in the right cheek.
It is thought that what has been presented regarding losses and wounds in the Weimar Hussars, based on immutable archival information, eloquently bears witness that they marked their 150th anniversary with an unparalleled battle, an anniversary that they had to celebrate under wartime circumstances. It is not for nothing that a regimental participant of the battle, Ye. F. Arbuzov, who was clearly familiar with what actually happened, says: "In this affair the magnificent hussars showed how they could die with honor and glory on the field of battle " One cannot deny that this meager assessment only partially addresses the glorious actions of the Weimar hussars who in the battle of 13 October performed a great many true cavalry feats, the greater part of which remained for inexplicable reasons known only to the archives.
Ye. F. Arbuzov was thoroughly correct when in 1874 he maintained, "In the official report of that day, I do not know why nothing was said about this noteworthy attack, as in all justice it should occupy an honored place not only in the history of our regiment, but in the history of the whole Russian cavalry." (Vospominaniya, page 403.)
Turning now to the subsequent actions of the Weimar Hussar in the battle of 13 October, we remember that when "the English cavalry turned back and took cover behind his infantry," General Ryzhov then "saw that it was necessary to halt" the hussars charging after them, "considering that moment most suitable for returning back."
Our regimental participant in the attack, Ye. F. Arbuzov, relates the following about this:
After returning from the English camp to the position occupied by Russian troops, we were put in the valley of the Chernaya Stream between the Balaklava and Fedyukhin heights. In our rear was the canal and the bridge over it, and in front was Sapun Hill.
In this position we were deployed in the following manner: in front of everyone, across the whole width of the valley, were placed Light No. 12 Horse Battery, the Don cossack heavy battery, and a heavy foot battery; forty paces from the artillery, in the first line, was the Ural Cossack Regiment with an extended front; at the same distance(i.e. forty paces) from the first line was the Leuchtenberg Hussar Regiment; forty paces from them, in the third line, presenting an extended front, were deployed five badly hurt squadrons of our Ingermanland Hussar Regiment.
(Note: The Ural Cossack Regiment was the same regiment which, as General Ryzhov expressed it, charged into the attack in sixes and with a terrible "Ura!" went back and forth like a kind of flock or herd but did not close with the enemy. This regiment was in the first line probably because its losses were insignificant compared to those of the hussars. In writing this supposition, we must warn that we do not have archival information for it. Additional Note by M.C. When in a linear formation, Russian cavalry preferred to have the sub-units on the flanks in column, so as to provide protection. "Extended front" means a linear formation without such protection, all the sub-units being in line.)
Behind us in the bushes, a little to the left, stood the combined regiment of Lancers, which had not been in the fighting, under the command of Colonel Yeropkin; on the Ural cossacks right flank, at a right angle both to them and to the attacking enemy, was placed our regiments 7th Squadron.
(Note: In relating such a detailed deployment of the force in the valley of the Chernaya, Ye. F. Arbuzov introduces significant details to the testimony of General Ryzhov, who, as mentioned earlier, maintained the following on this matter: "I descended the slope to a place suitable for cavalry to occupy. I formed ourselves into two lines again, occupying the whole width of the valley, and designated places for the artillery and ordered them to unlimber their guns." It remains an open question as to why General Ryzhov did not mention the cossacks. We only note that, in the words of Ye. F. Arbuzov, they formed the first line, which is supported by another participant of the battle, and that the hussars were truly deployed in two lines.)
After the hussars attack a period of inactivity began, lasting not less than an hour. (Note: Ye. Fe. Arbuzov says that it lasted "about an hour," while General Ryzhov describes this interval of time thusly: "I cannot say with certainty, but I believe that about an hour and a half went by in which there was absolutely no activity on the enemy side." Zapiski, page 78.) It appeared that the battle could be considered at an end. Suddenly we saw, says Ye. F. Arbuzov, the entire English cavalry coming toward us between the Balaklava Heights and Sapun Hill. (Note: Regarding this, General Ryzhov says: "During this time I was with the Don heavy battery, talking with Colonel Prince Obolenskii about the way the affair went, when the sharp eyes of the Don men noticed that enemy cavalry was descending the heights." What followed indeed shows that they were not at all keeping the enemy under observation. General Ryzhovs Zapiski, page 78.) Then according to Arbuzovs relation, there occurred the following (Arbuzov, page 404.):
The English came out into the valley of the Chernaya Stream, turned to the front, and in magnificent style came at us at full speed in several dense columns, one after the other. While it was being attacked by the English, our artillery did not inflict the least damage to them in spite of heavy firing: all the canister flew over their heads (Note: General Ryzhov does not support this, as he recalls as an aside that our artillery at first met the cavalry with shell and solid shot, and then with canister)and they set upon the guns and began to cut down the crews. Encouraged by their success, the English tore through the intervals between the guns and immediately attacked our regiments 7th Squadron in the flank, overturning it and then hitting the Ural men. The Ural cossacks were shaken and galloped back to fly right into the Kiev troopers. The Kiev hussars, who had suffered heavily in the first attack, did not have the strength to withstand the fierce assault of such a large mass of cavalry and turned on our five squadrons followed closely by the Ural cossacks and the pursuing enemy.
(Note: According to General Ryzhov, this happened differently, as he says the following: I ordered the first line forward to meet the enemy, but just then it became clear how much loss we had suffered in division and squadron commanders, whose places were perforce taken by junior, inexperienced officers. Also, the small number of files showed that these were no longer the hussars who had fought so finely at Kadykioi. They started off slowly. Having moved no more than 150 paces, the front division of the Leuchtenberg Regiment was the first to turn back, and with a deafening cry of "Ura!" and not allowing themselves to be halted or given orders, they collided with the second line, part of which I wanted to take to strike the enemy flank. This could no longer be done. The second line was drawn away by the first, and in this state they galloped back for more than a quarter mile with the enemy on their horses tails. Ryzhov, page 79.)
When this mass of cavalry raced toward us, we were standing with an extended front and were overturned, forced to retreat to the canal whether we wanted to or not. With no breeze blowing at all, between the hills there was a dense cloud of gunpowder smoke and dust raised by the galloping cavalry, so impenetrable that nothing could be observed even at close distances to oneself.
(Note: Let us consider this detail, which is completely omitted in the existing accounts of the Balaklava battle. Not one word about it can be found in General Ryzhovs "Notes." But at this time, in the general panic it was precisely so important for one to be able to "observe at close distances to oneself." We also must remember in this regard that the pressed-together mass of our cavalry, according to General Ryzhov, "galloped over a quarter mile back." One must acknowledge that the "impenetrable" curtain, under which cover the shaken and fleeing cossacks brought total disorder to the hussar ranks, greatly increased the momentary panic.)
At this time Colonel Yeropkins Combined Lancer Regiment, which had not yet taken part in the fighting and was standing off from our left in the bushes, struck the enemy in the right flank, while the Ural men and hussars turned around and charged the English from the front. (Ryzhov, page 79.) As a result, they were pushed off to their left into the infantry drawn up in battalion squares by General Zhabokritskii along the slope of the Fedyukhin Heights, and which received the Englishmen with crossfire. These then threw themselves to their right toward the Balaklava Heights, but there General Liprandi gave them the same rebuff as had General Zhabokritskii.
(Note: What is said by Ye. F. Arbuzov is freely confirmed by General Ryzhov, who wrote: This misdeed, unforgivable for a Russian soldier, was atoned for by the courage and gallantry of the four squadrons of the march regiment of lancers. These squadrons were in squadron column on the left of our position so that their own left flank abutted the heights, and the uneven terrain and bushes made it hard for the enemy to see them. Their not being noticed was also helped by the enemy cavalry having drunk themselves to intoxication in order to give themselves courage after having been defeated. When the enemy dragoons, lancers, and hussars, all mixed up in disorder, pursued our hussars, our lancers changed direction almost completely around, successfully formed up, and quickly and decisively attacked the enemy from the rear. Soon the English were cut off and realized what had happened to them. I managed to halt my hussars, and they expiated their guilt in that they threw themselves after the enemy and put him between two fires.)
In this way, the remnants of the English cavalry, with our infantry on either side and pressed by cavalry from behind, had to go back on the same route by which they came to us, i.e. through the intervals between our artillery pieces. The enemy horsemen, accompanied by the effective firing of our artillery, were almost all hit, and no more than ten or twelve men were able to return back and save themselves. Among them was Lord Cardigan, who owed his life to the speed of his horse.
Recalling the end of the English attack, General Ryzhov gives a more colorful description, namely:
From this moment the battle could be compared to a rabbit hunt. (Note: That is, at the moment of attack by lancers on the flank and hussars and cossacks from the front.) Those (English) who managed to gallop away from the hussar sabers and slip past the lances of the uhlans were met with canister fire from our batteries and the bullets of our riflemen. A few of them were fortunate enough to manage to return whole and unharmed; only a reserve which saw the misfortune playing out was able to turn back in time, without a thought to rendering help to their comrades.
Finally, we note that the English attack was brief, so that General Ryzhov categorically maintains that "In not more than two minutes they (the English cavalry) would already be moving back." (Ryzhov, page 78.)
Thus ended the cavalry battle of 13 October, about which circulated the most varied stories which, unfortunately, have even been adopted as history. Some witnesses who, of course, were not in the actual fighting, have gone so far as to criticize the momentary confusion of our cavalry. One of them, a certain Stepan Kozhukhov, "colors" his "reminiscences" and maintains that our cavalry was smashed and that it was the English who instilled panic into its ranks, and not our own cossacks. (N. Dubrovin. Materialy dlya istorii Krymskoi voiny, Issue 4 (1872), page 63, "Iz Krymskikh vospominanii o poslednei voine, Stepana Kozhukhova.") What is more, Kozhukhov ponders and notes that:
But for a long (?) time the cossacks and hussars were unable to rally themselves. They were convinced (by whom?) that they were being pursued by nothing less than the entire enemy cavalry force and angrily refused to believe that they had been defeated by a comparatively tiny handful of brave men. (Dubrovin, page 72.)
Considering it necessary to specially examine such historical inaccuracies, we note that in addition to the above-named losses in regimental personnel, there were also losses in weapons. In this regard, a document entitled "Information on supplying the regiment with all authorized items" shows the following:
Weapons in the regiment are: carbines 1072; rifles [shtutserniki] 128; pistols 129; and sabers 1410, which excludes these losses in the battles of 19, 20, and 25 September, and 7 and 13 October 1854: carbines 63, rifles 7, pistols 13, sabers with scabbards 75, saber belts 2, and saber slings 1, for which the force commander vouches and forwards to higher command. (Moscow Section of the Combined Archive of the Main Staff. Regimental reports for December 1854 and memorandum "On supplying the regiment.")
These losses in weaponry indirectly confirm the numbers of killed and missing which were presented above
Military decorations received by the Weimar Hussars for distinction in the battle of 13 October were as follows:
1) Regimental commander Major General Butovich earned the Monarchs expression of gratitude (Note: Promoted to general-officer rank on 23 April 1854);
2) Commander of the 1st Division Colonel Sharistanov and regimental adjutant Staff-Captain Boglevskii were awarded the order of St. Vladimir 4th class with swords and bow;
3) Captain Marin was promoted to major "for distinguished courage and bravery";
4) Captain Matveevskii was decorated with the order of St. Anne 2nd class with Imperial Crown and swords;
5) Staff-Captain Aleshchenko was decorated with the order of St. Anne 2nd class, and Staff-Captain Svechin¾ with the order of St. Anne 3rd class with swords and bow.
6) Staff-Captain Prince Khazaev received the same decoration as V. N. Svechin;
7) Lieutenants Velichko and Ye. F. Arbuzov, author of the reliable "Memoirs," and Cornet Rypinskii were decorated with the order of St. Anne 4th class with the inscription "For Courage."
8) Lieutenant D. V. Kuvichinskii 3rd was promoted to Staff-Captain for "distinguished courage and bravery."
In all, of the 29 officers who were in the attack, 12 earned awards, which is to say about half of them. (Moscow Section of the Combined Archive of the Main Staff correspondence of the Inspection Department, 3rd Section, Table I for 1854, sv. 1318 delo No. 584, sv. 1319 delo Nos. 616 and 620; c.f. Combined Archive for the Main Staff, personal service records for the mentioned officers for 1855 and 1856.)
For distinguished courage and bravery shown in the battle of 13 October, lower ranks awarded the medal of the Military Order were: Senior Sergeants Major Fomin and Kazakov, Non-commissioned Officers Boglevskii and Shevtsov, and Privates Malyushka, Velskii, Kulikevich, and Shkarupa. In addition, Non-commissioned Officer N. M. Naumov was promoted to cornet "for distinguished and zealous service and for courage shown in the battle of 13 October."
Historical inaccuracies regarding the Battle of Balaklava, as mentioned earlier, arose only because historians were not using General Ryzhovs "Notes". These were written by the man who commanded the cavalry and consequently the person most well-informed about everything. Moreover, in these "Notes", published in 1872, General Ryzhov gave many details regarding the cavalry under his command during the battle of 13 October and concluded his story with these sincere words: "My pen writes the pure truth, as I personally was an eyewitness. There is nothing boastful here and nothing has been added. On the contrary, it is more likely that things have been left out." (General Ryzhov, Zapiski, page 79.)
Historians have consequently been guided by official information, the relations of so-called eyewitnesses, and also by foreign sources, the authors of which place less value on anything Russian, for reasons we know very well.
What do the commander-in-chief Prince Menshikov and General Liprandi, who ordered the cavalrys actions, say in their reports? Prince Menshikov sent a "most respectful" report to the Sovereign as follows:
On 13/25 October our offensive movements began against the besiegers and were crowned with success. General Liprandi was assigned the task of taking his division to attack the enemys detached fortified camp that covered the road from Sevastopol to Balaklava. He carried out this assignment this morning in a brilliant manner. In our hands now are four redoubts in which eleven guns were captured. (N. Putilov. Sbornik izvestii, onosyashchikhsya do nastoyashchei voiny, Book 23, page 503 et seq.)
Then after the commander-in-chief wrote of the infantrys actions, he said in regard to the cavalry:
The English cavalry under the command of Lord Cardigan also moved against our force and with extraordinary recklessness attacked the 6th Cavalry Divisions hussar brigade. However, after they were taken in the flank by two divisions of the Combined Reserve Lancer Regiment, they were repulsed under canister crossfire from the artillery of the 12th and 16th Infantry Divisions as well as rifle fire from the latter divisions 1st Brigade, and incurred heavy casualties.
At the same time as our hussars were attacked, the English cavalry charged on Don No. 3 Heavy Battery and cut down several cannoneers.
Our infantrys losses in this affair did not exceed 300 men killed or wounded. Casualties in the cavalry and artillery have not yet been reported and are known only approximately.
Enemy losses are difficult to determine with accuracy. It is supposed that the English cavalry lost about 500 men.
Thus, the first reports main attention is on the English cavalry attack, and it is completely silent regarding the hussar fight that lasted 7 to 10 minutes. Moreover, nothing was said of the fact that there was such a long intermission (1 to 1½ hours) in the battle that it was considered that the fighting was already over.
Eleven days after the Balaklava battle, General Liprandi reported to the commander-in-chief the following regarding the cavalrys actions:
The 6th Light Cavalry Divisions hussar brigade, with Light-Horse Battery No. 12 and Cossack Battery No. 3, was in my force under Lieutenant-General Ryzhovs command. They were put on the right flank in our general order-of-battle. (Note: General Zhabokritskiis force was on the right flank, and the cavalry followed behind the right column awaiting orders from General Liprandi.) The Don cossack artillery moved quickly forward as our force advanced, occupied a position, and contributed to the success of our offensive by their effective firing.
When all the redoubts had been occupied, I sent out the cavalry, along with Ural Cossack No. 1 Regiment (Note: The Ural Regiment was indeed sent out, but acted independently and, as already described, "with a terrible Ura! went back and forth like a kind of flock or herd.") and three sotnias of Don Cossack No. 53 Regiment, out over the ridge toward the enemy camp. (Note: Neither General Ryzhov nor Ye. F. Arbuzov mentions anything about taking part in the attack. These three sotnias actually were part of Colonel Scuderis right column.) Our cavalry quickly moved forward to the camp itself, but was met on the flank with enemy rifle fire and in the front by English cavalry. They had to halt and then fall back to their previous position on the right flank of our line of battle, in refused echelon.
(Putilov, page 507 et seq., and the report by Lieut. Gen. Liprandi, commander of the 12th Infantry Division, to General-Adjutant Prince Menshikov, 24 October, No. 3076.)
Again not a word is said about the hussars "grappling" with the English and the hand-to-hand fight that lasted 7 to 10 minutes. Additionally, the whole course of the hussars attack is set forth in a way that gives the impression that they actually retreated and had even been stopped. But General Ryzhov himself testifies that the English cavalry "showed us their rear" and took cover behind their infantryduring which time the hussars not only did not retreat, but charged after the cavalry. Taking into account the complete lack of information regarding the enemys dispositions (Note: The reconnaissance of 7 October, as described before, only uncovered, in the words of the commander-in-chief, "the incompetence of the commanders"), the one mile of distance covered in the attack, the lengthy cavalry fight and the cossack attack, it becomes clear to us that as General Ryzhov had no reserve of any kind with him, he had to rally his "slashing" hussars one way or another. The English retreat was the most suitable moment, so he "saw that it was necessary" to halt the hussars, form them up under heavy enemy fire, and fall back in complete order to the main force located more than a mile away on the line of redoubts.
But why indeed did General Ryzhov make this decision? We find the answer in his "Notes." General Ryzhov says, "I do not know why, in the report of this notable day, this attack was not written about in detail, unless, as it seems to me, it is not appropriate for such a weak unit to ascend uphill and attack a strong enemy in a fortified position." Truly, if the thinned ranks of the hussars, deprived of a good part of their officers, (Note: Total losses in both hussar regiments were 30 field and company-grade officers and 240 lower ranks, being 43% of the Weimar Hussars officers and more than 20% of the lower ranks) had been required to continue or renew the attack, they would no doubt have been shattered on the second line of fortifications at Kadykioi and to a full extent suffered the same inevitable consequences of an inappropriate attack as did Cardigans cavalry. (Note: This conclusion can be drawn not only from the description of the attack presented above, but also from General Liprandis official report.)
The situation only allowed a moment to consider alternatives, and after General Ryzhov oriented himself on the battlefield, he did not find it possible to charge under crossfire into the allies fortified position. He recognized it as more appropriate to return to where the main force was.
Without mentioning the intermission that had taken place in the fighting, General Liprandi further reported:
Hardly had our cavalry managed to form up behind the infantrys right wing when English cavalry numbering over 2000 men appeared from behind the height where the No. 3 fortification was. (Note: As laid out above, General Ryzhov and Ye. F. Arbuzov testify that after returning from the attack, the whole force stood in the valley of the Chernaya River for about an hour, and Ryzhov even considered the battle over.) Their desperate onslaught forced General Ryzhov to retreat along the road to Chorgun, so as to lure the enemy.
(Note: We consider it almost superfluous to discuss this "luring of the enemy" who, in General Ryzhovs words, was two minutes later already coming back with the hussars and cossacks, recovered from their confusion, at their backs. Overall, in this instance the official report seriously distorts the truth which General Ryzhov and Ye. F. Arbuzov address openly, distortions which are also committed by other participants in the battle about whom more will be said later.)
Meanwhile I brought the Combined Lancer Regiment under Colonel Yeropkin to my left flank, this unit having come from Baidar to Major General Gribbes force, and I ordered the regiment to put itself behind the infantry in a covered position. The enemy carried out a most determined attack and charged at our cavalry heedless of the accurate canister fire of Light No. 7 Batterys six guns, the rifle fire of the Odessa Jäger Regiment and a company of the 4th Rifle Battalion that was on the right flank, as well as the firing from some of the artillery in Major General Zhabokritskiis force. (Note: Judging from this account, it must be supposed that the attack by the English cavalry was foreseen earlier. In fact, the attack was extremely sudden and entirely unexpected by the Russians.) But at this time three squadrons of the Combined Lancer Regiment struck the enemys flank.
This unexpected attack, carried out in good order and decisively, had great success. All of the enemy cavalry hurried back in disorder, pursued by our lancers (Note: One must addalso by the hussars and cossacks) and fired upon by artillery batteries. In their attack, the enemy lost over 400 killed and 60 wounded who were picked up from the field, and 22 prisoners, including 1 field-grade officer (Note: A description of the attack by a squadron of Chasseurs dAfrique on Zhabokritskiis battery and troops is omitted.)
All the artillery was sited in advantageous positions. As before, cavalry was put on the infantrys right flank. Bu the enemy made no more attacks and at 4 oclock in the afternoon ceased his cannonade.
I consider our losses in seizing such a strong position by force of arms to be quite insignificant; in the cavalry they were somewhat higher than in the infantry.
Thus, General Liprandis report not only diverges from reality in details, but even describes the overall course of the cavalry battle inaccurately. Henceforth, one must distinguish two separate episodes: 1) the hussar attack and their return to the force at the redoubts, and 2) the English cavalry attack, which came after they had been inactive for about an hour, and the counterattack by our lancers, hussars, and cossacks. In the first instance the hussars crossed swords for over seven minutes, while in the second the English cavalry, according to General Ryzhov, were already going back in two minutes. (Note: Ye. F. Arbuzov, as was mentioned before, says they fought for 7 to 10 minutes.)
It is difficult to establish why such basic inaccuracies were in an official report, but nonetheless the anecdote about "luring the enemy" must be considered classic. Under such circumstances, the report, which had the special purpose of highlighting General Liprandis command ability and foresight, only distorted the true facts.
Let us now look at how historians have presented the cavalry battle of 13 October. First of all, we will examine the error of the mission given to General Ryzhovs cavalry force.
In his "Notes," Ryzhov says that he first received orders that "on the occupation of the last enemy redoubt by our infantry, to immediatelyeven starting from the spot at full speed [v karer]throw ourselves at the English cavalry occupying a fortified position near the village of Kadykioi," Later, before the actual attack, and as a development of the first orders, he received a second directive from General Liprandis adjutant to carry out his task. In this regard, Ye. F. Arbuzov categorically states that the hussars were supposed to head for the enemy artillery park, and that this was also evident from the disposition orders for the battle. (Note: It has not been possible to find the actual battle disposition orders.) It is quite certain that such a plan had to be changed consequent to a clarification of the situation and the appearance of the English cavalry. It is thought that this change was the main reason that the hussars, after attacking the English, did what they could, i.e. engaged bravely in swordplay, forced a stubborn enemy to retreat and take cover behind infantry, and then departed from the fortified line and returned to their main force. (Note: Let us remember that in General Liprandis report, as mentioned earlier, it is said that after he "sent out the cavalry" which "quickly moved forward to the camp itself," he then withdrew. This confirms what is being stated here.)
Looking now at historical descriptions of the battle of 13 October, we take note of the following:
a) Anichkov in his Military-Historical Sketches of the Crimean Expedition, published in 1856, described events contrary to the testimony of Ye. F. Arbuzov who took part in the attack, and was the first to include in the Battle of Balaklava: 1) a counterattack by the English cavalry; 2) the pursuit by the English cavalry upon General Ryzhovs retreat to the main force after his attack; and 3) the flight of some of the hussars to the wagon train. In general, Anichkov restated General Liprandis account in his own words, and so naturally repeated the errors pointed out above, as well as giving special emphasis to "luring the enemy." According to Anichkovs account, the second episode of the Battle of Balaklava (the famous running away) did not happen, as the English "tore into Don No. 3 Battery, fought with the hussars and cossacks," and then after being attacked from the flank by the Combined Reserve Lancer Regiment, "were beaten and turned in disorder to speedy flight." The fleeing Englishmen, according to this account, were pursued only by the lancers. (Anichkov, pages 46-50.)
In this way, Anichkov was the first to embellish his account and definitely obscured two distinct episodes of the cavalry battle.
b) General-Adjutant Totleben, in publishing his Description of the Defense of Sevastopol in 1871, corrected some of Anichkovs mistakes, but repeated a large number of them and conclusively buried the hussar attack. In this account, it appears that the Weimar Hussars (six squadrons) along with the Don cossacks "charged at the 93rd Scottish Regiment (infantry)" and heedless of rifle and canister fire, "galloped into the enemy camp up to the park that was surrounded by ditches." "Upon encountering this obstacle and having suffered significant casualties from enemy fire," wrote General-Adjutant Totleben, "the Weimar troopers and Don cossacks retreated." (Note: According to this same account, the Kiev men and Ural cossacks were met with an attack by English dragoons and canister fire and were also forced to retreat.) Such was the new depiction of the hussar attack, which had nothing in common with reality.
In adhering to this version, General-Adjutant Totleben makes the mistakes pointed out above regarding the second episode of the battle and describes the English attack thusly:
Hardly had our (retreating) cavalry managed to form up when the English cavalry appeared from behind the heigths which had hid them up to now. Straightaway, heedless of our guns accurate canister fire and the rifle fire, (Note: Unit designations are omitted) they galloped at the Don battery that had been moved forward (?), cut down its gun crews, charged on our cavalry, overturned it (?), penetrated far (?) beyond the line of redoubts in pursuit of the cavalry retreating along the road to Chorgun.
Later there is a description of our lancers flank attack and the disorganized retreat of the English ("in disorder they hurried away").(Totleben, pages 241-244.)
Without dwelling on the obvious errors, we note that General Ryzhov himself, whose pen was guided by the truth, testifies that in two minutes the English cavalry was already heading back, and consequently such a "drawn-out" moment could not have taken place. Overall, the pronouncement of General-Adjutant Totleben laid a dark shadow over the hussars actions
c) M. I. Bogdanovich in his well-known work The Eastern War 1853-1856 devoted a special chapter to the battle at Balaklava (Vol. III, Chap. XXXIII) in which, as extracts will show, he primarily used General-Adjutant Totlebens work and some "memoirs" for sources
Although this account of the battle was published in 1876, i.e. when the "Memoirs" of Ye. F. Arbuzov, who was with the regiment in the attack, as well as General Ryzhovs "Notes," were already in print (1874 and 1872), our historian did not utilize these new sources at all, as has already been mentioned. However, reliance was placed on the "Memoirs" of Koribut-Kubitovich, who served in the Combined Lancer Regiment and thus did not take part in the hussar attack. (Note: Although there is not a definite statement to this effect, the words "our attack was full on their flank" and "we (lancers) pursued them" along with similar statements clearly show that Lieutenant Koribut-Kubitovich served in the cited regiment.) Bogdanovich also relies on a certain Stepan Kozhukhov, an eyewitness of what never happened, as will be explained later.
Consequently, after M. I. Bogdanovich repeated previous inaccuracies, he introduced a series of modifications, thanks to which incorrect and suspicious judgements upon the hussars actions in the Battle of Balaklava were solidified.
In describing the hussar attack, Koribut-Kubitovich says the following (Dubrovin):
Our cavalry (Note: The Hussar Brigade and the Ural Cossack Regiment) passed over the opening between Redoubts No. 3 and No. 4 and descended into the valley. Having detached some cossacks on ahead, Lieutenant General Ryzhov followed with his hussars. (Note: We recall that the cossacks acted completely independently, and that General Ryzhov maintains that they only "shifted back and forth in a long row like some kind of flock or flight of birds" from the right in sixes.) The cossacks headed for the Scots standing on the heights slope beside their camp, and moved round to engage them on both their flanks. The enemy artillery met them with canister while the Scottish riflemen mounted the rise and coolly allowed them to approach to close range, and only then did they open up a murderous fire. The stunned cossacks were bowled over but reformed and again threw themselves into the attack. This was again as unsuccessful as the first time. (Note: Such an attack by the cossacks is not supported by either Ye. F. Arbuzov or General Ryzhov.) Meanwhile our hussars moved forward in fine order and started to deploy, heedless of the artillery fire. The Weimar Regiment deployed in the first line (?), extending six (?) squadrons with four guns on each flank, these being covered by a squadron in column on each flank, too. In the second (?) line were the Kiev Hussar Regiment in attack columns. [Note: This regimental history mistakenly says "Leuchtenbergers" instead of the Kiev Regiment. I have made the correction here to conform to Arbuzovs original article M.C.]
During this attack, Lieutenant General Ryzhov showed his usual fearlessness and cool head. Like Murat, he went in front of his cavalry, not drawing his sword. The artillery fire did not stop the hussars and cossacks, encouraged by the example of their old veteran leader. A brigade of heavy cavalry under Scarlett moved to meet them, but their movement was delayed by the cut-up nature of the ground, overgrown with vineyards.
General Scarlett then reinforced his cavalry with two guards regiments. These fresh forces enveloped our hussars from both flanks. At the same time, our cavalry was showered with canister and bullets. It did not withstand that treatment and quickly withdrew.
Although colorfully set forth, this memoir has nothing in common with the reality described by General Ryzhov and Ye. F. Arbuzov. Moreover, the imaginary way the cavalry was formed up and the description of the cossacks actions exposes Koribut-Kubitovich as not having been a participant in the attack, and that he wrote what he either heard as stories or observed from a mile or two away.
Koribut-Kubitovich "remembers" the second episode of the Balaklava battle with no more credibility. He states that after the retreat:
The hussars and Ural men were formed as follows: the Ural cossacks stood in front near elevated ground; to their right was a Don battery with a division of the Weimar Regiment on each flank for protection, in attack column; behind the Weimar men were the Leuchtenbergers with an extended front [razvernutyi front]. (Note: Ye. F. Arbuzov, whose "Memoirs" are more reliable, gives a completely different description of this deployment. The Weimar Hussars stood behind the Leuchtenberg Regiment.)
Along with this, Koribut-Kubitovich reports a rather detailed exchange between English generals and puts the English into the attack, describing this as follows:
Nothing could stop the Englishmennot canister fire that wiped out entire files of soldiers, nor the bullets that flew about them like flies. They kept moving quickly forward. Our cossacks saw the well-ordered enemy coming on towards them and could not stand firm. They turned around to the left and began to fire individually. They rode into the Weimar men who were covering the artillery, and caused great confusion in their ranks. The disordered Weimar men hurried backwards, ran into the Leuchtenbergers, and our entire line of cavalry began to quickly retreat. Brave officers tried to stop the soldiers, but in vain. The damage had been done; there was no means left to restore order. Some of the officers tried to force their way forward but paid for their courage with their lives. The brave Colonel Voinilovich perished here along with others. Lieutenant General Ryzhov was one of the last to withdraw. He was seeking death, knowing that the responsibility for failure would fall on him. Of course, this magnificent soldier could not be charged with lack of courage. The only thing which he can be accused of is the erroneous deployment of the cossacks which he placed in the first line
The enemy spiked (?) some guns and continued onward, thinking to seize (?) them on their return. They fell on the retreating hussars, slaughtering them mercilessly (?) while pressing right on their backs. The pursued hussars reached the Chernaya River valley where they would have to cross that stream, over which was only one bridge. Once they got to the bridge, the hussars all wanted (?) to rush over it at once (?). Now an awful confusion ensued. The artillerymen (Horse Battery No. 12 and the Don batterys limbers), afraid of falling into enemy hands, used all their strength and forced their way through the chaotic crowd. The hussars fought desperately next to the bridge (?), but since they had already fallen into disorder at the beginning of the affair, they could not organize themselves, and in the midst of a terrible slashing fight they retreated little by little in the tracks of the artillery. The English followed (?) them almost to the wagon train.
To conclude this story of destruction, with clear conscience Koribut-Kubitovich tells how the enemy was surprised by the appearance of the lancers, how these "swiftly cut into the English column (?)," and so on, until "we pursued them," without mentioning anyone else.
Koribut-Kubitovich found a worthy ally for himself in the production of "memoirs" in the person of Stepan Kozhukhov, who depicted the same scene of fleeing hussars as follows (Dubrovin):
When met by our artillery, the enemy began to move faster and bravely went at our cavalry at a gallop, heedless of the canister and battle fire.
All this happened so unexpectedly and so fast, that no one had time to adequately recognize what was happening in our center before our cavalry was already smashed. The hussars were the first to prove unable to withstand the attack, and after them the cossacks. All four regiments (of the three there?) began to retreat in disorder, abandoning the artillery that they were covering (?). The confusion was immense. Our cavalry, five times (?) the strength of the foe, got even more mixed up during its withdrawal, and moved quickly and in disorder toward the Chorgun. The English cavalrywhat was left of it after canister and battle firegalloped through our line of troops, coming madly on the heels of our cavalry. At the medical aid point all these masses came to a halt, since it was impossible to retreat any further (but where is Koribut-Kubitovichs bridge?). The Ukraine Regiment and our artillery, which was covering the Chorgun Ravine, were energetic in not allowing any further withdrawal. Four (?) regiments of hussars and cossacks crowded into that small area right at the entrance to the Chorgun Ravine where the medical aid post was set up. Among them, like infrequent specks, one could see the red coats of the English, no doubt not any less surprised than ourselves by what had unexpectedly happened.
We submit that the quoted extract is sufficient to judge Stepan Kozhukhovs "Memoirs." We may further note that he also appears as an historical critic of General Ryzhovs Notes (Dubrovin, "Neskolko slov Stepana Kozhukhova po povodu zapiski gen.-leit. Ryzhova o Balaklavskom srazhenii.") Kozhukhov was very dissatisfied that General Ryzhov, while not concealing the fact of the confusion and panic, did not acknowledge the flight of the hussars, but instead explains the disorder by what in fact happened. (Note: Kozhukhov maintains that "our entire (?) cavalry, attacked at the end of the battle by an enemy very much smaller in numbers, did not withstand this attack, and instead got jumbled together and with a loud cry of Ura!ran away.") We will not dwell on these judgements by Kozhukhov, who exerts himself however much it takes to show that "even mediocre troops never run away when commanders have taken precautions before hand", and therefore it was General Ryzhov who was the true culprit for the famous flight of the cavalry, as he had not implemented the basic tactical principle of "meeting an attack with an attack." We do note that he (Kozhukhov) was especially outraged by the "Notes" when General Ryzhov, referring to accounts which are silent regarding the hussars attack, expresses his hope that "in the future these (hussar) deeds will be sure to be a brilliant page in the history of the Russian cavalry." In addition, Kozhukhov was not pleased with the declaration that at the moment of confusion the cossacks rode over the hussars, committing a "misdeed, unforgivable for a Russian soldier," and that they trembled before the enemy.
Of course, Kozhukhov carefully omitted everything in the "Notes" which contradicted him, e.g. he was silent regarding: 1) that the cossacks and hussars galloped back no more than a quarter mile and after somehow getting reformed, charged the English and pursued them together with our lancers; 2) that the English attack was very sudden and lasted only a few moments, so that "in not more than two minutes they would already be moving back," etc.
Regardless of such concealment and contortion of facts, Kozhukhov arrived at a correct conclusion: "There was nothing to be forgiven in regard to the honor of the Russian soldier in this depressing event (the panic). There was only a sad inevitability occasioned by the commanders lack of foresight "
Such are the "Memoirs" of doubtful reliability to which M. I. Bogdanovich gave such an undeserved place in the pages of history. Therefore it is not surprising that in Bogdanovichs account the Weimar Hussars fought with the 93rd Scottish Regiment (?) during the attack and retreated. (M. I. Bogdanovich. Vostochnaya voina 1853-1856 gg., Vol. III, Chap. XXIII and the notes to this chapter.) Then, during the furious English attack, the Weimar Hussars "were beaten by the English," "turned around," and in spite of "managing to form up," "received the order to fall back, so as to lure the enemy into the crossfire of our batteries." Finally, "our hussars, mixed up into a crowd, threw themselves toward the bridge," while the lancers "prepared a decisive blow," hit the English cavalry in the flank as they were "retreating at a trot (?) in complete (?) good order, tired but not disorganized (?)." In this description, only the lancers alone pursued the English, who also incurred heavy casualties from the fire of our infantry and artillery.
If we turn our attention to the sources which M. I. Bogdanovich used for describing this or other phases of the battle, we notice that all the errors laid out above were taken from the "Memoirs" of Koribut-Kubitovich and Stepan Kozhukhov, the degree of reliability of which, as already pointed out above, is open to serious doubt. Besides these, M. I. Bogdanovich also used an English source (Kinglake, The Invasion of the Crimea), in which, judging by the quoted extracts, all the English actions are described, for very understandable reasons, in a favorable light.
Overall, M. I. Bogdanovich pointed out deficiencies in his predecessors and supplemented his account of the Battle of Balaklava, establishing the following phases in the cavalrys actions:
1) Separate attack by the Weimar Hussars (four squadrons) on the 93rd Scottish Regiment and their withdrawal at about 10:00 A.M.Ye. F. Arbuzov and General Ryzhov, participants in the attack, categorically deny this.
2) The hussar brigades attack at a "gentle trot" on Scarletts English dragoons which counterattacked and "cut into our column," during which "the hussars, not waiting to be attacked, were smashed." The same fate befell the cossacks and "all four (?) of our regiments flew in disorder to the Chorgun defile."
3) Lord Cardigans attack and the "luring of the enemy" that culminated in the attack by Colonel Yeropkins Combined Lancer Regiment.
The last two attacks also diverge from reality to the extent that they verge on idle fabrication. When describing the brave hussar attack, true participants in the battle Ye. F. Arbuzov and General Ryzhov are quite definite when they say that they "went into the attack" and "grappled" and slashed away for 7 to 10 minutes, forcing the English to take cover behind their infantry. What is more, Ye. F. Arbuzov maintains that the "flower of the whole English cavalry," the dragoon guards, received the attack "standing in place, not moving forward a single step." Without repeating what has been said about the Ural cossacks, regarding whom M. I. Bogdanovich is silent, we note that the Weimar Hussars retired on General Ryzhovs command, as he withdrew his hussars after the attack in complete good order to join the main force, and they did not flee in disorder to the Chorgun pass.
Lord Cardigans attack was carried out after an hours inactivity on the part of the cavalry (Bogdanovich, page 113), and was accompanied by the lamentable confusion that occurred in General Ryzhovs force, as explained before, and which was one of those random occurrences that can be corrected, and therefor it is not right to speak of anyone having run away. (Note: It is interesting that M. I. Bogdanovich without citing a source, adds even greater color to the attack by saying that "according to other (whose?) information, our cavalry halted (?!).") Ye. F. Arbuzov overturns this unjust indictment to a sufficient extent, an accusation that is veiled in the official report by calling it a "luring of the enemy." Arbuzov describes what actually occurred and not the imagined events embellished by the fantasy of Stepan Kozhukhov, who in his time fell into deep thought regarding the question: "How did these one and the same hussars, in the same battle, at first perform miracles of bravery, smash the enemy, and erect a monument to themselves in the pages of history, but at the end of the affair, without any good reason, flee from this same enemy?" (Neskolko slov Stepana Kozhukhova, page 81. Note: It is a rather curious conviction, that one may flee from the enemy "for good reasons.")
As if in answer to this and similar questions, Ye. F. Arbuzov in his "Memoirs" speaks in the name of the Weimar Hussars to answer accusers as follows:
Since the hussars are being criticized for retreating during the English attack upon us (Note: It is supposed that the Stepan Khozhukovs only subsequently invented the image of running away, while in October of 1854 the viewpoints of Ye. F. Arbuzov were held, which is partially confirmed by the official report that called this retreat a "luring."), I consider it necessary, having described the affair of 13 October 1854, to briefly glance at the circumstances preceding this attack (Note: This account of the affair, as repeatedly mentioned in these notes, serves as a basis for a new understanding of the course of the Battle of Balaklava): We were formed up with very short distances between lines, so that our regiment, in the fourth line, had an extended front [razvernutyi front], and was not in a close column.
Understandably, under such conditions our squadrons could not let the retreating Ural cossacks and Leuchtenbergers past and then charge the enemy, but had to give way to the pressure of the mass of cavalry crashing down on their front.
Along with this, one must keep in mind that these five squadrons were already exhausted by the previous actions and much weakened by the losses they had incurred. Taking this into account, one must agree that hardly any other cavalry could have done anything more in the situation in which we found ourselves
But, according to General Ryzhovs testimony, they did do everything possible under such chaotic conditions. The mass of cossacks and hussars, crowded together, galloped back for no more than a quarter mile, somehow reformed, and supported the attack by the lancers. It is not for nothing that General Ryzhov calls the end of the English attack, when they turned back, a "rabbit hunt" in which both hussars and cossacks also took part. The latter were the ones guilty of the temporary confusion which in various "memoirs" of so-called participants was re-termed as running away.
We cannot refrain from noting that M. I. Bogdanovich, after stating that "Cardigans attack lasted twenty minutes in all," (M. I. Bogdanovich, page 119) helped establish this change in terminology. We say again, General Ryzhov testifies that "in not more than two minutes they would already be moving back" and, we add, were pursued by our lancers, hussars, and cossacks.
d) V. Sakharov, who published his History of Cavalry in 1889, and who drafted the course for the Officers Cavalry School, presented the Battle of Balaklava according to M. I. Bogdanovichs work. (V. Sakharov, Istoriya konitsy (St. Petersburg, 1889), page 51.) As a result, this author unavoidably repeated all the historical errors examined above.
Moreover, V. Sakharov also added the following: 1) in describing Cardigans attack, he tells how "the whole column (of General Ryzhov) threw themselves back to the Chorgun bridge, taking to their heels in the face of 700 (?) English cavalrymen," and 2) regarding the actions of our cavalry, he concludes that "the inability (?) to conduct a battle was shown in high relief" and that "in spite of its numerical superiority and strong support by infantry and artillery, it was overturned (?) more than once (?) by small numbers of enemy cavalry." (Sakharov, pages 299 et seq.)
Without repeating the explanations laid out above regarding historical inaccuracies, we note that one cannot help lamenting that thanks to the fatal errors of historians, our cavalrymen are obliged to study the Battle of Balaklava depicted in a manner that is so prejudicial against them.
e) In 1896, The History of Cavalry by Major General Markov repeated all the previous misunderstandings and decisively immortalized the infamous running way. (Markov, Istoriya konitsy, Part 5, Section I, page 32.)
It is to this last writer that these lines belong: "The Ural men did not stand up to the glorious English attack, turned around, began to fire at random, and smashed the Ingermanland troopers (Weimar Hussars) (?); the Ingermanlanders charged into flight (?) and smashed into the Kiev men (Leuchtenberg Hussars), and all our cavalry moved back in complete disorder "
We repeat, the true participants in the cavalry battle of 13 OctoberLieutenant Y. F. Arbuzov and General I. I. Ryzhovdecisively reject such depictions and do not recognize the phrase "charged into flight" that is doubly inappropriate for the Weimar Hussars
Finally, we note the historical inaccuracies pointed out also have entered the well-known Survey of the Wars of Russia from Peter the Great to the Present Day, and the Encyclopedia of Military and Naval Science, published under the editorship of our venerable and learned Geinrikh [Heinrich] Antonovich Leer, now deceased
Thus, in sum, is the evolution of the unjust and critical judgements of the hussars actions in the Battle of Balaklava, which are based exclusively on historical errors.
General Ryzhov himself made a just assessment of the hussar attack which, as set forth above, for some reason did not find a place in General Liprandis report. (Note: Although General Ryzhovs comments were already quoted, we nevertheless consider it necessary to repeat them.) This assessment boldly testifies as follows:
I had served for 42 years, taken part in 10 campaigns, been in many great battles such as Kulm, Leipzig, Paris, and others, but never had I seen a cavalry attack in which both sides, with equal ferocity, steadfastness, andit may be saidstubbornness, cut and slashed in place for such a long time (7 to 10 minutes), and even in the whole history of cavalry attacks we do not find many such instances.
However, in his further conclusion ("Even those most ill-disposed to us cannot call this fight anything but most daring, decisive, and exemplary, and in its own time it will take its place in the history of cavalry actions"), General Ryzhov was deeply mistaken. The historical inaccuracies we have examined have extinguished the memory of this noteworthy attack and preserved for history only an exaggerated description of the confusion that occurred at the end of the battle, relabeled as a disordered flight.
Although, in the words of Stepan Kozhukhov, "the universal opinion of the whole force was unanimous in blaming not the officersor even the soldiersbut the cavalry commanders," whom the last-named source also accuses) the verdict of historians is grossly wrong and extremely defamatory to the heritors of the glory of the old hussars. (Markov, pg. 35.)
In dwelling in such detail on this, we have in mind to forcefully clarify historical misunderstandings, provide that famous day of 13 October 1854, of which Ye. F. Arbuzov speaks in his memoirs, with an "honored place" in the history of the regiment, and also to show that the infamous running away belongs to the pens of historians, so that in no way can it be called a stain on the hussars military reputation.
This significant losses in the ranks of the Weimar Hussars (casualties of about 43% of officers and 20% of lower ranks) eloquently speak to their having truly "grappled" with the English. The fearful wounds received by officers and lower ranks categorically convince us that they "slashed away" in true hussar fashion, and that the hand-to-hand fight was a prolonged affair. (Note: We recall, for example, the blow of Ye. F. Arbuzov, who had difficulty pulling his "biting" saber out of the dragoons shoulder. We remember how P. P. Marin and M. K. Dekinlein "cut into" the ranks of the English It was not for nothing that this stubborn enemy did not withstand the hussar blow and took cover behind his infantry!) The latter point is confirmed in full measure by the individual deeds of Weimar hussarsfor example, the acts of Pivenko, Samoshchenko, Zakharov, Petr Pavlovich Marin All this gives the right to conclude that the Weimar Hussars at the Battle of Balaklava honorably carried out the behest of their Sovereign Founder, the Great Tsar Peter, and "with straight rapiers alone (and also sabers) brought the enemy (the English) to confusion."
The confusion during the English attack cannot be counted against them because the underlying chance circumstances were insurmountable
The shameful act of the Ural cossacks cannot really be charged to the Weimar hussars who stood behind everyone else and were overturned by the chaotic mass of the first lines. One supposes that it is time to give the cossacks their due, they who showed their character in their strange attack where they were "a flock or herd" and in the panicked withdrawal upon seeing the English cavalry attack coming.
Ye. F. Arbuzov declares, to be sure, that the 7th Squadron of the Weimar Hussars, placed, as explained above, at a right angle to the Ural cossacks right flank, was tumbled aside during this sudden attack, but in this case the fault lies with the higher commanders who supposed that the battle was over and therefor were not even keeping watch for a move by the English cavalry
In summary, one cannot help but wish that our cavalrys actions in the Battle of Balaklava were researched anew, and that the historical inaccuracies (for example, those pointed out that relate to the Weimar Hussars) would be purged from the pages of histories of the war in general as well as of the Russian cavalry in particular.
One must acknowledge that the actual, and not tangential, participants in the notable hussar attack, Lieutenant Ye. F. Arbuzov and General Ryzhov, showed absolutely accurately, over thirty years ago, that the attack must take its honored place "in the history of cavalry actions." If this has not been done up to the present time, then the 50th anniversary, just past, of the historical errors highlights that is truly time to relegate these to the archives. As heirs to the glory of the Weimar Hussars, the Ingermanland Dragoons have made the first step, based on irrefutable information, in this regard
Panic in the force during the night of 14 October. After a Cardigans attack, during which the English cavalry lost about half its strength in killed and wounded, the battle was limited to a cannonade, as mentioned earlier, that ceased at about four oclock in the afternoon.
The allied commanders who neglected to defend the outer line of redoubts decided to leave the occupied fortifications in our hands and reinforce their inner line of defenses around Balaklava. Upon noticing that the enemy was bringing fresh troops to his left flank, General Liprandi reinforced our right flank and assigned the greater part of the infantry to the defense of Redoubts No. 1, 2, and 3, while the cavalry was placed behind the infantrys right flank as before. Both sides remained in this situation until evening.
Regarding subsequent events and a panic in the night of 14 October, Ye. F. Arbuzov tells the following (Vospominaniya, pg. 406):
At about 8 oclock on the night of 13 October, three dragoon regiments came to us under the command of General Wrangel: the Moscow, Kargopol, and Kinburn Regiments. The dragoons were placed in front of the canal, while the hussars with horse and cossack batteries and the artillery park were brought back behind the canal, though our regiments 5th and 6th Squadrons were sent out to advance posts. The dragoons deployed in their assigned positions in close regimental columns [gustye polkovye kolonny], dismounted, and held their horses by hand because the carts carrying their camp equipment [artelnye povozki], including rope for the horse lines, had not yet come up. At nightfall, tired from their forced march, the men and horses of the dragoon regiments slumbered. We ourselves (Weimar Hussars), who had hardly been off our horses for almost 24 hours and were completely exhausted, settled down to rest. We built campfires, put the horses in their lines, and busied ourselves around our kettles to cook some kasha porridge. In a word, at our position everything acquired the appearance of the bivouac life long familiar to us.
Suddenly, at 10 oclock at night, the command "Saddle up!" was shouted through our camp. Everyone was startled awake and at work in an instant. In the distance was heard the rumble of cavalry and then came the sound of heavy cannon fire from the Fedyukhin and Balaklava heights. We mounted our horses and went forward over the canal, while the artillery with its park stayed in place. Due to the pitch dark night, we could see nothing of what was going on in front of us. In the meantime, the artillery fire grew in intensity. This firing lasted about fifteen minutes.
When everything had quieted down, it was explained that the paymaster [kaznachei] of the Kargopol Dragoon Regiment had gone to the regimental cash box and accidentally broke it while opening its lid. A piece of the lid fell and startled the horses. As a result, in the Kargopol Dragoon Regiment the horses of all ten squadrons 4th Platoons, standing near the box, tore loose from the hands of the persons holding them and ran at top speed toward the enemy lines.
Generals Liprandi and Zhabokritskii heard the cavalry galloping, and supposing that the enemy was making a night attack, had all the guns with them on the heights open fire. The enemy in turn, thinking that this was an attack from our side, also opened up a very heavy artillery bombardment from Sapun Hill.
When the dragoon horses, heedless of the firing, ran to Sapun Hill and appeared among the French batteries, the French were fully convinced that it was our cavalry attacking, spiked their guns, and ran off. The horses penetrated through all the enemy batteries and trenches facing Sevastopol, and galloped into the city itself. [Note: This regimental history mistakenly says "two" enemy batteries when Arbuzovs original articles says "all." I have made the correction here. M.C.]
On the morning of the 26th, we found out that many of the 250 stampeded horses were killed or wounded. One by one, the unharmed or lightly wounded ones were brought out of Sevastopol to us at our positions.
Thus, without having been in action, from this accident the Kargopol Dragoon Regiment lost two and a half squadrons of horses. (Note: While crediting Ye. F. Arbuzov for the details in his description of the panic, we note that history is silent on this event. Information regarding such a significant loss of horses in the Kargopol Dragoon Regiment has not been verified from archival sources. [Interestingly, the unknown Don cossack author of "Memoirs of a Former Artilleryman" mentions a similar episode, but puts it as just after the Battle of Inkerman. M.C.])
Service of the regiment to 24 October and participation in the Battle of Inkerman. From 13 October to 24 October, says Ye. F. Arbuzov (Vospominaniya, pg. 407.), there were no actions of any kind, and we only stood in the positions we had occupied, holding on to them and going out on advance-post duty. General Semyakin uses almost the same words to describe this period: "After the 25th nothing special happened with us, a few small alarmsthat was all." (Sbornik rukopisei (see Note 30), Vol. III, pg. 117, letter from General Semyakin, dated 25 October 1854, written from bivouac on the fortified height near the village of Komary.)
Although our success in the Battle of Balaklava had great moral influence on the subsequent defense of Sevastopol (N. Dubrovin, Vostochnaya voina 1853-1856 gg., pg. 265; ibid. for the following.), it also had an unfavorable result for us because the enemy became convinced that the village of Chorgun was a pointindeed the only onefrom which we had been and would be able to successfully act offensively to deliver a serious blow.
(Note: The troops were enthusiastic upon hearing of the victory won over our enemies. The victory of 25 October encouraged the exhausting labor and heroic efforts of the Sevastopol garrison, which greeted the victors with a "Ura!" shouted with one voice that spread from one end of the defensive line to the other. The Russian "Ura!" was so loud, according to eyewitnesses, that the enemy ceased firing, not knowing what this shout signified "The catastrophe of the Alma was forgotten," wrote Totleben. "Once again there was unbounded faith in the superiority of Russian arms, and the garrisons spirit soared.")
At dawn on 14 October, the Russian troops saw that the enemy was digging in on Sapun Hill and building many new emplacements all along its slopes, and also that activity connected with strengthening Balaklavas defenses was significantly increased. In the following days, a new fortification appeared as part of the continuous line which subsequently stretched the whole length of Sapun Hill almost to the mouth of the Chernaya Stream. By the morning of 24 October the allies had managed to build a series of fortifications around Balaklava and on Sapun Hill which were equipped with 40 guns taken off ships of the fleet, some being field pieces but most being fortress artillery.
By 23 October, thanks to reinforcements that arrived from Kerch, Theodosia, Nikolaev, and Odessa, our forces around Sevastopol became equal to the enemys, and Prince Menshikov decided to being offensive operations. (Note: In all, there arrived 57 battalions, 42 squadrons, 10 sotnias, and 192 guns. There was even a slight superiority in numbers on our side. Anichkov, Voenno-istoricheskie ocherki Krymskoi ekspeditsii, pg. 63 et seq., and Leer, Entsiklopediya, Vol. III, pg. 368. Ibid. for the following.) Since the allies dispositions at this time formed a long thin line without a reserve, our commander-in-chief proposed to carry out the following: a) make the main attack on the English right flank, split the allied army, push the French toward Streletskaya Bay and the English to Balaklava to throw them into the sea; b) have an observation force (over 28,000 men) make demonstrations as a distraction; and c) make a sally out of Sevastopol so that "in case of confusion in the enemy batteries, to seize them." With these objectives in mind, general orders for battle were issued on the evening of 23 October, orders that were notable for their vagueness. (Note: The battle orders began: "Tomorrow, 5 November, an advance on the English positions will be begun, so that after capturing the heights we may establish ourselves on them " Even the point of attack was not exactly defined, not to mention that the commanders received very vague directions.)
The Weimar Hussars were in General-of-Infantry Prince Gorchakovs force, whose battle orders were: "Support the overall advance by drawing off enemy forces and trying to seize one of the ascents onto Sapun Hill. Along with this, the dragoons are to be held in full readiness to advance on the hill at the first opportunity."
This assignment led to the Weimar Hussars being only onlookers. Here is what Ye. F. Arbuzov says in his memoirs:
At dawn on 24 October, a fierce battle began at Inkerman. Our infantry advanced on the enemy from the direction of Inkerman while the cavalry, along with the 12th Infantry Division, made a demonstration from the valley of the Chernaya Stream.
We behind the heights were unable to see what exactly was happening where our infantry was fighting. However, the sound of musket fire gradually came closer to us, though it had been barely audible in the distance at the start of the action on the right flank, and subsequently was coming right opposite us on Sapun Hill, giving us the happy news of the success of Russian arms. Our joy, as it turned out later, was premature. The Russian soldiers did indeed force the enemy from all the English trenches and fortifications built against Sevastopol, but unfortunately they were unable to hold on to their gains due to heavy losses. Everyone is familiar with the outcome of the battle: General Bosquet hurried to his allies with fresh troops and soon regained all that our infantry had taken. The cavalry and 12th Infantry Division stood inactive for the whole course of the fighting, the former in the Chernaya Stream valley and the latter on the neighboring heights, and they only exchanged infrequent cannon shots with the enemy.
Such was the impression of a participant in the demonstration carried out by Prince Gorchakov who, not understanding his task, did not fulfill his battle order. As noted above, he had been ordered to try to: " seize one of the ascents onto Sapun Hill. Along with this, the dragoons are to be held in full readiness to advance on the hill at the first opportunity." However, he confined himself as follows (Bogdanovich, pg. 144.):
Marching forth at seven oclock in the morning, he and his force approached Sapun Hill to within the distance of a long cannon shot and opened fire, which was answered by artillery in the circumvallation line, reinforced with field guns. This ineffective cannonade lasted until nine oclock, when the enemy realized that their batteries were causing little damage and so ceased firing entirely, as did the Russians a short time after. (Note: The cannonade caused no harm of any kind. There were neither killed nor wounded. Gersevanov, Neskolko slov o deistviyakh russkikh voisk v Krymu v 1854 i 1855 g.g. Paris, 1867. Page 53.) From then until four oclock in the afternoon, the troops of both sides limited themselves to mutual observation, and then Prince Gorchakov deployed his force, as before, in the valley of the Chernaya Stream.
Once General Bosquet was convinced that there was not the least danger threatening him from this direction and here there was nothing more than a demonstration, he incrementally sent units from his force to help the English. (Note: A demonstration, as is well known, is only effective when the attacking units do not suspect their true purpose and conduct a real attack. In this case everything was known, and, moreover, Prince Gorchakov displayed complete inactivity.) Finally, at 11 oclock in the morning only about 3200 men remained facing Prince Gorchakovs force (over 22,000 men). Thanks to such timely support shown at the most critical moment, success in the battle passed over to the allied side
The Battle of Inkerman itself was not a conventional fight, but rather a series of fierce attacks with the object of seizing the small area lying in front of the English right wing, from the top of the Careening Ravine to the unfinished redoubts. Its length at this place was not more than 3/4 of a mile. Here there were no prepared and well-thought out maneuvers with an objective in mind, but a fight lasting seven hours in which the brave and inspired heroic troops of the 4th Corpsnow advancing, now retreatingwere engaged with the allies at extremely close range. (Gersevanov, pages 53 and 54.)
In the end, our losses in the battle of 5 November came to 12,000 men. Allied casualties were about 4500 men. In Prince Gorchakovs force the total losses were limited to 15 lower ranks. (Bogdanovich, pg. 150.) For the Weimar Hussars the demonstration was bloodless. (Moscow Section of the Combined Archive of the Main Staff. Regimental monthly reports for November and December, 1854.)
Weimar HussarsSevastopoltsy. Although the Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimars Hussar Regiment, as described above, operated in the area outside Sevastopol, some of its men came to be temporarily in the ranks of the glorious defenders of this fortress and took part in its defense. Combined Archive of the Main Staff. (Personal service records of non-commissioned officers for 1858 (Book No. 1447). For Weimar hussars who were Sevastopoltsy see Non-commissioned Officer Atasovs record and others.)
The first of such Sevastopol veteransSevastopoltsywere "dismounted" lower ranks numbering 75 men "in the Sevastopol garrison for the defense of the fortress." This detachment was formed on the orders of the commander-in-chief and sent out on 23 September. While in the Sevastopol garrison, the Weimar hussars were attached to the reserve brigade of the 13th Infantry Division. They were: "on 5 October under the heavy bombardment of Sevastopol from the enemy trenches and fleet; on 6 October under the enemys heavy cannonade of the fortress; and daily from the 19th to 29th under the enemys cannonade of the fortress." Afterwards, the higher command had these men rejoin their regiment.
No details on these mens activities have been preserved, but it is reliably known that some of them were wounded. For example, in the monthly report of October are Privates Lukyan Vakulenko, Timofei Baglin, Trofim Gagin, Danilo Prishchanskii, and Stepan Vurlei, shown as died "from wounds received on 5, 6, 7, and 10 October while they were part of the Sevastopol garrison." The names of the non-commissioned officers of these Sevastopoltsy are recorded: Atasov, Starikov, Shoman, Yeldin, Rozhkov, Nikitin, and Grinev. All of them and those whose names remain unknown, "for taking part in the defense of Sevastopl during its bombardment and cannonade by the enemy on 5 and 6 October" were All-Mercifully awarded: 1) two silver roubles, and 2) the established silver medal. Additionally, each mans cummulative service time had one year and fourteen days added to it.
Besides the mentioned lower ranks, also included as Sevastopoltsy are those Weimar hussars who came by chance to be in Sevastopol at various times while carrying out duty assignments. These include: 4 squadron quartermasters, 38 non-commissioned officers, 2 senior staff-trumpeters of non-commissioned officer rank, 3 clerks, and 7 medics [feldshera]. Information has not been preserved regarding the numbers of lower ranks who were on such assignments.
These haphazard defenders of Sevastopol were also awarded medals as well as an "addition to total time in service." Such additions were: 1 man 11 days; 3 men 22 days; 4 men 1 month and 3 days; 34 men 2 months and 6 days; 3 men six months and 17 days. These additions to service time show that Weimar hussars were in the garrison for only 1 to 7 days each.
Lieutenant V. A. Butovich was also awarded the established silver medal, as noted in his personal service record, for "in September being sent into Sevastopol several times each week on official duties during the siege and bombardment by the enemy and into the north side of the city."
Among the Weimar hussars who were Sevastopol veterans there stands out non-commissioned officer Pavel Petrov Belozerov, who took part in the defense of Sevastopol for about six months, for which he was subsequently given additional service credit of 5 years, 4 months, and 16 days. (Personal service record of Non-commissioned Officer Belozerov (List No. 103); see Bogdanovich, pg. 150.)
Service of the regiment to 27 November, taking up "winter" quarters, "pitiful" provisions, and losses in the regiment from disease. From 25 October to 25 November the regiment was, as noted in the service records of the officers, "in the area around Sevastopol, maintaining advance posts facing the enemy forces on Sapun Hill." (Combined Archive of the Main Staff, regimental personal service records for officers, 1855.)
Ye. F. Arbuzov relates the following about this period in the regiments life:
Enduring every possible kind of deprivation, we remained in the position we had occupied on 13 October, right up to the time frosts began. (Note: The winter of 1854 in the Crimea was unusually severe. After torrential rains and slushy, damp weather, the usual accompaniments of autumn there, deep snow fell at the end of December and freezing temperatures set in, the cold reaching 10 degrees Fahrenheit and lower.) (Bogdanovich (see Note 113), page 184.) Since there were no warm barracks [teplye baraki], with the onset of cold weather all the troops were brought into winter quarters [zimnye kvartiry] except for a small part of the infantry and cossacks, left to keep watch on the enemy.
Until leaving for winter quarters, provisions for men and horses were pitiful in the extreme. Sometimes there was no straw or oats for three days straight. Rusk and groats were issued irregularly, and no vodka was seen for more than two months. The sutlers with the troops sold food items at fabulously high prices. Because there was no fodder, I fed my horse rolls and paid 45 and 50 kopecks apiece for them.
The horses became so gaunt that on none of them could the surcingle be drawn tight. They grew so thin that the horse harness hung loose and swung round when a soldier, sitting on the horse, put his foot into the stirrup. Without the men helping one another it would have been impossible to mount a horse in the normal manner. The saddle immediately turned over on the side, so that mounting the men on their horses came to be a rather long and serious operation. (Ye. F. Arbuzov, "Vospominaniya", pages 407 and 408.)
What has been said about the "pitiful" provisions was in no way an exaggeration and is fully confirmed by the armys former intendant-general. (Thedor Zatler, Zapiski o prodovolstvii voisk v voennoe vremya. St. Petersburg, 1869. Part I, article "Zamechaniya na statyu, pomeshchennuyu v No. 52 Russkago Invalida" (pages 233 et seq.), and Part II, article "Vozrazhenie na statyu iznanka Krymskoi voiny" (pages 22 et seq.).) In view of the significant accumulation of troops, keeping them supplied in the Crimea, where almost everything had to be transported from somewhere else, was accompanied by great difficulties. (Note: In October there were about 100,000 men and more than 40,000 horses drawing government rations.) Needed supplies had to be brought through the worst kind of mud, so of course there was no hope of bringing things up according to a regular schedule. (Bogdanovich (see Note 113), page 192.)
Let us take rusk, for example, which was an absolute necessity since 1) the troops, continuously in military operations, did not have time to bake bread, and organizing a detachment of bread bakers would have taken a good number of men out of service, and 2) in the steppe region of the Crimea there was no wood anywhere. Rusk had to be brought from 400 to 600 miles away, not to mention that the troops received it spoiled. (Thedor Zatler, Part I, pages 238 et seq.) (Note: In March of 1855, the commander-in-chief issued an order to the army directing that the troops accept rusk from the stores without it having been inspected, and that they themselves go through it immediately after receipt. Inedible portions were to be thrown away, and paperwork drawn up documenting the unsuitability and demanding good quantities.)
As Ye. F. Arbuzov rightly points out, under such unfavorable conditions, the Weimar Hussars had to endure every possible kind of deprivation. Of course, the greatest effect of inadequate food was an increase in sickness. Without dwelling on this question in detail, we note that by 1 February 1855, i.e. the time when "deprivations" reached their greatest extent, the regiment counted the following numbers of sick men in the Simferopol, Sevastopol, and Bakhchisarai military hospitals, the four city hospitals, and the regimental lazaret (Note: We give this enumeration with types of illness indicated, so as to provide an idea of the overall state of the regiment.):
Injured 1 officer and 4 lower ranks; wounded 3 officers and 30 lower ranks; contused 1 officer; rheumatism [revmatizm] 1 officer; scrofulous swellings and abscesses 1 officer; debilitated by fever 1 officer and 12 lower ranks; with a cold 1 officer; typhoid fever 1 officer and 16 lower ranks; diarrhea 27 lower ranks; fever [likhoradka] 72 lower ranks; ague [goryachka] 19 lower ranks; boils 10 lower ranks; intermittent fever 9 lower ranks; rheumatism [lomota] 9 lower ranks; dropsy [vodyanka] 1 lower rank; weakness 11 lower ranks; inflammation of the lungs 2 lower ranks; dropsy [otëk] 1 lower rank; abscesses 1 lower rank; inflammation of the eyes 1 lower rank; fracture 1 lower rank; being a total of 10 officers and 226 lower ranks.
This amount of sick men was maintained for over six months, with the greatest numbers of sick being from: typhus; ague, etc. In total, the monthly reports for 1855 show the following numbers of sick (Combined Archive of the Main Staff. Regimental monthly reports for 1855):
Month. Officers. Lower ranks.
February 8 240
March 10 266
April 9 268
May 6 276
June 9 247
July 4 210
August 6 175
September 5 179
October 6 172
November 7 176
December 8 178
In all, during 1855 the regiment had 665 cases of men falling sick, counting only those who appeared in the monthly reports as "having entered" into the ranks of the sick. In April and May, there entered the regimental lazaret, for example, 111 sick men each month, and in the other months this number ranged between 18 and 64 men. Deaths in the regiment increased during 1855: 81 men died in hospitals, and 43 in the regimental lazaret, which included 23 men for each of the months of February and April. Thus, it was the mens lot to undergo much suffering. The horses were in no better situation since they were weakened from lack of feed, as mentioned above.
At the beginning of the war in the Crimea, the forces foraged for a period of 2½ months. Masses of cavalry were concentrated around Sevastopol, a place where cavalry could not be useful, and these large numbers were left there as long as their horses were not worn out and all the forage in the area was not exhausted. (Russkaya Starina, 1893, No. 9, "Yuzhnaya armiya i Krymskaya armiya pri knyaze Menshikove," page 536.) But now came a forage crisis. Without having any possibility of bringing up fodder for themselves from distant places, all the forces located between Sevastopol and Bakhchisarai declined to provide for their horses through their own efforts at regulation prices. They foresaw the greatest difficulties in transporting fodder and no financial benefit (Thedor Zatler, Part I, pages 259-271.) This is why providing for the horses was so difficult that Ye. F. Arbuzov, for example, had to even feed his horse rolls.
The following relation by Ye. F. Arbuzov provides an idea of how much the horses were weakened and starving (Ye. F. Arbuzov, "Vospominaniya," page 408.):
When our regiment went into winter quarters, six of its squadrons were sent to the neighborhood of the Rozental colony, while the 1st and 2nd Squadrons were quartered in the deserted native villages of Aksheikh and Otarkoi in case any need arose for cavalry. On the 20-mile march between Bakhchisarai and Simferopol, our regiments six squadrons lost some 25 horses from exhaustion. The hussars took the saddle harness and bridles from their fallen comrades and, sinking up to their knees in mud, carried them on their shoulders to Simferopol. In Aksheikh, where the Leib-Squadron stayed three weeks, all the straw and rush roofs in the hamlet were devoured by the horses with great appetite. There were also instances when the horses chewed on each others tail and mane.
Under such conditions we are not surprised by the following statistics regarding the state of the horses on 1 January 1855: a) by regulation organization tables, 1089 riding horses were authorized; b) on the property lists were 947 horses or a deficit of over 12% of the authorized number; and c) on hand and present there were only 888 horses or about 83% of the authorized number. At this time there were 44 sick horses in the regimental lazaret (Regimental monthly reports for January, February, and March, 1855.)
Such were the shortfalls in the regiment which later were the reason, as we shall see, for General Butovich being dismissed from command of the regiment.
As noted in officers service records, the regiments winter quarters were around Simferopol, Karasubazar, and Feodosiya. Even though the distance between the most mutually distant of these points was more than 50 miles, this was roughly the regiments actual disposition. (Note: Above, the regiments dispositions were given as related by Ye. F. Arbuzov [1st Division in the native villages of Aksheikh and Otarkoi, and the other divisions around the Rozental colony], but since they differ somewhat from the information in the monthly reports, we present the corresponding corrections.) By 1 January 1855, the regimental headquarters with the noncombatant company was in the German colony of Rozental, while the divisions were: 1st in the village of Otarkoi on the Belbek River; 2nd in the village of Argin; 3rd in the village of Neiman; and the 4th in the village of Cherdakly. (Note: These last three villages were 7 to 10 miles to the south and east of the Rozental colony.) On 21 January the 3rd Division went to Otarkoi to relieve the 1st Division, arriving there in four days. By the 9th the 1st and 2nd Squadrons came to the regiment and were put at Neiman. By 15 March the 3rd Division had returned and the whole regiment left for the town of Theodosiya, arriving in its environs on 19 March. (Regimental monthly reports for January, February, and March, 1855.)
Terrible news was received while quartered in the neighborhood of the Rozental colonythe Emperor Nicholas Pavlovich had died on 18 February 1855. The regiment immediately swore allegiance to Emperor Alexander II as he ascended to the throne.
A. A. Butovichs dismissal from command of the regiment, and Colonel Dekinleins designation as commander. As a result of the extremely deficient supply situation described above, there were many shortages in the regiments inventory. As mentioned, the situation with the horses in particular was very bad.
Of course, this could not but attract the attention of the higher command, which immediately sent an officer of His Imperial Majestys Suite, Major General Gechevich, to inspect the regiment. He was very dissatisfied with the condition of the horses and suggested on the spot that the regiment be turned over to Colonel Dekinlein, commander of the 1st Division. (Ye. F. Arbuzov, "Vospominaniya", page 408.) Although the date of this inspection has not been preserved, it can be tentatively said that this unexpected regimental event occurred between 10 February and 20 February. (Ye. F. Arbuzov writes, "soon after 10 February." Note by M.C.: Major General Lev Vikentevich Gechevich of the light cavalry, sent out from St. Petersburg in December 1854. He was commissioned in 1827, promoted to major general in 1851, and was an expert on cavalry matters, being at this time a member of a special committee for rewriting the manual on cavalry drill and tactics.)
By 8 March a new commander-in-chief arrived for the armyGeneral-of-Artillery Prince M. D. Gorchakov 2nd. (Note: Prince Menshikov was "released from command of the army" on 1 March. On this same day, Prince M. D. Gorchakov 2nd was designated commander-in-chief. Bogdanovich, pages 226 and 255.) It was immediately ordered that A. A. Butovich turn over the regiment to M. K. Dekinlein, who officially assumed command on 9 March. (Regimental monthly report for March 1855. Order of the commander-in-chief, 1855, No. 803. On 29 March, A. A. Butovich was released from service (see Part I of the regimental history, Appendix 7, page 19).)
Colonel Mikhail Konstantinovich Dekinlein took over the regiment in his 45th year of service, when he was 62 years old. (Colonel Dekinleins personal service record for 1857.) This is sufficiently unique that we feel obliged to give some special attention to the new commanders previous service. M. K. Dekinlein was born in 1794 and came from the nobility of Tambov Province. In the year of the Patriotic War , he was in the 3rd Ukrainian Regular Cossack Regiment [3-i Ukrainskii regulyarnyi kazachii polk]. Already on 23 and 26 October he was in action in the affairs at Mordy and Lositsy, and from 3 to 8 November he was in the fight at Mezerzhichii. In 1813, Junker ["Yunker," i.e. officer candidate M.C.] Dekinlein took part in the campaign beyond Russias borders and on 1 February was at the Battle of Kalisz "when an enemy general surrendered with two guns, a flag, and two battalions of infantry." He then took part in a whole series of skirmishes, but on 8 and 9 May was at the Battle of Bautzen "in an attack on infantry columns in which two French guns were taken." He was also at the battles at Katzbach and Jauer, and from 7 to 17 August at the great battle at Leipzig "when six French guns were captured."
While in General Yemmanuels column, Junker Dekinlein (promoted to cornet on 13 August) was in all the vanguards engagements from 7 November to 7 December. On 21 December 1813 he crossed the Rhein, and was at the fortress of Mainz until 22 January. Subsequently crossing into France, Cornet Dekinlein took part in all the vanguards actions up to and including the taking of Paris, being present on 18 March "at its capture." Thus, M. K. Dekinlein went through a thorough school of combat and attained the rank of cornet by distinction in battle.
It was otherwise during peacetime service. In 1818 (i.e. in six years), he was promoted to a vacant lieutenancy , and in half a year to staff-captain. From 1820 to 1826 he served on the headquarters staff of the Bug Lancer Division and was a divisional adjutant. Promoted to captain in 1826, Mikhail Konstantinovich was transferred to the Life-Guards Dragoon Regiment at the beginning of 1827 and retitled from cavalry captain [rotmistr] to infantry captain ["kapitan," dragoons being considered mounted infantry M.C.]. The next year, he was detached to the front ["otchislen vo front" (of the war with Turkey, or from a regimental staff position to a line company?) M.C.].
In 1833 Captain Dekinlein was redesignated lieutenant-colonel [a guards captain was ranked equal to a lieutenant colonel of the line M.C.] with seniority dated to 6 December 1831, and transferred to the Siberia Lancer Regiment. For two years he commanded a squadron, and in 1837 he was named a division commander ["divzion," a double-squadron M.C.]. In this position he was promoted to colonel in 1842 for excellent service.
In 1844, he was forced to take a years leave because of health reasons, and in November he was retired.
In 1850, Colonel Dekinlein re-entered service and was named commander of the Orenburg Lancer Regiment, but then detached to the Model Cavalry Regiment, in which he spent about two years, being carried on the rolls of the Hereditary Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimars Ingermanland Hussar Regiment from 23 May 1851. He came to this regiment at the end of 1852 and took over the 1st Division.
As set forth earlier, in the Battle of Balaklava there were reawakened in the old colonel (age 61) those same unchallengeable passions which he experienced in 1812, and he cut and slashed in hussar fashion, providing an example of true bravery to his fighting division.
Colonel Dekinlein was designated regimental commander probably because 1) he was the senior among the field-grade officers, and 2) since 1853 he had been designated a "candidate for assignment as a commander of an army regiment." (Note: We may also add that at the time he was named commander, M. K. Dekinlein was already a knight of the orders of: St. George 4th class for 25 years of service; St. Vladimir 4th class; St. Anne 2nd class with Imperial Crown; and St. Stanislav 2nd class. He also held medals commemorating 1812 and the capture of Paris, and the medal for twenty years of excellent and irreproachable service.)
The regiment assigned to General Baron von Wrangels command. Six days after M. K. Dekinlein took over the regiment, all the squadrons departed for Theodosia, as related above, and arrived there on 19 March. Upon taking up quarters in the surrounding villages, the regiment stayed here only eight days and on 28 March "set off on the march for the town of Kerch." (Regimental monthly report for March 1855.) On the march, however, orders were received to encamp near the Argin post station at the village of Tobichek. The regiment remained at this location for more than 1½ months. (Regimental monthly reports for April and May 1855.)
Although there is no archival information explaining the reason for these movements, the following statements by Ye. F. Arbuzov throw sufficient light on this question (Russkaya Starina, 1893, No. 9, "Yuzhnaya armiya i Krymskaya armiya pri knyaze Menshikove," page 536):
Early in the spring of 1855 we departed the neighborhood of Rozental and together with the 4th Reserve Don Cossack Battery, which was under the command of Voiskovoi Starshina [cossack major] Klunnikov, settled into bivouac near the village of Petrovskoe, about four miles from the Sultanovka post station. (Note: This declaration by Ye. F. Arbuzov is not supported by the monthly reports. Sultanovka, as seen on a map, lies to the east of Argin.) In front of us on the other side of Sultanovka were Colonel Zhilinskiis Black-Sea Cossack Regiment and Colonel Popovs Don Cossack Regiment. All this cavalry along with the battery was placed under Major General Nikolai Nikolaevich Sukhotin, while this force combined with the infantry and artillery at Kerch-Yenikale, Theodosia, and the Arabat Spit was under the command of the hero of Bayazet, Lieutenant General Baron Wrangel. (Leer. Entsiklopediya, Vol. VIII, page 305; on 29 July 1854, General Wrangel smashed the Turkish Bayazet corps on the Chingilsk Heights.)
Following this assignment, the Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimars Hussar Regiment was withdrawn from the rest of the operational army and, as noted in the officers service records, was engaged in "keeping watch for the enemy between the towns of Theodosia and Kerch and maintaining advance posts." (See Colonel Dekinleins personal service record for 1857, and also the personal service records of other officers.) In this way, the regiment again came to be in a secondary theater of military operations.
Service on the Kerch peninsula. (The main sources for this section are: a) Totleben, Opisanie oborony g. Sevastopolya, Part II, Chapter XXXIII, pages 144 et seq.; b) Bogdanovich, Chapter XXX; c) Dubrovin Vostochnaya voina, pages 431 et seq.; and d) Leer, Entsiklopediya, Vols. II and IV.) As early as April 1855, the whole Crimean peninsula was divided into two parts for purposes of defense: the western part whose protection was charged to Prince Menshikov, and eastern, whose defense was the responsibility of General Khomutov (government ataman of the Don Host and a general-adjutant). Following the change in commander-in-chief, General von Wrangel was designated commander of the forces on the Kerch peninsula. He was made responsible for 1) keeping the enemy from forcing his way into the Sea of Azov; 2) protecting the part of the Black Sea coast entrusted to him from small-scale enemy landings as much as possible; and 3) if the enemy landed strong forces, then not allowing him to expand into the territory.
(Note: From west to east the peninsula stretched for about 70 miles and was connected with the rest of the Crimea by an isthmus about 20 miles wide (between Theodosia and Arabat). Besides roads laid across the isthmus, the peninsula was connected with the empire by a road laid along the Arabat Spit, with a ferry crossing set up at the Genich channel. To the north and east from Theodosia the region was crisscrossed with a network of small hills and in general presented itself as a steppe, devoid of trees and watered only by tiny streams that completely dried up in summer. Water for drinking could only be obtained by using deep wells, but even this water very often had a brackish taste )
The troops assigned to General Baron Wrangel consisted of infantry (local detachments of the Internal Guard, Quarantine Guard, and Border Guards, and foot cossacks) and cavalryhalf of which were cossacks. Their dispositions were as follows: 1) Theodosia garrison composite battalion of 527 men; 2) Theodosia mobile force: a) at Parnach 1 battalion and 8 guns (1809 men); b) at Arabat 1 battalion of 796 men; 3) cavalry force at Argin the Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimars Hussar Regiment and 8 guns (1325 men; 4) on the coastline from Kerch to Sudak 16 sotnias (1711 men); and 5) Kerch force at Yenikale, Kerch, Cape Pavlovsk, and Kamysh-Burun - 3½ battalions and 4 guns (2682 men), or a total of 8850 men. The approach to the Kerch Strait was protected by a "squadron" (3 steamships, 4 transports, 1 pilot schooner [lotsshkhuna], and 6 cossack longboats [barkasy], having crews totaling 571 men with 77 guns. (This information is taken from General-Adjutant Totlebens work.) In addition, the part of the coast from Cape Pavlovsk to Yenikale was fortified with batteries, distributed over a significant distance and weakly armed, while the channels at Yenikale were partly blocked by sunken boats and partially mined.
The insignificance of the Kerch peninsulas defenses and the frequent appearance of enemy steamships in sight of Kerch had great strategic importance and required that all possible measures be taken for its defense. General Khomutov, entrusted with the defense of the Caucasian and Black-Sea coastlines and part of the Sea of Azovs coast, fully appreciated the critical situation and in one of his letters to General Baron Wrangel expressed the following: "Great events await us. May the Lord bless us both: on one of us the blow must fall, and if the All-Mighty helps us preserve our forces, then that would indeed be good fortune " This blow fell on General Baron Wrangel.
(Note: With the occupation of Kerch, the Sea of Azov fell into enemy hands. Communications with the Black Sea and Trans-Kuban territory were cut, coastal traffic ceased, and the allies were able to easily seize the whole Kerch peninsula, which was inhabited by 40,000 Tatars of very doubtful loyalty. After occupying the peninsula, the Anglo-French, besides acquiring large amounts of stored provisions, were able to supply an army of at least 25,000 men for two months using local resources. In addition, they were free to cut Kerchs land communications with the empire across the Arabat Spit and close down ports in which there were large amounts of grain, both government and privately owned, which were intended to supply the Crimean army. This last aspect, of course, had special importance, and General Khomutov characterized it by saying, "A sharp bayonet without rusk becomes blunt.")
On 23 April an enemy fleet numbering about 50 vessels appeared at sea in view of the Taklinsk lighthouse, on the southern Crimean coast of the Kerch peninsula. Necessary measures to meet the enemy were taken immediately, including having the Weimar Hussars march from Argin to Sultanovka (some 15 miles from Kerch). However, on this occasion the enemy did not attempt anything and soon disappeared from view.
On 10 May in Sevastopol it was noted that an enemy squadron with troops aboard went to sea, and this was immediately reported to General Baron Wrangel. At almost the same time as hearing this, he also received information that on 12 May at 8:00 AM the observation post at the Taklinsk lighthouse sighted an enemy fleet of some 70 ships heading for the Kerch Strait. Due to heavy fog, the allied squadron was not noticed until it was already drawing past the lighthouse.
At about 11:00 AM the allied fleet stopped near Kamysh-Burun and set out their bigger ships some distance away, but the steamships came close up almost to the shoreline, but out of range of our batteries. They formed up in three lines in such an arrangement that all the vessels could open fire at the same time. After a preliminary bombardment of the shore, at half past one the Anglo-French began lowering boats from all their ships and load landing forces in them. After this, the leading gunboats moved toward the old quarantine.
What happened next developed so quickly that Ye. F. Arbuzov in his memoirs only notes the following:
General Sukhotins entire force moved at a trot toward Kerch. It was not more than seven miles to the town when we saw rising plumes of black smoke and then heard shots being fired. Moving forward three more miles, we met the Kerch and Pavlovsk [battery] garrisons, who declared to us that the town and battery were already occupied by the enemy, and that they blew up their powder magazines on General Wrangels orders and withdrew in the face of greatly superior numbers of enemy troops. General Wrangel also came riding out of Kerch soon after these men. We joined with these garrisons and waited for the Yenikale garrison to also arrive
(Note: The landing force moved on the battery from the rear where there were no defenses. As a result, at about 3:00 PM the powder magazines at the Pavlovsk and Nikolaevsk batteries had to be blown up, the wooden gun carriages burned, the guns spiked, ammunition thrown into the water, and stores of grain destroyed. The commanders of the other batteries did the same Besides this, the Kerch force was also forced to withdraw because the six advancing enemy columns threatened the sole route along which it could link up with our other forces. We point out the strictly correct expression "occupied," and not "taken.")
On hearing the explosions in the batteries, Rear Admiral Wulf, commander of the "squadron" mentioned earlier, set to sinking his transports, and then with all his steamships put out to the Sea of Azov. Once he reached Berdyansk, he was forced to destroy his flotilla because their deep drafts prevented them from being brought into the mouth of the Don River. When the enemy approached Berdyansk at dawn on the 26th, our ships no longer existed.
By the evening of 12 May the greater part of our Kerch force was gathered at Sultanovka, where the Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimars Hussar Regiment and Don Reserve Light Horse No. 4 Battery joined it. General Baron Wrangel immediately sent as reinforcements Don No. 65 Regiment, which had been maintaining a line of guard posts, a double-squadron of hussars, and four guns from the Black-Sea Cossack Horse-Artillery No. 11 Battery. The command of this cavalry force was given to Major General Sukhotin. Colonel Kartashevskii with the infantry was ordered to move to the village of Argin. It was not possible to remain close to Kerch due to the lack of sufficient water in the area as well as it being recognized that it was necessary to be closer to Theodosia in case the enemy attempted anything at that point. On the evening of 13 May the force arrived in Argin, to where the remnants of detachments from Kerch and Yenikale also came by various routes. (Note: In relating that the Weimar Hussars received a special assignment, Ye. F. Arbuzov says: "Our regiments 1st Division, with two guns, under the command of Major N. M. Markov, was detached to the native village of Kiteni to protect laborers moving provisions and coal from the Sea of Azovs coastline. After the coast had been cleared of provisions and coal, the 1st Division, along with the two guns, returned to its column located at the village of Petrovskoe.")
"With heartfelt grief," General Baron Wrangel "had the sorrow to report" to Prince Gorchakov that the town of Kerch had been abandoned. Along with this he told the commander-in-chief the following (Note: Part of the report is presented here verbatim because it sets forth the basis for future operations and unflinchingly evaluates the forces military capabilities.):
I have already had the honor to report this once before to your excellency and now I venture to repeat, that of the infantry I have with me, the greater part do not have the necessary training to operate against regular troops and therefor in all my deliberations regarding opposing enemy undertakings, I always come to the same sad conclusion, that the only thing for me to do is to avoid battle with an enemy that has enormous advantages over me in addition to numerical superiority. I do not consider it necessary to speak of how difficult and distressful our circumstances are, although there is some comfort in the situationthe carrying our of my duty as far as means and possibilities allow, but in any case, I apologetically wish to carry it out while maintaining the honor of Russian arms. In pointing out to me in your directives what the enemy might undertake, especially when he now controls the Sea of Azov, your excellency deigned to see all the dangers which my forces must face as they are so few and may be cut off from all their lines of communications if the enemy ventures to bring his troops into the Sea of Azov on steamers and land them near Arabat. Therefor I allow myself to again trouble your excellency with a most-humble request to reinforce me with regular infantry, if that would only be possible.
Nevertheless, Prince Gorchakov did not consider it possible to reinforce General Baron Wrangel even when the enemy had penetrated the Sea of Azov and was threatening his rear.
After staying 24 hours in Argin, General Baron Wrangel decided to leave for the village of Parnach (between Arabat and Theodosia.) because he feared that the enemy could land in his rear astride his lines of communications and cut him off. Following this, our forces main strength occupied the isthmus, and the Weimar Hussars and cossacks deployed at Argin formed the vanguard. For his part, the enemy did not undertake any real operations and fortified himself in Kerch, Yenikale, and other places. The allied squadron, however, entered the Sea of Azov and for a whole year carried out attacks on coastal towns: Berdyansk, Arabat, Genichesk, Taganrog, Mariupol, Anapa, and others. The destruction of stores, linked with looting and barbaric assaults on the unarmed inhabitants, was the main object of the enemys actions.
On 16 May the Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimars Hussar Regiment moved to the native village of Agib-Eli, where it stayed until 10 November. (Regimental monthly reports from May through November, 1855.) Ye. F. Arbuzov characterizes this period thusly:
From the day the enemy occupied Kerch up to the conclusion of peace, General Sukhotin continuously sent mounted patrols along the coastlines of the Black and Azov seas, and also along the Arabat Spit as far as Genichesk. While patrolling in these areas, we met with similar patrols from the enemy. There was no especially important fighting for us, but small cavalry skirmishes were not infrequent. (Note: In one of these clashes 40 men were taken prisoner from a squadron of chasseurs dAfrique, of whom 30 were seriously wounded. Unfortunately, Ye. F. Arbuzov did not say exactly who on our side took part in this affair.)
In one of these reconnaissances. Officer Candidate [Yunker] Prince Nikolai Volkonskii distinguished himself, for which he was awarded the medal of the Military Order.(See Part I of the regimental history, Appendix No. 5, page 5. No details were entered into Volkonskiis personal service record.) Ye. F. Arbuzov continues:
While staying at Agib-Eli, we no longer lacked for provisions; there was a cornucopia of them. Our soldiers ate cabbage soup with fresh sturgeon that we bought in Kiteni at 1 rouble 20 kopecks a pood [36 pounds]. But in regard to water the Weimar hussars suffered a great shortage. For the whole regiment and battery, there were only four wells half a mile from the bivouac, and those with barely tolerable water which could not be given to the men except with vinegar, due to the threat of scurvy.
Sanitary conditions truly improved so that from June to the end of the year there were only three fatal cases in the regimental lazaret, when up to then there was an average of eight deaths a month. Of course, the lack of good water, to which we referred earlier more than once, could not but affect the number of men falling ill, but this did not assume the character of an epidemic. An average of thirty men a month entered the regimental lazaret, but in June, when the men were still not used to the "barely tolerable water," as many as sixty men entered. Apparently, all the sick soon recovered, since on the first of any month, according to monthly reports, there were from five to seven sick in the regimental lazaret.
On 10 November the regiment went into concentrated winter billets as follows: the regimental headquarters, noncombatant company, and 3rd Squadron in the village of Arma-Eli; the Leib-Squadron and 2nd Squadron in Bratskoe; 4th Squadron in Koi-Aian; 5th Squadron in Gusteb; 6th Squadron in Ali-Bai; 7th Squadron in the native village of Agib-Eli; 8th Squadron in Kiyat. The regiment remained in this disposition until 19 February, when some squadrons moved to other nearby Russian and native villages. (Regimental monthly reports for November and December, 1855, and for the first third of 1856.)
Here was received news of the opening of peace negotiations and of the convocation of a congress in Paris. On 17 March 1856, the famous Treaty of Paris was signed, and on 28 March the Weimar Hussars set off on the march "to the Russian interior " (Regimental monthly report for March 1856.)
In concluding our wartime history, we must note one more good deed rendered by the Weimar hussars. When the enemy occupied Kerch, the allies looted the town for three days, committing various outrages upon the inhabitants and the wounded who had been left there. A large part of the population left the town and abandoned all their property to hurry to join our retreating column. (Source: N. Dubrovin, pages 463, 466, and 467.)
Robbed and ruined, hungry and parched with thirst, the unfortunate refugees could hardly walk, and did not know with what to feed themselves and their children. Word of their difficult situation soon spread throughout the troops of General Sukhotins force, and called forth the soldiers heartfelt sympathy. The urge to render palpable help appeared foremost with the regimental chaplain, Archpriest [Protoierei] Ovsyankin, who appealed to the charity of the men in the force.
"I bless you as a pastor of the church," said Father Dmitrii, addressing the ranks, "for taking up this sacred action, and the Lord in his hidden ways blesses you with his all-powerful right hand."
In a short time 756 roubles were collected from among the Weimar hussars and the cossacks of Don Reserve No. 4 Battery. This was given to General Sukhotin for distribution at his discretion to all needy inhabitants and their families. Apart from this, when transport arrived with refugees and wounded, a meal was prepared in the regiment and battery for which every soldier and cossack was quick to share his portion of vodka and try to attend to the those who were suffering
Although the Weimar Hussars service in the Kerch peninsula, as shown above, was not significant, it was not forgotten. It pleased the Sovereign to All-Mercifully grant about 1500 silver roubles for issue to some of the officers as one-time sums for their support, based on one-third of salary. The aid, as shown in personal service records, was given out in the following amounts: Major Markov 112 r. 10 k.; Captains Matveevskii, Marin , and Sakovnin 102 r. 35 k. each; Staff-Captains Svechin, Boglevskii, Kuvichinskii 1st, and Kuvichinskii 2nd 94 r. 35 k. each; Lieutenants Velichko, Kurmanaleev, Leonov, Nauman, and Lintvarev 79 r. 40 k. each; Cornets Vlezkov, Rypinskii, Butovich, Kuznetsov, and Naumov 69 r. 85 k. each; and to Ensign Savelev, commander of the noncombatant company 42 r. 35 k. In all, 19 officers received this All-Highest gift, out of the 28 who were present on 1 January 1855
The regiment leaves the Crimea. As mentioned above, the Weimar Hussars stayed in the Crimea only until 28 March 1856. On that day they left "on the march from the Crimea to the Russian interior." For three weeks they were on the "march" and it was only on 19 April that the squadrons settled into "temporary quarters" in the Melitopol District. The regiment occupied the following billets: regimental headquarters with the noncombatant company and 5th, 6th, and 8th Squadrons in the village of Mikhailovka; 1st Division village of Veselyi; 2nd Division village of Timashonka; and the 7th Squadron village of Orlyansk. After a journey of over 300 miles, the regiment was given almost five weeks to rest. (Regimental monthly reports for March, April, and May, 1856.)
On 22 May the regiment again set off on the march subsequent to being assigned other "temporary quarters" in the town of Ananev (Kherson Province) and neighboring villages. The date the regiment arrived in Ananev has not been preserved, but the monthly report for June shows that on the 13th all squadrons were already on the move to permanent quarters and on 28 June were settled in the 12th Cavalry Region of the New-Russia Military Settlement. The regiments dispositions were as follows: regimental headquarters with the noncombatant company in the Golta settlement and town of Olviopol, and six squadrons in the surrounding settlements. On 13 June, though, the 3rd Division had been detached directly from the march to the town of Kherson and put at the disposition of the Kherson civil governor "to cooperate with the civil administration in apprehending landowners peasants of Kherson and Yekaterinoslav provinces who were running away to the Crimea in hope of gaining their freedom there." (Regimental monthly reports for May and June, 1856.) As a result of this assignment, the 5th and 6th Squadrons, which for two months were "helping restore order where it had been disturbed," were deployed: a) 5th Squadron from 17 June to 8 July at the town of Berislav, and from the latter date in the village of Zagradovka; b) 6th Squadron from 19 June to 9 August in the village of Mikhailovka. On 14 August the 3rd Division left to rejoin the regiment and on 26 August was billeted in the town of Olviopol. The concentration of the regiment lasted for one month and on 1 November the squadrons dispersed to their settlements. (Note: Leib-Squadron Dobryanka, 2nd Squadron Peshchanyi-brod, 3rd Squadron Lysaya-gora, 4th Squadron Blagodatnaya, 5th Squadron Syrova, 6th Squadron Krivoe ozero, 7th Squadron Vladievka, and 8th Squadron Sinyukhin-brod. [Brod = ford, gora=hill, ozero=lake.]) That concentration was the last for the 7th and 8th Squadrons which were disbanded after returning.
On 26 August 1856, M. K. Dekinlein, who as mentioned before had begun his service during the Patriotic War of 1812, was promoted to major general "for excellence." (Personal service record of Colonel Dekinlein for 1857.) In the same year on 2 December the 63-year old commander earned Highest gratitude "for excellent service."
In spite of these awards which show that M. K. Dekinlein somehow managed to completely straighten out the shortfalls left in the regiment by his predecessor A. A. Butovich, we must report that unfortunately the regiment called the higher commands attention to itself in many negative respects (this turned out to be fully the case under the command of Colonel Sviyagin). This is explained first and foremost, of course, by the fact that the old commander did not possess that vigorous energy so necessary for the commander of a cavalry regiment.
After receiving the disorganized regiment in wartime, the old commander could not make good various shortfalls even in the course of 1½ years of command, due to constant movements and the conditions on campaign. Even in peacetime, which really began only with the arrival of the regiment in permanent quarters around Golta, i.e. since 26 August or 1 September 1856, when all squadrons were gathered together in fall cantonments. M. K. Dekinlein had to reckon with the regiments scattered dispositions which greatly hindered bringing administrative and equipment affairs in order (we remind ourselves that the regiment set off on campaign on 5 January 1854 and only returned by 25 August 1856, i.e. after almost two years and eight months). Mikhail Konstantinovichs "peacetime" command was short, as on 8 August 1857 he was "released from service with the right to wear the uniform and a pension of full pay." (Highest Order, 8 August 1857.)
Extract of Appendix 7
List of generals and field and company-grade officers of the regiment
during the Crimean War, 1854-56.
[In this appendix, dates are in the old Russian style, 12 days behind the western calendar M.C.]
1829, July 1. Markov 14th, Nikolai Mikhailovich, cornet, promoted from junker [officer candidate] in the regiment; 31 May 1859 assigned to the army cavalry branch as lieutenant colonel (served as an officer in the regiment for almost 30 years).
1833, January 2. Dobrovolskii, Anton Antonov, major from His Imperial Highness Grand Duke Michael Pavlovichs Hussar Regiment; 25 October 1856 as colonel assigned to command General-Adjutant Prince Chernishevs Lancer Regiment.
1833, March 21. von Focht 3rd, Fedor Bogdanovich, major from the Irkutsk Hussar Regiment; died 13 January 1856, in the rank of colonel.
1837, April 23. Sakovnin 1st, Akinfii Petrov, cornet, promoted from standard-junker in the regiment; left at the end of 1854, as captain.
1838, November 4. Sakovnin 3rd, Ivan Petrov, cornet, promoted from standard-junker in the regiment; 21 March 1840 released from service as lieutenant; 26 November 1845 again joined the regiment by transfer from His Majesty Prince Emile of Hesses Dragoon Regiment; 31 August 1858 transferred to the Belgorod Lancer Regiment, as captain.
1841, March 30. Saxe-Weimar, Hereditary Duke Carl-Alexander, from 8 July 1853 His Royal Highness the Grand Duke, honorary colonel of the regiment; 16 May 1884 made general-of-cavalry; died 9 January 1901.
1841, November 23. Matveevskii, Nikolai Aleksandrovich, cornet, from non-commissioned officer in the regiment; 19 August 1857 dropped from the rolls as deceased (from wounds).
1841, December 21. Polozov, Aleksandr Iosifov, captain, from lieutenant in the Life-Guards Grodno Hussar Regiment; 16 November 1844 released from service as major; 1 March 1846 rejoined the regiment as captain; 31 December 1854 released due to illness, as lieutenant colonel with the right to wear the uniform.
1842, August 14. Turchaninov 1st, Nikolai Aleksandrov, cornet, from midshipman in the 26th Fleet Équipage; left the regiment around 1854, as captain. [From information in the gazette Russkii Invalid, we know that like his (presumed) brother below, Nikolai Aleksandrov was also an adjutant to General-of-Infantry Chaadaev M.C.]
1842, September 12. Turchaninov 2nd, Aleksei Aleksandrov, cornet, promoted from standard-junker in the regiment; 4 December 1844 released from service as lieutenant; 18 June 1854 again entered service as a cornet and assigned as adjutant to General-of-Infantry Chaadaev, commander of the 6th Infantry Corps.
1842, September 12. Svechin, Vsevolod Konstantinov, cornet, promoted from junker in the regiment; 22 May 1855, released from service due to wounds, as captain.
1844, September 28. Khitrovo 1st, Semen Vasilev, cornet, promoted from portepée-junker [distinguished officer candidate] in His Majesty the King of Württemburgs Hussar Regiment; as captain, after the cavalry attack at the village of Komary on 13 October 1854 he was left on the battlefield seriously wounded, was taken prisoner, and died while being transported to Scutari; 21 July 1855, dropped from the rolls as deceased.
1845, February 22. Aristov, Pavel Ivanov, cornet, from junker in the regiment; on 25 November 1856 released from service due to personal situation, as major.
1845, August 16. Voznitsyn, Aleksei Petrov, cornet, from junker in the Orenburg Lancer Regiment; 25 November 1858 released from service due to illness (was seriously contused by a ball to the head), as captain.
1845, December 31. Yelagin, Boris Vladimirov, cornet, from ensign in the Kherson Artillery Garrison; 30 April 1856 released from service due to illness, as captain with the right to wear the uniform.
1846, September 2. Marin, Petr Pavlov, captain from the Orenburg Lancer Regiment; 31 December 1866 named commander of the reserve squadron of the 12th Akhtyrka Hussar Regiment.
1847, February 15. Oznobishin 2nd, Nikolai Ivanov, cornet from Her Imperial Highness Grand Duchess Catherine Mikhailovnas Lancer Regiment; 17 October 1857 released from service due to personal situation, as captain with the right to wear the uniform.
1847, August 14. Kuvichinskii 1st, Nikolai Vasilev, cornet, from pupil in the Nobiliary Regiment; 3 August 1857 released from service due to personal situation, as staff-captain with the right to wear the uniform.
1848, January 6. Aleshchenko, Danilo Ivanovich, lieutenant, from the Chuguev Lancer Regiment; 11 November 1858 released from service due to wounds, as captain, with pension and the right to wear the uniform.
1848, April 15. Gelman, Albert Ernestov, cornet from the Orenburg Lancer Regiment; 12 September 1854 transferred as a lieutenant to His Royal Highness Prince Friedrich Carl of Prussias Hussar Regiment.
1848, May 27 Boglevskii, Antonii Mikhailov, cornet, from sergeant-major in the regiment; 15 January 1857 released from service due to illness (wounded 13 October 1854 in combat at the village of Komara), as captain with pension and the right to wear the uniform.
1848, June 13. Kuvichinskii 2nd, Gavriil Vasilev, cornet, from non-commissioned officer in the Nobiliary Regiment; 14 May 1870 transferred to the 9th Kiev Hussar Regiment.
1848, October 3. Zeibach, Konstantin Karlov, cornet, from non-commissioned officer in the Nobiliary Regiment; 17 September 1856 released from service due to personal situation, as major.
1849, January 8. Leshchinskii, Marian Yanov, sublieutenant, from senior sergeant-major in the regiment; left the regiment around 1854 as lieutenant.
1850, April 7. Polubinskii, Aleksandr Kazimirovich, cornet from His Majesty the King of Hannover Regiment; left the regiment around 1854.
1850, October 21. Sharistanov, Yakov Grigorev, colonel from Archduke Ferdinand of Austrias Hussar Regiment; 12 December 1855 dropped from the rolls as deceased.
1850, November 28. Kuvichinskii 3rd, Dmitrii Vasilevich, cornet, from ensign in the Kamenets-Podolia Internal Garrison Battalion; 5 February 1859 released from service due to personal situation, as captain with the right to wear the uniform.
1851, April 27. Belanovskii, Konstantin Dmitrievich, cornet, from junker in Her Imperial Highness the Grand Duchess Catherine Mikhailovnas Lancer Regiment; left around 1854, exact information is lacking.
1851, April 27. Gorbanev, Vasilii, cornet, promoted from non-commissioned officer in Her Imperial Highness Grand Duchess Catherine Mikhailovnas Lancer Regiment; left the regiment around 1854.
1851, April 27. Leonov, Mikhail Ivanovich, lieutenant, from junker in the regiment; 8 February 1857 released from service due to personal situation, as staff-captain.
1851, April 27. Shramchenko, Nikolai Yegorov, cornet, from junker in Her Imperial Highness Grand Duchess Catherine Mikhailovnas Lancer Regiment; left the regiment around 1854.
1851, May 23. Dekinlein, Mikhail Konstantinovich, colonel from the Orenburg Lancer Regiment; 29 March 1855 named regimental commander; 26 August 1856 promoted to major general; 20 August 1857 released from service due to illness, with a pension and the right to wear the uniform.
1851, May 23. Osipov, Aleksandr Yemanuilovich, major from the Siberia Lancer Regiment; left the regiment around 1854.
1851, May 27. Drovanovskii 1st, Aleksandr Petrovich, lieutenant from Prince Friedrich of Hesse-Kassels Hussar Regiment; 29 October 1851 transferred to the reserve forces; 26 January 1857 transferred back to the regiment; 4 January 1867 released from service due to illness, as major with pension and the right to wear the uniform.
1851, May 27. Drovanovskii 2nd, Yulian Petrovich, lieutenant from Prince Friedrich of Hesse-Kassels Hussar Regiment; 29 October 1851 transferred to the reserve forces; 26 January 1857 transferred back to the regiment; 20 February 1863 released from service as captain.
1852, February 25. Butovich 1st, Andrei Alekseevich, regimental commander, colonel, from assignment to the Cavalry Branch; 29 March 1855 released from service.
1852, March 1. Korbutovskii, Apollon Nikolaevich, staff-captain from Her Imperial Highness Grand Duchess Catherine Mikhailovnas Lancer Regiment; 5 December 1856 released from service due to illness, with pension and the right to wear the uniform.
1852, March 30. Velichko, Lev Nikolaevich, lieutenant from His Imperial Highness the Heir and Tsesarevichs Leib-Cuirassier Regiment; 19 April 1859 released from service due to wounds as a staff-captain with a pension and the right to wear the uniform.
1852, May 3. Saxe-Weimar, Duke Carl-August, cornet, son of His Royal Highness the Hereditary Grand-Duke of Saxe-Weimar, honorary colonel of the regiment; 23 October 1888 made lieutenant general; died 9 November 1894. [Carl-August was 8 years old when taken onto the regiments rolls M.C.]
1852, June 2. Gruzevich-Nechai, Grigorii Ivanov, staff-captain from the Siberia Lancer Regiment; 27 December 1855 released from service "due to illness" as a captain.
1852, June 2. Zhdanov, Nikolai Nikolaevich, cornet from the Orenburg Lancer Regiment; 20 July 1855 reassigned to the Commissariat.
1852, June 2. Kasagov, Dmitrii Ivanovich, staff-captain from the Siberia Lancer Regiment; 23 January 1856, as adjutant to Lieutenant General Lanskoi 2nd, promoted to captain and transferred to His Imperial Highness Grand Duke Nicholas Maksimilianovichs Hussar Regiment.
1852, June 2. Naumov, Aleksei Mikhailov, cornet from the Orenburg Lancer Regiment; 11 December 1856 released from service as staff-captain.
1852, June 2. Stavitskii, Aleksei Mikhailovich, cornet from the Borisoglebsk Lancer Regiment; 15 April 1857 dropped from the rolls as "missing in action during the war."
1852, November 30. Arbuzov 2nd, Yevgenii Fedorovich, lieutenant from His Royal Highness Prince Friedrich Carl of Prussias Hussar Regiment; 11 November 1856 released from service due to illness, as staff-captain.
1852, November 30. Arbuzov 3rd, Sergei Fedorovich, lieutenant from His Royal Highness Prince Friedrich Carl of Prussias Hussar Regiment; 13 November 1856 released from service due to personal situation, as staff-captain.
1853, January 31. von-Raden, Fedor Pavlovich, lieutenant from His Imperial Highness Grand Duke Nicholas Maksimilianovichs Hussar Regiment; 8 January 1859 transferred to the Akhtyrka Hussar Regiment.
1853, March 28. Lintvarev, Andrei Pavlovich, lieutenant, from standard-junker in the regiment; 7 June 1857 released from service due to personal situation, as staff-captain.
1853, December 15. Reshetov, Vladimir Aristarkhovich, cornet, promoted from standard-junker; 25 March 1857 released from service due to illness (was seriously wounded and contused in the head with trauma to the brain), as staff-captain.
1853, December 15. Khanykov, Konstantin Fedorovich, cornet, promoted from junker; 28 October 1856 released from service due to personal situation, as lieutenant.
1854, March 5. Bich-Lubenskii, Mikhail Grigorevich, cornet, from non-commissioned officer of General-of-Cavalry Graf Nikitins Lancer Regiment; 18 November 1855 transferred to the Ladoga Jäger Regiment, retitled as ensign.
1854, March 5. Belyavskii, Grigorii Ivanovich, cornet, from junker in the regiment; 13 October 1854 seriously wounded in the cavalry attack, taken prisoner, returned from captivity in May 1856 to St. Petersburg; 20 July 1866 transferred to reserve forces.
1854, March 5. Butovich, Vladimir Andreevich, cornet, from standard-junker in the regiment, having served the regulation number of years; 1 November 1859 released from service due to illness, as staff-captain with the right to wear the uniform.
1854, March 5. Baratov, Prince Grigorii Grigorevich, cornet, from junker in His Imperial Highness the Archduke Carl Ferdinand of Austrias Lancer Regiment; 2 December 1856 released from service due to personal situation, as lieutenant.
1854, March 5. Veselovskii, Vasilii Platonovich, cornet, from non-commissioned officer in the regiment; 12 September 1854 transferred to the Vladimir Infantry Regiment as an ensign, but before leaving for that regiment he was in the cavalry attack at the village of Komara on 13 October 1854 and killed.
1854, March 5. Vlezkov, Semen Ivanovich, cornet, promoted from standard-junker having served the regulation number of years; 14 April 1857 released from service due to personal situation, as staff-captain.
1854, March 5. Gorelov, Konstantin Vasilevich, cornet, from non-commissioned officer in General-of-Cavalry Graf Nikitins Lancer Regiment; killed 13 October 1854 during the cavalry attack of the Battle of Balaklava at the village of Komara.
1854, March 5. Grin, Ivan Ivanovich, cornet, from non-commissioned officer in His Imperial Highness Archduke Carl Ferdinand of Austrias Lancer Regiment; 25 November 1856 released from service due to personal situation, as lieutenant.
1854, March 5. Kuznetsov, Mikhail Pavlovich, cornet, from non-commissioned officer in General-of-Cavalry Graf Nikitins Lancer Regiment; 6 September 1857 released from service due to illness.
1854, March 5. Krinitskii (first name unknown), cornet, from junker in His Imperial Highness Archduke Carl-Ferdinand of Austrias Lancer Regiment; 14 September 1854 transferred as ensign to the 6th Reserve Battalion of the Vladimir Infantry Regiment.
1854, March 5. Protopopov, Vasilii Ivanovich, junker in the regiment; 28 April 1855 dropped from the rolls as deceased.
1854, March 5. Panin 3rd, Aleksandr Dmitrievich, cornet, promoted from junker in the regiment; 10 September 1856 dropped from the rolls as deceased.
1854, March 5. Panin, Nikolai Dmitrievich, cornet, promoted from standard-junker in the regiment; 7 July 1855 dropped from the rolls as deceased.
1854, March 5. Rypinskii, Ivan Frantsevich, cornet, promoted from junker in His Imperial Highness Archduke Carl Ferdinand of Austrias Lancer Regiment; 29 January 1859 transferred to the Mariupol Hussar Regiment as a lieutenant.
1854, March 5. Sytin, Apollon Apolonovich, cornet, promoted from junker in General-of-Cavalry Graf Nikitins Lancer Regiment; 1 October 1858 released from service due to illness, in the rank of lieutenant.
1854, March 5. Charnetskii, Bronislav Yevstafevich, cornet, from junker in His Imperial Highness Archduke Carl-Ferdinand of Austrias Lancer Regiment; 21 March 1856 released from service due to illness, in the rank of lieutenant.
1854, March 17. Pilsudskii, Sigizmund Ivanovich, lieutenant colonel from the cavalry branch; 25 November 1856 assigned to the cavalry branch and attached to the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
1854, March 25. Kozlyaninov (first name unknown), cornet, served in His Imperial Highness Friedrich of Württemburgs Lancer Regiment; and then joined the Customs Department with the civil rank of collegiate registrar; at the end of 1854 he left the regiment. [In the gazette Russkii Invalid, Kozlyaninov is shown on 25 March 1854 as leaving the Customs Department to join not this regiment, but rather the King of Württemburgs Hussar Regiment M.C.]
1854, June 17. Sekerin, Valerian Pavlovich, cornet, promoted from the School of Guards Officer Candidates and Cavalry Junkers; 1 May 1856 released from service as lieutenant.
1854, July 23. Vyazemskii, Prince Nikolai Sergeevich, lieutenant colonel, from retirement as a captain; 1 November 1856 assigned to the War Ministry.
1854, September 5. Savelev, Osip Petrovich, ensign, commander of the noncombatant company, promoted from non-commissioned officer in His Imperial Highness the Grand Duke Nicholas Maksimilianovichs Hussar Regiment; 14 February 1858 released from service as sublieutenant, with pension and the right to wear the uniform.
1854, October 3. Anuchin, Petr Gavrilovich, cornet, from junker in No. 12 Battery of the 6th Horse-Artillery Brigade, contused in the right shoulder during the Battle of the Alma; held the medal of the Military Order No. 101193; released from service 20 October 1860 due to personal situation, as staff-captain.
1855, January 8. Naumov, Nikolai Mikhailov, cornet, from non-commissioned officer in the regiment, promoted "for distinction in battle against the Turks, English, and French"; 11 December 1856 released from service due to personal situation, as lieutenant.
1855, January 20. Polubinskii, Lyudvig-Ippolit Nikolaevich, cornet, promoted from junker in the reserve squadron of His Imperial Highness Archduke Carl-Ludwig of Austrias Hussar Regiment; 23 May 1866 released from service due to illness, as staff-captain.
1855, June 4. von York, Danilo Alekseevich, captain, formerly a retired major; 11 November 1858 transferred to the Trans-Baikal Horse Cossack Host as a yesaul [cossack captain], with assignment as police chief in the town of Chita.
1855, June 30. Akhmatov, Aleksei Alekseevich, cornet, from Her Imperial Highness the Grand Duchess Helen Pavlovnas Cuirassier Regiment; 11 December 1856 released from service due to personal situation, as lieutenant.
1855, June 30. Lyakhovich, Grigorii Vladimirovich, captain from the Military Order Cuirassier Regiment; 25 October 1860 promoted to major and transferred to the Novgorod Dragoon Regiment.
1855, September 25. Aristov, Vladimir Vasilevich, cornet, from His Royal Highness Prince Friedrich William of Prussias Hussar Regiment; 13 November 1856 dropped from service.
1855, December 30. Papa-Afanasopulo, Georgii Ilich, colonel from His Highness the Duke of Nassaus Lancer Regiment; 24 September 1861 named commander of the Smolensk Lancer Regiment.
1856, February 3. Vetseklits, Aleksandr-Voitsekh Stanislavovich, cornet, promoted from standard-junker in Her Imperial Highness Grand Duchess Aleksandra Iosifovnas Cuirassier Regiment; 14 March 1859 released from service due to illness, as lieutenant with pension.
Regimental chaplain from 1846 to 1856 Dmitrii Thedorovich Ovsyankin.
Regimental doctor from 1855 to 1872 Konstantin Danilovich Khristianov