Military Subjects: Battles & Campaigns


The  Battle of Borodino: Reports 

By Alexander Mikaberidze

Shakhovsky to Konovnitsyn, 7 [19] September 1812 [1]

During the decisive battle of 26 August [7 September], the 20th and 21st Jager Regiments, from the brigade entrusted to me, were assigned to the left flank to protect the [Utitsa] woods, from where the enemy sought to drive us back but through the gallantry of staff and junior officers and the rank-and-file, he was repeatedly beaten back instead. I have the honor to present to Your Excellency the list of names of staff and junior officers and the lower ranks who distinguished themselves. I also consider it my duty to specifically recommend some staff and junior officers, notably: the chef of the 21st Jager Regiment Colonel Platsov and Major Gorikhvostov, who commanded the 20th Jager Regiment, both of whom demonstrated exceptional composure throughout the battle and whose prudent orders contributed to the repeated beating of the enemy; my adjutant Lieutenant Stepanov and Ensign Debessar (acting in capacity of the battalion adjutant), who, having been with me in 4 battles, acted with remarkable courage and, upon being dispatched with orders to various dangerous places, always carried them out precisely. On 26 August Stepanov, observing the enemy column marching towards our battery, gathered up to 30 skirmishers from various regiments and placed them under Lieutenant Pomeranskii of the 20th Jager Regiment, later informing me about this; I reinforced this detachment with reserves in order to save our guns. In the evening I dispatched Debessar to turn back the Minskii Infantry Regiment, which was fighting a considerable enemy column, and he withdrew the enemy through the enemy canister and musket fire in such a manner that the enemy could not inflict serious harm to the regiment. Above all, I must note Major Stepanov, the commander of the 21st Jager Regiment, who skillfully commanded his men in repelling all enemy attacking, and led his unit with exceptional courage. His encouragements of his subordinates and efficient [commanding skills] deserve a special attention.

[1] Shakhovsky commanded a jager brigade defending the Utitsa woods but his report is notorious for its concise content. It provides virtually no details on the course of events that took place in the woods on 7 September, albeit Shakhovsky could have shed much light on them. 

Placed on the Napoleon Series: July 2007 


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