Military Subjects: Battles & Campaigns


The  Battle of Borodino: Reports 

By Alexander Mikaberidze

Uvarov to Barclay de Tolly, 3 [15] September 1812

On the day of the battle, the forever memorable 26 August [7 September] 1812, on the direct orders of the commander-in-chief Prince [Kutuzov] I was dispatched with the 1st Cavalry Corps to cross the [Kolocha] river and attack the enemy left flank in order to divert some of the enemy forces that were vigorously attacking the 2nd Army on the left flank of our position. Receiving such order, I cross the river and led the charge with the Elisavetgradskii hussars and Leib-Guard Cossacks - supported by the Life Guard Dragoon, Uhlan and Hussar Regiments, and the Nezhinskii Dragoons - despite the disadvantageous location which compelled us to cross a deep ravine and a rivulet [Voina] and ascending [the opposite bank] to engage the enemy ay once on the left side of the village [of Borodino] while the enemy infantry occupied the woods on the right side. Nevertheless, the attack was launched in view of the entire army and enjoyed an unexpected success: upon engagement, the enemy was routed and the enemy battery barely managed to escape, losing two guns that were captured by the Elisavetgradskii hussars and would have been removed at once if not for a disadvantageous location. The enemy was pursued, suffering heavy casualties, which compelled him to divert some forces from the points that he was attacking so vigorously. After receiving these reinforcements, the enemy sought to drive me back from the occupied territory, committing cavalry and infantry and deploying batteries on the [nearby] heights. But despite his endeavors, the enemy failed in all of them. I soon observed that the enemy infantry, seeking to cross the rivulet and attack our remaining infantry on the right flank of the position. I, therefore, decided to attack with hussars, although I must admit that, because the terrain was unfavorable to the cavalry, this attack did not succeed but still the enemy's intentions were warded off and the enemy infantry remained idle for the time being. After this I received [Kutuzov's] as well as Your Excellencty's instructions that if I could not resist the enemy, I should retreat and cross the rivulet. However, since I still had the means to remain in my position and seek, through my movements, to induce the enemy to believe that I was preparing to attack him, I remained in placed despite the enemy's numerical superiority until you ordered me in no uncertain terms to return to our [main] positions. 

I consider it my duty to give credit to the regiments [involved in this combat] and the horse-artillery company of Lt. Col. Hering, which acted with great success throughout the battle and even damaged [a few] enemy guns. 

Placed on the Napoleon Series: July 2007 

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