Military Subjects: Battles & Campaigns


The  Battle of Borodino: Reports 

By Alexander Mikaberidze

Stroganov to Konovnitsyn, 6 [18] September 1812

Following the order to present report on the actions of the division entrusted to me during the battle near the village of Borodino, I have the honor to inform Your Excellency that at dawn on 26 August [7 September], as soon as the French columns appeared from the woods, the first line of the 1st Grenadier Division, commanded by Major General Fock and deployed behind the village [of Utitsa] on the Old Smolensk Road, was deployed and dispatched its skirmishers against the enemy skirmishers; the terrain however favored the enemy. Lieutenant General Tuchkov [soon] ordered to retreat behind the second line, which was under command of Major General Tsvilenev, and to set the village on fire. The enemy, exploiting his favorable position, began to set up his batteries, which included up to 22 guns. To counter them, Lieutenant General Tuchkov immediately ordered to deploy six guns of the 1st Battery Company on a hill that overlooked the French batteries. The Leib-Grenadier, Ekaterinoslavskii and St. Petersburgskii Regiments, led by Major General Fock, protected our guns. 

A relentless cannonade then issued and, despite the superiority of the enemy [artillery] fire, our [six-gun] battery continued to operate until it lost most of its men and, having exhausted [a] large portion of its ammunition, was compelled to reduce its firing, operating with four guns only. Meanwhile, the enemy, knowing well the importance of the Smolensk road which we protected, received reinforcements every minute and, finally, managed to seize the hill where our battery was deployed. However, an instant later, the enemy was attacked by Major General Tsvilenev in the flank and Major General Fock in the front, was routed with heavy losses, which further facilitated by Lt. Col. Kern with the Belozersskii Regiment, which charged the enemy from the rear. The enemy, observing the failure of his attacks, began to move into the bushes that separated our right flank from the left flank of the 2nd Army but the Tavricheskii Grenadier Regiment, led by Colonel Sulima, was dispatched to repel him there. 

This sanguine battle thus continued until the twilight and, despite the his numerical supervisory, the enemy failed to gain success in this battle, which only added new evidence of the gallantry of His Imperial Majesty's troops. 

I cannot praise enough the composure and gallantry of all my subordinates and the troops executed their movements under fire as if they were on a review. I must specifically note Major General Tsvilenev, Major General Fock, brigade commander Colonel Zheltukhin, Colonel Krishtafovich, Colonel Rikhter and Colonel Sulima. All officers, who were present with me, deserve my gratitude, especially my adjutants Captain Turgenev of the Life Guard Litovskii Regiment, who was seriously wounded, and Staff Captain Maloyev of the Leib-Grenadier regiment, also the Division Quartermaster and His Imperial Majesty's Flugel Adjutant Prince Menshikov. 

Placed on the Napoleon Series: July 2007 


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