Research Subjects: Biographies


Russian Generals of the Napoleonic Wars: Lieutenant General Peter Stepanovich Kotlyarovsky

By Alexander Mikaberidze, FINS

(1782 – 2 November 1852)

Peter Stepanovich Kotlyarovsky was son of a priest and graduated from the Kharkov Seminary. In the winter of 1792, he met Lieutenant Colonel Lazarev who took notice of the intelligent child and convinced his father to let him go into military service. Kotlyarovsky joined Lazarev’s regiment, was promoted to sergeant in 1793 and participated in a series of campaigns in the Caucasus. In 1799, he became a lieutenant and aide-de-camp to Lazarev, who entrusted him with several secret diplomatic missions. In 1800, Kotlyarovsky distinguished himself in the actions against the Persians on the Iori River, was awarded the Order of St. John of Jerusalem and promoted to captain. He then served under Prince Paul Tsitsianov and fought the Persians in the khanates of Gandja, Sheki, Shirvan, and Baku. He was wounded on 14 December 1803 but remained in the line and fought at Gandja on 15 January 1804. For the capture of this fortress, he was awarded the Order of St. Anna (3rd Class) and promoted to major. Kotlyarovsky’s name became famous after he, with 600 men of the 17th Jagers and two guns, halted the advance of Prince Abbas Mirza’s army of several thousand men in 1804. Though he lost 1/3 of the detachment, Kotlyarovsky stopped the Persians for two days, then retreated to the fortress of Shah-Bulah and defended it for 13 days until rescued by Tsitsianov. He was wounded three times during the fighting. For his actions, Kotlyarovsky was awarded the Order of St. Vladimir (4th Class) . In August 1804, he suppressed an uprising in Karabakh and fought at Baku. In June 1806, he commanded troops in the battle at Khonashin, where 1,644 Russians defeated 20,000 Persians under Abbas Mirza. For this victory, Kotlyarovsky was promoted to colonel. He was soon disgraced by Commander-in-Chief Gudovich for petitioning on behalf of Colonel Lisanevich, who was unjustly court-martialed. Kotlyarovsky was discharged from army and spent the next 1½ year in Tbilisi. He returned to service in early 1808 and defeated Prince Abbas Mirza at Kara-Baba. In 1809, Tormasov dispatched him to protect Karabakh, where  Kotlyarovsky successfully fought the Persians over the next two years. He became the commander of the 17th Jager Regiment on 2 February 1809 and shef of the Caucasus Grenadier Regiment on 26 June 1810. He defeated Abbas Mirza at Migri and on the Araks River in July 1810. In October 1810, Kotlyarovsky returned to Tbilisi to recuperate form his wounds. For his victories, Kotlyarovsky was appointed shef of the Georgia Grenadier Regiment (15 February 1811) and awarded the Order of St. George (2nd Class) with a golden sword for courage. Late in 1811, he captured Akhalkalaki and defeated the Persians on the Araks and in Karabakh. He was promoted to major general on 30 January 1812 and received the Order of St. Anna (1st Class) . In October 1812, Kotlyarovsky, with only 2,000 men and 6 guns, crushed 30,000 Persians under Abbas Mirza near Aslanduz on the Araks River, was promoted to lieutenant general on 15 December 1812 and awarded the Order of St. George (3rd Class) . He was seriously wounded in the head and leg during the assault on Lenkoran in January 1813 and had to retire from service, receiving the Order of St. George (2nd Class) . Kotlyarovsky never recovered from the wounds and lived secluded in his estate. In August 1826, Nicholas I promoted him to general of infantry.

Placed on the Napoleon Series: October 2002; updated December 2003.

 

Index to the Biographical Dictionary of Russian Generals during the Napoleonic Wars ]



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