The Waterloo Association: Members Area

Get Involved:

Facebook Twitter Email
The Napoleon Series > Military Information > Battles and Campaigns



Memoirs of General Mikhail Vorontsov: 1812-1813 Campaigns

Diary of the 1813 Campaign: January 1813

Translated By Alexander Mikaberidze, FINS


1 [13 January]. I arrived to Marienwerde[7] and, it seems, had Chernishev not attacked in vain with his Cossack, the viceroy [Eugene], Victor [Perrin] and some 20 generals with several hundred officers would have been captured here. I signed several veksels or loan bills to [Ivan] Sabaneyev[8] for 11,000 rubles out of which he gave 6,000 to Kovankova in St. Petersburg and the remaining 4,000 rubles he gave me in 1,000 silver rubles.

2 [14 January]. At Marienwerde. The infantry rests, the Cossacks are deployed at Mrovysl, near the Vistula. [Fedor] Barabanshikov[9] had crossed the Vistula towards Stargard.[10]

3 [15 January]. Marched to Alt-Yani, with Lukovkin�s regiment proceeding to� [11]Barabanshikov is at Stargrad.

4 [16 January]. Arrived to the village of Byala, march of 4 miles. Jagers are at Byala and Gross Zaplis; grenadiers are at Bushino. I remained at Taschau. [Gavriil] Lukovkin[12] proceeded to Kulm.[13]

5 [17 January]. Troops passed through Swiecie and Selenie[14] on the route to Bromberg.[15] My headquarters was at Topoln.

6 [18 January]. The infantry rested, while Lukovkin seized bromberg, capturing 7 [French] horse jagers out of ten that were left behind to destroy the supply magazines. We found over 200,000 pounds of flour and numerous ammunition.

7 [19 January]. At 4.00 a.m. I ordered the infantry to advance and then personally traveled to Bromberg. As I arrived to Lukovkin, Beketov informed me that the enemy was advancing in superior forces on the route of Thorn. I immediately ordered to evacuate the town and dispatched the jagers to delay the enemy while we destroyed the supplies in the town. The enemy, with some 3,000 infantry and six guns, soon approached the town, but, seeing that the forces were�. [incomplete sentence]

[Meantime], I left the town without losing a single man and deployed my infantry at the villages on the enemy flanks, with the jagers at Fordon, the grenadiers at Ober-Strelitze and Ober-Gonz; Barabanshikov was ordered to marched to Fordon and dispatch detachments to Shulitz[16] to threaten the [French] rear. Barabanshikov and Lukovkin, who spent the night on the main road, were also instructed to harass the enemy in the town. The enemy left the town at 2.00 a.m. without taking anything from there but on contrary leaving some 300 ailing soldiers. We immediately retook the town.

Arriving to the headquarters at Ober-Gonz, I found [Captain] Barozzi [of the Narva Infantry Regiment] with letters and money there.

8 [20 January]. Ober-Gonz. Barabanshikov entered Bromberg and pursued the French to Shulitz.

9 [21 January]. Still at Ober-Gonz. Lukovkin marched to Bromberg, Barabanshikov is at Shulitz and Panteleyev at Prsiczek.

10 [22 January]. Marched with the battalions of the 15th Division and the 2nd [Battalion] of the 9th Division to Fordon; jagers are already at Fordon, battalions of the 18th Division and the 1st [Battalion] of the 9th Division remained at Ober-Strelitze and Iariscyno.

[The French] infantry marched from Thorn to drive Panteleyev from Prsiczek but returned back after marching for a mile.

We found over 1,000 pounds of lead at Bromberg.

Panteleyev sent to me Captain Deraga, who was captured by his outposts � he was Berthier�s aide-de-camp, an intelligent and experienced man.

11 [23 January]. In the morning, I sent a courier and Berthier�s capture aide-de-camp to the main headquarters and then traveled to Bromberg in the afternoon. I then wrote to the Commissariat to inform me on the� lines of communications.

The courier returned in the evening. The commander-in-chief requested seizing Bromberg and sent me a new order of battle according to which my detachment was to be deployed at Kulm and Navra with headquarters at Bromberg.

12 [24 January]. Having completed my business at Bromberg, I dined with Lukovkin and returned to Fordon. I sent a dispatch with [Mikhail] Poncet[17] to the commander-in-chief regarding the quarters and suggested him taking up with my forces positions either at Kulm or Bromberg. I dispatched some 30 Cossacks and Barozzi to� upstream the channel, where, it was rumored, the French have some 14 barges with textiles and other goods.

13 [25 January]. Poncet left early in the morning for the main headquarters. My detachment remained at rest. We requisitioned bread and hay in Bromberg. Some battalions found the French shakos and pantaloons in the town.

14 [26 January]. At Fordon. In the evening I received a message from the commander-in-chief instructing me to occupy both Fordon and Bromberg.

15 [27 January]. Still at Fordon. I dispatched two detachments to Bromberg. Dunaev[18] had arrived here and Poncet returned in the evening. The 13th Jager regiment also joined my detachment.

16 [28 January]. All my infantry marched to Bromberg. Panteleyev was at Shulitze, Barabanshikov at Labiscin and Lukovkin was at Nakel,[19] with an outpost at Gros. Barabnshikov had his outposts at Gnevkov.

Barozzi soon returned from the mission. The textiles and other goods on the [French] barges were pillaged by the locals, who declared that since Napoleon had plundered their property before, they would now loot his goods. Receiving intelligence from Gnevkov that some 30,000-men strong [French corps] would arrived to Inowroslaw tomorrow, I ordered to detain the burgomasters and prefects in both these towns.

17 [29 January]. At dawn, Adjutant Sabaneyev arrived with the commander-in-chief�s new deployment for our army. I dispatched him back in the afternoon and then also sent [Nikolay] Arsenyev[20] with the Bavarian officer, who arrived to negotiate.

[Soon] I met the burgomaster of Gnevkov who had received instructions from Inowroslawl to prepare supplies and forage for 30,000 Frenchmen; in the evening [my] troops also brought the prefecture secretary, burgomaster and another official from Inowroslawl, who showed me a letter from certain commissioner Le Play of the 11th Corps.

18 [30 January]. Bavarian Major Horn, whom I dispatched to the main headquarters, had returned back. I received an order from Langeron to arrive to Kulm tomorrow. There is news from the headquarters that the march on Koval and Khodech was canceled and troops are ordered to blockade [the fortress of] Thorn.

I ordered Barabanshikov�s regiment to Inowroslawl and, receiving report that Ilovaisky IV is at Lobzenes, I moved Lukovkin from Nakel to Shubin

19 [31 January]. I traveled to Langeron at Kulm and met Dokhturov at Ostrometzko. Langeron stayed with Mesherinov at Kulm and Chaplitz also visited him there.

20-22 January [1-3 February]. Stayed at Bromberg

23 January [4 February]. �I received a letter from Chernishev, who offered me to advance to Pozen while he marched from Pozen to Glogau.

I dispatched Lukovkin to the main headquarters. In the evening, I received news from Langeron that the army moved to Pozen. His letter also had Sabaneyev�s poem attached to it.

Voici l�ordre de l�Admiral
Arr�ttez-vous mon G�n�ral.
Ne volez que � la gloire
Au moins sans nous en faire part.
De grande envie vous faire couper le cou,
Allons done G�n�ral, allons nous en avec nous.
Enfin me direz vous que je n�ai rien � faire
Pardon Monsieur, pardon ne � pas des vers
Ils sons mauvais me direz vous
N�en porte � je vous avoue
Dans ce beau si�cle ci
Tout se fait ainsi.

Un Po�te d�un homme comme moi Sabaneeff

D�un marmiton un Roi Murat
D�un Perruquier un Diplomate Le Doux
Un Empereur d�un Bonaparte le Diable
D�un Amiral un G�n�ral Tchitchagoff
D�un Cavalier un Amiral Ribas
D�un Cr�sus un St. Lazar il y a en douze
D�un Capitale un simple Bazar Moscou
D�un petit duch� un grand Royaume plusieurs
D�une Grande Arm�e une centaine d�hommes la G. Arm�e
D�un Sybarite un Conqu�rant Ko�
D�un l�che Poltron un Partisan Ku�
Adieu portez-vous bien.
Reponse en vers ou rien.

24 January [5 February]. At Bromberg. Count Langeron arrived at 4:00 p.m. Lukovkin�s regiment rested while Barabanshikov�s regiment moved to Mogilno and Wilatovo. Panteleyev�s unit marched to Bartzin. I introduced Count Langeron to the prefecture commission and our commissar.

25 January [6 February]. Marched with jager regiment to Bartzin. Grenadiers and the artillery are at Labyscyn, Lukovkin at Eksin, Panteleyeev at Znin while Barabanshikov remained at previous location. According to disposition I was to march to Mogilno tomorrow but at midnight I receive a new order to take another direction, to the right. Denisov�s detachment advanced to Trshemessena where it harassed the [enemy] infantry.

26 January [7 February]. Moved the 13th Jagers to Zernik; the 14th to Yanowitze; the grenadiers to Znyn; Lukovkin to Wongrowitze; Panteleyev to Lopienno, where he encountered a Bavarian outpost and captured 16 men. Barabanshikov�s regiment also captured four men of cheveaux legers. Barabanshikov�s unit then advanced to Ryshevo.

27 January [8 February]. Marched to Stempokhov with grenadiers and artillery. Jagers are at Rombchin and Nowoves.

I wanted to gather my troops between Yanowitze and Lopienno, but I halted after learning that Lukovkin was repulsed from Wongrowitze and moved to Eksin. Afterwards, I was informed that the [French] were not in force and soon left Wongrowitze; in addition, [Sergey] Lanskoy advanced against the Bavarians, so I decided to move on to Rogozino, where the Polish troops were deployed. Barabanshikov�s regiment marched t Monchishki.

28 January [9 February]. On march with infantry to Wongrowitze. Lukovkin advanced to the village of Marlevo near Rogozin. Barabanshikov is at Kletsk, while Panteleyev approached Shoken, [21]� where the enemy drove him back; he bivouacked nearby. The enemy also harassed Lukovkin at Rogozin for entire day. The Bavarians left Trshemessena

29 January [10 February]. I prepared to attack Rogozno early in the morning and went to examine the [enemy] positions that were defended by a large [frozen] lake that can be crossed only by infantry. I ordered Fisher�s battalion to march on the main road across the bridge, while Filatov was to move across the frozen lake directly to the village. I moved the remaining seven battalions across the lake one versta from the town. All columns advanced at the same time with drums beating while the artillery remained on the lakeshore. The Poles[22] retreated at once but we captured 220 men and pursued the enemy to Oborniki. Barabanshikov�s regiment arrived at Shokenlast night, Panteleyev entered Studenetz on the Poznan road this evening. Lukovkin remained in the village of Slomovka, half way to Oborniki.

30 January [11 February]. Infantry rested today. I ordered Lukovkin to leave outpost near Oborniki and marched to Murovannaia Goslina, where he was to take command of eight Cossacks [regiments]. I already instructed Denisov to marched join him, leaving outposts to look after the Bavarians who left Gnezno marching on the road to Pobedzisko.

31 January [12 February]. �In the afternoon I was informed that the enemy left Oborniki; I immediately marched to Murovannaia Goslina, while Cossacks moved to Lovinek and reached Poznan in the morning; Colonel Panteleyev crossed the Warta River at Lovinek and advanced along the road leading to Kustrin.



[7] Present day Kwidzyn, Poland

[8] Ivan Sabaneyev, lieutenant general, he served as the Chief of Staff of the Army of Moldavia and the 3rd Western Army in 1812. In 1813, he served as chief of staff of the Russian army and took part in actions at Thorn (received the Order of Alexander of Neva), Koenigswartha, Bautzen, Dresden Kulm and Leipzig; for his actions in the last two battles, he received the Orders of St. Alexander of Neva and of St. Vladimir (1st class).

[9] Fedor Barabanshikov, lieutenant colonel, commanded a Cossack regiment and distinguished himself at Bromberg and Kustrin in 1813. Promoted to colonel on 28 June 1813, he distinguished himself at Berlin and Leipzig later that year.

[10] Present day Starogard Gdanski, Poland.

[11] According to �Voenno-dislokatsionnii zhurnal voisk, poo komandovaniem general-leitenanta grafa Vorontsova sostoyashikh� [Journal of the Military Deployments of the Troops Commanded by Lieutenant General Count Vorontsov], Lukovkin was dispatched on 15 January to the village of Mayevo, where he captured 328 French soldiers and officers.

[12] Gavriil Lukovkin served in Chernyshev�s cavalry detachment, took part in the operations in the Duchy of Warsaw and fought at Igumen, Vilna and Kovno. In early 1813, he served in the corps of Vorontsov and Osten-Sacken and was promoted to major general on 28 June 1813. Lukovkin distinguished himself during the pursuit of the French forces after the battle of Leipzig and garnered the Order of St. George (3rd class) on 19 October 1813.

[13] Present day Chelmno, Poland

[14] Present day Oselsko, Poland

[15] Present day Bydgoszcz, Poland

[16] Present day Solez-Kuawsky, Poland

[17] Poncet Mikhail Ivanovich (Francois Michel) was born to a French noble family in Dresden. Promoted to colonel on 10 January 1812, he served in the headquarters of the Army of Danube during the Russian campaign in late 1812. In 1813, he served under General Mikhail Vorontsov, distinguishing himself at Rogozin, Bromberg, Kustrin, Magdeburg, Gross Beeren (received the Order of St. Vladimir, 3rd class, and promotion to major general on 27 September) and Uterbog, where he was wounded.. In 1814, he commanded a brigade comprised of four battalions of the Tula and Navaginsk Infantry Regiments and fought at Soissons, Craonne (earned a golden sword with diamonds), Laon and Paris.

[18] Dunaev was Vorontsov�s duty officer. He distinguished himself at Borodino, where he assumed command of the Combined Grenadier Division after Vorontsov was wounded, and at Krasnyi. After serving under Vorontsov in 1813, he rose to colonel in the Narva Infantry Regiment and was seriously wounded at Craonne in 1814. After the Napoleonic Wars, he commanded the 15th Division.

[19] Present day Naklo, Poland.

[20] Nikolay Vasilievich Arsenyev was Vorontsov�s adjutant in 1809-1815 and commanded the Smolensk Infantry Regiment after the Napoleonic Wars.

[21] Present day Skoki, Poland.

[22] These Polish units were from Eugene�s corps.



More Memoirs from the Russian Archives ]