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Russian Generals of the Napoleonic Wars: Lieutenant General Friedrich von Lowis of Menar

By Alexander Mikaberidze, FINS


(17 September 1767 Hapsale, Estland - 28 April 1824, Zelen, Wolmar uezd)

Friedrich von Lowis of Menar L was born in Estland and descended from a Scottish family that resettled to Russia under Peter the Great. In December 1772, he was enlisted in the Moscow Carabineer Regiment and then transferred as vakhmistr to the Kazan Cuirassier Regiment on 10 November 1773. His active duty started in 1782, when Lowis joined as a lieutenant in the Keksholmn Infantry Regiment. He took part in the war against Sweden in 1788-1789 and was promoted to premier major. After the war, Lowis moved to Polotsk and commanded a grenadier battalion. In 1792-1794, he fought against the Poles and was awarded the Order of St. George (4th Class) and a golden sword for courage. In 1795, he joined the Riga Carabineer Regiment; in 1799, he was promoted to colonel and became commander of this regiment. Late in 1799 he was conferred the rank of major general and became chef of the Kazan Cuirassier Regiment that was renamed to Lowis Cuirassier Regiment. However, he retired in August 1800 and returned to service as commander of His Majestys Cuirassier Regiment on 19 December. Two years later he was injured while riding a horse and had to retire again on 15 November 1802. He returned in September 1805 and became shef of Jaroslavl Musketeer Regiment on 27 November. He served in Buxhowdens Corps during the march to Ulm and fought at Austerlitz on 2 December, receiving the Order of St. Vladimir (3rd Class). In 1806-1807, he served in Essens Corps covering the western frontier of Russia. He was promoted to lieutenant general on 24 December 1807 and appointed commander of the 10th Division. He participated in the 1809 Campaign against Austria. In February 1810, he joined the Moldavian Army and fought at Silistra and Shumla. However, he became sick with a fever and retired on 11 June 1811. In 1812, he petitioned Emperor Alexander to re-enlist him and was sent to Essens Corps at Riga on 13 July 1812. He fought at Eckau and Bausck against General York and was awarded the Orders of St. Vladimir (2nd Class) and of St. George (3rd Class). He then besieged Danzig in early 1813. For his actions at this fortress, he was given the Order of St. Anna (1st Class), a golden sword with diamonds, and a ribbon of the Order of St. Alexander. After the capture of Danzig, Lowis was appointed to command the 25th Infantry Division in the Duchy of Warsaw. He retired because of poor health on 14 October 1814. He lived in Lifland gubernia, served on various civil positions and accompanied Emperor Alexander and Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm III during their visit to the region. He died on 28 April 1824 at his estate at Zelen.

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