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"Cossacks at Borodino help" Topic

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pessa0020 Nov 2016 5:20 p.m. PST

Hi all. This'll be well traveled ground for many of you so I thought I'd get confirmation/advice on the below. Particularly re the Tartars.

Karpov #2 Cossacks
Illowaiski #11 Cossacks
Krasnov #1 Cossacks
Gordeev #1 Cossacks

1st and 3rd bug Cossacks

Perekop Tartars
Feodosiiski Tartars

The first 4 regiments are Don (I believe)…so standard cossack uniform?

1st and 3rd Bug: dark blue coat, white piping on collar cuffs and shoulder straps, dark blue trousers with white piping and white sash. Typical Cossack cap with white top, white and blue cords and white over black and orange plum. White lance with black top. Saddle cloth dark blue with white border and black leatherwork. One source says: uniformed like Don Cossack's but with raspberry trim??

Tartars: no uniform?? Perhaps in a range of traditional Cossack dress? (there's some Front Rank guys I have my eye on that might fit the bill perfectly?)..

300-400 men per unit?

Thanks :)

jeffreyw331 Dec 2016 10:40 a.m. PST

I'm finding the following in Mikaberidze's OOB:

1st Bug Cossack Regiment (5 sotnyas): Esaul Stepan Zhekul.
Perekop Horse Tatar Regiment (5 sotnyas): Lt.Col. Prince Ahmed-bey Khunkalov I.
Karpov II's DCR (5 sotnyas): Host starshina Peter Kalinin
Ilovaisky XI's DCR (5 sotnyas): Colonel Timofei Ilovaisky XI

I'm finding Gordeev and 3rd Bug Cossacks in some older OOBs. Confidence level low

I found Krasnov listed leading a Don Cossack Brigade in the "Master of the World" OOB--as above.

No sign of Feodosiiski Tartars.

What reference were you using?

Strengths for each of the five sotniya groups look like 200-225 on the day of battle.

Hope this helps.

jeffreyw301 Jan 2017 1:53 p.m. PST

Ah, I found the 3rd Bug Cossacks with 5 Sotnyas attached directly to the 2nd Western Army HQ (in Vasilyev and Valiseev).

pessa0008 Jan 2017 12:30 p.m. PST

Hi Jeff, sorry for the late response, been off site for a while. Thanks very much for the info and some confirmations – and also for the link.

For the most part I'm using the ol' Nafziger: Napoleons Invasion of Russia, as my source. It may be a bit dated and unreliable now?

I'm surprised at how strong each of the Sotnyas seemed to be? I thought they were usually about 100 strong each..

rabbit25 Jan 2017 2:34 p.m. PST

From the orbat of Jonathan Gingerich

• 1st Don Cossack Brigade: (between Maslovo and fork of Kolocha and Moskova rivers)
Maj. Gen. Ivan Kozmich Krasnov-1 (WIA-KIA Sept. 5-6), then
Lt. Col. Maxim Grigorevich Vlasov-3
• Don Cossack: (Maj. Gen. Krasnov-1) Lt.Col. Vlasov-3, then Capt. S. V. Andronov-3
• Don Cossack: Lt. Col. I. I. Andrianov-2
• Perekop Tatars: Lt. Col. Prince A. Khunkalov-1
• Don Cossack: Maj. (Don Cossack) M. G. Chernozubov-8
• Ataman: (Cdr.) Col. Stepan Fedorovich Balabin-2 (1 battalion)

• I Cavalry Corps: (on small hill near Maslovo) Lt. & Adj. Gen. Uvarov (Also commanding cavalry reserve of 1st Western Army)
• L.G. Cossack Regt.: (2L)
cdr:Maj. & Adj. Gen. Count Vasily Vasilievich Orlov-Denisov
(Maj. Gen. Count Orlov-Denisov)
• His Majesty's squadron: Col. I. Ye. Yefremov
• Col Elmurzin's squadron: Col. T. B. Elmurzin
• Col. Protopopov's squadron: Col. I. A. Protopopov
• L.G. Black Sea Cossack Century: Host Col. A. F. Bursak-2


• Cossacks: Gen. of Cavalry Matvei Ivanovich Platov (left of I Cavalry Corps)
• Ataman: Capt. Panteleyev 2 sqds.
• 2d Don Cossack Brigade: Maj. Gen. Nikolay Vasilievich Ilovayski-5
• Don Cossack: (Ilovayski-5) Maj. (Don Cossack) I. G. Davidov-3
• Don Cossack: (Lt. Col. Timofey Dmitryevich Grekov-18, ill) Maj. (Don Cossack) A. S. Grekov-26
• 3d Don Cossack Brigade: Maj. Gen. Vasily Timofeyevich Denisov-7
• Don Cossack: (Denisov-7) Maj. (Don Cossack) G. P. Pobednov-1
• Don Cossack: Maj. (Don Cossack) I. I. Zhirov (WIA)
• 5th Don Cossack Brigade: Maj. Gen. D. Ye. Kuteynikov-2
• Don Cossack: Lt. Col. K. I. Kharitonov-7
• Simferopol Tatars: Lt. Col. Cyril Matveyevich (Kaya Bey) Balatukov-1
• 1st Bug: commanding, Capt. Alexander N. Chechensky
• 1st Bashkir: Maj. (Narva Dragoon) M. M. Lachin
• Teptyar: Chief N. A. Timirov-1
• 2d Don Horse Battery: Chief P. V. Suvorov-2

• Left flank guard: Maj. Gen. Akim Akimovich (Yekim Yekimovich) Karpov-2
• Don Cossack: (Maj. Gen. Karpov-2) Maj. (Don Cossack) P. A. Kalinin
• Don Cossack: Col. A. I. Bykhalov-1
• Don Cossack: Maj. (Don Cossack) I. V. Grekov-21
• Don Cossack: Col. Osip Vasilievich Ilovayski-10
• Don Cossack: Col. Timofei Dmitryevich Ilovayski-11
• Don Cossack: Maj. (Don Cossack) D. D. Komissarov-1
• Don Cossack: Lt. Col. G. G. Melnikov-4
• Don Cossack: (Col. Vasily Alekseyevich Sysoyev-3, absent injured) Capt. T. T. Rykovskov
With the following notes ; -COSSACKS
Cossacks follow Vasilyev and Yeliseyev. Usual numbers are 9 with Platov and 4 with Vlasov joined by a battalion of the Ataman. If the Ataman is not included in the 9, then the numbers work out.
The 3 Don Cossak brigades plus Vlasov are noted as participating in the afternoon raid on the right flank.
Cossack Regiments contained 5 squadron, termed centuries, except the Ataman Regiment which was at double strength, but consolidated 3 squadrons due to losses.. The L.G. Cossacks had 3 squadrons, the Black Sea Century fighting as the 4th.

hope this helps

Le Breton23 Feb 2017 5:54 a.m. PST

Tatar horse regiments at Borodino ….

Перекопский конно-татарский полк : подполковник князь Ахмет-бей (Ахмет Пирмаметович) Хункалов 1-й (1766-1842, 18.X.1812 полковник, 10.IV.1832 генерал-майор)
Perekop Tatar horse regiment : lieutenant colonel prince Akhmet Bey (Akhmet Pirmametovich) Kunkalov-1 (1766-1842, 18.X.1812 colonel, 10.IV.1832 major general)

Симферопольский конно-татарский полк : подполковник князь Кая-бей ("Кирилл Матвеевич") Балатуков 1-й (1774-1827, 28.III.1813 полковник, 7.XII.1813 генерал-майор)
Simferopol Tatar horse regiment : lieutenant colonel prince Kaya Bey (Kirill Maveyevich) Balatukov-1 (1774-1827, 28.III.1813 colonel, 7.XII.1813 major general)

Uniforms were intended to be as per Don cossacks, but in black cloth and with "national" headgear.


However, it is unclear if all the troops got uniforms, or only the officers, or only the original volunteers. The units recevied volunteer replacements in 1813 first from the sons of soldiers stationed in the Crimea, which turned out to be rather few (no surprise – the Tatar units being Moslem) – and then from the Nogai people – whose traditional hats were sheepskin, as shown in this naοve sketch from life :


Note also in the sketch the imam (Moslem chaplin, one per regiment). Here is a Tatar imam from the 1820's and from today – the outfit is little changed.



The partisan leader Denis Davidov, painted from life by Orlov in 1814 (in his memoirs, Davidov commented that in those months he dressed like a Tatar).


Post-war, but likely close, and gives you the faces of the commanders :

Prince Khunkalov


Prince Balatukov


Flags were supposed to be as per the Nogai regiments raised some years earlier. Actually, they may have reused the Nogai flags. These were 1 white silk moirι fringed silver and 4 black silk moirι fringed silver (the 1st or commander's sotnya got the white). Plain, as you would expect for a Moslem unit. You could also go with white and/or black lance pennons, although cossack practise was typically no pennons.


Le Breton24 Feb 2017 3:04 a.m. PST

For "Gordeev #1" ….
полковник Пётр Михайлович Гардеев 1-й (или Гордеев 1-й)
colonel Pyotr Mikhaylovich Gardeyev-1 (or Gordeyev-1), commander of a Don cossack regiment 10.IX.1804 to 5.VII.1812

This regiment passed to the command of major general Ivan Koz'mich Krasnov-1, who led the regiment until he was killed in action on 25.VIII.1812.
The regiment them passed to the command of cossack major (16.IX.1812 lieutenant-colonel, 30.IX.1813 colonel) Mikhail Grigor'yevich Chernozubov-8, who commanded the regiment until it was disbanded on 26.X.1814.

(dates are Old Style)

von Winterfeldt24 Feb 2017 5:45 a.m. PST

@Le Breton

Many thanks – very usefull

Le Breton25 Feb 2017 9:31 a.m. PST

Bug cossacks might be rated as army uhlans – they were a standing force often deployed with the army and indeed were taken into the army cavalry after 1815. They were also quite diverse ethnically : Ukrainian and Russian, but also Albanians, Moldovans, Wallachs, Greeks and Bulgars – their homeland about modern Nikolayev being a area for re-settlement of refugees from the Turks.

1-й Бугский казачий полк / 1st Bug Cossack regiment
командующий (c 20.VII.1812) ротмистр Гродненского гусарского полка Александр Николаевич Чеченский (1780-1834, 1813 полковник, 1822 генерал-майор)
officer commanding (from 20.VII.1812) cavalry captain from the Grodno hussar regiment Aleksandr Nikolayevich Chechenskiy (1780-1834, 1813 colonel, 1822 major general)
A Chechen orphan (hence his name), Александр Николаевич was raised as an adopted son by general Nikolay Rayevskiy.
Sketches drawn from life 1812-1815 :




Previously serving with Ataman Platov's cossacks, the regiment was on 21.VIII.1812 ordered to Yukhnov, 100 km southwest of Borodino to guard the border of Kaluga governate. On 11.X.1812 the regiment joined the partisan forces under Denis Davydov.
They did not actually serve at Borodino.

2-й Бугский казачий полк / 2nd Bug Cossack regiment
командир войсковой полковник Макар Андреевич Немцо-Петровский
commander host colonel Makar Andreyevich Nemtso-Pterovskiy

The regiment served in the escort of the headquarters of the 1st Western Army. It was present at Borodino, but did not see combat as a unit.

3-й Бугский казачий полк / 3rd Bug Cossack regiment
командир майор Херсонского гарнизонного полка Константин Иванович Селистранов
commander major from the Kherson garrison regiment Konstantin Ivanovich Selistranov

At Borodino, 1 sotnya under the regiment's commander served at the headquarters of the 2nd Western Army. The remainider of the regiment : 2-1/2 sotni escorting the train of the 2nd Western Army, 1 sotnya under sotnik Ivan Moraintov detached to Mozyr' and the 2nd Reserve Corps, 1/2 sotnya doing escort and security duty in Saint Petersburg for the Emperor's train

1 white silk moirι for the 1st commander's sotnya and 4 others likley black silk moirι – with gold fringes and cords.


However, Zwegintsov (writing from Paris in the 1960's) gives the dark flags as green and the cords as silver, and shows some gold embroidery on the tails of the pennons.

I think he may have seen a relic carried into exile, with the black aged into dark green and the gold lost from the cords. So I would go with the black and gold cords,but add the embroidery.
Lance pennants, if carried (not usual for cossacks) would have been white and/or blue – or made up to imitate, as a decption, any Polish or other uhlans known to be in the same area.

(notice the distinctive moustaches)







pessa0004 Apr 2017 12:41 p.m. PST

Le Breton, a horribly late thank you for this excellent information. Really helpful.


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