PROTECTION OF THE RUSSIAN EMPIRE, EARLY 1854
(From Vostochnaya Voina 1853-1856 godov, by Lieutenant General M. I. Bogdanovich. 2nd edition, St. Petersburg, 1877. Vol. 1, page 277.)
The hostile attitude toward Russia of the two first-class powers forced our government to take extraordinary measures for the protection of their Empire. A manifesto of 29 January, 1854, announced a recruit callup in the Empires western provinces on the basis of ten men per thousand.
In February of the same year martial law was proclaimed for all parts of European Russia on the northern, western, and southern borders of the Empire, and also for the provinces next to these. In this way the entire border region of Russia from the Arctic Ocean to the Caucasus was divided into sectors, each under a special commander with the administrative powers of an army commander-in-chief of the commander of an independent corps, namely: I. St.-Petersburg Province under H.I.H. the Heir and Tsesarevich (later Tsar Alexander II); II. Estonia Province under General-Adjutant Berg and Latvia Province under General-Adjutant Prince Graf Suvorov of Italy; III. Archangel Province under Vice-Admiral Boil; IV. Kingdom of Poland with the provinces of Courland, Kovno, Vilna, Grodno, Volhynia, and Podolia, Bessarabia District, and that part of Kherson Province on the right bank of the Bug, all under Field Marshal the Prince of Warsaw. Together with this it was decreed by Highest Authority: a) that Podolia, the part of Kherson Province on the right bank of the Bug, and Bessarabia District would also be placed under the commander of the Danube army, Prince Gorchakov; b) that the Kingdom of Poland and the provinces of Courland, Kovno, Vilna, and Grodno would, in the absence of the field marshal from the Kingdom, be under the direction of the commander of the 1st and 2nd Infantry Corps and the Grenadier Corps, General-Adjutant Graf Rüdiger, who would have the powers of a commander of an separate corps in wartime; c) the commander of the troops in Courland, General-of-Cavalry Sivers, during the the whole time this province was under matrial law would have the rights of a commander of an separate corps, coming directly under the command of the field marshal, and in case of his absence--under the command of Graf Rüdiger; d) General-Adjutant Baron Osten-Saken was assigned the powers of a commander of a separate corps in Bessarabia District and that part of Kherson Pronvince on the right bank of the Bug, under the direct command of Prince Gorchakov of the Danube army.
Yekaterinoslav Province and the Taganrog civil administration were subordinated to the Government Ataman of the Don Cossack Host, General-of-Cavalry Khomutov, with the authority of a commander of a separate corps.
Command of all troops, fortresses, and military establishments in the Grand Duchy of Finland was entrusted to Lieutenant General Rokasovskii.
Concurrently with these measures, Emperor Nicholas recognized the need to increase the army and ordered that: the fourth replacement [zapasnyi] battalions in the guards and the fourth reserve [rezervnyi] battalions in the Grenadier Corps be converted to active battalions; in the guards each regiment was to form a replacment (fifth) battalion, and in the Grenadier Corps the replacement (fifth) battalions were to be redesignated as "reserve" and new replacement (sixth) battalions were to be formed. Each regiment of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th Infantry Corps was to form two new battalions (7th and 8th Replacement Battalions), while the 6th (Replacement) Battalion were renamed 6th Reserve Battalions. Each of the artillery brigades of the six infantry corps was to form two new (replacement) batteries.
Under these conditions the numerical strength of the Russian army was increased almost one-and-a-half times.
At this time retired lower ranks were invited to serve, with many inducements offered to those who delcared thier wish to re-enlist in the ranks.
To augment the measures taken to protect the shores of the Gulf of Finland, a reserve galley flottila was formed. To man it four groups [druzhiny] of naval militia [morskoe opolchenie] were recruited by calling for volunteers from the provinces of St. Petersburg, Novgorod, Olonets, and Tver.
Translated by Mark Conrad, 1992