MIKHAIL AND NIKOLAI ALEKSEEVICH BIRILEV, NAVAL OFFICERS.
(From Obshchii Morskoi Spisok, 1897. Volume 9, pages 233-237.)
Birilev, Mikhail Alekseevich.
1840 March 16. Entered the Aleksander Cadet Corps' naval company as a cadet.
1842 January 16. Transferred to the Naval Cadet Corps with the same rank.
1846 August 25. Promoted to naval cadet [gardemarin].
1847. Cruised in the German Sea [Baltic Sea] on the ship-of-the-line Lefort.
1848 June 13. Promoted to midshipman and retained in the officers' class. As first in his graduating class, his name was inscribed on the cadet corps' marble plaque.
1849-1853. Cruised in the Baltic Sea on the brig Diomid and ships-of-the-line Vola, Narva, and Sv. Georgii Pobedonosets.
1851 August 7. Promoted to lieutenant.
1853 and 1854. On the frigate Diana completed a round-the-world cruise from Kronstadt to the coast of Japan, then on the frigate Pallada sailed off the Amur delta.
1855 and 1856. Sailed on the same waters on other ships of the flotilla.
1856. Awarded the order of St. Anne 3rd class.
1857. Returned from the Eastern Ocean [Pacific Ocean] to Kronstadt on the transport Dvina. On 9 December designated senior adjutant in the naval section of the Separate Caucasus Corps' general-quartermaster administration.
1857-1860. In Tiflis carrying out his duties.
1859. Sailed along the eastern shore of the Black Sea on the screw corvettes Zubr and Vepr. Awarded the order of St. Stanislav 3rd class. On 8 September promoted to captain-lieutenant for distinguished service against the mountaineers.
1860. Cruised off the eastern shore of the Black Sea on the screw schooner Bombory.
1861 March 27. Sent on detached duty to Hamburg to inspect construction of the schooner Sakhalin.
1862. Returned overland from Hamburg to St. Petersburg.
1862-1864. Commanded the clipper Vsadnik in the Baltic Sea.
1865. Court-martialed at Kronstadt port consequent to the death of 3 officers and 12 men of his command when his clipper went aground on a shoal off the island of Gotland, and sentenced by the general auditor to censure in an general order of the chief commander of the Kronstadt port.
1866 January 1. Promoted to captain 2nd rank.
1867 August 31. Assigned as president of an équipage court. [équipage=naval crew]
1868 August 14. Enrolled in the 8th Naval Équipage. Awarded the Caucasian service cross.
1870 January 1. Promoted to captain 1st rank.
1875. Awarded the order of St. Vladimir 4th class with bow for 25 years service as an officer.
1881 February 3. Designated chairman of the commission for receiving hemp at the port of St. Petersburg. Awarded the order of St. Anne 2nd class.
1883 May 18. Assigned to command the 2nd His Majesty the King of the Hellenes' Équipage.
1884. Awarded the order of St. Vladimr 3rd class.
1885 November 18. Dropped from the rolls as deceased.
Birilev, Nikolai Alekseevich.
1845 August 5. Promoted to naval cadet [gardemarin] in the Black Sea Fleet.
1847 August 14. Promoted to midshipman.
1848-1850. Cruises in the Black Sea on the frigate Kagul and the ship-of-the-line Selafail; on the steamship Boets sailed along the Black-Sea Coastal Defense Line to Kerch.
1851. On the steamship El'borus sailed between Crimean and Caucasian ports; then on the frigate Kagul sailed with a landing force between Sevastopol and Odessa, and cruised along the eastern shore; afterwards was sent to Moscow to fill orders for steamships for the New-Russia region [i.e. southern Russia].
1852. On the corvette Pilad cruised off the eastern shores of the Black Sea; then, as one of a number of volunteers, was part of a shore party sent to subjugate mountain tribes, and took part in a number of skirmishes with the mountaineers.
1853 April 19. Promoted to lieutenant. Cruised in the Black Sea as flag officer on the ships-of-the-line Yagudiil, Velikii Knyaz' Konstantin, and Dvenadtsat' Apostolov; then on the steam-frigate Krym; in General-Adjutant Kornilov's force, took part in the Battle of Sinope and the pursuit of the enemy steamship Taif. Awarded the order of St. Anne 3rd class with swords, and named adjutant of the 1st Brigade of the 4th Fleet Division.
1854. On the steam-frigate Krym cruised about to keep the enemy fleet under observation, and on 3 July, as part of a force of 6 steam-frigates, was in an exchange of fire with 3 enemy steam-frigates; afterwards in the Sevastopol roads on the ship-of-the-line Yagudiil. 9 September, joined the Sevastopol garrison with assignment to command forward posts at Bastion No. 3, during which he sortied out of the city lines every night with 25 cossacks and took part in cavalry skirmishes with enemy patrols. During the entire siege of Sevastopol, while commanding a skirmish line of volunteers, he continuously made nighttime sorties to harass and alarm enemy advance posts, of which the following were most noteworthy: from 8 to 9 December, with 150 volunteers conducted a sortie to Green Hill and seized the first parallel, holding it until morning, and in the withdrawal took away 2 officers and 20 privates prisoner, a significant number of weapons, and about 500 entrenching tools, for which he was awarded a gold saber inscribed "For Courage." From 19 to 20 December he commanded a nocturnal sortie against Reznaya Hill, where the French had begun to entrench themselves; after seizing their retrenchments, he destroyed them and took 6 privates prisoner. Awarded the orders of St. George 4th class and St. Vladimir 4th class with swords.
1855. During the night of 19 to 20 January, with 275 volunteers and 80 laborers, he commanded a sortie against the same hill, fortified by the French; he captured the fortifications and frontline trenches, destroyed the retrenchments and built his own, and held them until morning, having taken 7 officers and 20 privates prisoner; six times the enemy was pushed out of his first parallels. During the night of 10 to 11 March, commanding 750 volunteers with 3 companies of the Okhotsk Jäger Regiment in reserve, he formed the right flank for a large sortie from the Malakhov Kurgan under the overall command of Lieutenant General Khrulev; he attacked Green Hill, occupied the whole right parallel with all its batteries, spiked 8 36-pounder gun-carronades, and leveled a 10-gun battery to its foundation, during which the engineer in charge of the works, 1 officer, and 25 privates were taken prisoner. He was awarded the order of St. Anne 2nd class with swords. On 14 March he was sent as a courier to the Sovereign Emperor with dispatches from Prince Gorchakov. On 23 March he was promoted to captain-lieutenant for his distinguished service and made an aide-de-camp to the tsar, being enrolled in the Guards Naval Équipage.On 6 May he was assigned to carry out a reinforced sortie from the 5th Bastion, but while reconnoitering he was contused by a canister bullet to the head. He was sent to Wiesbaden to recover, and upon returning was assigned to His Majesty's Suite.
1856. Sailed between the Gulf of Finland's ports while commanding the yacht Korleva Viktoriya, after which he was in Moscow for His Imperial Majesty's coronation.
1857. Commanded the same yacht while sailing in the Gulf of Finland.
1858. Sailed in the same place as senior officer of the screwship Vyborg.
1859-1863. Commanded the screw frigate Posadnik, and as leader of a force of two screw clippers he completed a round-the-world cruise from Kronstadt to the shores of the Amur River, then along the Japanese coast, and returning to Kronstadt.
1862 April 1. Promoted to captain 2nd rank.
1863 July 29. Promoted to captain 1st rank.
1863-1865. In command of the screw frigate Oleg, went from Kronstadt to the Mediterranean Sea, then to Pireus, and afterwards sailed in the Mediterranean as part of Rear Admiral Lesovskii's squadron.
1864. Awarded the Caucasian service cross.
1865. Awarded the Order of St. Vladimir 3rd class with swords, the Greek Order of the Savior, and the Hesse-Darmstadt Order of Philip the Magnanimous.
1868 April 15. Released from service to convalesce.
1872 January 1. Promoted, for excellence, to rear admiral, with assignment to His Majesty's Suite, remaining in the Guards Naval Équipage.
1882 May 24. Died.
(According to a descendent, Nikolai Alekseevich (1829-1882) was married to Maria Tyutchev, daughter of Russian poet Fedor Tyutchev.- M.C.)
Translated by Mark Conrad, 2001.