(From Russkii Invalid, No. 7, 10 January, 1904. Translated by Mark Conrad, 2001.)


The Battle of Citate.


 As an supplement to the interesting description[1] of the Battle of Citate[2] on 25 December 1853, we do not consider it excessive to add a few words on the actions of the 4th, 7th, and 8th Squadrons of the Prince of Warsaw’s Hussar Regiment. It may not be known to all that this hussar regiment was the Aleksandriya Regiment (now the 15th Dragoons), and from 1 September 1845 to 20 January 1856 it was titled General-Field Marshal the Prince of Warsaw, Graf Paskevich of Erivan’s Hussars. It was famous for its many battles and bravery in the 1812-1814 campaign and in 1828 and 1829[3].


Colonel Baumgarten’s column contained the 8th Squadron, numbering 132 men, while the 4th and 7th Squadrons were in Major General Belgard’s force. At the beginning of the battle the 8th Squadron was to the left of Citate, at first engaging the advancing enemy and then repulsing a strong Turkish cavalry attack on the flank during the withdrawal to the second position. Since it had a deep ravine to its front while being attacked, the squadron had to meet the enemy with small groups. And in spite of terrain unsuitable for attacks, superior enemy forces, and murderous canister fire, the squadron firmly held on in the face of the Turkish onrush, losing 20 men killed, 40 wounded, and 80 horses. Hussars who lost their mounts picked up infantry muskets and stood in the ranks of the heroic Tobolsk Regiment to continue the stubborn and bloody fight. The squadron commander, Captain Yerasii, was wounded, as were all the other officers.


In the glorious affair of Citate, all officers and lower ranks were equally inspired with courage, self-sacrifice, and a readiness to lay down their lives on the field of battle. In the hussars’ and cossacks’ hand-to-hand fighting with Turkish cavalry, Junker[4] Bulgarov, who had lost his horse, took a musket from a wounded Tobolsk Regiment soldier and, with volunteers who answered his call, went to drive out the Turks who had installed themselves in ditches. Private Nikifor Stichnii was following the retreating column on foot when he saw a wounded artilleryman on the road. In order to save a comrade from death or the even more dreaded fate of capture, Stichnii stayed with him for two hours in sight of the enemy until carts for the wounded arrived on the battlefield. He then laid his comrade onto a cart and delivered him to a medical aid post, whereupon he himself finally returned to his regiment.


For distinction in the Citate affair, medals of the Military Order were received by: Senior Sergeant Polovchuk in the 7th Squadron and Senior Sergeants Semen Semenovich and Mikhail Danilov in the 8th; Junior Sergeant Mel’nikov, Non-commissioned Officer Timofei Tepeshchenko, Junkers Graf Lev Bobrinskii and Vladimir Bulgarov; and Privates Dmitrii Nebol’sin and Ivan Razumeika. All officers were awarded promotions and medals.



Colonel von der Launitz

[1] Russkii Invalid, No. 280, 1903, and Voennyi Sbornik, No. 1, 1904.

[2] Citate is modern Cetate in Romania, on the Bulgarian border northeast of Calafat. Written "Chetati" in Russian (in Romanian "Ci" and "Ce" are pronounced "Chi" and "Che"). Here in 1853 an overconfident Russian force was roughly handled by superior numbers of Turks.

[3] The war between Russian and Turkey in 1828 and 1829.

[4] A junker was an officer candidate, and was considered a non-commissioned officer.