“Powdered, not drunk, silent…”

(Christening parade in front of Emperor Johann Antonovich)

Contributed by A. Kanutonov.

[From Tseikhguaz No. 13, 1/2001. Page 8.]


Orders to the Life-Guards Horse Regiment

5 January 1741


            On the morrow the regiment is to parade as infantry: officers in their usual [nosil’ny], trumpeters in parade coats, and sergeants, corporals, troopers, and other ranks in the new everyday coats, the parade coat to be without crepe [fler][1]; sergeants and corporals coming from home leave or detached parties and whose coats have not yet been made are to be in their own coats or in old everyday coats.

            Companies are to assemble on the regimental stable’s courtyard in the company guard rooms [v rotnye karaul’ni], at midnight and be ready to leave at 6 o’clock. When the regimental signal is blown at the guardhouse [gauptvakhta], then all companies are to be led out opposite the hay barns. Each trooper [reiter] is to take three practice cartridges each, and for this the gentlemen officers will inspect all the troopers in his company to be sure that no one has a cartridge with a bullet. Musket, coat, accouterments, queues, gloves, and boots are to be clean and in good order, and fit on every man correctly and conforming to the man’s size and proportions. Boots are to be drawn up the leg and greased and clean. All ranks are to be well powdered. Sergeants, corporals, and troopers alike are without fail to have moustaches in accordance with previous orders when standing in formation.

            Gentlemen officers are ordered to strictly observe that in their companies during the parade none of the troopers are drunk, and if a drunken soldier does appear he will be fiercely punished, while the gentlemen officers will have to answer for it.



            While in this parade, the gentlemen officers will strictly see to it that their troops walk briskly shoulder to shoulder, in good order, with everyone looking to the right, and with legs moving evenly and strongly but without stamping. They are not at all to look to the sides at the ground. They are not to whisper or hold any kind of conversation among themselves. All the above is to be observed without fail by sergeants, corporals, men walking on the flanks, and those closing the rear of each platoon. Also, there is to be no more than twelve paces between platoons while marching, and when platoons are brought up, they are to step off in good order.


RGIVA, F. 393, Op. 12, D. 141, L. 7ob-8ob.




Page 8: Non-commissioned officer and trooper of the Horse Guards, 1731-1742. Colored lithograph of L.A. Belousov after a drawing by Borisov, 1840s. (Istoricheskoe opisanie…Ch. III, No. 278.)

[1] What is meant is mourning crepe upon the death of Empress Anna Johannovna on 17 October 1740.


Translated by Mark Conrad, 2001.