SPISKI, OR RUSSIAN ARMY OFFICERS’ LISTS
(From Russkii Ofitserskii Korpus, by S. V. Volkov, 1993, pages 8-10.)
It is particularly appropriate to dwell on publications that contain lists [spiski] of officers, i.e. that reflect the composition of the Russian officer class. (These publications are a very valuable source or much research, but unfortunately they are almost unknown and even references to them are rare.) The fact of the matter is that in Russia there was a well developed output of reference materials on the personnel in government service. The fundamental part of these references as lists of senior officers and officials (from class VIII and higher), according to seniority. The lists had the practical function of determining seniority for promotion purposes.
Such lists were first put out in Russia in Catherine’s time, starting in the 1760’s. At first (until 1796) these were comprehensive lists of generals and field-grade officers (majors and higher), divided by rank (and within a rank - by branch of service), showing seniority in the current rank (actually, it was in this order that the officers’ family ames were listed), the date of first being commissioned as anofficer, and decorations. Lists were published each year. Starting in 1797 they were produced separately for generals and field-grade officers (although in 1800 and 1801 single lists were put out). These were also annual, but since 1813 some years saw several editions which added recent changes. Since 1817, separate lists were published for colonels. Beginning in 1838, lists were issued separately for each rank: for generals, colonels, lieutenant colonels, and majors. They became more detailed and contained information about positions held, exact dates of commissioning as officers, seniority in current rank (year, month, and day), and dates (year) in which various awards were received (additionally, service pay was indicated for generals). In some years lists were issued several times and in others not at all. From 1861 to 1884 they were published monthly, but from 1885 - three times a year (reflecting the situation current on 1 January, 1 May, and 1 September). After the rank of major was abolished in 1884, captains’ lists were issued separately for each branch of service: lists of army infantry captains, captains of army cavalry, captains of guards infantry, captains of guards cavalry, artillery captains, captains of engineer troops (in 1912 and 1913), and yesauls of cossack forces (since 1904). Captains’ lists were issued once a year. Starting in 1906 lists of generals, colonels, and lieutenant colonels appeared only twice a year (reflecting status as of 1 January and 1 July). Rank lists included all officers within the country, wherever they were serving, even if in civilian departments.
The information in the rank lists increased significantly beginning in the end of the 19th century. From 1890 (1897 for lieutenant colonels and captains) they began to include the following data: position held, education (which schools had been graduated from), which regiment the officer had been commissioned into, religion, time in inactive status or retirement, campaigns participated in, awards (with year received), and also exact dates (year, month, day) of birth, entry into service, seniority (promotion date) for all officer ranks in chronological order up to the present), service activity (all positions and duties from the beginning of service to the end). Additionally, from this time (since 1900 for lieutenant colonels and from 1907 for captains) through 1909 the lists contained information about the officer’s family situation (bachelor, married, widower, divorced) and the number and sex of his children. Such detailed information turned the rank lists into abbreviated versions of service records. The very same data was contained in the “List of the General Staff”. During the World War rank lists were not issued (in 1916 secret shortened lists were issued for generals, colonels, and captains of army cavalry, containing only dates of promotion).
Comprehensive lists of all the officers in the Russian army were prepared very rarely. They contained only the officer’s name and information about his awards, and were compiled by regiment (within a regiment - by rank). Such lists are known for 1797, 1800, 1828-1829, and 1831-32. In the beginning of the 20th century these began to be issued systematically (only with last name, first name, patronymic; by regiments or other military establishments, with an alphabetical index at the end), but they soon ceased (lists came out only in 1908-1910). In addition, in the first quarter of the 19th century there were some years in which were published separate lists of officers of certain branches and organizations (cavalry colonels, officers of the 3rd-24th Infantry Divisions, cavalry officers by divisions and brigades, artillery officers by brigades, etc.). In regard to the artillery branch, lists of generals, field-grade officers, and captains were issued annually from 1847 to 1913, and for engineer units lists of all officers from 1873 to 1913 (including company-grade officers).
Lists of military civilian officials were prepared in various years, either separately for each class rank (not more junior than VIII) or with several classes together (first five classes, first six classes). Also known are lists of officers of the Corps of Topographers, Engineer Corps, Separate Corps of the Frontier Guard, and Separate Corps of Gendarmes, as well as lists for each of the War Ministry’s directorates and military district administrations.
Lists of naval officers were put out each year (sometimes two or three times a year) from 1828 to 1916. Separately (from 1834 to 1910), there appeared lists of officers of the various corps of the navy and of those officers assigned to the admiralty (Corps of Navigators, Corps of Marine Artillery, and others who were not line officers in the fleet), as well as lists of military officials and navy doctors (1847-1910). These reference sources included all naval officers. In some years there were issued lists of officers by ships’ crews [ekipazhi], establishments, or other organizations. Comprehensive lists of all officers on the naval establishment are also known for 1764, 1792-1793, 1799-1800, 1804, 1806-1809, and 1825. However, all reference sources up to the second half of the 19th century are covered by the comprehensive compilation of Obshchii morskoi spisok, which is a chronological (by each tsar’s reign) collection of the service records of all persons who served in the Russian navy from 1688 through 1855 (from 1855 to 1881 only for last names beginning with ‘A’ through ‘G’), containing all information known about them. For the army there is nothing similar (although the Senate’s Office of the Master of Heraldry did compile a list of generals and field-grade officers, some 772 persons, who either died or retired between 1721 and 1740.
SPISOK VOINSKOMU DEPARTAMENTU I NAKHODYASHCHIMSYA V SHTATE PRI VOISKE, V POLKAKH GVARDII, V ARTILLERII I PRI DRUGIKH DOLZHNOSTYAKH GENERALITETU, SHEFAM I SHTAB-OFITSERAM, TAKOZHDE KAVALERAM VOENNOGO ORDENA I STARSHINAM V IRREGULYARNYKH VOISKAKH NA... St.-P. 1767-1796 (for 1767 and 1768 the lists was called "SPISOK NAKHODYASHCHIMSYA V SHTATE PRI VOISKE, V POLKAKH GVARDII I V ARTILLERII GENERALITETU I SHAB-OFITSERAM").
SPISOK ARMEISKOMU GENERALITETU NA ... St.-P. 1797-1800
SPISOK GENERALITETU PO STARSHINSTVU NA ... St.-P. 1801-1834
SPISOK SHTAB-OFITSERAM PO STARSHINSTVU NA... St.-P. 1799-1829
SPISOK ARMEISKIM I GARNIZONNYM SHTAB-OFITSERAM NA ...St.-P. 1798-1799.
RANGOVYI SPISOK GENERALITETU I SHTAB-OFITSERAM. PO 16 APR. 1800 G. St.-P. 1800
SPISOK GENERALITETU I SHTAB-OFITSERAM PO STARSHINSTVU. St.-P. 1801.
SPISOK VSEM POLKOVNIKAM ROSSIISKOI ARMII PO STARSHINSTVU NA... St.-P. 1817-1827.
SPISOK GENERALAM PO STARSHINSTVU NA ... St.-P. 1838-1916.
SPISOK POLKOVNIKAM PO STARSHINSTVU NA ... St.-P. 1838-1916.
SPISOK PODPOLKOVNIKAM PO STARSHINSTVU NA ... St.-P. 1838-1914.
SPISOK MAIORAM PO STARSHINSTVU NA ... St.-P. 1838-1887.
SPISOK GENERAL'NOGO SHTABA NA .. St.-P. 1816-1917.
SPISOK ARMEISKIIM OFITSERAM PO POLKAM I BATAL'ONAM. St.-P., 1797.
VOENNYI SPISOK OKTYABRYA 29-GO DNYA 1800 GODA. St.-P., 1800.
SPISOK GENERALAM, SHTAB- I OBER-OFITSERAM VSEI ROSSIISKOI ARMII S POKAZANIEM CHINOV, FAMILII I ZNAKOV OTLICHIYA NA... St.-P., 1828-1832.
SPISOK GRAZHDANSKIM CHINAM VOENNAGO VEDOMSTVA PERVYKH CHETYREKH KLASSOV PO STARSHINSTVU. ISPR. PO... St.-P., 1885-1887; ditto PYATOGO KLASSA. St.-P., 1875-1891; ditto SHESTOGO KLASSA. St.-P., 1882-1891; ditto SED'MOGO KLASSA. St.-P., 1848-1850; ditto VOS'MOGO KLASSA. St.-P., 1848-1859.
SPISOK GRAZHDANSKIM CHINAM VOENNOGO VEDOMSTVA PERVYKH PYATI KLASSOV PO STARSHINSTVU. ISPR. PO... St.-P., 1855-1856.
SPISOK GRAZHDANSKIM CHINAM VOENNOGO VEDOMSTVA PERVYKH SHESTI KLASSOV PO STARSHINSTVU NA... St.-P., 1895-1912.
SPISOK LICHNOGO SOSTAVA SUDOV FLOTA, STROEVYKH I ADMINISTRATIVNYKH UCHREZHDENII MORSKOGO VEDOMSTVA NA... St.-P., 1828-1916 (title changes for some years).
SPISOK GENERALOV, SHTAB- I OBER-OFITSEROV KORPUSOV MORSKOGO VEDOMSTVA, CHINOV PO ADMIRALTEISTVU I CHISLYASHCHIKHSYA PO KORPUSAM NA... St.-P., 1834-1910 (title changes for some years).
SPISOK GRAZHDANSKIM I MEDITSINSKIM CHINAM MORSKOGO VEDOMSTVA NA... St.-P., 1847-1910.
OBSHCHII MORSKOI CPISOK. Ch. 1-13. St.-P. 1885-1907; ALFAVITNYI UKAZATEL' 12-TI CHASTEI OBSHCHEGO MORSKOGO SPISKA. St.-P. 1900. [This is available on microfiche in the Russian History and Culture series, held at, for example, Rutgers University and the Library of Congress.)
SPISOK VOENNYM CHINAM 1-I POLOVINY 18-GO STOLETIYA. SENATSKII ARKHIV. St.-P. 1895. T. 7. Pgs. 636-811.
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(Translated by Mark Conrad, 1998.)