(From Russkii Invalid, No. 125, 9 June 1855, page 609. Add twelve days to obtain the western calendar. Translated by Mark Conrad, 2002.)
A letter from Private Vladimir Zaimulin, 2nd Carabinier Company, Tarutino Jäger Regiment, of Jewish origin, to his godfather Colonel Malinovskii, landowner in Izyum District, Kharkov Province. (Note 1.)
To His High and Noble Gracious Lord and dear Godfather, in my first lines I wish you good health from God and all good fortune and I bow down low before you though out of your sight and ask from you a Godparents blessing that endures forever.
To Her Excellency and Gracious Lady my dear Godmother Mariya Vasilevna in my first lines I wish you good health from God and all good fortune and I bow down low before you also and wish you health for many years, and I also ask of you from far away a Godparents blessing that endures forever.
Dear Father and Mother I have the honor to tell you about myself thanks be to God alive. I had the happiness of fighting the enemy 3 times on the 7th, 8th, and 24th. For two days God spared me, on October 24th the Englishman wounded me 2 times, in the left arm. My first wound was in the wrist the second a little below the elbow from a shell fragment and now I am recovering with Germans (Note 2). They wished to take 1500 to heal and recover. But I say to you dear Father we fought so hard on the 24th that I cannot tell you. The men got up at 2 oclock in the morning, prayed to God, and set off for the field of strife. As soon as it began to get light the battle began and they fought so hard, their bullets flew past my ears never ceasing so as to sound like bees, but when he hit me I was in such a heated state of mind that I heard nothing. But in order to fight well and light we set our packs down and laid up all our helmets in the arsenal. We hear rumors now that the enemy is beginning to eat horses because there is nothing to eat. But with our dear father the White Tsar we drink a little vodka 2 times a day, receive a pound of beef to eat thanks to him, we are glad to strive for the White Tsar and the Orthodox faith. I also have the honor to tell you that they killed lieutenant-colonel Gorev and his brother, wounded adjutant Chirkov in the nose, killed Dobrovolskii the company commander of the 6th Jäger Company. I left my company commander alive but do not know now if he is alive or not after that. Good-by Dear Father and Mother.
I also have the honor to ask you to do me the kindness of telling me of your health but please as soon as possible.
If you think to write then write to Taurica Province in Berdyansk District, the colony of Galbshat, to the German Yakob Stailich Martyns to give to Volodimer Ivanov Zaimulin.
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Note 1. We received this interesting and unusually noteworthy letter from Colonel Malinovskii himself along with the following message:
I submit with this note to the Editors a personally written letter from the godson of myself and the wife of General Volkhovskii, Private Vladimir Zaimulin of the 2nd Carabinier Company of the Tarutino Jäger Regiment, who accepted the Orthodox faith in the Izyum District of Kharkov Province from parish priest Nikolai Lashchenkov in the parish church of St. Sophia the Wise.
This occurred during a 10-day billeting of the Tarutino Regiments 2nd Battalion on us in the village of Kamenka in the first days of March of last year, 1854, with the earnest help of Colonel Gorev, the battalion commander, who was killed along with his brother Captain Gorev in the Inkerman affair. Zaimulin has already set off on campaign as an Orthodox Christian and it can be seen from the writing of this true son of the Orthodox Church on what path he is led by Providence.
Note 2. Zaimulin is referring to colonists who with Christian and true brotherly love called upon themselves to receive and comfort our wounded, and could not be carrying out their promise any better.
Notes by the translator: Zaimulins account of officer casualties compares accurately with available Russian army records. Dobrovolskii is Staff-Captain Romuald Dolivo-Dobrovolskii, missing in action at the Battle of Inkerman, and as late as 1857 still not officially recognized as killed. The village where Zaimulin is recuperating is probably the Mennonite colony of Halbstadt, and his hosts name in German would be Jacob Martens.