Regulation for releasing lower ranks on indefinite leave, 1834

(Polnoe Sobranie Zakonov Rossiiskoi Imperii, 1834. The various forms mentioned are often complex, so I have described them and their contents rather than attempt to inaccurately approximate their format in HTML.) 

6864.February 28. In the Name of the Tsar, announced in an order of the Minister of War.—Regarding the release on indefinite leave of lower ranks of reserve battalions in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th Infantry Corps.

The SOVEREIGN EMPEROR is Most Graciously pleased to order: all lower ranks of the Reserve battalions of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th Infantry Corps who have served without reproach for 20 years are to be released on indefinite leave [bezsrochnyi otpusk] to their native province, provided that until the end of the overall 25-year term of service prescribed for lower ranks, they are required to present themselves for service at the first call-up.

Along with this, HIS IMPERIAL MAJESTY is pleased to order:

1. With the release on indefinite leave of the indicated lower ranks in Reserve battalions, in each senior division of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Infantry Corps and in all divisions of the 4th, 5th, and 6th, the sixth Reserve battalions are disbanded. Field and Company-grade officers and lower ranks of these battalions are distributed to the remaining fifth Reserve battalions of their regiments, with any extra going to those regiments where there are shortages.

2. After these battalions are disbanded, each fifth Reserve battalion will have: 1 Battalion Commander, a Field-grade Officer; Company-grade Officers: 1 Captain, 1 Staff-Captain, 2 Lieutenants, 4 Sublieutenants, 2 Ensigns; 10 in all, including 4 company Commanders, 4 assistants for them, 1 battalion Adjutant, and 1 replacement [zapasnyi] Officer. Lower ranks will be as for the composition of a Reserve battalion in peacetime defined according to the 28 January 1833 Regulation for the reorganization of army infantry, that is, 400 men in each.

3. Field and Company-grade Officers of Grenadier, Carabinier, Infantry, and Jäger regiments of the Separate Grenadier, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th Infantry Corps, and the 19th Infantry Division deployed in Finland who because of illness or domestic circumstances wish to take advantage of extended leave [prodolzhitelnyi otpusk] are henceforth to be granted such for a stipulated period of a year or less, depending on the desire and need of the applicant. These requests are to be made for each case according to established procedure.

4. Officers who in this manner are permitted to be released on leave will have their salaries and other allotments stopped during this time.

5. The number of Field and Company-grade Officers released on leave is to be limited by allowing a total of no more than one Field-grade Officer and eight Company-grade Officers on leave in the course of a year from each regiment.

6. In addition to the four Field-grade Officers and thirty-two Company-grade Officers allowed to be released for a division, one Field-grade Officer is also permitted from the Reserve brigade, and one Company-grade Officer from each Reserve battalion.

7. Field and Company-grade Officers released on such leave are to be shown under columns in the usual reports, with the the length of their leave being indicated along with exactly where they went.

The MONARCHAL pleasure herein expressed is to be announced throughout the Military administration and made known appropriately, and along with this, in accordance with Highest wishes, the following is prescribed to be carried out by the Reserve divisions of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th Infantry Corps:

Concerning the release of lower ranks on indefinite leave.

a) In each battalion nominal lists are to be immediately drawn up of all lower ranks in the Reserve battalions of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th Infantry Corps who have served without reproach for 20 years or longer, with their service being strictly verified, and billets [bilety] are to be prepared following the accompanying form No. 1, over the signiature of the Battalion Commander and witnessed by the Commander of the Reserve Brigade. Printed blanks of these forms will be supplied from the Inspection Department of the Ministry of War.

b) With this documentation, and also with full service records of their service and a special register made in accordance with the enclosed form No. 2, lower ranks are sent to the Headquarters of Reserve divisions and dropped from their battalion rolls. Printed blanks for these registers will likewise be sent from the Inspection Department.

c) When lower ranks are sent from their battalions they are to be provided with the annual clothing issue for the current year of 1834, uniform tailcoats [mundiry] and pants [pantalony] from the previous period, a greatcoat [shinel'] of the last period, a forage cap [furazhnaya shapka], and a knapsack [ranets] with straps.

d) Commanders of Reserve divisions, upon the arrival of these lower ranks at a collection point [sbornyi punkt], divide them into individual commands [komandy], assigning natives of the same province to each one.

e) These commands with all their personnel are sent off under the command of Officers designated for the purpose, primarily from natives of those provinces to which lower ranks are bound and who wish to take leave.

f) Commands going along the same highway are as far as possible united into one general command under the command of a single Officer.

g) Special Officers are not designated to convey commands containing less than 50 men; these personnel are to be sent off by means of the Internal Guard [Vnutrennyaya Strazha].

h) The leave billets of lower ranks are given over to the Officers assigned to escort these men, while for those lower ranks who are being dispatched through the Internal Guard, their billets are forwarded to those Authorities to whom the lower ranks will be turned over, so as to be sent along with them to the places they are bound.

i) During their journey, lower ranks receive provisions at the expense of the treasury, according to the regulation for transient commands. In this regard Commanders of Reserve divisions are each provided with approximately ten thousand roubles from the capital of the Military Settlements. Those Officers commanding Reserve divisions are to send an account of the expenditure of this money to the Department of Military Settlements [Departament Voennykh Poselenii].

j) From the day they set off from each command’s collection point, lower ranks in them are no longer issued pay, and from the day they arrive in their province until they reach the point from which they will be dispersed, they are no longer to be provided with any kind of allowances from the treasury.

k) Upon bringing lower ranks to those provinces in which they were born, or to those places where they wished to be sent to live, Officers who are Chiefs of commands discharge them from the provincial capital, or from the district towns that lay along the route, at the same time giving out their leave billets to them.

l) In the same way lower ranks conveyed by the Internal Guard are also given their leave billets and dispersed once they arrive at their destinations: in provincial capitals—by Commanders of Garrison battalions, and in district towns—by Chiefs of district Invalid commands.

m) Upon completing their assigned task, Officers who had been assigned to escort lower ranks return to their battalions, but those of them who wish to avail themselves of leave after the men have been dispersed to their destinations are to report this to the Commanders of Reserve battalions and divisions and then remain on leave for the permitted period. In this regard they are provided with the established billets by Commanders of Reserve divisions.

n) Commanders of Reserve divisions, having released lower ranks on indefinite leave, immediately report the following information about them:

To the Inspection Department:
    Nominal lists, according to form No. 3 enclosed herein.
    Full service records, according to the established form.
   Overall registers for each division, using form No. 2 mentioned above.

For Civil Governors of those provinces to which lower ranks are sent:
   Nominal lists, according to the mentioned form No. 3. Blanks for these lists will be supplied from the Inspection Department of the Ministry of War.

Release on indefinite leave is rightfully and exclusively only for those lower ranks who have actively served out 20 years without reproach, and in this regard the exact carrying out of all measures is the direct responsibility of Battalion and Brigade Commanders and those Commanding Reserve divisions. And if during a check of the service of these lower ranks by the Inspection Department it turns out that any one of them is incorrectly enjoying leave, then those responsible will be subject to the most severe penalty.

The new composition of Reserve battalions.

o) When lower ranks of Reserve battalions depart on indefinite leave:

For the Reserve brigades of the 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th, 8th, and 9th Infantry Divisions, the Commanders of Reserve divisions are at the same time to send a detailed report on the subsequent status of each of these brigades.

For the Reserve brigades of the 1st, 4th, 7th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, and 18th Infantry Divisions, fifth Reserve battalions are to be formed from the combined Reserve battalions, containing the number of personnel set by the 2nd article of this order.

p) For the Officers and lower ranks subsequently left over in the Reserve battalions of the 1st, 4th, 7th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, and 18th Infantry Divisions, Commanders of Reserve divisions are without fail to send to the Inspection Department: nominal lists of the first, and for the latter—summary registers, indicating how many such ranks will be left in which battalions.

r) In regard to all personnel left as excess in each of the Reserve brigades of the 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, and 18th Infantry Divisions, Commanders of the Reserve divisions of the 5th and 6th Infantry Corps are to immediately provide detailed reports to the Commanders of those [active - M.C.] divisions to which these brigades belonged.

s) The Commanders of the 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, and 18th Infantry Divisions, upon receiving these reports, are at the same time to inform the Commanders of the Reserve divisions of the 5th and 6th Corps exactly how many such ranks are due to be sent to which regiments, this being according to the shortages in them.

t) In conformance with this directive, Commanders of Reserve divisions arrange for the dispatch of these men directly to the regiments to which they are assigned. All excess personnel of the Reserve brigade of the 17th Infantry Division are to go to the newly designated quarters for the 1st Brigade of this division, at the town of Kishinev, and are to be assigned to the two regiments of this brigade when it arrives from the Moldavia and Walachia principalities.

Special directives will be issued concerning the assignment of the excess personnel of the Reserve brigades of the 1st, 4th, 7th, 10th, 11th, and 12th Divisions once the information indicated under Letter n is received.


For No. 6864.—28 February.

Form No. 1.


As an example for this, Ivan Izmailov, son of Petr, is serving in the Reserve battalion of the Neva Marine Regiment as a private and has:

Medals of the Military Order, No. 000, and of St. Anne for 20 years of service, No. 000; silver medals: those instituted in memory of the year 1812, for the taking of Paris on 19 March, 1814, and for the Turkish War of 1828 and 1829; the Polish medal for military merit; and yellow lace chevrons sewn onto the left sleeve in three rows, for 20 years of faultless service.

It is now 49 years since the year of his birth; of Greco-Russian faith; particulars: height 2 arshins and 7 vershkas, clean face, straight nose, black hair on the head and brows.

His wife is Aleksandra Fedorova Izmailova; he has children born during service: Petr age 12, and Feodor age 10, who are still with him.

To reward 20 years of faultless service, Private Izmailov, through HIS IMPERIAL MAJESTY'S HIGHEST pleasure, date, is now released on indefinite leave to his native Moscow Province, in the Bronnitsy District, the village of Roshkino, with the stipulation that until the end of a 25-year period, he is to present himself for service at the first call-up.

While on leave he may engage in any kind of craft or take any employment or position, just as other inhabitants. He is obliged to conduct himself honorably and respectably, dress appropriately, shave his beard, not indulge in drunkenness, refrain from all unlawful offenses, be subordinate to the Civil as well as local Authorities, and not commit any insults or assaults against anyone, being subject in the contrary case to legal punishment and permanent return to active service.

Likewise, out of respect for his faultless service, in case of need this same Izmailov is to be rendered all help in his just requirements and also the honor due to a veteran soldier. If anyone wrongs him in any way or oppresses him, then he is to bring a complaint to the Civil Authority if in town and to the Rural Authority if out in a district, these being obliged to provide him with due protection and satisfaction according to the laws.

Private Izmailov, once he arrives in his native province, must present this billet to the Town Police if in a town, or to the Rural Police if out in a district.

If Private Izmailov is called into service by the Government before the end of his 25-year term of service, he is then obliged to immediately appear as demanded before the Commander of the Line or Internal Garrison battalion of the province in which he resides.

If during this indicated period Private Izmailov is not summoned into service, or even if he does enter service, but in peacetime, then at the end of his 25-year term, namely (such-and-such month and day), he will receive retirement and be provided with the appropriate passport from the Inspection Department of the Ministry of War.

If having entered service during wartime, Izmailov would receive retirement at the end of the war, once having received HIGHEST permission, and also be provided with a passport from the Inspection Department of the Ministry of War.

In case of the death of Private Izmailov, his relatives or the local Authorities will send this billet to the Moscow Civil Governor for forwarding to the Inspection Department of the Ministry of War.


Given in such-and-such place; year, month, and day.

Signature of the Battalion Commander.

Witnessed by the Commander of the Reserve Brigade.

Form No. 2

Register of lower ranks of the Reserve Regiments of the Neva Marine Regiment released on indefinite leave for 20 years of faultless service, in confirmation with HIGHEST WILL. Day of 1834.

The total numbers of the following Ranks are listed by province: Non-commissioned officers, Musicians, Privates, and Noncombatants, along with the total of all these four Ranks.

The provinces are: Archangel, Astrakhan, Bessarabia Region, Bialystok Region, Vilna, Vitebsk, Volgoda, Volhynia, Voronezh, Vladimir, Vyatka, Grodno, Yekaterinoslav, Yeniseisk, Irkutsk, Caucasus Region, Kazan, Kaluga, Kiev, Kostroma, Courland, Kursk, Livonia, Minsk, Mogilev, Moscow, Nizhnii-Novgorod, Novgorod, Olonets, Omsk Region, Orenburg, Orel, Penza, Perm, Podolia, Poltava, Pskov, Ryazan, St. Petersburg,  Saratov, Simbirsk, Slobodsko-Ukraine, Smolensk, Taurica, Tambov, Tobolsk, Tomsk, Tver, Tula, Finland, Kherson, Chernigov, Estonia, Yaroslavl, Don Cossack Lands, Georgia.

The numbers for each individual rank are also summed across all provinces.

Note: This same form is used to draw up registers in Reserve division Headquarters showing in detail the lower ranks released on indefinite leave for each Reserve battalion.

Form No. 3

List of lower ranks of the Reserve Battalion of the Neva Marine Regiment who are released on indefinite leave by HIGHEST WILL for having served 20 years. Day of 1834.

For each lower rank soldier is listed (an example is given):

Last name, patronymic, first name - Private Stepan Istomin, son of Kuzmin.
Years since birth - 44.
Exactly where entered service - Kursk Province, Tim District, Kudyrev village, Verevkin estate, of peasant origin.
When received into service - 7 October, 1812.
Exactly when given billet to live freely - 10 September, 1833.
When will finish a 25-year term of service - 7 October, 1837.
Notes - .

(At the end of the form) Signature of the Battlion Commander.


Translated by Mark Conrad, 1996.  Feel free to contact me if you want a hard copy of the translated forms in their original formats as printed in Polnoe Sobranie Zakonov.