(From RUSSKAYA STARINA, 1901, 4/292)

Prisoners' request in 1812 to be sent to the active army.

Memorandum of Minister of Justice I. I. Dmitriev to the Senate.

22 September 1812, No. 4838.

In accordance with His Imperial Majesty's highest wish, the commander-in-chief in St. Petersburg, General-of-Infantry Vyazmitinov, forwarded to me a list of prisoners kept in the civilian prison here who have expressed a wish to enter into military service so that they may be used against the enemy at the first opportunity.

Having examined the said list, I had the honor of reporting to the sovereign Emperor, and His Imperial Majesty deigned to give me a Highest Order:

1) That cases involving investigations of members of the nobility, and which are being processed in various places in this province and in the Ruling Senate, be immediately brought to a conclusion in accordance with the laws. To this end, send these cases for review to the criminal and civil courts in equal numbers, and for cases in the Ruling Senate¾to the 1st and 2nd Sections of the 5th Department*. Submit reports on the conclusions of these cases to Highest Authority ** for confirmation.

2) That cases involving members of the middle class accused of theft, harboring malefactors or runaways, making false documents, and similar acts where the conviction of the accused is accompanied by restitution to the injured party, be divided in a similar manner between the criminal and civil courts and immediately brought to conclusion based on the laws.

3) That cases involving commoners accused of being runaways, making false passports, release papers, and similar items, where the crime entails only personal punishment without any side issues, not be proceeded with and that such accused persons, in accordance with the direction of the commander-in-chief in St. Petersburg, be sent to regiments of the active army to face the enemy.

I have the honor to leave to the Ruling Senate the due execution of the Imperial wish in regard to this subject.

 * Of the Senate - M.C.
** The emperor.