The Capture of the Akhalkalak Fortress in the Caucasus, 8 December 1811.


(From Sanktpeterburgskiya Vedomosti, No. 3, 9 January, 1812. Page 25.)


From Lieutenant General the Marquis Paulucci in Tiflis, commander of the Georgia corps, comes the very pleasing news of the taking by storm of the fortress of Akhalkalak. This is very important for the pacification of Georgia, being by its location fortified both by nature and man’s improvements.

With two battalions of the Georgia Grenadier Regiment and a sotnia of Cossacks, Colonel Kotlyarevskii courageously overcame cold, snowstorms, and a very difficult march over mountains and the Trialet steppe when they were covered with deep snow. He surprised the enemy with his appearance in front of the walls of Akhalkalak during the night before 8 December, and before dawn set to seizing the fortress using the scaling ladders he had brought along on pack animals. The stubborn battle lasted for more than an hour. The janissaries defended themselves desperately, and of 200 men only 47 survived to be taken prisoner. The fortress commandant and all Turkish officials were killed. The victors captured 16 fortress guns in perfect condition, a few others lying on the walls without carriages, a great quantity of projectiles, 40 puds [144 pounds] of powder, and a much other military matériel. Our losses consisted of one non-commissioned officer killed, as well as Staff-Captain Savinov, a non-commissioned officer, and 26 privates wounded.


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Translated by Mark Conrad, 2005.