(From Russkaya Starina, Vol. 112, 1902 No. 4, page 548.)


P. I. Bagration’s secret order for the force at Borisov to retreat.


25 June 1812, No. 387. On the march, in Mir.


To Colonel Gresser. Having been informed that the enemy must be in Minsk, I am ordering that as soon as they approach within 20 miles [30 verst] of Borisov, do not wait for further orders but rather spike all your guns [zaklepat’ vse pushki], dump them into the water, and yourself with your command withdraw to Bobruisk and place yourself under the command of Major General Ignat’ev.




Translated by Mark Conrad, 2005. 

Translator’s notes:  

Colonel Aleksandr Ivanovich Gresser (1772-1822), born in the Livonian nobility, was honorary colonel of the 2nd Pioneer Regiment. At the start of the 1812 war, he was in Borisov with a detachment consisting of two replacement [zapasnyi] battalions of the 1st and 33rd Jäger Regiments and Sazonov 2nd’s miner company from the 2nd Pioneer Regiment. Afterwards the group joined the engineer troops of the 7th Infantry Corps. See http://www.museum.ru/museum/1812/persons/russ/ra_g42.html . 

Major General Gavriil Aleksandrovich Ignat’evich (1768-1852), born in the St.-Petersburg nobility, was commander of works at the Bobruisk fortress at the start of Napoleon’s invasion.