The Russian Army’s Campaign Against Napoleon in 1813

and the Liberation of Germany


(Pokhod Russkoi Armii Protiv Napoleona v 1813 g. i Osvobozhdenie Germanii; Sbornik Dokumentov. Izdatelsvo "Nauka", Moskva, 1964.)

No. 266

1813 - 26 September/8 October — A. G. Shcherbatov’s report to A. F. Lanjeron on the military operations of the 6th Infantry Corps against enemy forces at Dresden.

No. 11.

Yesterday my advance posts reported that the enemy facing them was noticeably fewer and had even abandoned many positions. Also, yesterday afternoon inhabitants leaving Dresden declared that after Napoleon’s departure and the withdrawal of his guards through Meissen only a very small number of troops remained in the city, while in Neustadt and in the forward entrenchments there were almost nobody, and the two bridges laid down had been taken up with only a stone bridge being left. In accordance with that information I decided to forcefully reconnoiter the enemy and, if possible, even occupy Neustadt.

To this end, in coordination with General Graf Bulno I began our joint movement today at 10 o’clock. My vanguard, deployed in Fischbach, marched along the main Bautzen road under the command of Lieutenant General Panchulidzev, reinforced with one infantry brigade consisting of the Pskov and Moscow regiments under major General Talyzin 1st, who in this action had control of all the infantry. At the same time a force consisting of the 11th and 32nd Jäger regiments under the command of Major General Meshcherinov, which was situated in Radeberg, marched straight to Dresden, and a part of the Austrian forces covered my left flank from the Elbe.

The enemy had occupied the village of Dyurabiala, having passed through Weisich, beyond which he had an entrenchment and redoubt with palisades and ditch, close up to a woods and by its position on the terrain — inaccessible from the front. Dyurabiala was soon cleared of the enemy, but they were holding out for rather a long time in the entrenchment, redoubt, and gardens. I sent the 28th Jäger Regiment under guards Staff-Captain Samarin (since there were no field-grade officers in this regiment — no one above captain) into the woods on the right side to outflank them. This was reinforced by a battalion of the Moscow Regiment, and the whole command was entrusted to Lieutenant Colonel Blinov (who was wounded in this affair). Also, from the Elbe on the left side, in order to cut off the road for the enemy, I sent Major Telegrin’s 36th Jäger Regiment with the 2nd battalion of the Moscow Regiment and part of the cavalry, under the command of Major General Panchulidzev 2nd.

Seeing this movement, the enemy was forced to abandon the redoubt, but these brave regiments immediately pierced through his skirmishers and quickly ran after the retreating column to overtake it in an excellent show of valor, and pursued it with cold steel up to the entrenchment itself built in front of Neustadt, which was surrounded by a high palisade going entirely around the town to the river itself. Strong redoubts had been thrown up against all the roads leading to Dresden. From these cannon fire opened up on our approach. On his front, Major General Meshcherinov also defeated the enemy facing him and pursued them right up to the fortifications. Major General Prince Shcherbatov with the 2nd Ukrainian Cossack Regiment covered our movement along the main Bautzen road. Seeing that it was not possible to take such fortified positions without great loss of life, I halted our movement. Moreover, I knew from prisoners that the troops of the 11th Corps facing me had been replaced yesterday evening by Marshal Saint-Cyr’s 14th Corps whose strength was greater than that which we had previously been informed as being in their fortifications.

I left forward posts at Weisgirsch while the vanguard was deployed in front of Weisich, my corps in Fischbach, and—as before—a detachment in Radenberg. The fighting continued until evening, losses on our side were small, but the enemy lost incomparably more because they had been pursued so quickly with the bayonet so that the road was littered with those run through and some officers and lower ranks were taken prisoner. Of this I have the honor to inform your excellency.

Lieutenant General Prince Shcherbatov.

TsGVIA, F. BUA, d. 3919, pg. 273-274. Signed.


Translator’s note: Panchulidzev is referred to as both a major general and a lieutenant general.