(“K boyu 7-go iyulya 1812 goda pri Gr.-Ekkau,” Russkaya Starina, Vol. 151, 1912 Part 3, pages 95-96.)



Regarding the Battle at Gross-Eckau, 7 July 1812.


The Gross-Eckau estate on the river Eckau belongs to the Graf Pahlen family. The pastorate on the estate preserves some information from the battle of 7 July. 


The pastor of the church at Gross-Eckau, Karl-Ernst-Heinrich Kuhn, resided here as pastor during the years 1811-45 and 1856-59. He entered into the church books the following information regarding the fighting between the Russians and Prussians.


For several days before the battle the pastorate had been occupied by Russian troops. The battle began during church services on the third Sunday following Trinity Sunday. At the time the pastor was baptizing three children, and after the first shots people came running up to hide them in the pastorate’s cellars. The Prussians advanced from the so-called French copse, and their main attack was directed at the garden next to the church and pastorate. Enemy projectiles that hit the church steeple and over the vestry provide evidence of the fighting. There is now an inscription on the wall: “7 July 1812.” Two projectiles also buried themselves in the wall of the tavern.


The most violent clash was in the pastorate’s garden and the copse next to the pastorate, the copse being “dug up” by enemy projectiles.


To the right of the pastorate are buried 50 fallen soldiers. Later the grave was surrounded with poplars which grew to a large size but were uprooted by a storm on 8 July 1848. Julia, the wife of Pastor Kuhn, planted a pine tree on the grave in 1862. The greater part of those killed were buried in the woods at Ragge and next to the Eckau mill.


Of officers killed the following was recorded in the church records:

Matvei Kiselev, captain of the 4th Jäger Regiment, 43 years old, a native of Chernigov Province. He was killed at the gate of the pastorate by an enemy round which tore off his right arm.

This is also where Major Kuznetsov fell, wounded by an enemy projectile. He was taken to Bausk where he died in the lazaret on 22 July.

The young officer Prince Bagration was killed at the Samson tavern, and his body was taken to Riga.

On the Prussian side during the battle of 7 July there were killed: Rittmeister von Essenbeck of the 1st Dragoon Regiment, buried in the woods at Ragge, and Leutnant von Wallis, buried at the Eckau mill.


When the Russians retreated, the pastorate was occupied by the Prussians and turned into a lazaret.


On Sunday, 15 September, a second battle began at Eckau, also during church services. This time victory went to the Russians. On 7 December Marshal MacDonald occupied the Gross-Eckau castle during the withdrawal of the last French troops.


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Translated by Mark Conrad, 2006. 


Notes by the translator: Gross-Eckau is modern-day Iecava in Latvia. The reader may wish to go to http://www.tournet.lv/page.php?id=1544#ibk to see some photographs of the place today. There exists a booklet on Gross-Eckau which I myself have not examined:

Iecavas muiza. Groß Eckau. By I. Lancmanis. Edited by the Rundale Palace Museum, 2001, 72 p., 75 ill. A monographic study devoted to the history of the estate, architecture, works of art and the family of the counts von der Pahlen. Text in Latvian and German with a summary in English and Russian.


Regarding the Russian officers, Matvei Kiselev was Matvei Vasil’evich Kiselev, a sergeant of the 4th Jägers commissioned as an officer in 1807. In 1812 he was actually a staff-captain, not a captain.


Major Kuznetsov was Nikita Nikiforovich Kuznetsov 1st of the Kopore Infantry Regiment, promoted to his rank on 19 April 1812.


I have not been able to identify young “Prince Bagration.” Certainly he was not the famous General-of-Infantry Prince Petr Ivanovich, nor Colonel Prince Roman Ivanovich of the Leib-Hussar Regiment. There were two Bagration’s in the Life-Guard Jäger Regiment and one in the Leib-Cossack Regiment, but they also seem unlikely candidates.