Nikolay Nikolayevich Raevsky (Николай Николаевич Раевский; September 25 O.S.
14] 1771 — September 28 O.S.
His family left a lasting legacy in Russian society and culture.
Nikolay Raevsky was born in Saint Petersburg.
He descended from the which has claimed remote Scandinavian and Polish–Lithuanian ancestry.
One of Peter the Great's great grandmothers came from the Raevsky family.
Nikolay's grandfather, Semyon Raevsky, was the Prosecutor of the Holy Synod.
Ekaterina's brother was the general and statesman, Count Alexander Samoylov.
Not long after the Colonel's death, the Empress arranged for Raevsky's mother to marry a wealthy landowner, Lev Davydov, who proved to be a generous stepfather.
After the peace treaty was concluded, he took part in the Polish–Russian War of 1792 with the Nizhegorodsky Dragoon Regiment.
For this campaign he received on 28 June 1792 the Order of St. George of the 4th degree and the gold sword with an inscription for bravery.
Upon his ascension to the throne, Emperor Paul I recalled the army back to Russia, and had Raevsky dismissed from the military because of his relationship to Prince Potemkin, whom Paul detested.
After Russia's failures at the outbreak of the Napoleonic wars, Raevsky returned into the field on 25 April 1807.
He served with Prince Pyotr Bagration in the vanguard of the Russian army.
During the campaign of 1806–1807, Raevsky distinguished himself in numerous battles, and was awarded the Order of St. Vladimir of the 3rd degree.
For this campaign, Raevsky received the Order of St. Vladimir of the 2nd degree and obtained the rank of lieutenant-general.
His bold leadership made itself felt in the taking of Silistra.
During Napoleon's Invasion of Russia, Raevsky led the 7th Infantry Corps, a part of the 2nd Army led by Prince Pyotr Bagration.
In the advance-guard, Raevsky was responsible for delaying Davout's advance towards Moscow.
During the Battle of Borodino, he protected the right wing of the Russian Army, better known as the Raevsky Redoubt, winning the Order of St. George of the 3rd degree.
Raevsky commanded the Grenadier Corps and protected the retreat of main forces during the Battle of Bautzen.
He received the Order of St. Vladimir of the 1st degree for the Battle of Kulm.
Near Wachau, he was seriously injured.
For his feats of arms he was promoted Full General (October 8, 1813) and received the Austrian Military Order of Maria Theresa of the 3rd degree.
When the Russian army entered Saxony, Raevsky was forced to return to Russia because of his poor health.
Having recovered from his illness, Raevsky rejoined the army during the battle of Leipzig, commanding two grenadier corps.
After Napoleon's defeat, General Raevsky was given the honor of entering Paris at Alexander I's side (March 31, 1814).
Later years and family
In 1794, Raevsky married Sofia Alexandrovna Konstantinova, the granddaughter and heiress of the scientist Mikhail Lomonosov.
The Raevskys had six children, two sons and four daughters.
After the Napoleonic Wars ended, Raevsky settled with his family at Boltyshka, an estate left to him by his stepfather.
Pushkin would form close friendships with Raevsky's sons, his sons-in-law, and his half-brother, Vasily Davydov – all members of the Southern Society that helped plot the Decembrist Revolt of 1825.
The General's eldest son, Alexander, served as the model for the protagonist of Pushkin's poem The Demon.
Raevsky's eldest daughter, Ekaterina, married the wealthy young General Mikhail Fyodorovich Orlov, also a veteran of the Napoleonic Wars.
Once interested in discussion of liberal reforms, western democracy, and the teachings of the Enlightenment philosophers, by 1825 Raevsky had abandoned his youthful idealism, rejecting the notion that Russia could be anything other than an absolute monarchy.
Both of Raevsky's sons and his son-in-law, Mikhail Orlov, withdrew from the Southern Society long before the Decembrist Revolt occurred, and took no part in the uprising.
Raevsky's half-brother, Vasily Davydov, and Prince Volkonsky, remained in the Society.
They were arrested along with their fellow conspirators days after the uprising in December 1825, and were taken to Saint Petersburg.
They were held for several months, interrogated, tried, and sentenced to hard labor and exile in Siberia.
Against her father's wishes, Maria fought for the right to accompany her husband to Siberia, and managed to personally persuade the Emperor to allow her to share Prince Volkonsky's exile.
The Volkonskys would remain in Siberia for more than thirty years.
Maria's courage, and that of the other Decembrist wives, was romanticized by Nekrasov in the poem "Russian Women".
Raevsky died at Boltyshka four years after the Decembrist Revolt, a broken and embittered man, of pneumonia contracted while travelling to petition the Emperor for leniency on his daughter's behalf.
As he lay dying, he is said to have looked at a portrait of his daughter Maria and whispered: "That is the most remarkable woman I have ever known in my life."
Since 2014, the FSUE Rosmorport Azovo-Chernomorsky Basin Branch has been operating a tugboat named in honor of the brave hero of the Patriotic War of 1812 – «General Rayevsky», as an intangible heritage that preserves the historical memory of the people.
Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikolay Raevsky.