Nikolay Raevsky

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Nikolay Nikolayevich Raevsky (Николай Николаевич Раевский; September 25 O.S. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_0

14] 1771 — September 28 O.S. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_1

16] 1829) was a Russian general and statesman who achieved fame for his feats of arms during the Napoleonic Wars. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_2

His family left a lasting legacy in Russian society and culture. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_3

Early life Nikolay Raevsky_section_0

Nikolay Raevsky was born in Saint Petersburg. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_4

He descended from the which has claimed remote Scandinavian and Polish–Lithuanian ancestry. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_5

One of Peter the Great's great grandmothers came from the Raevsky family. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_6

Nikolay's grandfather, Semyon Raevsky, was the Prosecutor of the Holy Synod. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_7

The family rose to prominence in Russia when Raevsky's father, Colonel Nikolay Semyonovich Raevsky, commander of the elite Izmaylovsky Regiment, married Ekaterina Samoylova. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_8

Ekaterina was a lady-in-waiting and close friend of Empress Catherine II, and a niece of the Empress’ influential favorite, Prince Potemkin. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_9

Ekaterina's brother was the general and statesman, Count Alexander Samoylov. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_10

Nikolay Semyonovich Raevsky was killed in action during the Russo-Turkish War (1768–74) at Iaşi, dying several months before the birth of his son, General Nikolay Raevsky. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_11

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. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_12

Raevsky was enrolled in the Leib-Guard Semyonovsky Regiment at a very early age. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_13

On 30 April 1777 he was promoted to sergeant and on 1 January 1786 to ensign. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_14

On 23 February 1789 he was transferred to the Nizhegorodsky Dragoon Regiment with the rank of premier-major. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_15

With this regiment he took part in the Russo-Turkish War, 1787–1792 and distinguished himself at Bendery and Akkerman. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_16

In recognition of his valor, Raevsky was promoted on 1 September 1790 to lieutenant colonel and became the chief of a Cossack regiment. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_17

After the peace treaty was concluded, he took part in the Polish–Russian War of 1792 with the Nizhegorodsky Dragoon Regiment. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_18

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. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_19

When the war with Persia erupted in 1796, Raevsky, under command of Count Valerian Zubov, took part in the taking of Derbent and in other engagements. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_20

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. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_21

After Paul's murder, and Alexander I's assumption of the throne, Raevsky rejoined the army and was promoted to the rank of Major General. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_22

Napoleonic Wars Nikolay Raevsky_section_1

After Russia's failures at the outbreak of the Napoleonic wars, Raevsky returned into the field on 25 April 1807. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_23

He served with Prince Pyotr Bagration in the vanguard of the Russian army. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_24

During the campaign of 1806–1807, Raevsky distinguished himself in numerous battles, and was awarded the Order of St. Vladimir of the 3rd degree. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_25

Raevsky, who had sustained a wound in the Battle of Heilsberg, commanded chasseurs of the advance-guard in the Battle of Friedland. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_26

After the Treaty of Tilsit was concluded, Raevsky fought in the Finnish War, and was present at every major engagement. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_27

For this campaign, Raevsky received the Order of St. Vladimir of the 2nd degree and obtained the rank of lieutenant-general. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_28

The war over, he followed Count Nikolay Kamensky to the Moldavian army, which took part in the Russo-Turkish War, 1806–12. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_29

His bold leadership made itself felt in the taking of Silistra. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_30

During Napoleon's Invasion of Russia, Raevsky led the 7th Infantry Corps, a part of the 2nd Army led by Prince Pyotr Bagration. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_31

In the advance-guard, Raevsky was responsible for delaying Davout's advance towards Moscow. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_32

After the Battle of Saltanovka, he retreated to Smolensk, where he took part in the battle for the city. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_33

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. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_34

Later he pursued La Grande Armée and took part in the Battle of Maloyaroslavets and Battle of Krasnoi, in which he helped defeat Marshal Ney. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_35

Raevsky commanded the Grenadier Corps and protected the retreat of main forces during the Battle of Bautzen. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_36

After Austria and Prussia joined the Allies, Raevsky's corps joined the Bohemian Army commanded by Karl Philipp Fürst zu Schwarzenberg. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_37

He received the Order of St. Vladimir of the 1st degree for the Battle of Kulm. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_38

Near Wachau, he was seriously injured. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_39

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. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_40

When the Russian army entered Saxony, Raevsky was forced to return to Russia because of his poor health. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_41

Having recovered from his illness, Raevsky rejoined the army during the battle of Leipzig, commanding two grenadier corps. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_42

When at the Rhine, he took over command from Peter Wittgenstein and leading this army during the taking of Paris. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_43

After Napoleon's defeat, General Raevsky was given the honor of entering Paris at Alexander I's side (March 31, 1814). Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_44

Later years and family Nikolay Raevsky_section_2

In 1794, Raevsky married Sofia Alexandrovna Konstantinova, the granddaughter and heiress of the scientist Mikhail Lomonosov. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_45

Sofia brought with her a substantial dowry, consisting of an estate at Oranienbaum with over six thousand serfs. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_46

The Raevskys had six children, two sons and four daughters. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_47

After the Napoleonic Wars ended, Raevsky settled with his family at Boltyshka, an estate left to him by his stepfather. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_48

Boltyshka was a large estate near the banks of the Dnieper River in Kirovohrad Oblast, Ukraine; the land was fertile and there were over ten thousand serfs to cultivate it. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_49

In May 1821, during a visit to the Caucasus, Raevsky befriended a young Alexander Pushkin and traveled with him to the Crimea. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_50

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. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_51

The General's eldest son, Alexander, served as the model for the protagonist of Pushkin's poem The Demon. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_52

While Raevsky's daughter Maria's youthful frolics inspired Pushkin to write some of the most famous lines in Russian literature ("Eugene Onegin", I-XXXIII). Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_53

Raevsky's favorite child, Maria, was wed at the age of nineteen to Prince Sergey Volkonsky, a wealthy, liberal aristocrat, who had fought alongside General Raevsky during the Napoleonic Wars. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_54

Raevsky's eldest daughter, Ekaterina, married the wealthy young General Mikhail Fyodorovich Orlov, also a veteran of the Napoleonic Wars. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_55

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. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_56

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. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_57

Raevsky's half-brother, Vasily Davydov, and Prince Volkonsky, remained in the Society. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_58

They were arrested along with their fellow conspirators days after the uprising in December 1825, and were taken to Saint Petersburg. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_59

They were held for several months, interrogated, tried, and sentenced to hard labor and exile in Siberia. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_60

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. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_61

The Volkonskys would remain in Siberia for more than thirty years. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_62

They were only allowed to return to European Russia after the death of Nicholas I, having received a pardon from his son, Alexander II. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_63

Maria's courage, and that of the other Decembrist wives, was romanticized by Nekrasov in the poem "Russian Women". Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_64

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. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_65

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." Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_66

Memory Nikolay Raevsky_section_3

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. Nikolay Raevsky_sentence_67


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikolay Raevsky.