24 April 2003, 00:25

Muravyov-Karsky, Nikolay Nikolayevich

Russian statesman and military man. Infantry general.

Born July 14 (25), 1794, in St. Petersburg, in an ancient noble family of Muravyovs. Received home education under his father's guidance. In 1811, at his father's wish, entered Moscow School of Column Leaders, which prepared Quartermaster Officers. Participated in the Patriotic War of 1812 and foreign expeditions of the Russian army of 1813-1814. Took part in the battles of Borodino, Tarutino, Vyazma, as well as in the battles of Lutzen, Bauzen, Kulm, and Leipzig, and in August 1814 - in the battles of Fer-Champenoise and Paris. Was repeatedly awarded military orders and medals; finished the war in the rank of ensign.

After the war, N.N. Muravyov became the officer of the General Headquarters. Possessing not only battle experience, but also a high education level, he prepared and published Fortification Course. Was one of the organizers of pre-Decembrist Svyaschennaya Artel (Sacred Workers' Group) society (1814-1818). In 1816, after unsuccessful proposition to admiral N. Mordvinov's daughter, transferred to serve in Caucasian Corps, whose commander general A.P. Ermolov had known Muravyov very well from the Patriotic War of 1812. In 1819, at Eromolov's order, N.N. Muravyov is sent to Khiva and Bukhara to study these regions as a sphere of Russia's interests. He presented a report on his mission in St. Petersburg and was promoted to colonel. N.N. Muravyov retold his impression of the Central Asia trip in a book Journey to Turkmenia and Khiva, 1822, which was known not only in Russia, but also in Europe.

In 1822, N.N. Muravyov was appointed the commander of 7th Carabineer Regiment (later - Leib Guard Erivani Regiment).

During the Russo-Iranian War of 1826-1828, Muravyov acted excellently with his regiment, then successfully acted as a deputy Chief of Staff of Caucasian Corps. He stayed in this position even when the new Commander-in-Chief I. Paskevich took over; tension started between them instantly though. During Paskevich's rule, N.N. Muravyov was promoted to major general for his combat merits, but was soon forced to leave the headquarters and command a grenadier brigade. As its head, he bravely fought in the Russo-Turkish war of 1828-1829. For taking part in capturing the fortresses of Kars and Akhaltsikh, was awarded the fourth- and third-degree orders of St. George (ordena Sv. Georgiya 4-oy i 3-ey stepeni); for the battles of Kainly and Bayburt - a golden dress sword. When upon the end of the war Paskevich started to oust the "Ermolov spirit" out of the troops, Nikolay Nikolayevich Muravyov was among the generals and officers dismissed from the Caucasus.

Having spent some time in his father's estate, the village of Ostashevo near Moscow, Muravyov addressed to the Chief of Staff I. Dibich with a request to reinstate him in the military and was soon appointed the commander of the grenadier brigade of detached Lithuanian Corps. With it, he participated in suppression of the Polish uprising of 1831, including the assault of Warsaw, where the destiny made him meet Paskevich once again; the latter commanded the Russian troops.

After promotion to lieutenant general, Muravyov was appointed the commander of 24th infantry division, but in 1832 he was directed to Turkey to provide diplomatic assistance to Turkish Sultan in the period of aggravation of relations between Turkey and Egypt. Basing on the materials of his journey, N.N. Muravyov created the works Turkey and Egypt in 1832 and 1833 and The Russians on the Bosporus in 1833.

Upon return to Russia, Muravyov was promoted to adjutant general; in 1834, he was appointed the Chief of Staff of the First Army; in 1835, was appointed the commander of the 5th infantry corps. Some time later, after long period of thinking about the order in the Russian Army, N.N. Muravyov presented Czar Nicholas the first a note On the Reasons of Deserting and on Measures to Correct Army's Faults. The note caused Czar's disfavor, but Muravyov continued to develop his ideas of improvements in the army, which resulted in disgrace; was forced to resign in 1837.

N.N. Muravyov lived for the following eleven years in the village of Skornyakovo (his wife's property) together with his family, dealt with the economy, improved the life of his peasant, and liberated many of them.

In 1848, Nikolay Nikolayevich Muravyov was returned to the military service by the Czar, commanded the Reserve Troops; was an assistant to the Military Minister; in 1849, was forced to participate, together with his grenadier corps, in a punitive March to Hungary, which he called "shameful". In 1853, was promoted to infantry general.

After the start of the Crimean War in 1854, N.N. Muravyov was appointed the Vicegerent of the Caucasus and the commander of the Caucasian detached corps. He instantly initiated the struggled with "laziness, sleep, and luxury", put the rear procurement in order, and strengthened the combat skills of the troops. Reinforcing the main powers by taking eight battalions and three Don Cossack regiment from the Caucasian Fortified Line, N.N. Muravyov set off in May 1855 from Alexandropole to Kars with a 25,000 army. Since almost all Anatolian Turkish army was concentrated at this fortress, Muravyov started its methodic siege organization in June of the same year by cutting the ways of communication and procurement for it and keeping the Turks in tension with artillery shootings and combat sorties. Receiving the news about Sebastopol's defeat and fresh Turkish troops moving to Kars on September 17, 1855, N.N. Muravyov tried to take the fortress by storm, which was hardly struck off by the Turks. After that, Muravyov reinforced the city's blockade and the bombing and increased the troops numbers; on November 6, Vasif-pasha, Kars defense commander, capitulated. Muravyov's award for the capture of Kars became the second-degree order of St. George (orden Sv. Georgiya 2-oy stepeni) and an honorable addition to his last name - Karsky - which he received not at the czar's decision, but at the public opinion and the recognition of his compatriots.

After the end of the Crimean War 1853-1856, N.N. Muravyov-Karsky was forced to leave the Caucasus: recently inaugurated czar Alexander the Second appointed a new Vicegerent there in 1856 - Duke A. Baryatinsky. Soon, N.N. Muravyov-Karsky resigned at the pretext of "weakened health" and was appointed a member of the State Council. In 1858, Muravyov headed the Commission on misuse detection in the time of Crimean War; since 1861, was the chief of Samogit grenadier regiment. Prepared a two-volume work The War beyond the Caucasus in 1855. Also left a vast diary, which was published in 1870s-1890s in Russian Archive magazine.

Nikolay Nikolayevich Muravyov-Karsky deceased on October 18 (30), 1866, in his estate of Skornyakovo (now the territory of Zadonsky County, Lipetsk Region).

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