08 April 2003, 03:06

Baklanov, Yakov Petrovich

Lieutenant general, Caucasian War participant.

Born March 15, 1809, in the settlement of Gugninskaya (now Baklanovskaya) of the Don Cossack Army in a family of a Cossack officer, an 1812 War participant.

In 1825, started his military service and was enlisted a minor officer (uryadnik) in a Cossack regiment. In 1828, Baklanov was promoted to mid-officer (khorunzhy). Participated in a war against Turkey, during which he was distinguished in a battle of Burgas. Performed bravery in combats and was awarded several orders.

In 1834, was transferred to the Caucasus together with Zhirov's Cossack regiment. Under G.H. Zass's command, participated in many expeditions and battles. For courage and fearlessness was put forward for the Fourth Order of St. Vladimir (orden Sv. Vladimira 4-oy stepeni). This was the Caucasian period of Baklanov's service that brought him most publicity and helped a dashing Cossack become a brilliant combat officer.

In 1837, Baklanov's regiment was transported to the Don area. In 1845, chief petty officer (voyskovoy starshina) Baklanov was appointed to 20th Don regiment in the fortress of Kurinskoy in the left wing of the Caucasian Line. In 1846, became the commander of this regiment. Baklanov's regiment didn't miss a single opportunity to fight with the highlanders and bring even the slightest damage to them. Having a ramified network of agents among the highlanders, on which he spent almost all his allowance, Baklanov could predict the highlanders' predatory raids.

In this situation, the highlanders were forced to think of avoiding becoming the victims of Baklanov's soldiers' raids rather than of attacking Cossacks' settlements. The commandment was delighted at the results achieved by Baklanov and didn't pay attention to his guerilla methods. For his merits, Baklanov was awarded a second-degree order of St. Anna (orden Sv. Anny 2-oy stepeni) and golden arms.

Upon completion of the 20th regiment's service term in the Caucasus, Baklanov was left for the second term, according to a personal request from M.S. Vorontsov, the commander-in-chief of the troops in the Caucasus, to the Emperor Nikolay the First, and received the 17th Don regiment to his command. The Cossacks' affection for their commander was so strong that many commander and private Cossacks of the 20th regiment stayed with him.

In early 1850s, Baklanov took part in expedition to inner Chechnya under the command of Baryatinsky. Was awarded with orders and received generalship in 1852. in 1854, as a revenge for Shamil's murids' incursion, Baklanov's detachment destroyed 20 Chechen settlements.

In 1855, was transferred with his Cossacks to Kars area and participated in an assault on it.

Baklanov's relations with the commander-in-chief N.S. Muravyov didn't go smoothly, and he soon requested a vacation to visit the Don area. In 1857, the commander-in-chief becoming Baryatinsky, he returned to the Caucasus. This time Baklanov was appointed a march commander (pokhodny ataman). He mostly dealt with administrative matters and did not participate in the battles. In 1859, Baklanov was awarded a first-degree order of St. Anna (orden Sv. Anny 1-oy stepeni) thus becoming a complete member of the order, and was promoted to lieutenant general the following year.

In 1861, Baklanov was appointed a district general for the Second District of the Don Cossack Army, and in 1863 transferred to Vilno (Vilnius), where infantry general M.S. Muravyov (N. Muravyov's brother) was collecting the troops for a march to the Warsaw uprising. At first Baklanov headed the Cossack regiments of Muravyov's army, and later served ad interim head of Suvalsko-Avgustovsky district administration. On the contrary to the fear-provoking fame that accompanied his name in Poland, Baklanov acted strictly but not cruelly and even conflicted with Muravyov the "Hanger" by showing mercy. For the Polish campaign, Baklanov received his last decoration ? second-degree order of St. Vladimir (orden Sv. Vladimira 2-oy stepeni).

By that time, Baklanov's health was in decline; he had to resign and lived in St. Petersburg in poverty after that. Wrote the memoirs, My Battle Life.

Baklanov deceased on May 18, 1873 in St. Petersburg and was initially buried in St. Petersburg's Novodevichy convent cemetery. On October 3, 1911, Baklanov's ashes were ceremonially reburied in Novocherkassk's Ascension Cathedral shrine, next to the graves of other heroes of the Don: M. Platov, V. Orlov-Denisov, and I. Efremov.

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