Blog Tools
Edit your Blog
Build a Blog
RSS Feed
View Profile
« January 2017 »
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31
You are not logged in. Log in
Entries by Topic
All topics  «
Artillery personnel
Great Embassy
Prisoners of war
Source criticism
The Great Northern War
Sunday, 15 January 2017
Topic: Sieges

On 11 December 1701 Colonel Gustaf Ernst Albedyhl wrote to Governor General Dahlbergh in Riga. The Saxon commander of the fortress Dünamünde, the only remaining prize from the campaign of 1701, had offered to give up on honorable terms. Albedyhl was noncommittal, but pointed out the rather poor situation for the Swedish forces outside. He had held a council of war and the officers favored accepting the Saxon offer. In Albedyhl's opinion it would be unwise to refuse because it could result in the commander blowing up Dünamünde, destroying not only the fortress but also all presumptive trophies.

In his immediate reply Dahlbergh assured Albedyhl of full support. It would serve the King better to capture the fortress quickly and it made no sense to risk having it blown up by desperate Saxons. A destruction of trophies would damage the glory of King Charles. So Albedyhl should by all means enter into an agreement, but also make sure that it allowed him to take quick possession of Dünamünde.

In a subsequent report to the Chancery in Stockholm Dahlbergh outlined his thinking. The commander Colonel Kanitz had been cut off from alla support for 21 weeks. He had shown his fidelity to King Augustus and deserved to be treated honorably by the Swedes. Albedyhl had several days ago sent a courier to Charles XII to ask for orders, but no reply had yet been received. In this situation Dahlbergh had called all his generals and colonels to a council of war. The view of the majority had been that it was necessary to wait for the King's orders as he had previously declared that the garrison must surrender unconditionally. Reports from the army suggested that Charles had broken camp on the 3rd and Dahlbergh hoped that this would not mean further complications with the Polish republic. On the 12th Dahlbergh wrote to the King, informing him that an agreement had been signed.

The King's position on the matter did not become clear until the beginning of January 1702. On the first day of the new year he sent a letter to Albedyhl. Upon returning from an expedition into Lithuania he had been informed that Albedyhl had made an agreement without waiting for orders. Charles expressed his deep dislike of this. Had he not already shortly after the Düna crossing informed the Saxon commander that if he did not immediately turn over Dünamünde he would be considered as a rebel? Because of these circumstances Charles had every right to refuse to accept the agreement made by Kanitz and Albedyhl, but since some time had passed he would not make an issue of it. However, Albedyhl would do well to avoid a repetition and remember not to make such decisions without express orders. 


LVVA, fond 7349, op 1, vol.  73

LVVA, fond 7349, op. 2, vol. 235 

Riksarkivet, Riksregistraturet


Posted by bengt_nilsson at 5:26 PM CET
Post Comment | View Comments (7) | Permalink

Sunday, 15 January 2017 - 8:00 PM CET

Name: "Gromoboy"

Bengt, do you have any info about Russians capitulated in Dunamunde? As far as I remember there were several coys detached from Repnin's Corps in the garrison. Their commander was major Schwarts 

Sunday, 15 January 2017 - 8:25 PM CET

Name: "Bengt Nilsson"

I can see no immediate mention of any sort of separate treatment for parts of the garrison, but I will have to look deeper to be sure. Russian prisoners were later kept at the fortress, where they for example in 1704 were involved in Governor Frölich's big bread baking experiment. But I am not sure from where they came and when they were brought there.

Sunday, 15 January 2017 - 8:51 PM CET

Name: "Bengt Nilsson"

I have a copy of the agreement between Kanitz and Albedyhl and there is no mention of any Russians or that some part of the garrison would not be permitted to leave, so maybe the Russians had left at some earlier date.

Thursday, 19 January 2017 - 11:28 PM CET

Name: "Gromoboy"

According to Repnin's report he left at the garrison of Augustburg 4 coys of Russian infantry under l-c Hieronim Schartz (2 coys of Ungern Foot, 152 men; one of T. Treyden 105; one of D. Rydder, 107). Schwart is again mentioned in rolls of the field army in 1703. It means that he had returned by that moment.

I believe that Russians capitulated together with Kanitz's troops on the terms of free passage. The Russian prisoners from Frolich paper (I believe) were taken somewhere else

Friday, 20 January 2017 - 7:55 AM CET

Name: "Bengt Nilsson"

Some documents regarding Augustusburg are available online here:

Among my own phostos I have found one item in Livonica II, vol.  346. It's an undated specification signed by Röbel which gives the stregth of the garrisons at Auigustusburg (Dünamünde) and Oranienbaum (Kobron). It mentions "Polish Guards", "Saxon Guards", "the Queen's regiment", "the Field Marshal's regiment", "Röbel", "Bornstedt", "Tiesenhausen and "Benckendorff". The total is 348 with officers & others

Friday, 20 January 2017 - 11:21 AM CET

Name: "Gromoboy"

Thank you very much for the link! I found the table of Dunamunde's garrison there (it was of 935 men, incl. 828 soldiers)

Friday, 20 January 2017 - 11:56 AM CET

Name: "Bengt Nilsson"

If you mean this:

then it's not actually the strength of the garrison, but a list of the various posts between Augustusburg and Neustadt. 

View Latest Entries