Blog Tools
Edit your Blog
Build a Blog
RSS Feed
View Profile
« August 2015 »
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
Livonia  «
Prisoners of war
Source criticism
The Great Northern War
Sunday, 23 August 2015
Dorpat 1656
Topic: Livonia

In 1896 Friedrich Bienemann jr published a collection of documents concerning the siege of Dorpat (Tartu) in 1656. Among them are a series of letters from Governor Lars Fleming to Magnus Gabriel de la Gardie, the Governor General of Livonia. They are dated 3 April, 14 May, 28 May, 28 May, 8 June, 18 June, 9 July, 15 July, 28 July, 27 October and  10 November. Rainer Fagerlund mentions a few others: Fleming to de la Gardie 4 June, 21 June and 11 July. To this list of letters in Stockholm and Riga can be added the following, preserved among the Malmberg papers in Uppsala University Library: Fleming to de la Gardie 25 June, 19 July and 23 July. In the first of these Fleming reports that many peasants have run away and are plundering the estates of the nobility. He also reports problems with the guns - some are without carriages. In the letter dated 19 July Fleming gives details about the approaching Russians. They had crossed the border during the night between the 15th and 16th. Some units had headed directly for Neuhausen. If Neuhausen fell, Fleming wrote, the enemy would soon attack Dorpat. Reinforcements were urgently needed. In the last of the three letters, dated 23 July, Governor Fleming informs de la Gardie that he has not received any recent reports from Neuhausen. In a hastily written note at the end of the letter he writes that a detachment of cavalry just had returned. They had seem many fires in the direction of Neuhausen. The castle was supposedly still holding (apparently incorrect), because the enemy had not yet been able to bring up the heavy guns. 


Uppsala University Library, Dorpat-Rigasamlingen, vol. 2 and 3 (subsequently rearranged and renamed Livonica

Briefe und Aktenstücke zur Geschichte der Verteidigung und Kapitulation Dorpats 1656 // Mittheilungen aus der livländischen Geschichte. - 16:2. - Riga, 1896. P. 515-606

Fagerlund, Rainer, Kriget i Östersjöprovinserna 1655-1661. - Stockholm, 1979 

Posted by bengt_nilsson at 9:18 PM MEST
Post Comment | Permalink
Sunday, 19 July 2015
20 July 1701
Topic: Livonia

Below is a list of letters sent by Governor General Dahlbergh on a fairly typical day (20 July 1701):


1. Order to Lt Col. Zöge to hand over equipment from the stores in Dorpat to Lt. Col. Wrangel and Lt. Col. Hastfehr.

2. Letter to Inspector Järmestedt about an offer of 50 oak planks made by the Town Councillor Rennenkampf.

3. Letter to the Town Council of Riga about quarters for Col. Brakel and his unit.

4. To Paul von Strokirch about provisions.

5. To the district bailiff Falckenhagen about going to Kokenhusen to make an inventory.

6. Permission for Cornelius de Geus to load his ship and sail.

7. To district bailiff Falckenhagen.

8. To Lt. Col. Zöge about the printed account of His Majesty’s great victory.

9. Reply to Col. Brakel’s memorial.

10. To Lt. Field Marshal De la Gardie regarding Wrangel’s battalion of militia.

11. To Inspector Järmerstädt about masts for England and Holland.

12. Passport for Mohrman to go to Neustädtchen.

13. To Inspector Järmerstädt about two merchants from Lübeck.


Source: LVVA, fond 7349, op. 1, vol. 53 

Posted by bengt_nilsson at 8:58 PM MEST
Updated: Sunday, 19 July 2015 8:59 PM MEST
Post Comment | Permalink
Sunday, 31 May 2015
Topic: Livonia

Among Schirren's papers in Riksarkivet there are two lists of travellers to and from Russia who passed the border post at Neuhausen (Vastseliina) during the period 1 January 1698 to 30 June 1699. Some examples:

8 January 1698: Lt. Col. Rohr and two servants from Köningsberg to Moscow.

10 January 1698: The wife of Colonel Blumbergh and her people & Lieutenant Johan Rickman.

30 May 1698: Lieutenant Johan Gordon and a servant from England to Moscow.

23 June 1698: The theology student Tobias Renner from Thuringia to Moscow.

7 July 1698: Johan Gordon, son of General Gordon, and his wife along with a captain and four servants from Scotland to Moscow. 

Those travelling the other way were fewer in 1698, but one notable example:

21 October 1698: Guillaume Felle, a Doctor of Theology of the Franciscan Order from Persia to Mitau and France. (Felle was a noted traveller). 


Source: Riksarkivet, Schirrens samling originalhandlingar, vol. 13 

Posted by bengt_nilsson at 10:11 PM MEST
Post Comment | Permalink
Sunday, 29 March 2015
Odd volumes
Topic: Livonia

Many of the volumes in the archive of the Livonian Governor General contains items with little or no relation to its title. One such example is LVVA, fond 7349, op. 1, vol. 186, supposedly only about payment of contributions by citizens of Riga 1703-1706. However, it also includes a number of items delaing with an entirely different subject - the organization of the defence of the town in 1704-1705. First comes a list of where the various citizen companies were to be stationed in case of an attack. It's followed by lists which gives details about where the artillery personnel was stationed, how the guns were placed, where the infantry had its positions etc. Towards the end there are also a few items concerning Governor Frölich's attempted monetary reform (a matter I have previously covered briefly here

In LVVA, fond 7349, op. 2 there are quite a few volumes which deal with Swedish-Russian relations (vol. 57-104). Some of them appear to have originated from the Swedish delegations themselves, i.e. drafts of outgoing letters, notes from negotiations with their Russian counterparts etc. In volume 77 one finds lists of Russians who had escaped across the border (1677-1678), in vol. 78 the itineraries for Bengt Horn's return journey from Moscow in 1662 and the journey to Moscow for the Swedish embassy of 1673-74. 

Posted by bengt_nilsson at 10:43 PM MEST
Post Comment | Permalink
Sunday, 22 March 2015
Blåman's account
Topic: Livonia

A couple of weeks ago I spent a few days in Riksarkivet. One of the items I looked at was a big volume called Relation om Sachsarnas infall i Lifland (Account of the Saxon invasion of Livonia). It was written by Governor General Dahlbergh's secretary Gustaf Magnus Blåman, but should undoubtedly for all practical purposes be considered as Dahlbergh's work. The actual account is about 230 pages long and stops in early May when the first units of the relief army arrived outside Riga. The volume does however contain a lot more - several hundred pages of attachments (letters, specifications of the strength of the garrison, lists of available supplies etc. - a lot of it originals). Notable are for example letters from Paykull and Flemming, copies of Dahlbergh's letters to them, letters to the Governor General from the Swedish embassy to Russia and from Nils Lillieroot in the Hague - items which of course as a result are missing in the archive of the Livonian Governor General.

One example of what the volume contains is the following list of artillery personnel and guns in the citadel as of 11 March 1700:

Bastion Horn: Two 18-pounders, thirteen 12-pounders and four 3-pounders (also four mortars).

Bastion Christina: Six 12-pounders and six 3-pounders (also one mortar).

Bastion Carolus Gustafvus: Four 24-pounders, two 18-pounders, nine 12-pounders, four 3-pounders (also two mortars).

Bastion Carolus Undecimus: Eleven 18-pounders, two 12-pounders and eight 3-pounders (also two howitzers and three mortars).

Bastion Gustafvus Primus: Four 24-pounders, twelve 18-pounders, four 12-pounders and two 3-pounders (also four mortars).

Bastion Carolus Nonus: Four 24-pounders, six 18-pounders and four 12-pounders (also four mortars). 

Bastion Gustafvus Adolphus: Two 24-pounders and four 12-pounders (also two mortars).


The ravelins:

Prins Gustafvus: Two 12-pounders and six 3-pounders.

Prins Carl: Six 12-pounders and one mortar.

Princesse: Six 12-pounders and four 3-pounders.

Prins Ullrick: Two 6-pounders, four 3-pounders and one howitzer. 


Source:  Riksarkivet, M 1374 (list on pages 1008-1009)


Posted by bengt_nilsson at 10:42 PM MEST
Post Comment | Permalink
Sunday, 15 March 2015
The artillery at Dorpat
Topic: Livonia

As my previous blog post resulted in a small discussion about the artillery at Dorpat it is perhaps logical to give some small details about the situation there. 

First, in regard to old guns. There exists a list of guns which was made in January 1700. At that time there were 105 guns of various calibers. Some old ones:

Lithuanian 3-pounder dated 1563.

Two Polish 3-pounders dated 1554.

One 1 1/2-pounder with the name and arms of Johann von der Recke, dated 1549.

One falconet with the arms of Dorpat, dated 1530.

One falconet with the arms of Dorpat, dated 1533.

One falconet of "dhe herrmästerska" (Livonian Order), dated 1544.

Six falconets with the arms of Dorpat but no date. 


This list is followed by another one (unfortunately undated), which gives details about how the artillery was positioned:


Bastion Gustafwus Adolphus: Four 24-pounders and six 18-pounders on the two upper flanks, seven 12-punders on the two lower flanks.

Bastion Carolus Gustafwus: Four 24-pounders and seven 18-pounders on the two upper flanks, three 12-pounders on one of the middle flanks and five 12-pounders on the two lower flanks.

Bastion Carolus Undecimus: Six 24-pounders and seven 18-pounders on the two upper flanks, five 12-pounders on the middle flank and five 12-pounders on the two lower flanks.

Bastion Carolus Nonus: Four 24-pounders and three 18-pounders on the two upper flanks, three 12-pounders on the middle flank and seven 12-pounders on the two lower flanks.

Gustafwus Primus: Four 24-pounders and five 18-pounders on the two upper flanks, four 12-pounders on the middle flank and seven 12-pounders on the two lower flanks. 

On the five ravelins which are placed beyond and between the bastions: Six 12-pounders on each.

Bastion Hedvig Eleonora: Four 24-pounders and five 18-pounders on the two upper flanks, eight 12-pounders on the two lower flanks.

On the ravelin between Hedvig Eleonora and Christina Regina: Six 12-pounders.

Bastion Ulrika Eleonora: Four 24-pounders and five 18-pounders on the two upper flanks, nine 12-pounders on the two lower flanks.

On the ravelin between Ulrika Eleonora and Christina Regina: Twelve 12-pounders.

Bastion Christina Regina: Six 24-pounders and six 18-pounders on the cavalier, six 12-pounders on the lower flank and the faces.

On the towers of the city wall: Sixteen 3-pounders.

In total: 213 guns

Mortars: Two 150-pounders, four 100-pounders, four 80-pounders and six 60-pounders.


Source: Krigsarkivet, Krigskollegium, Artilleridepartementet, G III b, Dorpat & Dünamünde 1642-1703


Posted by bengt_nilsson at 2:34 PM MEST
Updated: Sunday, 15 March 2015 7:30 PM MEST
Post Comment | View Comments (6) | Permalink
Sunday, 8 March 2015
Artillery records
Topic: Livonia

A few days ago I received the latest batch of scanned files from Tartu. This time I hade decided to include a non-correspondence item, an inventory from 1701 of the artillery material (and lots of other stuff) in storage in Riga castle. In the book (EAA.278.1.XXV-95) one literally finds everything: nails of every conceivable size, ammunition, lead, sheepskins, wagons, axes, muskets, crowbars...

The book also lists very thoroughly all deliveries and all items which were distributed to various units. It is for example possible to follow the preparations for the crossing of the Düna as well as the raising of militia regiments. For example: On 17 July 1701 Governor General Dahlbergh ordered that 54 swords and various other items should be handed over to Liphardt's battalion. A month later Liphardt 300 received flintlock muskets. At about the same time another militia unit got 280 matchlock muskets and a third one 600 matchlock muskets.

Many types of muskets are mentioned:  matchlock, new caliber; matchlock, old caliber; Dutch muskets; useless matchlock muskets; flintlock muskets, new caliber; flintlock muskets, new caliber; dragoon muskets. The regiments mostly received flintlock muskets, but there are a few exceptions apart from the militia units. The Uppland infantry regiment received three on 27 August and Lewenhaupt's infantry regiment got 92 on 8 July. Almost 4,000 swords  and 2, 000 pikes had also been handed out.

Posted by bengt_nilsson at 11:08 PM MEST
Post Comment | View Comments (4) | Permalink
Sunday, 1 March 2015
Diseases and wounds
Topic: Livonia

In the archive of the Livonian Governor General there are a couple of volumes dedicated to medical matters (EAA.278.1.XI-3 and 4). The latter of these contain material from the GNW, for examples lists of soldiers deemed unfit for further service. Some examples for the Österbotten infantry, 3 May 1705:

Nils Tarkolaby, 71 years old, has served for 49 years. Old and has an old wound in the legs which he got in the Scanian War.

Erik Petolax, 60 years old, has served for 34 years. Cannot march or stand guard.

Jonas Jöös, 70 years old, has served for 37 years. Of the Brabant recruits. Old and incapable.

Philip Kåudoby, 58 years old, has served for 46 years. Weak eyesight, chest defective, toes frozen off on the march through Prussia (1678-79, ny note) 

Thomas Ulfwä, 82 years old, has served for 44 years. Old and incapable.

Thomas Parkarij, 26 years old, has served fo 4 years. Confused and melancholic.


Some examples from a similar list, dated 8 May 1705:

Sven Jung of the Life Guards. Wounded in the foot at Düna. Have been bedridden for two years. Still considered incapable of marching. Permitted to go to Stockholm and join the Guard detachment there.

Nils Sohlberg of "Svenska Adelsfanan". The right eye cut out during the battle of Jacobstadt. 60 years old, has served for 27 years, incapable of further service.

Nils Galle of "Dalregementet". More than 60 years old, wounded in the previous war, has served for 35 years.  His legs are paralysed and the left arm useless.

Henrik Larsson of Col. Patkull's cavalry. Wounded more than 40 times, the right hand paralysed. Useless. 

Hans Meijer of Lt. Col. Lorentz corps. His horse fell on him in Lithuania. Broke his right leg, uses a crutch. Has served for 24 years. The leg is stiff and the right hand paralysed. Useless.





Posted by bengt_nilsson at 9:59 PM CET
Updated: Sunday, 1 March 2015 10:01 PM CET
Post Comment | Permalink
Sunday, 15 February 2015
Adrian Virginius and Lt. Col. Tolcks
Topic: Livonia

In January 1701 Charles XII decided to increase the forces in Livonia and Estonia by creating a militia. One of the first to act along these lines was the reverend Adrian Virginius in Odenpäh (Est. Otepää). On 30 Januari Governor General Dahlbergh wrote to Virginius, commending him for his desire to serve the King by recruiting a militia in his parish. As Virginius had managed to collect 112 men Dahlbergh believed it best to divide them into two companies. This meant that two captains, two lieutenants and two ensigns along with non-commissioned officers would be needed and Dahlbergh asked Virginius to provide some names (LVVA, Fond 7349, op.1, vol. 53). This was apparently done quite soon as Dahlbergh on 11 February could sign commissions for officers and send them to Gustaf Adolf Strömfelt in Dorpat. In the letter Dahlbergh also asked for suggestions for commanders of the militia. Apparently Dahlbergh was considering forming two regiments, one in the Estonian district and one in the Latvian district. (Ibid.). Strömfelt replied on the 17th, stating that he had met with Virginius, discussed the matter and delivered the commissions. As for the appointment of a colonel Strömfelt reported that he had not had a chance to consult with his colleague Mikael von Strokirch, but personally he could think of no one but Lt. Col. Tolcks (likely Otto Hermann Tolcks), "a famous soldiers, who served well in the Polish war" (Otto Herman Tolcks was promoted to major in 1658). However, Strömfelt wrote, Tolcks was now fairly old... (LVVA, fond 7349, op. 1, vol. 321, pp. 68 ff.)

On 4 March Dahlbergh informed Strömfelt that he would be pleased with having Tolcks as colonel of the militia (LVVA, Fond 7349, op.1, vol. 53). On the 24th Strömfelt wrote back, saying that Tolcks had been inclined to accept, but eventually had declined due to his age and weak health. Strömfelt instead suggested the cavalry captain Hastfer as Colonel and Captain Wrangel of Sadjerw as Lt. Colonel. (LVVA, fond 7349, op. 1, vol. 321, pp. 85 ff.)

On 3 April  Strömfelt was able to give more details. He had talked to Hastfer, who at first was hesitant but finally had agreed. Strömfelt had written to Wrangel and offered him the position of Lt. Colonel, but unfortunately Hastfer had produced his own candidate, a certain Lt. Captain Plater. Plater was however unwilling to settle for an appointment as Major. But, Strömfelt wrote, if two regiments were created Hastfer could get Plater and Wrangel be placed in the other regiment. (LVVA, fond 7349, op. 1, vol. 321, pp. 88 ff.)

On 7 April Dahlbergh informed Strömfelt that he had decided to solve the problem in another fashion. Instead of two regiments there would be several batallions, each consisting of 6 companies of 50 soldiers each, and under the command of a Lt. Colonel. (LVVA, Fond 7349, op.1, vol. 53) . 

This apparently solved the problem. On 26 May Strömfelt wrote to Dahlbergh saying that Captain Wrangel had arrived in Dorpat to take command of the Dorpat militia batallion. Wrangel had proposed that he and his officers would be given the authority to personally go the parishes and choose the soldiers and then start training them, a method reportedly used in Estonia. (Riksarkivet, Ekonomiståthållaren i Dorpat Gustaf Adolf Strömfelts arkiv, vol. 4)

On the same day Wrangel also wrote to Dahlbergh, accepting the offered position. (LVVA, Fond 7349, op. 3, vol. 62, pp. 134 ff)


Posted by bengt_nilsson at 8:46 PM CET
Updated: Sunday, 15 February 2015 8:48 PM CET
Post Comment | Permalink
Sunday, 1 February 2015
New uniforms for Skytte's regiment : part 2
Topic: Livonia

In the first part I told the story of how Carl Gustaf Skytte in October 1700 requested new uniforms for his regiment and the subsequent delays. It so turns out that there was an additional twist:

Skytte's regiment had two different stations, Dorpat and Pernau. The commander at Pernau Lt. Col. Gustaf von Schwengeln was slightly quicker than Skytte and sent his list to Dahlbergh on 19 October 1700 (LVVA, fond 7349, op. 1, vol. 339, p. 19). As noted in part one Skytte requested blue coats, red breeches and red stockings for the entire regiment, while Schwengeln asked for blue and yellow (!) for his battalion. From Dahlbergh's letters to the manufacturer it looks like he simply disregarded Schwengeln's list and instructed them to send what Skytte had requested. 

Some fragments of the replies from the manufacturer remains, most notably a letter from Hans Ekman dated Stockholm 7 June 1701(LVVA, fond 7349, op. 1, vol. 306, p. 257 ff.) In the letter Ekman refers to lack of payment for earlier orders and states that unless this is remedied the collapse of the company will follow. 

Posted by bengt_nilsson at 12:01 AM CET
Updated: Sunday, 1 February 2015 7:07 PM CET
Post Comment | Permalink

Newer | Latest | Older