Author: I.M. Blagodatskyhead Research Laboratory "Heritage" of the Pridnestrovian State University named after T.G. Shevchenko, Ph.D. ist. Sciences
The interweaving of historical destinies, forming a picture of the historical past in the most bizarre and sometimes almost incomprehensible way, cannot but become the subject of an interested search, sometimes leading to small, but still striking local history discoveries. The storming of the Bendery fortress, Baroness Korf, the Great French Revolution and King Louis XVI - such an unexpected combination of historical events and personalities can attract the attention of the most sophisticated history buff.
In July-September 1770, the 33,000th Russian 2nd Army under the command of Count Pyotr Ivanovich Panin besieged the Bendery fortress, which was defended by an 18,000th Turkish garrison1. On the night of September 15-16, 1770, after a two-month siege, the Russian army launched an assault on the fortress. Those who climbed the shaft first were promised a reward: officers - rank through one step, and soldiers 100 rubles each. The attack began with an explosion of "globe de compression" (French "squeezed ball") weighing 400 pounds of gunpowder. The fortress was taken after a heavy and bloody hand-to-hand fight, and inside the fortress there were battles for almost every house.2
During the assault on the Bendery fortress, Colonel Frangold-Christian Korf died. Baron F.-H. Korf belonged to a well-known count and baronial family. The Korfs came from an old German family, leading its genealogy from the crusader knights; in Westphalia, this surname was mentioned in the 13th century. In the XVI century. the Korf family was divided into three main branches: Azviken, Prekuln-Kreutzburg and Trekken. Each of these branches was divided into several lines, so that the Korf family was one of the most common in the Baltic region. The barons and counts of Corfu are included in the matricules of the nobility of all three Baltic provinces and in the V part of the genealogical book of the St. Petersburg, Moscow and Kharkov provinces3.
Nikolai Andreevich Korf (1710-1766), general-in-chief, senator, police chief of St. Petersburg, belonged to the second branch of Korfov (Prekuln-Kreutzburg). ON THE. Korf was a remarkable personality and left a significant mark on Russian history in the 18th century. It is known that by the age of 30, Nikolai Korf had risen to the rank of prime minister in the Koporsky cavalry regiment and even became related to the reigning dynasty by marrying Marta Skavronskaya, the cousin of Catherine I. Thanks to this, under Empress Elizabeth, he began to quickly advance in the service. At the behest of Elizabeth Petrovna, he was sent to Kiel to bring from there the nephew of the Empress Duke Peter Ulrich, later Emperor Peter Fedorovich. February 5, 1742 Korf arrived with the young duke and was granted a real chamberlain. In 1744 N.A. Corfu was entrusted with “a matter of national importance - to transport the Braunschweig family from Ranenburg to the Solovetsky Monastery, and he carried the former emperor John Antonovich all the time under his direct supervision. ON THE. Korf was granted a senator for the execution of this order.
During the Seven Years' War of 1756-1763. he was in the rank of lieutenant general was appointed governor general of Koenigsberg and in this rank he ruled the occupied Prussian regions until the end of 1760, when he was appointed police chief general of St. Petersburg. In 1760-1762. ON THE. Korf implemented important innovations for St. Petersburg:
- the Commission on the stone structure of St. Petersburg and Moscow was established;
- the Winter Palace was built;
- the Church of the Icon of the Mother of God of Vladimir was founded;
- work has begun on the creation of granite embankments of the Moika River and the Ekaterininsky Canal;
- on the collected N.A. Corfu donations opened a hospital for laborers and a charity home for the poor;
- a decree was issued on the establishment of pickets to stop drunkenness, quarrels and fights.
With the accession of Emperor Peter Fedorovich, he became general-in-chief, received the Order of St. Andrew, on February 20, 1762, he became a lieutenant colonel of the Life Cuirassier Regiment, whose colonel was Emperor Peter III himself. At a time when the behavior of Peter III began to cause general discontent, N.A. Korf was very cautious, according to the stories of his adjutant, there was every reason to think that N.A. Korf most likely knew about the impending coup. June 28, 1762, at the very beginning of the coup, he immediately took the side of Catherine. Until the end of N.A. Korf retained his title of chief director over the police and enjoyed the trust of Empress Catherine II4.
It is known that Colonel F.-H. Korf was the native nephew of Baron Nikolai Andreevich Korf. Such a close relationship undoubtedly contributed to his promotion and appointment as adjutant to Field Marshal Count Burchard Christoph Munnich (1683-1767)5.During the Russian-Turkish war of 1735-1739. B.K. Minich commanded Russian troops in the Crimea and Bessarabia. B.K. Minich took an active part in coups d'etat, and after the accession to the throne of Elizabeth Petrovna in 1742, he was sent into exile, where he stayed for 20 years. Peter III in 1762 returned his freedom, field marshalship and other titles and privileges. Catherine II appointed B.K. Minich as commander-in-chief over the ports of Rogervik, Revel, Narva, Kronstadt, Ladoga Canal. And it was after returning from exile in 1762-1767. F.-H. became his adjutant. Korf.
During the Russian-Turkish war of 1768-1774. Baron Frangold-Christian Korf served as colonel of the Kozlovsky regiment6 and was mortally wounded on September 16, 1770 during the assault on the Bendery fortress. His participation in the assault on the Bendery fortress and his death is mentioned in the Notes by G.-E. von Strandmann, published in 1882.7 Infantry general, nobleman of the Livland province Gustav-Ernest von Strandman in 1769-1780. kept a diary, which provides a detailed description of military campaigns, the advancement of troops, areas and cities through which the troops followed. G.-E. von Strandman describes in detail, in a military way, the assault on the Bendery fortress, he indicates the name of Colonel Korf in the description of the decisive actions for the capture of the fortress: “On the 15th, everything was already arranged to blow up the last mine, loaded with 400 sit around it. For this, Colonel Wasserman with 8 grenadier companies was assigned to the right side, in the middle in front of the mine, Colonel Miller with 6 grenadier companies, and on the left side Colonel Korf with 8 grenadier companies ... Everyone was ordered as soon as they mastered the covered path and found it possible cross the main dry ditch, immediately take up the assault ladders (of which a large number were made) and begin the assault "8.
The description of the assault is full of very vivid and important details: “At 10 o’clock in the evening, the “Globe de compression” was blown up with a terrible crash and the grenadier companies, which were waiting for this signal in the second parallel, immediately rushed to the covered path and stabbed everyone they came across . The grenadier companies detached for a medium attack, with continuous fire directed at the main shaft, defended the lodgement, arranged in front of the covered path, namely on the crest of the glacis, for which 510 workers were detached. We did not meet resistance on the covered path, where ladders were brought and placed in a ditch, 3 fathoms deep. The enemy tried with continuous fire to prevent us from climbing the ladders, but this did not lead to anything: the courage of our grenadiers, and in particular their desperate bitterness against the enemy, helped them to cross the ditch, in the center of the attack, therefore approximately in front of our mine. Their procession was like the course of a stream, and through this channel everyone entered the fortress, so that our troops were in it already about one in the afternoon. Since they suffered greatly and especially thinned out the detachment, which was under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Repnin (that day was in a trench), which was one of the first to climb the rampart, they were sent to the fortress with 4 grenadier companies and Major Bukhvostov with 4 companies of musketeers, to take the last bastions from the Turks. In addition, the detachments remaining in the camp, under the command of Lieutenant Generals Rennenkampf and Eleempt, set off at 8 o'clock to the first and second parallels in order to reinforce the rest of the army in case of need. Since the fortress gates had not yet been blown up, I entered the fortress by stairs and, on the orders of General Kamensky, went to attack the last of the bastions left by the Turks. It was the extreme bastion on the right side by the river. My advance was not little delayed by the continuous fire of the Turks from the windows and doors of the houses, so that when about 100 Turks violently attacked the grenadier, they retreated in the greatest disorder about 200 paces. But at last I managed to line them up again, people began to shoot and moved forward, under the protection of the fire of one cannon, which we found in the fortress. Thus, my grenadiers threw into disorder the Turks, who were still defending themselves in the streets, and took the aforementioned bastion from the battle. Leaving a part of my detachment there, I, with the rest, rushed after the fleeing enemy, who was in a hurry to take refuge in the castle. Here the gunfire began again. Among those retreating to the castle were the seraskir, aga janissaries, and many pashas; the Turks fired over the crest of the wall and killed a lot of my people. Those who had gathered in front of the castle moat, after a short resistance, were killed, with the exception of a few people whom I saved with difficulty from the fury of the rank and file. Finally, at 9 o'clock, the Turks put up a white flag in the castle, threw weapons over the wall and asked for permission to surrender to surrender. I forbade our people to shoot and went to the castle myself to talk to the seraskir. After half an hour of negotiations, conducted by me through Mustafa Pasha, who spoke German well, I selected several deputies and sent them to General Kamensky, who immediately arrived here himself and forced the enemy to a quick surrender. The Turks demanded a free pass across the Danube; but Kamensky did not agree to this; after that they were finally disarmed and sent to the count.
While our troops were busy in the city, a hundred Turkish cavalry made a sortie and tried to flee to Belgorod; but they were overtaken by our light cavalry and almost all killed, so that for several days the whole road for 30 miles was littered with Turkish naked corpses. Around 9 o'clock the shooting stopped everywhere. During the assault, some of our bombs hit the Turkish powder magazines and produced a strong explosion and fire, which at first after the assault we had no time to put out, and therefore it took on such dimensions that the next night another powder magazine flew into the air, due to which not only killed 37 soldiers and about 400 Turks, but also burned down the whole city, so that apart from the castle, not a single house remained in Bendery. Due to the negligence of our soldiers, the suburbs also caught fire. In a word, this old and beautiful city, which many times saw the enemy at its walls, turned into ashes in three days. The unfortunate inhabitants, fleeing in the cellars, finally came out of there and surrendered, but still many of them burned down. The property and all the belongings of the townsfolk went to the privates, and the treasury got heavy weapons, ammunition and 50,000 pounds of crackers. In the fortress were found 250 guns of various calibers, 25 mortars, in addition, a huge amount of gunpowder with ammunition. We captured about 8,000 Turks capable of bearing arms, and with women and children for 14,000. All these prisoners were sent to Kyiv. During the assault, the Turks lost 4,000 men from terrible artillery and rifle fire, which lasted 5 hours on the ramparts and then 7 hours more in the city. Our losses were as follows: 5 staff officers were killed, namely, Colonel of the Tambov Regiment Miller, Lieutenant Colonel Sazonov, Prime Majors Balvits and Simbulatov, and Second Major Fedotov. Baron Stein, a knight of the German Order, who served as a volunteer with us, remarkably smart and brave, also remained on the battlefield. In addition, 19 senior officers and 686 non-commissioned officers and privates were killed. 98 staff and chief officers were wounded, among them Colonel Wasserman, Colonel Korf, brigadier Larionov, retired colonel and volunteer Alduevsky, lieutenant colonels Mikhelson and Repnin; 1,154 non-commissioned officers and enlisted men were badly wounded, and 715 lightly. And so the total number of wounded and killed was 2,555 people. Many of the seriously wounded soon died. However, according to exact calculations, during a two-month stubborn siege, more than 4,000 people were killed and wounded in our army; between them 254 killed and wounded staff and chief officers "9. G.-E. von Strandmann further reported that Colonel Corfu was "shot through both cheeks and tongue" during the assault and died of a mortal wound on September 27, 1770.10
The assault on Bendery became the bloodiest battle for Russia in the war of 1768-1774. “It was better not to take Bender than to lose so much and gain so little,” this is how the Russian Empress Catherine II reacted to this event.11. However, her resentment was unfounded. The capture of Bendery was not an ordinary victory, it dealt a heavy blow to the Turkish army. The Turks even declared three days of mourning on this occasion. After the fall of Bender, the Dniester-Prut interfluve came under the control of Russian troops. For taking Bender P.I. Panin received the Order of St. George, 1st class. However, under the terms of the Kyuchuk-Kainarji peace, the signing of which ended the Russian-Turkish war of 1768-1774, the whole of Moldova, including the Bendery fortress, again went to Turkey.
The death of Colonel F.-H. Korfa during the assault on the Bendery fortress had consequences not only for his family, but, as it turned out later, for the fate of the French monarchy. The young widow of the colonel, Baroness Anna-Christina Korf, was born in St. Petersburg in the family of the famous St. Petersburg banker and court supplier G.Kh. Stegelman, a Swede by origin12. The Stegelmans belonged to the largest Lutheran community in St. Petersburg, the community of St. Peter. The community arose on the left bank of the Neva near the Admiralty, in the area where the most influential representatives of the German diaspora settled. Back in 1730 they consecrated their first church in the name of St. Peter on Nevsky Prospekt. In terms of its composition, wealth, influence and scope, it eventually became the most brilliant Lutheran community in Russia. Patrons of the community in the XVIII century. were the highest dignitaries of the empire Count B.K. Minich and Count A.I. Osterman. The community included many representatives of the Baltic nobility from among the bureaucratic and military elite of Russia, officials of all types and ranks, bankers, entrepreneurs, scientists, architects, doctors, pharmacists, and artisans. The community of St. Peter possessed large real estate, a wide network of various charitable institutions. Her Petri-Schule school enjoyed European fame. In 1760 a special stone building for the school was built. Being at that time the headman of the Lutheran community, it was G.Kh. Stegelman financed the construction and oversaw the construction of the school building. According to one version, the author of the architectural project is F.B. Rastrelli, with whom G.Kh. Stegelman had friendly relations. In 1761, the educator and theologian pastor A.F. was invited from Germany as the director of the school. Busching13.
G.Kh. Stegelman owned a building built in the middle of the 18th century. (1750-1753) designed by the architect F.B. Rastrelli is a two-storey palace with two symmetrical outbuildings framing the front yard. This building was repeatedly rebuilt and did not retain its original baroque decoration (Embankment of the Moika River, 50 building 2), at present it houses the building of the Russian State Pedagogical University. A.I. Herzen.
There is no exact data on the date of birth of the future Baroness Korf, but according to indirect data, it can be assumed that she belongs to the beginning of the 50s. 18th century Anna-Christina's father died in 1864; the funeral of the "rich banker Stegelmann" in St. Petersburg is mentioned in the autobiographical notes of the German pastor A.F. Bushing14. After the death of her husband, Anna-Christina's mother sold the palace he owned to the state treasury for 55,000 rubles.15. After the death of Colonel F.-H. Korfa in Bendery Anna-Christina, together with her mother, went to France and lived permanently for twenty years in Paris.
In Paris, the widow of Colonel Korf was on friendly terms with the famous Count Hans Axel von Fersen, a Swede who was in the French service. According to some reports, Anna-Christina was the cousin of Count H.A. von Fersen, which is entirely possible given her father's Swedish heritage. Because of this relationship, she and her mother were even considered Swedish subjects in Paris, although they were both born in St. Petersburg and both were Russian subjects.
It is known about Hans Axel von Fersen that he was born in 1755 in Stockholm, was the eldest son of Count Frederick Axel von Fersen16. At the age of 15, H.A. von Fersen was sent to study at a military school in Braunschweig, then, having made a trip to several European countries, in 1775 he returned to Sweden, where he was promoted to captain of the Life Dragoon Regiment. In 1778 he went to France, where as early as 1770 he entered the service of a lieutenant in the Royal Bavier regiment, and was promoted to colonel.
Count H.A. Fersen was well received in the high society of Paris and became well received by Queen Marie Antoinette. The latter circumstance gave rise to rumors that the Swedish count was a close friend of the queen. Swedish Ambassador to France G.F. Kreutz, in a letter to Gustav III, even suggested that Marie Antoinette was in love with H.A. von Fersen. The assumptions of a number of authors that Kh.A. von Fersen was the father of Louis XVII, rejected by some modern scholars on chronological grounds. In 1780-1783. he, as aide-de-camp to Count Jean-Baptiste de Rochambeau, participated in the War of Independence of the British colonies, distinguishing himself in 1781 at the siege of Yorktown. In 1783 H.A. von Fersen led the regiment of Royal Svedua. At the same time, he received a promotion in Sweden, becoming a colonel in 1782, in 1783 a lieutenant colonel of the Life Dragoon Regiment, and in 1787 a lieutenant commander of the Life Dragoon Corps and Lieutenant Colonel Adelsfan, in which capacity he took part in 1788 in Russian-Swedish war of 1788-1790
From 1788 to 1791 H.A. von Fersen was almost continuously in France. Taking advantage of the location of the royal family to H.A. von Fersen, the Swedish king Gustav III often used his mediation in negotiations, bypassing the official Swedish representative. After the start of the revolution in France and the emigration of many members of the royal family abroad, H.A. von Fersen becomes one of the closest advisers to Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. It was H.A. von Fersen in June 1791 prepared the escape of the royal couple from France. After the king and queen were captured in Varenna, H.A. von Fersen moved to Belgium, where he remained as a Swedish diplomatic agent until 1794. He continued to maintain secret correspondence with the royal couple, who were under house arrest in the Tuileries, and in February 1792, at the risk of his life, disguised, personally inflicted visit. Later H.A. von Fersen continued to hatch plans to save the royal family and participated in the creation of a European coalition against revolutionary France. After the execution of Marie Antoinette, which took place on October 16, 1793, his ties with France were cut off. Fersen's diary and correspondence were published in Sweden in 1878 under the title "Le comte de Fersen et la cour de France" ("Count Fersen and the French court"). In 1810 he was killed in Sweden by an angry mob17.
The role of Baroness Anna-Christina Korf in the conspiracy of 1791 was as follows: at the request of H.A. von Fersen, the widow of the Russian Colonel Korf issued a duplicate passport in her name and handed it over to the royal family, it was ordered in her name and, apparently, she paid for the Berlin road carriage (a custom-made luxury carriage on high red wheels, upholstered inside white Utrecht velvet, with green curtains and all sorts of fashionable amenities at that time, for example, vase de voyage) for the flight of the Bourbon royal family from revolutionary Paris.
The Varennes crisis of 1791, connected with the story of the flight of King Louis XVI from Paris, is one of the turning points in the history of the Great French Revolution of the XVIII century.18. By the summer of 1791, the institution of the monarchy in France was in deep crisis, the final decline in its prestige was facilitated by an unsuccessful attempt to escape the royal family, his arrest in Varennes.
On Monday 20 June 1791, around midnight, Louis XVI, Queen Marie Antoinette, their children (Charles-Louis, Marie Therese), Princess Elisabeth (sister of Louis) and Duchess de Tourzel (Louise-Elisabeth de Croy d'Avray, tutor of the royal children) went on foot to Carousel Square, where they got into a carriage, the horses of which were driven by Count H.A. von Fersen disguised as a coachman19. From there they rode to the Saint-Martin gate. Here, a six-horse berlin awaited them, having transferred to this road carriage, they set off, being provided with a passport in the name of a Russian subject, Baroness Korf. HA. von Fersen accompanied them to Bondi, which was a few miles from Paris, then took another road to throw the pursuers off the trail. On another road, the brother of the king, the Count of Provence, left and reached Belgium. The flight of the king took place two days later than the time scheduled by the conspirators, and therefore some detachments, put up in advance by the royalist general Buje on the route of the carriage, had to be withdrawn so as not to arouse suspicion.
The real Baroness Korf, with exactly the same passport, left for Germany, in Frankfurt, in the first days of June. Baroness Korf received a duplicate of her passport at the Russian embassy under the pretext that the original had burned down. This was later testified by the Russian ambassador I.M. Simolin, forced to give clarifications about a serious political case20. Based on the involvement of the Russian subject Baroness Korf in the flight of the king, rumors spread around Paris about the involvement of the Russian ambassador I.M. Simolina. Only the guards posted at his house saved the diplomat during the days of the Varennes crisis from the massacre of the crowd.
Versions regarding his participation in the preparation of the flight are still being discussed in historiography, in some publications it was directly stated: “Simolin handed over a passport in the name of Korf to the queen” 21. According to the famous Russian historian V.N. Vinogradov, this version is doubtful. As an argument, he cites the fact that a smaller number of accompanying persons was indicated in the passport than there were passengers in the carriage: Princess Elizabeth, the king's sister, turned out to be “not covered”. According to V.N. Vinogradov, if I.M. Simolin really prepared documents for the fugitives, he would be able to count their number. In our opinion, this argument is not exhaustive evidence. The conspiracy was prepared in the strictest secrecy, the plans of the conspirators changed, and the number of participants could also be changed. But the materials of the correspondence of Ambassador I.M. Simolina testify that most likely the use of the duplicate passport issued by him to Baroness Korf was unexpected for him and caused him a lot of trouble22.
The further fate of Anna-Christina Korf developed in an unenviable way. Finding herself virtually without funds in the Habsburg monarchy, she was forced to petition the Austrian court for compensation for the material damage she had suffered in connection with the failure of the conspiracy to save Louis XVI and his family. With a request to compensate the baroness for the losses, Count Kh.A. von Fersen to Empress Catherine II23. His many years of efforts, apparently, were not crowned with success: the reigning persons were in no hurry to assist the baroness, who had fallen into the history of an adventurous conspiracy.
The name of Colonel Frangold-Christian Korf is imprinted on the marble slabs of the Bendery Fortress memorial complex as the name of a Russian soldier who fell during the heroic assault on the Transnistrian stronghold, and the name of his widow is inscribed in a remarkable page in world history, which still arouses great interest among historians, publicists, playwrights , writers, all those who are not left indifferent by the inscrutable paths of History.
- Bendery fortress http://realty.adetiplus.ru (link not available)
- Corfu http://dic.academic.ru/dic.nsf/biograf2/7371
- Korf, Nikolai Andreevich http://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki
- Minich, Burchard Christoph http://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki; See also: Kostomarov N.I. Russian history in the biographies of its main figures. Field Marshal Munnich and his significance in Russian history// http://www.sedmitza.ru/text/435702.html http://www.sedmitza.ru/text/435702.html
- The Kozlovsky infantry (musketeer) regiment was formed on December 15, 1763, later from 1797 to 1799 this regiment was called Starobadensky, and in 1834 it was disbanded. In the funds of the Russian State Military Historical Archive (RGVIA), where an official request was made in May 2010 for information about the service of Frangold Christian Korf, the materials of the Kozlovsky Infantry Regiment for the 18th century. not preserved / Archival certificate of the RGVIA dated May 21, 2010 No. 1661. It is noteworthy that the famous Russian writer Vladimir Nabokov mentioned F.Kh. Korfe as the great-great-grandfather of his grandmother.
- Strandman G.-E. Notes // Russian antiquity. 1882. V. 34. No. 5. S.289-318; 1884.T. 43. No. 7.S.55-86; No. 8.S.271-288.
- Bendery 1408-2008 http://www.bendery-600.ru/Istoria/istoria3.html (link not available)
- Germans in Russia: Historical and Documentary Edition. SPb., 2004. Manual. project and resp. editor G.I. Smagina http://www.genrogge.ru/grbook/index.htm#begin
- History of Petrishule http://petrishule.spb.ru/main/history/4
- Busching A.-F. Autobiography / Presentation, excerpts by A.G. Brikner // Historical Bulletin. 1886. V. 25. No. 7. S.5-26. http://mikv1.narod.ru/text/Busching1886.htm
- Khmeleva E.N. Portrait of Antonio Rinaldi in the Gatchina Palace // Historical magazine "Gatchina through the centuries" http://history-gatchina.ru/article/rinaldi.htm
- Fersen, Hans Axel von //http://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fersen,_Hans_Axel_vonFersen
- Kurkina Yu.V. The Varennes Crisis and French Public Opinion (Based on the Pamphlets of the Great French Revolution) //From the Old Order to the Revolution. L., S.135-145.
- Chronicle of the Flight of Varennes//Vive liberta website library// http://vive-liberta.narod.ru/resp_calend/varennes.htm
- Lukin N.M. Tsarism and the French bourgeois revolution of 1789 according to the reports of I.M. Simolina//Literary heritage. 1937. T.29-30. C.343-382.
- See: V.N. Vinogradov. Diplomacy of Catherine the Great: Catherine II and the French Revolution//New and Contemporary History. No. 6. 2001. http://vivovoco.rsl.ru/VV/JOURNAL/NEWHIST/01_06/CATTY_3.HTM
- Letter from the Russian envoy in Paris Simolin to St. Petersburg to c. Osterman June 27, 1791 //Baroness Korf and her assistance in the escape of Louis XVI from Paris in 1791 //Russian Archive.1866. Issue 6. pp. 805-806.
- Letter from c. Osterman to gr. A.K. Razumovsky March 26, 1796 // Russian Archive. 1866. Issue 6. P.816.