Participation of the Don Cossacks in the Russian-Persian and Russian-Turkish wars in the territory of historical Armenia in the 19th century
In 1826 the Persian Qajars incited by England began war against Russia. The Persian shah counted on support of the population professing Moslem while Armenians were completely on side of Russia, hoping to receive, in case of its victory, national and religious release.
Raid of group under D.V Davydov's command on the territory of the Erivansky khanate of (Armenia) was the last large operation of a campaign of 1826. The Cossack regiment of Andreyev of the 1st was a part of group. Following the results of operation during which the northern regions of Armenia were freed D.V. Davydov wrote that "150 Cossacks of a regiment of Andreyev conducted more intensive fire, than infantry"
In the fall of the same year to the Caucasus profits of 6 Cossack regiments from Don: Karpov of the 2nd, Shamshev, Sergeyev, Izvaylov, Kuteynikov and Pozdeev and also the 3rd horse and artillery company under command of the army foreman Polyakov.
In a campaign of 1827 the Don Cossacks also made the contribution to defeat of the enemy. Karpov's regiments of the 2nd and Andreyeva, being in vanguard of group of K.H. Benkendorf, the first approached Echmiadzin – the ancient cultural center of Armenia, having forced Persians to leave it without fight.
At Karasu-basha's natural boundary, the village constable of a regiment of Karpov of the 2nd Kulgin took prisoner Izmail-agu, ordering groups of Kurds for what it was awarded with a distinction of the Military Orden.
The Don Cossacks figured also at Erivani's siege, Nakhchivan and also at battle at Dzhevan-Bulakh. On July 5, 1827 the Don Cossack regiment under V.D. Ilovaysky's command of the first was transported through Araks, having rendered the help in reflection of the Persian cavalry.
In a course of action Cossacks, interacting with Benkendorf's cavalry, inflicted crushing defeat over the enemy. For the first time for years of war in this battle larger association of Cossacks, than crew was applied that yielded brilliant results. For difference in battle at Dzhevan-Bulakh Nicholas I granted V.D. Ilovaysky a gold snuffbox with the portrait.
The peace treaty between Persia and Russia was signed on February 10, 1828 in the village Turkmanchay. Broken by force of the Russian weapon, Persians cleaned East Armenia which departed to Russia which urged Armenians of Persia to move under protection of the Russian regiments as was made.
In total during war with Persia of 1826-1828 Don exposed 12 Cossack regiments and the 3rd horse and artillery company that made about 4.5 thousand people and 12 tools.
Practically at once after the end of the Russian-Persian war, war of Russia with Turkey began. It was conducted on two battlefields - Balkan and Caucasian.
In the Caucasus there were Cossack parts which were involved in war with Persia and received insignificant reinforcements from Don: only 11 regiments and the 3rd Don horse and artillery company that averaged about 5 thousand people and 12 tools.
Battle for Bayazet's fortress, and then its defense was one of bright battles of a military campaign of 1828-1829 in the Caucasus. This city with the citadel built in the 14th century by the sultan Bayazit was located in a northeast part of Turkey on the place of the ancient Armenian city of Pakowang.
In the summer of 1829 the Don Cossacks of the regiment Shamshev caused a stir in Bayazet's defense lasting from June 19 to July 3, 1829. Cossacks made courageous sorties, battling against large groups of Turks and forcing their batteries to change the positions. In fortress the colonel I.K. Shamshev ordered troops which consisted of infantry, urgent Cossacks of his regiment and city Armenian militia. Storm on July 20 when Cossacks and Armenians under I.K. Shamshev's command beat off several attacks was the most intense. For difference in this fight Shamshev was awarded the order to St. Georgy IV degrees, and his regiment was handed a regimental banner of St. George with the inscription "For Bayazet's Defense on June 20 and 21, 1829".
Wars with Persia and Turkey in 1826-1829 strengthened the position of Russia in the Balkans and in the Caucasus, had huge value for release of the people of these regions from an overseas yoke. The army Don took the broadest part in fighting, having exposed from 15 to 17 thousand people, and 36 tools on all battlefields, and a third of these forces was involved in both wars. In an award for participation in wars with Persia and Turkey in 1826-1829 the Army to Donskoy was granted the Army banner of St. George. The Don Cossacks showed not only military valor, courage, courage, extraordinary bravery, but also the high moral qualities determined first of all by desire to protect weak and offended. Being guided by such morals, Cossacks of Don showed a model of unprecedented service to a military duty.
(Information is prepared on materials of the book "The Don Cossacks in the Past and the Present",
published by the Rostov State university in 1998).