The Polish Bug Division

The following is a rough chronology of the campaign service of the Bug Division from its creation to its dissolution in early 1813.

Between 18.VIII.1812 and 28.VIII.1812
The Bug Division was in its original position: Hrubieszow - Uscilug - Dubienka - Wlodawa. Before 4.IX.1812 they also took Vladimir. The Division was on the edge of the right wing of Schwarzenberg's forces

4.IX.1812
Kosinski received orders from Schwarzenberg and went directly to Lutsk, a town on the Volhynie.

6.IX.1812
Kosinski took Pawlowice, a small town between Vladimir and Lutsk, and then conducted reconnaissance to the Styr River. The 2nd Prov. Cav. Regt. was in Swiniuchy, an area about 12 km. southwest from Pawlowice, and this Regt. also conducted reconnaissance to Beresteczko, a town on the Styr. On the left of the Division the 1st Prov. Cav. Regt. was in Sadowa and had contact with the Saxon Gablenz Brigade. This Regt. was conducting reconnaissance to Lutsk. The infantry was in the centre at Pawlowice, a position that was very easy to defend because of the many swamps.

When the Division was on the Volhynie General Kosinski issued a proclamation to the Poles who lived on the Volhynie in which he tried to induce them to stage an uprising. But the Austrian Corps and the Russian Army stopped this plan. The Austrians didn't want a Polish uprising because they didn't want an independant Polish Volhynie. (We must remember that the conservative Austrians were even unsure of their own militia for fear of democratic thoughts spreading through popular associations. Austria feared the French Revolution more than any enemy.)

In September (the first part of the month)
General Kosinski received some reinforcements of about 1000 men. (National Guard from Plotsk, 300 men from Volhynie and an unknown unit from Warsaw).
The total strength on 13.IX.1812 : 75 officers and 3090 soldiers of the Regular Army (13th Regt., depots, artillery and 1st Provisional Cav. Regt.); 62 officers and 2495 National Guard (Jagers, Veterans and National Guard). The Order Of Battle did not change.

22.IX.1812
The Russian general Chichagov started his offensive, crossed the Styr River and attacked the Saxon and Polish forces.

23.IX.1812 (probably)
Six btns. (3 of them are: 13th Line Regt., 2 - National Guard and Veterans, 1 Infantry Depots and Wald-Jagers) of the Bug Division fought the Battle of Pawlowice with the the Russian Voinov Corps (ca. 12 btns., 8 sqns, 3 cossack regts., 4 artillery batt.) After the battle Kosinski was forced to retreat to Vladimir.

After 23.IX.1812
Kosinski evacuated Vladimir.

28.IX.1812
Kosinski didn't execute Schwarzenberg's order commanding him to go to Luboml, a town on the Turia River, and instead crossed the Bug River to protect Zamosc, a very important town and fortress in the Grand Duchy of Warsaw.

In October (the first part of the month)
Kosinski sent the 1st Bn/13th Line Regt., depot battalion, Wald-jagers, and elements of the National Guard to Zamosc.
Between October and November the rest of the Bug Division protected the Polish border on the Bug River again.

18.XI.1812
General Kosinski was reassigned and General Ludwik Kropinski took command of the Bug Division.

10.XII.1812
General Kropinski left the Division because of "bad health", but in fact he was connected with the Polish pro-Russian party, and this is really why he left this unit. After him Colonel Wierzbicki took command of the Division, which was then stationed at Chelm.

In December
General Poniatowski made a decision to dissolve the Bug Division because he needed soldiers for his Line Regiments, and he wanted to include the National Guard and depot btns. in their original line regiments. It is uncertain, but this probably did not happen in December owing to the confused state of affairs. It was probably at this time that the Division was split into two columns -- the first under Major Rzodkiewicz and the second under Colonel Wierzbicki -- because there is information that some of the National Guard Cavalry (under Colonel Rzodkiewicz) were sent to Reynier as his Avant Garde when he was near Siedlce and in the vicinity of Warsaw.

In the later part of December
Major Rzodkiewicz had a skirmish near Brest on the Bug River with four Russian sqns. of cossacks and one sqn. of dragoons. The Russians lost about 200 men. After this battle Rzodkiewicz retreated and evacuated Brest.

8.I.1813
Wierzbicki was near Krasnystaw on the Wieprz River.

8.I.1813
The rest of 13th Line Regt. left the Bug Division beacause it had to defend the fortress of Zamosc. Originally, in the begining of the War of 1812, this regiment was subordinated to the 16th Division, but in fact it stood in Zamosc as a garrison. It was taken from this town and assigned to the Bug Divison, and now the 13th Reg. had to return to its original duties. The 13th protected Zamosc until 25.12.1813, almost one year after the French evacuation of Poland.

20-30.I.1813
Colonel Wierzbicki with ca. 2000 men crossed the Vistula River near Kazimir, a town on the middle Vistula River. Major Rzodkiewicz, with 1400 men, probably crossed the Vistula near Karczew, to the south of Warsaw, at this time.

In February (the later part of the month)
Near Czestochova the Bug Division was dissolved and its units were absorbed into the Polish Regular Army.

Reference:
M. Lukasiewicz, Armia Ksiecia Jozefa 1813. Warszawa, 1986.
(M. Lukasiewicz, Prince Joseph's Army 1813, Warsaw, 1986.)

This information has been supplied us by Marcin Mystkowski in Warsaw.


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