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The Battle of Kletzk against Swedish Forces.
A Journal by S. P. Neplynyev, April 19, 1706
by N. N. Ogloblin

A significant event in the history of military operations of Peter the Great against Charles XII in 1706 is the battle of Kletsk, or as it came to be known "The Kletsk Pogrom". Combined formations of the court elder and warlord Simen Protas'yevich Neplynyev and Colonel Daniel Apostola of Mirgorod were annihilated by the Swedes. In as much as these military operations were not to exert a decisive impact on the war; the superiority of the Swedish Army was yet again demonstrated, which dealt the Russian army a "psychological blow". This Northern War episode serves as the subject of discussion by N. N. Oglobin on the state of readiness of the Russian army. In addition, the events of this episode are not commonly known.
In historian Solovyov's History of Russia, Vol XV, pp. 183-194, on military operations of 1706, no mention is made of the battle of Kletsk. The author, Ustryalov, briefly mentions it in explaining a letter by Hetman Mazeppa to the Tsar, which alludes to the skirmish in his book The Reign of Peter the Great, Vol IV, part I, pp 477-478.
In view of the aforementioned, N. N. Oglobin presents the story of the Battle of Kletsk, as recounted by one of its principal participants, S. P. Neplynyev. The story was preserved in one of the books of the Ministry of Justice, the Moscow Archives, No 91, entitled "Old City Ledgers" pp. 374-379. Book No 91 comprises principally the collected records of army equipment, horses, and funds and expenditures for the years 1701-1706. They collected records also contain various documents of the regiment commanded by S. P. Neplynyev, being of particular interest. On pages 187-415 are stock receipts, disbursements for various regimental supplies, lists of conscripts, dates of conscription deployment at Syhevsk, lists of command staff, (of note is the regimental judicial resolution court), the provisions and other organizational structures.
Beginning with March 1, 1706 the S. P. Neplynyev campaign journal places the regiment in Slutsk, adjacent to the theater of operations.
Before the author, N. N. Oglobin, presents the extracts from the Neplynyev journal, he provides an overview of the military operations of 1760 which preceded the defeat of the army at Kletsk.
In January, 1706, the main Russian army's headquarters was in the heavily fortified city of Grodno. While under the overall command of King Augustus II< field commanders were field marshal Ogilvie, prince Menshikov, and prince Repnin. King Charles XII of Sweden's reconnaissance of the Grodno fortifications convinced him of the futility of storming its ramparts. The Swedish army stopped 10 miles from Grodno, hoping to draw the Russian army out into the open where it could be defeated.
Mazeppa diverted the attention of the Swedes allowing Ogilvie's army encamped near the Volyini River to cross it February in the direction of Minsk. Mazeppa wrote a letter to Tsar Peter in which he recommended Danil Apostol, an able commander and experienced tactician be given the honor of carrying the colors. This tactical move was crucial as Ogilvie had lost all hope of support when the army of 30,000 (with a Russian company) commanded by Shulenburg was totally decimated at Franstadt, by a Swedish corps of 9,000 men commanded by Renshold.
This defeat alarmed Peter, who, urgently ordered Ogilvie to leave Grodno and retire behind the Russian frontier. Ogilvie was prudent with the army of Charles XII so close at hand.
A successful withdrawal was made on March 24, as the river crested, separating the two armies. Charles could not pursue Ogilvie for a week. during which he would pass Brest and Kovel enroute for Kiev. Charles gave chase on April 3rd. hoping to cut off the retreat, however, the marshes through which he led his army, stalled him and allowed Ogilvie to retreat unscathed.
The historian Ustryalov states that Charles understood "the last chance of pursuing the Russian army and was to remain two months on the Pinsk marshes, ransacking cities and fortresses, where loyalist to King Augustus II had sought refuge as well as Russ- minor peasants. A particularly hard pill to swallow for the Russians was Kletsk. (p 477). The events of this "most memorable" episode of Russian history are found in the journal of S. P{. Neplynyev of his regiments' campaign (Old city ledgers, book number 91, pp 374-379)
As has been said, the journal begins with the induction of infantrymen at Slutsk on March 1st, where in an --- between Neplynyev and the allied Polish colonel Yoakim Borigar in Zamostye'. A notation for March 2nd states that "on the orders of his exalted eminence, (the tsar), the Hetman and cavalier Ivan Stepanvich Mazeppa was to move his regiment with cavalry to Minsk, leaving Neplynyev's regiment and remaining forces in Slutsk.

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