Greben Cossacks

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Russian Army >> Greben Cossacks

Origin and History

Greben Cossacks settled along the Terek River since the XVIth century.

In 1711, the Greben Cossacks took part in the campaign of the Russian Army under Count Apraxin against the Lesser Nogai Horde. The next year, they took Russian allegiance and the Greben Cossack Host was established.

In 1721, the Greben Cossack Host was subordinated to the Military Collegium.

According to Maslovskiy, in 1740 a census counted 500 men fit for military service among the Greben Cossack Host.

Between 1746 and 1755, the Greben Cossack Host incorporated the Terek-family cossacks.

As per Maslovskiy, by 1755, the Greben Cossack Host counted 495 men, including:

  • 1 ataman
  • 1 regimental yesaul (assistant commander)
  • 1 clerk
  • 5 starshinas (administrative heads)
  • 5 sotniks (commanders of sotnias)
  • 5 yesauls (assistant commanders of a sotnia)
  • 477 Cossacks

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was commanded by:

  • no information found

Service during the War

In 1756, these Cossacks were stationed in their initial settlements. They did not participate in any campaign of the Seven Years' War.

Uniform

Illustrations of Cossacks
The Anne S. K. Brown Military Collection at Brown University make available a large number of illustrations depicting Cossacks. Even though they are mostly of the 1812-1815 period, they give a fairly good idea of the way Cossacks dressed during this era.

At the outbreak of the Seven Years' War, these Cossacks did not wear uniforms. The following description is very conjectural and based on the clothing of other Cossack units.

Caftans and waistcoats were often made of blue cloth. Their hair was cut in roundel. They wore a high bonnet of sheepskin. Coats of rank and file were girdled with an ordinary sabre strap or a belt of coarse fabric material. Leaders wore silken belt from Persia or Poland over the sabre belt. Sabre was worn over the waistcoat. Some cossacks, especially the rank and file had only a mustache, beard was less common. They wore woollen trousers, half boots of black Morocco leather or simple leather. The Cossacks trousers were similar to the Turkish ones, but much tighter.

Troopers were usually armed with a lance, a sabre and a pistol. They could also carry a knife and a musket.

Musicians

no information found

Colours

These regiments had probably no official standard even though they may had some unofficial ones.

References

Grosser Generalstab Kriegsgeschichtliche Abteilung II: Die Kriege Friedrichs des Grossen, Part 3 Der siebenjährige Krieg 1756-1763, Vol. 4 Groß-Jägersdorf und Breslau, Berlin, 1902, p. 21 and appendix 1

Maslovskiy, Dmitrij Fedorovich: Russkaia armija w siemieletnjuju wojnu, Vol. 1

Russian Wikipedia - Гребенские казаки

Acknowledgements

Roman Shlygin for the section "Origin and History" of this article