16 (28) March 1827, General Ivan Fyodorovich Paskevich was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Russian troops and governor-general in the Caucasus region, replacing General Alexei Petrovich Yermolov. The 1827 campaign of the second Russian-Persian war began with a new commander in chief. Paskevich received the full power over the Separate Caucasus Corps, at the same time was the chief commander in the Caucasus and the North Caucasus.
In the spring of 1827, the Persians renewed their predatory raids on the Russian Transcaucasus. Horse detachments made quick raids and, without engaging with regular troops, returned to Persian territory. Emperor Nicholas I demanded to immediately go on the offensive and defeat the Persian troops, forcing the Persian state to peace. A strategic turning point in the war occurred back in 1826, when the Persian army suffered crushing defeats in the battle of Shamkhor and in the battle of Elizavetpol (Russian victories in the Caucasus: the Shamkhor battle and the battle of Elisavetpol in 1826). However, the real state of affairs did not allow an offensive campaign to start right away - the arrival of spring was delayed, the mountain “roads” (paths) were spoiled by melting snow and torrential rains, it was necessary to collect provisions, to prepare transports. At the same time, in order to fulfill the will of the sovereign, Paskevich sent the vanguard to the Erivan khanate under the command of Adjutant-General K. H Benkendorf (the brother of the famous A. H. Benkendorf). Having made a difficult transition, in mid-April, Russian troops occupied the city of Echmiadzin and the famous Echmiadzin Monastery, which was located on the outskirts of Erivan. Then the Russian troops stepped up to the enemy fortress. At the same time, work was underway to improve the road for the passage of the main forces.
To cover the robber raids from the northern Azerbaijani lands, a blocking squadron under the command of Nikita Petrovich Pankratiev (the future commander of the troops in Transcaucasia) was deployed near the Akh caravanserai on Araks. In May, Pankratiev began work on developing the road to Girius and on to Mount Salvarty to establish communication with the main forces. He also accepted Mehdi-Kuli-Khan of Karabakh with four thousand families in the Arakhli gorge and resettled in Karabakh. Paskevich entered into negotiations with Mehdi Kuli, the former ruler of Karabakh, who settled in Persia in 1822. This Khan raided the Russian possessions. At the suggestion of Paskevich, Mekhti-Kuli-khan accepted Russian citizenship.
At the end of May 15-th. Corps under the leadership of Paskevich connected with the vanguard. The commander ordered artillery positions to be erected on the bank of the river Zangi. However, the corps had no siege artillery; its arrival from Russia was expected only in September. Paskevich decided that it was dangerous to go to Tabriz (Tabriz) without taking Erivan. The Erivan garrison could disrupt the communications of the Caucasian corps or even attack from the rear. Therefore, he decided to take advantage of the plan that was developed by Ermolov’s headquarters. The fortress was supposed to block a small force. The main forces were to defeat and drive away the Persian field army, after which it was possible to safely proceed to the assault and siege of Erivan. This decision was influenced by two more circumstances. The first is the intense heat in the Ararat Valley, which exhausted the troops, led to the growth of diseases. And the heat was really terrible. The 1827 summer of the year turned out to be extremely hot and arid even for these edges, accustomed to high temperatures. The temperature reached 50-53 ° C in the sun and 40-41 ° C in the shade. Heat contributed to the development of disease. Fever and the dysentery epidemic that broke out in the 20 division left about 4 ths. I. Paskevich handed over a report to the emperor in August, where he reported that up to one third of the hospital staff was in the Caucasian Corps. Thousands of people in the ranks of 1,8 remained in the ranks around 1 thousand. The second circumstance was the reasonable arguments of former Guards captain Mikhail Puschina, demoted as a soldier, for participating in the “Decembrists” uprising. Pushchin was well versed in engineering work and advised against starting the siege in the summer, suggested postponing it until September. When in September the main forces return to Erivan, Pushchin will become the main "technical" advisor to Paskevich in preparing the assault.
As a result, the blockade of Erivan was assigned to Lieutenant General Afanasy Ivanovich Krasovsky, commander of the 20 Infantry Division. Krasovsky was supposed to keep the main position near the village of Dzhanguli. Such an arrangement allowed the protection of the Echmiadzin Monastery, where the hospital for the sick and wounded and the corps reserves were located. At the same time, the troops controlled the road to Georgia.
On the left flank, the Pankrat'ev detachment was supposed to protect the communications along which the main corps forces were supplied and at the same time prevent Magomed Mirza's robber raids, which were located behind the Araks River. Under the leadership of Magomet-Mirza was 12-thousand. horse detachment. The main forces of the corps were to march southwards through the valley of the Aras. The main objectives of the corps were Nakhichevan and the fortress of Abbas-Abad, as well as the Persian army.
Victory at Djevan-Bulak and capture of Abbas-Abad
The 20 Jun main corps forces were concentrated on the Garni Chai River, 50 versts from Erivan. The troops were divided into two columns. The first was commanded by Major-General Ivan Mikhailovich Vadbolsky, the second by Lieutenant-General, the commander of the 21 Infantry Division, George Yevseyevich Eristov. Avant-garde commanded by Konstantin Hristoforovich Benkendorf. The movement of troops took place with great difficulties, heat and problems with drinking water, prevented the rapid movement of troops. 26 June Russian avant-garde occupied Nakhichevan. On the same day, enemy cavalry appeared on the opposite bank of the Aras. 3-thousand the enemy detachment was commanded by Nagi Khan. The local population took Russian citizenship. Russian troops bought several thousand head of cattle. The supply of troops has improved. In order to establish contact with the Karabakh detachment, Paskevich sent two companies of the Kherson grenadier and a hundred Cossacks, under the command of Major Hoffmann, to Karababa, right across the mountains.
While the troops were stationed near Nakhichevan, there was a reconnaissance of the approaches to Abbas-Abad. This fortress was built under the guidance of British engineers and adjoined Araks. The fortifications were defended by a moat depth of 4 meters and a width of 6 meters. Abbas-Abad was built on the site of an ancient fortress destroyed by the “lion” of Persia, Shah-Abbas, at the time when his hordes devastated all of Armenia. In 14, the famous Armenian "Red Monastery" was built on this site. The Persian commander-in-chief Abbas-Mirza had high hopes for this fortress. Abbas-Abad had communications with Khoy province and was located 5-6 versts from Nakhichevan. While this fortress was in the hands of the Persians, there was no need to talk about the complete conquest of the Nakhichevan region.
On July 1, Russian troops reached the fortress and took up positions on the river, two versts from Abbas-Abad. By morning several batteries were erected and trenches were dug. The artillery duel continued all day, the Russian artillerymen tried to suppress enemy batteries and make a hole in the fortifications. By evening, the main enemy batteries subsided. On the night of 2 on 3 July, the trenches were extended. Soldiers brought positions closer to the enemy fortress, July 6 battery was built almost opposite one of the Persian bastions. 24 guns fired on the fortress, preventing the enemy from taking water from the river and destroying fortifications. The walls were seriously damaged, a large breach was made in one of the bastions. However, the garrison did not surrender, waiting for the arrival of the army of Prince Abbas Mirza.
The Persian commander in chief really went to the aid of the fortress. 16-thousand The Persian army was discovered by the Russian July 4 patrols. Enemy cavalry began to appear behind the Araks. Paskevich did not wait for the attack of the Persian army and he decided to attack. Leaving part of the troops to protect the batteries, the camp and the train, he went with the rest of the forces to meet the enemy. With him, Paskevich took the 8 infantry battalions, the entire cavalry, which consisted of regiments of the 2 th Ulan division, the Nizhny Novgorod dragoon regiment and the Cossacks, as well as several light guns. Cavalry and equestrian guns forced the Araks themselves. For the infantry, they built a ferry of oxen skins and logs.
In the morning, the Persian cavalry attacked the Cossack posts advanced beyond the river. Paskevich sent to the other side of Ilovaiskaya with two Don regiments, and, with their efforts, two more regiments of the Black Sea population. One Cossack hundred carried away by the pursuit and went too far, faced with significant enemy forces. The Donets began to retreat, the Persians were stopped by the Black Sea people, who dismounted and met the enemy with volleys. Paskevich moved the entire cavalry vanguard of Benkendorf to the aid, with horse-drawn implements. Russian cavalry knocked over the enemy.
The Persians retreated to their main forces. Russian troops made a rapid march to 15 versts and suddenly appeared in front of an enemy field camp, where they were not expected so quickly. The battle took place at the stream Dzhevan-Bulak. In the center of the Persian position were the regiments of regular cavalry under the command of Abbas-Mirza. On the left wing was Ibrahim Khan with irregular Persian troops, and Gassan Khan with his own Erivan cavalry. The right Persian flank consisted of 5 thousands of selected Shah's cavalry, under the command of Allayar-Khan. Persian troops initially attacked the Russian infantry, but failed. Then the Persians tried to circumvent the Russian flanks, where the cavalry was located. A stubborn battle ensued. Paskevich brought into the battle all the forces and the enemy was rejected. Persian troops tried to hold on to the ridge of rocky hills, but the Persians were shot down and from there. The victory was complete. Abbas-Mirza himself barely took off his legs, fleeing from the Cossacks. Captivated by his squire with a precious gun. The Persians in this battle lost about 400 people and up to 100 people prisoners. Among the prisoners were three Khans. The loss of Russian troops - 41 people.
This victory decided the fate of the fortress. The garrison of the fortress during the Cevanbulak battle made a sortie, but it was repelled with great damage to the Persians. Paskevich ordered a volley at the fortress and then released a notable prisoner to Abbas-Abad. So that he told about the outcome of the battle with the Persian army. The hopes of the garrison for help from outside were destroyed. The Caucasian commander-in-chief suggested capitulation to the garrison. The commandant tried to gain time and offered to conclude a truce for three days, but Paskevich refused such an agreement. All day the fortress was shelled. In the evening, an officer with a white flag and commanders of two Sarbaz battalions (Persian regular infantry) came out, they reported that they were surrendering.
On 7.00 7 on August 1827, the surrender ceremony began. Persian garrison - 2,7 thousand people, folded weapon and lined up on the serf parade ground. The commandant of the fortress Magmet-Emin-khan, son-in-law of the Shah, surrounded by senior officers, presented Paskevich with the keys to the fortress. Two shah battalions solemnly passed by them. Their commanders handed their banners to the Caucasian governor. For the Persian soldiers were representatives of the clergy and the townspeople. Then the Life Guard Consolidated Regiment with its flags spread and under the drumbeat entered the fortress and took the guard in it. After the solemn prayer, 101 was given a cannon shot from artillery.
A total of 23 cannons were captured in the fortress. In addition, in Abbas-Abad there were significant reserves of gunpowder and other stocks. Paskevich for this victory was awarded the Order of St. Vladimir 1 degree. The consequences of this victory was the resettlement of a significant number of families who roamed beyond Arax to the region of Nakhichevan. Many Armenian families also moved here. Nabic Nakhichevan Exkhan, and his brother Shih-Ali-bek, took Russian citizenship. With the permission of the governor, they formed a volunteer battalion of local residents from 400 people armed with trophy guns and one gun. Waiting for the arrival of the siege artillery necessary for the capture of Erivan, Paskevich set up camp in 30 versts from Abbas-Abad.