Fighter for truth and for light
The ferocious Asian Humbler,
Russia sends you hello,
Freedom valiant warrior!
Valery Leskovsky. M. G. Chernyaev
The ferocious Asian Humbler,
Russia sends you hello,
Freedom valiant warrior!
Valery Leskovsky. M. G. Chernyaev
Genus Chernyaeva known in Russia since the seventeenth century. In the epoch of the reign of Catherine II, after the accession of the Belarusian lands to the Russian Empire, Nikita Chernyaev (grandfather of Mikhail Grigorievich) moved to the Mogilev province, where he bought two villages: Tubyshki and Rachcha. All his sons - Vasily, Alexander, Hippolyte, Gregory and Peter - chose military service, graduated from the gentry cadet corps and participated in hostilities. In particular, Mikhail G.'s father fought in the ranks of the anti-French coalition 1805, in the Russian-Turkish war 1806-1812, in the Patriotic War 1812. For two months, Grigory Chernyaev occupied the post of military governor of the city of Luneville in Lorraine. There he met his future spouse, a young Frenchwoman. Subsequently, they had eighteen (!) Children, of whom only nine reached old age. In 1820, Grigoriy Nikitovich resigned and settled in the village of Tubyshki, but returned to the service in 1824 and was sent to Ishmael, and then to Bender. It was in Bendery that Misha was born - a sickly and weak boy. In many sources, the year of birth of Mikhail Chernyayev is considered to be 1828, but his daughter in the memoirs cited the text of the birth certificate of his father, who said that he was born in 1827.
After another resignation, Chernyaev Sr. returned to Tubyshki with his family. Misha spent his childhood years in close contact with his father - together with him he learned to ride a horse, ride the river on a raft, went hunting, helped build an Orthodox church. It was from his father, who fought on the plains of Borodin and under the walls of Smolensk, that Michael took over that ardent love for the Fatherland, which distinguished him throughout his life. Mother Mikhail Grigorievich never learned to speak Russian properly, although she showed all the features of a Russian landowner in her behavior and appearance. But thanks to her, all the children easily spoke French.
In 1835, Chernyaev Sr. got a job again and was sent to Kiev. It was there that Misha went to the gymnasium, and later (due to yet another quick-tempered disposition of his father) he continued his studies in Mogilev. In 1840, Grigory Nikitovich sent a teenager to St. Petersburg to study in the Noble regiment. It was in this place, which was distinguished by a rigid system of physical exercises and hardening, which often hurt Michael considerably, and later had no problems with health and endurance. Studied Chernyaev, endowed with the nature of outstanding abilities, diligently, and for the release of his name was written on a gold board.
In 1847, a young man was assigned to the Guard, namely the Pavlovsky Regiment. Most of the noble children were happy with such a purpose - it promised not only deliverance from being in the remote outskirts of the empire, but also rather rare participation in battles and easy conditions of service. Chernyaev, being a born warrior, was dissatisfied with this state of affairs. Contrary to his fellow soldiers, he dreamed of serving in the “simple” army, knowing that it was the “simple” regiments from the central provinces from the first to the last shot that participated in all the wars of Russia, carrying the fate of the whole empire. Mikhail Grigorievich entered the Academy of the General Staff, after which he was listed as the General Staff with the rank of staff captain. But two months later, he left for the Danube army operating against the Turks, or more precisely, in the Malo-Walachsky detachment, which took part in suppressing the revolution during the Hungarian campaign.
It should be noted that having graduated with honors from a higher military institution, Chernyaev was one of the most well-read and educated people of his time. Political treatises, serious historical writings, folk sayings and proverbs, in a word, everything that was the past of the Russian people, their beliefs and spirit aroused keen interest in him. Mikhail Grigorievich knew the history of the country very well, and attached great importance to this knowledge, saying that without information about the past of the people, it is impossible to rule them in the present. During the Russian-Turkish campaign, the young military had a chance to participate in the cavalry battle at the city of Caracal. It was only by a lucky chance that Chernyaev escaped death, and subsequently he, as a participant and an officer of the General Staff, was instructed to draw up a battle about this. It fell to the sovereign, and he, noting the skillfully composed description of the battle, drew on the report “Notice the Young Officer”.
In the autumn of 1854, by order of Gorchakov, the fourth corps, in which Chernyayev served, was sent to Sevastopol to help Menshikov. Only when he got to the Crimea, Mikhail Grigorievich was thrown into the thick of the Inkerman battle, during which he distinguished himself by his military talent, as well as personal courage and determination. For this battle Chernyaev was awarded the Order of St. Vladimir of the fourth degree. At the time of the Sevastopol defense, a young officer, fearlessly performing the most dangerous missions, was on the Malakhov Kurgan under the command of General Khrulev, and after Stepan Aleksandrovich was wounded, Admiral Nakhimov. In the eight months of this terrible siege, which Mikhail Grigorievich himself called “real hell,” he received a golden sword, the rank of lieutenant colonel, and a serious concussion. When leaving the city on the orders of the authorities Chernyaev was in arcade and covered the retreat of the Russian troops during the crossing of the North Bay. A curious fact - Mikhail Grigorievich was one of the last officers to leave Sevastopol.
After the war, Chernyaev received orders to go to the Kingdom of Poland as chief of staff of the third infantry division. There were no uprisings and wars there at that time and was not foreseen, and peaceful staff activity caused Mikhail Grigorievich only sadness and boredom. In the second half of the nineteenth century, the Russian officer, who wanted to take part in the hostilities, had two options - to go to the Caucasus, where the highlanders guided as usual, or to the Asian outskirts of the empire, in which clashes with nomads continued. Chernyaev chose the second option, and soon the brave military, according to his own request, was transferred to the disposal of the Orenburg Governor-General Alexander Katenin. In 1858, Chernyaev took part in the campaign of the captain of the second rank Butakov on the ships of the Aral flotilla to the Khiva town of Kungrad, whose population rebelled against the local khan. Being at the head of a small land detachment, Mikhail Grigoryevich had to cover up the retreat of this expedition, which climbed headlong down the course of the Syr Darya deep into Central Asia. During the campaign, caring Chernyaev, as far as possible, tried to alleviate the hardships of soldiers. In particular, by his order, the soldiers, besides rifles and cartridges, carried nothing on themselves - everything else rode on camels. During stops, the sentries were allowed to water soldiers marching hot after the march only after an hour's rest. Also, Mikhail Grigoryevich introduced an unusual headdress that protected the nape and neck from the hot sun. Thanks to such “trifles” during the long-term wanderings in the sultry steppes of Central Asia, Chernyaev’s detachment was never sick or backward.
During the two-year stay at the advanced posts of the Russian Central Asian possessions, Chernyaev thoroughly studied not only the geographical and physical features of the region, but also the psychology, as well as the nature of its inhabitants. At the end of 1859 after Mikhail Grigoryevich’s Butakov expedition, they sent to the Caucasus under the command of an old and experienced general, Count Evdokimov. And if in the Orenburg region an officer mastered the science of Asian or "Conquistador" service, the Caucasus turned him into a veteran of the struggle against the mountain partisan.
After the conquest of the Caucasus, the officer who had exchanged his third decade as chief of staff General Alexander Bezak was again sent to the Orenburg region. During the years of service on the outskirts, Chernyaev gave birth to a curious sentence, which, according to the words of one historian, was characterized by the words “Russian DrangnachOsten (an attack on the East)”. His key thought was to annex Turkestan to the Russian Empire. However, St. Petersburg at that time was quite indifferent to such a venture, and Mikhail Grigorievich had the first serious conflict with his superiors on certain issues of colonial administration. Despite this, a sensible and talented officer was instructed to launch a major operation to strengthen the presence of Russians in Asia — to build a fortified line between the Siberian and Orenburg provinces. The problem was that for its implementation it was necessary to win back from the Kokand Khanate - a deeply archaic state with real slavery and feudal economy - some territories. Chernyaev, appointed commander of the “special West Siberian detachment,” gladly took up his beloved task — to fight and expand an empire.
The detachment was formed in the city of Verniy - the Russian-Cossack military stronghold, now called Alma-Ata. Soon after that (in 1864), Mikhail Grigorievich took the fortress of Aulie-Ata, and some time later, the large city of Chimkent. By the way, a strong garrison was stationed in Chimkent, the fortress had powerful fortifications and - quite rightly - was considered impregnable. But when did the Russian people know the word "impossible"?
Before going to attack or attack, Chernyaev always comprehensively pondered his position and, in order to ensure success, took measures inaccessible to a different, less perceptive and sophisticated in military business mind. A curious fact - Mikhail Grigorievich did not collect military councils, preferring to resolve all issues on his own and taking upon himself all the responsibility. When he believed that circumstances required his plans to be made publicly available, Chernyaev informed them of the second person, sticking to the opinion that the known two would certainly be in the public domain. According to this statement, Chernyaev always mockingly spoke about the public secrets of military offices and prescriptions, the title of which was the word "secret".
After examining the area around the fortress, Mikhail Grigorievich noted the wooden water supply, made in the form of a long box and thrown over a deep, water-filled moat. It was along this aqueduct, and then through the vaulted opening in the wall, Chernyaev’s fighters penetrated into Shymkent, with a sudden, stunning blow seizing the city. Terrified defenders could not offer any resistance to the Russians. For the brave assault on the fortress, Mikhail Grigorievich was granted the Order of St. George of the third degree.
And then began the epic, which made Chernyaeva famous throughout the empire. The capture of Chikmenta opened the way for Tashkent to the West Siberian detachment. Taking this city into the tasks of Mikhail Grigorievich was not included, besides, he regularly received nerve messages from St. Petersburg asking him not to get carried away. However, Chernyaev felt that “the wind was blowing in his sails,” and moved all his strength to Tashkent. I moved and rolled back, bumping into a powerful resistance. Despite the losses incurred, the capture of this city became a fix idea for Mikhail Grigorievich. It should be noted that Chernyaeva was pulled out of the capital not by chance - after all, Russian expeditions operated and away from their homes, there was little strength, and it was impossible to spray them. However, Mikhail Grigorievich had his own logic - it is necessary to crowd the enemy while he is weak, or he will rearm himself, draw conclusions from previous mistakes, and the empire will receive the second Caucasus. And Tashkent itself was a special case. The largest city of Central Asia at that time belonged to Kokand, but Kokand endlessly fought for him against Bukhara. The city constantly passed from hand to hand, and the settled Uzbeks of the “Sart”, a peaceful trade and craft people, tired of eternal wars, lived in it. Over the years, a special “Russian party” has formed in Tashkent, consisting of those who wished to go “under Russia”. Chernyaev counted on the support of these people.
After an unsuccessful attempt to seize Tashkent, Mikhail Grigorievich was instructed not to take any action in this direction, in a separate letter, the Minister of War forbade him to “dare to storm due to insufficient forces at disposal”. At the same time, extensive projects were drawn up in the headquarters, which envisaged large expeditions next year with numerous artillery and siege weapons. But no orders could pacify the spirit of the Russian officer. At the end of April, 1865 Chernyaev, on his own initiative, came from Chimkent on the second trip along with his squad, whose fighters proudly called themselves “Chernyayev”. Their forces then consisted of two hundred Cossacks, eight infantry companies and ten guns. A little later, two more guns and two companies arrived in Tashkent. Only about two thousand people and twelve guns. Mulla Alimkul, who was the de facto ruler of the Khanate and commander-in-chief of the Kokand army, moved his troops towards the stubborn Russian officer. Mullah’s army was immense — forty artillery units and forty thousand soldiers, of whom ten thousand were line infantry with regular weapons and build. Opponents met near Niyazbek. In two hours of battle, the Kokand army was completely crushed and, having fled, who went where, ceased to exist as a combat tactical unit. The leader of the Kokand was killed. Such an unexpected, in principle, impossible victory caused panic in the ranks of the Tashkent defenders. Despite the active work of the “Russian Party”, the “Bukhara Party” turned out to be the most significant political force of the city, consisting of supporters of the transfer of Tashkent to the Bukhara Emir. As a result, ambassadors left the city for Bukhara with the proposal of loyalty.
Meanwhile, a detachment of Mikhail Grigorievich approached Tashkent and laid siege to the city, blocking the Chirchik River that fed it. To understand the current situation, it is worth noting that Tashkent was surrounded by a wall twenty-four kilometers long, its garrison was more than fifteen thousand people with a hundred guns, of which about fifty were quite modern. While the siege was on, Chernyaev received information that a huge army had been assembled and sent to Tashkent in the Khanate of Bukhara. Mikhail Grigorievich was in a difficult situation. On the one hand, he could retreat and leave the city dominated by the emir of Bukhara, on the other, he would risk and remain under the threat of being crushed between the walls of Tashkent and the approaching army. The retreat option was unacceptable for Mikhail Grigorievich, since it meant defeat, disgrace and damage to Russian prestige. And then Chernyaev decided on an incredible insolence step - the storming of the city.
It is believed that during the classical assault on the fortress, the number of attackers should be three times greater than the number of defenders. Here, the number of defenders was eight times greater than the number of Russians and had a total advantage in firepower. Even the amendments to the technical advantage and military discipline left the alignment more than frightening. In addition, Mikhail Grigorievich could not throw all his forces on the assault - the garrisons remained on the Kokand road, on the Nogai-kurgan and in Viyazbek. Only a thousand soldiers took part in the assault itself — a thousand soldiers hardened in the steppe and bayonet battles with the nomads and the Khan wars.
The attack began in June 1865 at two in the morning. The assault columns in the dark brought the prepared ladders to the fortress. The enemy guard discovered the Russians when they were already close to the walls. Within seconds, the stairs were set, and Chernyaev’s men instantly seized the wall at the Comlan gate. Shortly after this, the battle began in the city itself - the soldiers of Mikhail Grigorievich had to fight to take every lane, every street, every tower. Some defenders fought furiously, but in general the Sarbaz infantrymen gave in to panic and fled, and the cavalry in narrow lanes could not turn around. The street battles lasted all day, and by the morning of the next day a delegation of “honorable” residents arrived at Chernyaev who reported that the city would be surrendered if the Russians ceased firing. Mikhail Grigorievich, who was about to blow up the local citadel, gave the command to lower the weapon, and the city, in fact, gave up. The losses of Chernyaev’s detachment amounted to only twenty-five people killed and about one hundred and fifty wounded and shell-shocked.
It is worth noting that during the assault, Mikhail Grigorievich himself preferred to be in the thick of battle, saying that "you cannot lead troops outside the realm of fire." He also owns another famous phrase: “A soldier is the main weapon of war, who does not know a soldier, cannot successfully dispose of him. To study the soldier can those who lived with him one life, studied him not for learning, but in pote. At the parade, all troops are the same, papal in their symmetry of movements and appearance on the training field can make a better impression than battalions hardened in battle ”.
“The Tashkent Lion” perfectly knew the psychology of Asians and the very next day traveled around the city without significant security, visited bathhouses and other public places, showing that the Russians had come here seriously and for a long time. By the way, his first order after the assault forever forbade human trafficking and slavery in the city. Newspapers around the world wrote about the capture of Tashkent, and overnight Chernyaev, nicknamed "Yermak of the nineteenth century", became a national hero. Alexander II awarded him a golden saber with diamonds and made him into major general, and in February 1865 Mikhail Grigorievich was appointed military governor of the Turkestan region. In this field, he - the enemy of bureaucracy and bureaucracy - worked tirelessly, respecting the interests of the state treasury with true frugality. Respect for the customs and needs of the native population helped Mikhail Grigorievich to win their hearts without any effort. He retained self-government, and oversaw the newly-pacified million population of the richest region with the support of only four translators and six officials. All Chernyaeva management costs amounted to about fifty thousand rubles - a very small amount. For several months in the post of military governor, Mikhail Grigorievich managed to collect all taxes, set up communication routes between Tashkent and Verny, established a regular mail service, and also brought such an order that it was possible to travel along the edge without convoy.
It is worth noting that the conquest of a huge Central Asian territory, whose population was distinguished by its belligerence, was made by Chernyayev without major expenditures - two years of Chernyayev's treasures to the treasury cost a tiny amount of 280 thousand rubles. By the way, almost simultaneously with the conquest of Tashkent by the British, an expedition was undertaken to punish the Abyssinians who detained several subjects of the British crown. The campaign cost them eight million pounds, and for the successful ending of his admiral Nepir, the head of the expedition, was given the title of Lord and a huge pension. The Russian government rewarded Chernyayev in its own way - the capture of Tashkent and the promotion of the Russians in Asia began to affect the so-called “Big Game”. England, fearing that Russian troops would immediately go to India through Turkestan, sent a protest note to the Russian diplomatic department. In turn, Minister of War Milutin was extremely dissatisfied with Chernyaev’s disobedience to orders, he was echoed by the Russian Foreign Ministry — honor and glory to someone, and we are here to settle. Relations with Bukhara also sharply sharpened. As a result, a thirty-eight-year-old general who had continuously fought for thirteen years and had no powerful comrades in St. Petersburg, was dismissed. In 1866, Dmitry Romanovsky was appointed new governor of the Turkestan region.
A combat officer settled in St. Petersburg and, being dissatisfied with 430 in rubles for the annual pension, he began to diligently study a code of laws. Soon, he brilliantly passed a public test for the right to work by notation. His goal was to open a notary's office and engage in "consulting" on Central Asian issues, but suddenly Chernyaev received a warning from Count Shuvalov, who was the chief of gendarmes: "It is not for you - not worth it!" After this ban, Mikhail Grigorievich pulled on many years of severe moral suffering and weary inaction. Only at 1873 did he buy the conservative organ, Russian World, published in St. Petersburg, deciding to join the newspaper business. The publication, by the way, was actually inspired by another opposition general, Rostislav Fadeev, with whom Mikhail Grigorievich became friends in the Caucasus. Chernyaev himself was little interested in domestic politics, however, being a victim of Petersburg diplomacy and the military clerical regime, he shared the interests of the Moscow circle of Slavophilic patriots led by Ivan Aksakov, who opposed bureaucracy and foreigners.
1875 year was the culmination of the Slavic sentiments in Europe - the Slavic peoples living in the Balkans, decided to free themselves from Turkish rule, and the Russian public sentiment supported the Slavic brothers. Mikhail Grigorievich, at once, saw in the Slavic uprisings a chance to create a ring of friendly countries of the empire. In this regard, Chernyaev began to communicate with the Serbian government, which soon invited him to his office. Domestic bureaucrats wanted to stop the general, but where there - in the summer of 1876, Chernyaev was already in Belgrade. It should be noted here that even after the capture of Tashkent, Mikhail Grigorievich married Antonina Alexandrovna von Wulfert and, going to Serbia, left not only the newspaper business he had successfully started, but also his beloved family.
The rebel Serbs immediately appointed Chernyayev to be the commander-in-chief of his small army. Having heard that a famous hero in the past would lead the Serbs into battle, a huge number of Russian volunteers went to him. In fact, the Serbian uprising turned into an element of the Russian national project. The commander himself wrote about recruiting from Russia: “My military ideal is volunteers. Relations are sincere, equal, direct, not pompous. Fighting like lions. There was not a single case of disobedience or displeasure regarding me for the entire time before my departure from Belgrade. All orders were fulfilled with dedication, unquestioningly and accurately ... Volunteers in Serbia were the same Kortesov squad, from which I took one hundred thousandth Tashkent. During the war, remarkable martial people came out of them ... No matter how much time passes, I will meet with sincere pleasure with each of them. ” At the head of the Serbian detachments, Mikhail Grigorievich, for four long months, he held back the onslaught of a much more numerous, armed with the latest models of military equipment and well-trained Turkish troops. As an example, it is worthwhile to cite only one little-known episode of that war. Considering the position at Aleksintse very important, Chernyaev decided not to yield to the Turkish forces Shumatov. The enemy moved into this small fortress as part of an entire division. Mikhail Grigorievich, following his rule “to conquer or die,” decided on a desperate act - he ordered to lay the gate. The inability to retreat gave the defenders courage - the first attack was repulsed, then the second. During the third attack, a hand-to-hand fight began. Next to Chernyayev, with his own hands on cannons, the commandant of the fortress fell. At the last moment, the Turks quivered and fled. Their losses were enormous, according to the recollections, the entire field around the fortress was covered with red fez.
Although the Russian volunteers did not become the army of the Slavs, about which the Slavophiles dreamed, they forced the Russian government to intervene in the events in the Balkans. When Serbia strained its last forces, the Russian Empire demanded a truce from the Turks. Mikhail Grigorievich, who had become by that time a cult figure of international Slavism, did everything he could and left for Prague. His goal was to meet there with local Slavic organizations. However, the Austro-Hungarian government was scared to death by the appearance of Chernyaev in the region with a problematic Slavic population. The commander received the request to immediately leave the country. The fear of the Austrians was so great that the hotel in which Mikhail Grigorievich lived had artillery. A whole squadron accompanied him to the station, and a detachment of police drove with him right up to the border.
Six months after the declaration of a truce between Turkey and Serbia, Chernyaev wandered about overseas lands. Having traveled all over Europe, he visited England, where the opposition leaders led by Gladstone honored him with a banquet, expressing ardent sympathy. Only in the spring of 1877, Mikhail Grigorievich received permission to return to his homeland. He returned to the country three days after the start of the new Russian-Turkish war.
To get into the army, Chernyaev again enrolled in the service, but he was not sent to the European theater, despite the fact that Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolayevich twice appealed to the emperor to appoint Mikhail Grigorievich as chief of his headquarters. Then Chernyaev went to the Caucasus, but even there the experienced military officer did not receive any assignment and was forced to sit with arms folded in grief during the war, witnessing all the mistakes and failures of the Russian troops.
Changes in the life of Chernyayev began after the accession to the throne of Emperor Alexander III. By the personal choice of the sovereign, Mikhail Grigorievich was again appointed by the Turkestan Governor-General with the highest decree "to act in the administration of the province so that this outskirts would not be a burden for Russia, but would be to her advantage." It should be noted that this appointment was due to a number of factors - the cost of civil administration in organizing the Governor-General reached a million rubles, and the number of troops increased so much that it became burdensome for the region in material terms. The population was considered to be the tabula rasa (“clean board”) and all knowledge of European civilization (up to the classical gymnasium inclusive) began to spread among Asian peoples. All this led to the fact that the natural growth of the region stopped, and one of the richest outskirts of the country instead of income began to cause damage to the state.
At the beginning of 1883, Mikhail Grigorievich arrived at his place of service and took office. This time he was the governor-general for only two years (until February 1884), but he managed to do a lot. Devoting a considerable part of the time traveling across the territories entrusted to him, Chernyaev reduced the expenses of the state treasury in the amount of half a million rubles. To achieve this, it was accomplished by abolishing the unnecessary Aral flotilla, reducing part of the troops and changing the food system of the soldiers. In addition, a canal from Syr Darya, which was fifteen kilometers long, was dug near Khojent, which allowed irrigating thirty five thousand dessiatinas of land. Another channel was conducted by Chernyayev near Perovsk. With a length of twenty-five kilometers, it was able to irrigate one hundred thousand dessiatines of land. Such irrigation works in Central Asia were of great importance, turning the waterless steppe deserts into fertile lands, raising the productivity of the region and, as a result, its profitability.
The device of the Central Asian possessions of Russia, as before, was a threat to the interests of the British in India. The British, of course, immediately sensed where the wind was blowing from, and they did everything possible to remove the person they didn’t like. The decisive factor was the performance of the British-minded Afghans against the Russian Bukharians, whom Chernyaev considered necessary to provide support. In this regard, he had another conflict with the Minister of War, and Mikhail Grigorievich was again thrown overboard, this time finally.
Departure from Turkestan and the refusal to participate in public affairs, made, moreover, in an offensive and harsh form, put heavy pressure on the soul of the old warrior. He was appointed a member of the military council, but he was not even called to meetings. In order to somewhat dissipate and rest from the experienced unrest, Chernyaev set off on a long journey and, after touring Asia by sea, visited Japan (wisely predicting the place of East Anglia) and returned back home through Siberia. Not wanting to remain an indifferent spectator of domestic foreign and domestic policy, Mikhail Grigorievich began writing articles on a wide variety of issues. In March, 1886 in Novy Vremeni published its next work, in which the commander pointed out numerous shortcomings of the Trans-Caspian railway under construction. The Tashkent-Orenburg line, which was subsequently carried out, confirmed the correctness of Chernyayev’s judgments, but the military himself was deducted for this article to the reserve, having lost more than half of its content.
Concerned about the fate of his numerous young family (the general had seven children), Mikhail Grigorievich appealed to the emperor with a request to “look” at his dire financial situation, promising not to touch the printed word anymore. The sovereign, condescended to the petition of the old warrior, who was again appointed to the military council, of which he remained a member until the end of his life.
In recent years, Chernyaev engaged in the arrangement of his family estate Tubyshki. There he diligently built new houses, planted trees, led roads, delved into all the details of the farm. Next to the Orthodox church, erected by the hands of his father, Mikhail Grigorievich built a strong hut for the parochial school, and in front of it installed various gymnastic devices for peasant children. The peasants themselves went to Chernyaev with all their needs, even turning to medical help. And as far as possible, the old military man tried to help everyone. During the summer months in the estate, for the winter Chernyaev returned to St. Petersburg. He devoted his leisure time to reading historical works describing the past of his beloved homeland.
In June, 1898 Chernyaev summoned Smolensk bricklayers to Tubyshki asking them to build their last refuge near the church, and, sitting on a chair under the trees, he supervised the work. In August, Mikhail Grigorievich gathered in Moscow to take part in the opening of the monument to Alexander II. However, these hopes were not destined to come true. On the night of August 16, Chernyaev died of a broken heart. The talented warrior bequeathed to bury himself "without any honors from the troops, without any differences behind the coffin and on the grave, which detract from the meaning of death." By the will of fate at the funeral of Mikhail Grigorievich there were no representatives of the official authorities who stubbornly denied his outstanding services to the Fatherland. Chernyaev was lowered into the grave only in the presence of his relatives and a small part of the crowd of people who had long since made him into their heroes.
According to the materials of the biographical essay by A. Mikhailov "Mikhail Grigorievich Chernyaev" and the site http://www.vostlit.info/.