Stavka. 22 October, 1914
Have arrived safely. In the morning inspected two hospitals in Minsk; found them in splendid order. It is not cold, foggy...
Stavka. 23 October, 1914
Tender thanks for news. The weather is milder than at home. There is no snow. Petia is here. He has become much quieter since having been under heavy fire in Galicia. He and Kostia's boys have meals with me. Hearty greetings.
NOTES: PETIA: Prince Peter of Oldenburg, referred to in the preceding note. KOSTIA: the Grand Duke Constantine Constantinovitch.
Stavka 23 October, 1914.
The joyful news has been received that the Austrian army is in full retreat from Sanok. Am going to a moleben [Te Deum] now. Embrace you closely.
Stavka. 24 October. 1914
Sincerest thanks to you and the children for letters. I am very glad that you have been to Louga. Yesterday your squadron of the Alexandriisky Hussars joined our troops after an absence of four weeks in the extreme rear of the enemy with very few losses. I embrace you all tenderly.
Stavka 25 October, 1914.
Many thanks for letter and magazine. Yesterday I watched with pleasure the regiment of Hussars and their distribution. To-day am inspecting two hospitals of wounded and the Cavalry Guards. Unfortunately had no time to write. I am going for 24 hours to Kholm. and Sedletz. Am returning on the 27th in the morning. I hope you are well. Embrace all tenderly.
Brest. 26 0ctober, 1914.
Spent the morning in Kholm; went to Mass and inspected a large Red Cross hospital. We passed Vlodava. The weather is calm, warm. I embrace you and the children closely.
Stavka. 27 October, 1914
MY BELOVED, DARLING SUNNY,
At last I am able to write a few lines to thank you for your sweet letters, the sight of which on my table makes my old heart jump for joy!
The first days of my stay here I had to see old General Panteleiev with regard to the sad story of Samsonov; then old Trotzky, who is going to Kiev to establish order there; after that, Professor Scherbatov concerning our horses. I found old Petiusha here, who has only just returned from Lvov and from a battle into which he was taken by Radko-Dimitriev.
They spent three hours under the fire of the Austrian heavy artillery. From other telegrams it is clear that Petia conducted himself with the utmost coolness and he requests an award for himself; I therefore gave him the Georgievskoe orougiye [Arms of St. George], which made him nearly mad [with joy). He had not expected it. At present he has a cold and is confined to an empty barrack near the train. On the whole, it seems to us that he has become very much less expansive than usual, most likely because he has been under fire. I had the pleasure of spending the whole of Saturday with Misha, who has become quite his old self and is again charming. We went to vsenoshchnaia [vespers] together and parted after dinner. Both the evenings I spent with the Cavalry Guards and with my Hussars. The horses of the Cavalry Guards are almost all in condition, but those of the Hussars have a most lamentable appearance. It is curious that, judging from what they say, the German horses which they have captured stand the hard work much worse than ours.
Now about my programme. Wednesday I shall spend in Rovno; Thursday in Lyublin and Ivangorod; Friday again in Ivangorod and on the adjoining battlefield (Kozenitzy), and Saturday in Grodno. If you could come there to meet me it would be splendid. I have spoken to Voeikov, and all preparations will be made. - I was intending to spend the whole of Saturday in Grodno (hospitals and fortress) and arrive at Pskov on Sunday morning to attend Mass in church, then to the hospital and be home for dinner. But if you only go there, of course Pskov falls out.
Well, my own Wify, I must finish this letter. I hope that you are feeling stronger and are well again. I kiss you and the children tenderly. God bless you!
Always your old
PANTELEIEV: General A. 1. Panteleiev, Adjutant-General and a member of the Council of State. SAMSONOV: General Samsonov commanded the 2nd Army, which was annihilated at the Battle of Tannenberg on 18th August, 1914. His military career had been a brilliant one, and he had attained the rank of Major-General at the age of forty-three. He was fifty-five in 1914. After having witnessed the defeat of his army, and finding himself an exhausted straggler on the battlefield, he committed suicide. TROTZKY: General V. I. Trotzky. formerly commanded the Life-Guard Pavlovsky Regiment, and during the war was Governor of the Military District of Kiev. RADKO-DMITRIEV: General Radko-Dmitriev, one of the most daring and courageous leaders on the Russian side. was a Bulgarian. He was born in 1859 at Grodetz. After passing through the military school in Sophia, he studied in the Academy at Petrograd. He was involved in the plotting which led to the abdication of Prince Alexander, and was exiled by Stambulov. He then served for ten years in the Russian army, and returned to Bulgaria on the accession of King Ferdinand. He was Chief of the Bulgarian General Staff in 1902, led an army in the Balkan War, and was the victor of Kirk-Kilisse' and Lule-Burgas. He then returned to the Russian service. During the war he commanded in succession the 8th Army Corps, the 3rd Army, and the 12th Army. MISHA: the Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovitch, the Tsar's brother. VOEIKOV: General Voeikov was Commandant of the Imperial Palaces. He married the daughter of Count Fredericks. Gourko (P. 153) represents the Count as saying, "Here (at the Stavka] everyone intrigues, and most of all my son-in-law." He is frequently mentioned in these letters as "Voeik." or "V." "Sunny" was the Tsar's favourite name for his wife, and appears thus written in a published facsimile of one of his letters. In her girlhood she was known at the English Court as "Sunshine."
Stavka. 28 October, 1914
Thank you heartily for your letter and news. Of course I can see M. I am in full agreement about the question of change of Governor in the South. Wrote to you yesterday about my plans. I shall arrive in Grodno on the Ist of November in the morning. Shall spend the whole day there. Will you not meet me in that place? To-morrow I shall spend in Rovno, then two days in the fortress. Am longing for you passionately. Kiss you tenderly.
NOTES: M. refers to Maklakov, the Minister of the Interior. Lavrinsky, the Governor of the Crimea, was to be replaced by Kniazevitch, apparently on the recommendation of Rasputin.
Telegram. Army in the Field. 29 October. 1914.
Am very glad to be here again and to see Olga. Have been to her hospital; now I am going to see the military hospitals. The weather is splendidly warm. Am stay ing here till to-night. Thanks for letter. Embrace you closely.
Ivangorod Fortress. 30 October, 1914.
Many thanks for letter of 28th. In the morning I inspected in Lyublin three hospitals in good order. Found here much of interest, of which I will tell you at our meeting. Saw many troops and sailors whom I knew. I am so glad to find them here. The weather is quite warm. To-morrow I shall drive round the battlefields. I said that we would stop in D[vinsk]. Embrace all closely.