A Truthful History





The infantry troops of Azerbaijan, that were under the Crown princeAbbas Mirza's command, were termed sarbaz, whereas the infantry troopsof Araq, serving to the shah - janbaz.

(123b) In short, after Heidar Ali Khan's return from Tehranand the reception of the urgent news with [shah's] decree, Abbas Mirza finishedthe military preparations, arranged the troops and sent them to the borders of Caucasianprovince to invade it from several sides.

First of all, Abbas Mirza himself took the foot and mountedregiments of Azerbaijan and moved with an army 60000 strong through Karadagh and the yaylaqs of Mushkambar and Golambar towards Karabagh.

Another regiment of the infantry and cavalry troops of Khoy, Salmas, and Afshar of Urmia was led by Amir Khan Sardar and Mahdi-qoli Khan of Karabagh tothe Shushi fortress through Nakhichevan and the Sisian mountains.

The infantry of Araq and the Chaharduli cavalry under the command ofQajar high nobleman Ibrahim Khan Sardar and Mustoufi Khan of Shirvan, advancedtowards Shirvan.

Hoseyn Khan Sardar of Erevan and his brother Hasan Khan calledSaru Aslan were sent to Georgia with Alexander Mirza - son of the Vali ofGeorgia, and waged war against Prince Sevarzamidze at Qara Kilisa in the region of Pambakand Shoragial.

Mir Hasan Khan of Talish moved with his troops to Lenkoran and Argevan, Hoseyn Khan the son of Shaki's Selim Khan, moved to Ganje with his brother Haji Khan. Thus, the sons of khans with their troops of ten-fifteen thousand soldiers stretched thebanner of war and set out to conquer the regions.

In spite of (124a) the rumors, the Russian government believed in noway that Qizilbashs would violate the peace and start war without any real cause. At that time, the ambassador Prince Menshikov (Meshchikov) had been sent to Tehran withhis interpreter Shahamir Beglarov to proclaim about the accession of the new sovereign andto strengthen friendly relations. He brought to Fath Ali Shah a crystal throne as apresent from His Imperial Majesty.

When the ambassador arrived at Ujan, he saw the innumerable troops andmilitary preparations and could not inform the Russian State about that. Meanwhile, theRussians sighed with relief by ambassador's diplomatic mission: they were engaged intheir affairs without making any military preparation. The ambassador was not given anydistinct answer and arrested.

First Amir Khan Sardar, with Mahdi-qoli Khan, advanced from Khoyto Nakhichevan and stopped on the bank of the Arax. They had consultation with one anotherand concluded that if they, according to the given order, proceed straightly to the Shushifortress, its inhabitants, most likely, would not open the gates and join them. Then theywould suffer a major set-back and the army would disperse. Therefore, they decided towrite an application to Abbas Mirza and ask him to send two infantry sarbaz regiments and two cannons, so that they could defend themselves in case of need. Abbas Mirza answered them following:

" There are no infantry and cannons for you. The begs ofKarabagh have written to me, that they will open the Khalifalu gates and swear loyalty toour state as soon as our troops reach to the fortress. We order you to hurry straightly tothe fortress of Shushi through Nakhichevan and Sisian Mountains without lingering at anyplace, because they are waiting for our arrival ready to serve us. If you take infantrytroops and cannons you won't be able to move quickly, and, besides, it is toodifficult to transport the cannons through mountains. I've to fight a great battleagainst the Russian troops, and if I give the infantry and artillery to you I will beunable to overcome them ".

He also wrote:

" Sardar, we have undertaken a great venture. As there are seasof fire in front, we have to strike and advance. If we strike them a hard blow, we'llrest for long, or else we'll suffer hardships and losses.

Willed by God, on Thursday we'll march accompanied withShah's good fortune, pass the Khoda-Aferin Bridge and stop in the gardens of Jebrail. On Friday we'll be at Amaras, and on Saturday - attack the Russian army (125a) inAvetaranots. We'll fight against them and do away with both the affairs of thefortress and the Russians ".

The khans, who had experienced the fight of the Russians frequentlyafter acquaintance with the letter, lost hope of receiving infantry troops and cannons. They grew anxious with Abbas Mirza's thoughts and ideas.

At that time word spread about the existence of a batallion ofyegerski saldats', renowned for their courage, in the village of Goris to defend theCapan and Zangezur districts. Therefore, contrary to Abbas Mirza's intentionsand commands, Amir Khan Sardar and Mahdi-qoli Khan moved very slowly, passing a daydistance from Nakhichevan to Sarkoduk of Sisian in three-four days. There they wereinformed that fifty Cossacks, who had come to the Bazar-chay River to fish and wash, werecaptured. This encouraged them a little and they began to move more bravely. They passedthe mountain and stopped in the village Qara Kilisa at the bank of the Bazar-chay. In thenight a messenger arrived from Haji Aqalar Beg of Karabagh, who had traitorouslyjoined the Qizilbashs, with the news that the Russians of Goris had left the village atnight and moved in an unknown direction. The Qizilbash army became panic stricken and inthe same night marched to the nearby Parsang hill. There, they made fortifications and gotready to fight and flee. In the morning they got the news that the Russians had wendedtheir way to the Shushi fortress (125b) with the aim of joining the other [Russian]regiment. At midnight Amir Khan Sardar sent his nephew Muhammad Zaman Khan with athousand cavalrymen to pursue the Russians and attack them, before he could reach themwith Mahdi-qoli Khan. Muhammad Zaman Khan, a drunkard, put the battle aside, stopped at aplace and sent a man to the nearby village Shnher for some wine and getting the wine hearranged a feast.

At that time Haji Aqalar sent the news to Abbas Mirza, havingstopped with his forces near to the Khoda-Aferin bridge. Thence, Kazem Khan Qollar aqasi was sent with the troops called Ghulam-e Tofangchi and two cannons throughQara-Aghach. [The latter] reached the Russian regiment at the river Hagari and attacked itfrom every side. One side was the Qizilbash regiment, the other- the Haji-Samlu Kurds andTurkish tribes, the third - the heat and the difficulties of the lane hindered the[Russian] regiment reach the fortress and they scattered before getting to the river. Someof them were killed, some captured, and the rest escaped to the neighboring woods. There, with the help of the Armenian villagers, they saved their lives. Abbas Mirzalearning of the cheerful news, left his camp and on the next day arrived at the vicinityof village Kornidzor (Korunzur). There, the heads of the murdered Russian soldiers andprisoners, several high-rank officers among them, were brought to his presence (126a). After that [Abbas Mirza], with the group [of prisoners], visited Haji Aqalar inKornidzor. There Amir Khan Sardar and Mahdi-qoli Khan turned up before hispresence, expressed their delight and enthusiasm about the success, praised andcongratulated him.

Amir Khan was Abbas Mirza's uncle, and Mahdi-qoli, thebrother of Aqa Bike, one of Fath Ali Shah's wives, was also his uncle. Abbas Mirza grew angry and reproached them:

-Why did you behave yourself so weakly. All these chasing and pursuingwere because of your fault. If these soldiers reached the fortress of Shushi safe andsound, joined their friends, even if the whole world took up arms against them, they wouldnot be overcome.

Amir Khan made excuses explaining:

-As it was the beginning of the war and no victory was gained anywhere, we feared that, God forbid, we would cause an ill omen to appear on the fate of theglorious army. Thank God! The troops won a victory, so hence the triumph will be ourleader and the success- our guide.

The words made the prince furious.

The prince took the troops being at their disposal and deprived them oftheir commissions. He said [to Amir Khan], "You are already old and cannot servewell, so You must retire and start teaching young men how to serve me and fulfill my will.

Then the heads of the murdered Russians and prisoners were sent (126b)to Fath Ali Shah who had at that time arrived in Karadagh and stopped at TavilaSham. As soon as Abbas Mirza conquered the Shushi fortress, he would come and settlethere.

Qizilbashs, thence, advanced with their army and artillery throughAmaras towards Shushi. Abbas Mirza himself picked the way to Avetaranots through theKirs mountain with the purpose of fighting with the Russians. Meanwhile Colonel Reut, theCommander of the Russian troops hurriedly took his forces to the Shushi fortress. Theirtransport and carriages were left there and plundered by the Zargar, Delaqarde, andJevanshir tribes.

Prince Abbas Mirza came and stopped at the place calledNabat-Khan, which was at a farsakh distance from Shushi. Once it was Aqa MuhammadKhan's camp. Afterwards, he put his troops in order and arranged its quarters atthree places. Its biggest detachment was placed at Nabat-Khan. The troops of Amir Khan, Mahdi-qoli Khan, and Karabagh inhabitants, who had joined them were set in the woods ofthe slope of the Sqnaq mountain, above the first camp. The regiment of Sheikh AliKhan, the brother of Abbas Mirza encamped in Khojalu near to Askeran.