Denis Davydov was born on 17 (30) July 1784 in Moscow in the noble family. Lieutenant-General of cavalry. Cousin of famous generals A. P. Yermolov, N. N. Rajewski. A senior contemporary and friend of A. Pushkin. There was a time when almost every Russian home had a picture of D. Davidov in the form of popular print, where the hero sits on the horse, in a peasant’s coat with a beard and an icon on his chest.
Perhaps he is the most famous Russian hussar and partisan. Member of the Society of lovers of Russian literature, author of poems, historical notes, “the Experience of guerrilla action.”
I listen to you and get younger in heart,
Enjoying a heat of your words,
You bring me from sadness to flameful light
Remembering our past yough.
(A. Pushkin. To Denis Davydov)
Introduction to poetry took place in society of Karamzin, named “Arzamas”. The first experience of poetry, according to his Autobiography, he received with the inmates of the University hostel. At age 16 he started his brilliant military career, but all his life he was engaged in literary activities too. Poetry, by his own definition, “was written on halts, the day’s rest between two shifts, between the two battles, between the two wars”. Many literary works of Denis Davydov either missed or cut by censorship.
In the war with the French he became adjutant to Prince Bagration. The letter signed its latest order being blessed to D. Davydov, approving the creation of a partisan detachment consisting of 130 hussars and Cossacks.
The estate of impoverished Davydov was near Mozhaisk, and the fight with Napoleon General Kutuzov took here in 1812. “I was lying behind the Semenovskiy, having no corner not only in my own house, but even barns were occupied by chiefs. I watched the crowds of soldiers dismantled the hut and fences Semenov, Borodin and Slides for building bivouacs and fires,” recalled D. Davydov. The manor burned down, but her fame has since doubled.
I’m ready beat the hell for you,
Our Russia dear!
Let the Frenchmen rotten army
Come back here!
(Denis Davydov. Song)
After the war Denis Davydov participated in foreign campaigns, fighting against the Persians for the Georgians, against the Swedes and Turks, contributed to the defeat of the Polish uprising of 1831 (Poland was then part of Russia).
22 APR 1839 Denis Davydov died in estate Verkhnyaya Maza (Voronezh region). On August 26 of the same year, in Borodino was illuminated monument in memory of the defenders of the Fatherland, the land was purchased by the Imperial family from neighboring landowners, and it became the prototype of the Museum-reserve “Borodino field”. The Museum, incidentally holds the International equestrian festival, named Denis Davydov on July 30-31.
Sources: Friends of Pushkin. Letters. Memories. Logs. // под ред. V. Kunin. – Moscow, Pravda, 1986.