greeted by the Londoners. He was awarded a golden sword
and ... a honorary degree by the University of Oxford.
The most famous Cossack commander was Ataman Matvei Platov (1757-1818).
Platov begun service in the Don Cossack Chancellery in 1766, becoming an esaul in 1769. He distinguished himself in the 1771 Crimean campaign, and was promoted to command of a Cossack regiment in 1772. Between 1774 and 1784 he fought against the Crimean Tatars in 1774 and in 1782 under Suvorov in the Kuban Valley, Chechnya and Dagestan.
Upon Alexander I's ascension to the throne, he was appointed Ataman (Headman) of the Don Cossacks. In 1805, Platov ordered the Cossack capital to be moved from Staro-cherkassk (Old Cherkassk) to a new location, known as Novo-cherkassk (New Cherkassk). Platov distinguished himself in 1806-7, 1812 and 1813 in the campaigns against the French. Platov scourged the French during their retreat from Moscow in 1812, and again after their defeat at Leipzig.
During his visit in England he was enthusiastically greeted by the Londoners. Platov was awarded a golden sword and a honorary degree by the University of Oxford. A full-length portrait was painted by Sir Thomas Lawrence for the Waterloo Chamber created at Windsor Castle by George IV, then Prince Regent.
General ChernyshevAlexandr Ivanovich Chernyshev (1785-1857) was a famous Cossack raider. He entered the army at the age of 15, and advanced rapidly through the ranks, participating in all of Russia's campaigns against Napoleon. During the period 1807–1812 Tzar Alexander sent Chernyshev to Napoleon to serve as a channel of communications. Napoleon took a liking to Chernyshev. In 1812 Chernyshev was promoted to general-major, and in 1814 to general-lieutenant. Chernyshev was not well-known in Europe but in Russia in that time he was very popular. In 1812 Chernyshev's aggressive pursuit and hit and run tactics demoralised the French.
In 1813 and 1814 his raids very deep into enemy territory were quite spectacular. Chernyshev's Cossacks raided Kassel, the capital of Westphaly. After being driven out of Kassel, King Jйrфme Bonaparte, Napoleon's brother, managed to return on the 16th of October, before deciding to seek refuge in France on learning of the result of the battle of Leipzig. (In 1815 at Waterloo, Jerome's division attacked Hougoumont.)
In 1819, Chernyshev became a member of the committee Tzar Alexander established to reform the organization and legal structures of the Don Cossack host.
Nikolai Vasilievich Illovaiski (1772-1828) was another talented Cossack commander. Nikolai Mozhak writes: "He was enlisted to the military service in the age of 6 as a private cossack. In the age of 8 he took part in his first military expedition to the Crimea for suppressing the Crimea Tatars that supported Turks." Illovaiski participated in campaigns against the Turks, Poles and the French. In 1813 after the Battle of Bautzen he left the army, his health was failing, and went back to the Don.