Saturday, August 6, 2011
Cossacks in Bialystock
The local Hetman chose to stand with his farmers and militia rather than flee.
The great relics of their parish had been collected and other treasures secreted in a farm outside of the town.
While the main force of Cossacks did not face any resistance in Bialystock directly, this column to the south did.
The militia and defenders learned that the Cossacks were on their way with three troops, numbering more then their meager forces. There was no way that they could run away, so they set up to defend the farmhouses and the little bridge.
The waves of pony riders swarmed over the nearby hills and across the stream.
This caused the bridge to become a worthless defense.
Seeing that the fields would become the critical battleground the Hetman Viktor rode out to personally hold back a half a dozen riders and give time for his militia to form firing lines.
Even the evacuation of the bridge was not simple and a few militia managed to shoot a couple of Cossacks out of their saddles. Not enough to stop them from swarming half of the buildings of the farm. This half did not have the critical treasures that had now been dragged up into the attic of the other major building.
The fields were swarmed by the Cossacks ... some shot as they crossed the underbrush at the edge of the fields, others cut down by the heroic efforts of the Hetman Viktor!
Hetman Viktor was wounded first by the volleys of the militia as he fought bravely against four to one odds. The wound was not enough to throw him from the saddle, it was enough to slow him down. Thankfully he was only facing one more Cossack. Sadly he was not fast enough to parry this last Cossack that felled the Hetman.
The militia began to fall apart ... half of them fleeing in the face of the Cossacks, the other half halt, nervous, yet held. Enough to break the cossacks will to fight in the field.
Unfortunately for the defenders, more Cossacks had swarmed behind the critical building, they entered and a confused series of battles raged room to room.
Enough losses came to the Cossacks, they broke off their attack, literally just in time for the remaining militia for they were also close to fleeing. They had save the treasures, lost more than half their numbers to death, many others were wounded. There was just enough left to flee the town with the holy relics and some of the valuables.