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Alexander Mikaberidze

Format: Hardcover, 528 pages
Price: $64.95
ISBN: 1-932714-02-2
eBook: 978-1-611210-02-6
On Sale: Spring 2004

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Joseph Kornilovich O'Rourke I

O'ROURKE (O'Rourke I), Joseph Kornilovich (b. 1762 - d. 1849) was born to an Irish noble family; his father moved to Russia under Empress Elizabeth and served as a major general in the Russian army. O'Rourke enlisted as a sergeant in the Life Guard Izmailovsk Regiment in 1776, and fourteen years later, became a captain in the Pskov Dragoon Regiment. He fought in the Russo-Swedish War in 1789-1790, and participated in the 1794 Campaign in Poland. O'Rourke transferred to the Pavlograd Hussar Regiment in 1797, rising to major in 1798. In 1799, he served in General Rimsky-Korsakov's corps in Switzerland, and for his actions at Zurich, was awarded the Order of St. George (4th class) and promoted to lieutenant colonel in 1800.

During the 1805 Campaign, O'Rourke served in the Russian rearguard and fought at Schöngrabern and Austerlitz. During the 1806- 1807 Campaigns in Poland, he took part in the battles at Golimyn and Eylau (awarded the Order of St. Vladimir, 3rd class). In March 1807, he was sent to Volhynia to form the Volhynia Uhlan Regiment, and was appointed chef of this unit on 19 May 1807. In 1808-1811, he served in the Danube Valley and distinguished himself at Giurgiu.

Promoted to major general on 3 August 1810, O'Rourke was dispatched to Serbia, where he defeated the Turks at Palanka and Banya, earning the Order of St. George (3rd class) on 10 December 1810. He also fought at Jasika, Varvarino, and on the Morava River. He later joined the main Russian forces and fought the Turks at Kalafat. For his actions, O'Rourke was awarded the Order of St. Anna (1st class) with diamonds and the Order of St. Vladimir (2nd class). In early 1812, he commanded Russian troops on the border of Bosnia. During the 1812 Campaign, he was recalled to Volhynia, where he commanded a cavalry detachment and fought on the Bug and Berezina Rivers, and pursued the French from Molodechno to Kovno.

In 1813, O'Rourke took part in the rearguard actions on the Oder River and in the battles at Dresden, Magdeburg, and Kulm (Prussian Iron Cross). He was promoted to lieutenant general on 10 October 1813, with seniority dating from 16 August 1813. In October 1813, he fought at Dennewitz, Leipzig, and Kassel. During the 1814 Campaign in France, O'Rourke commanded a cavalry corps in the Army of North and fought at Craonne, St. Dizier, Bar sur Aube, Laon (awarded the Order of St. Alexander of Neva), and Paris. For his actions in 1813-1814, he was awarded the Prussian Order of Red Eagle, the Swedish Order of the Sword, and Hesse-Kassel Order of Military Merit.

In August 1814, O'Rourke took command of the 2nd Uhlan Division. The next year, he accompanied Alexander I to the Congress of Vienna. In 1816-1818, he led the Lithuanian Uhlan Division and took command of the 1st Hussar Division on 4 May 1819. Relieved of duty on 25 July 1819, he retired to his estate near Minsk. During the Polish Rebellion of 1830, O'Rourke mobilized reserves in the Minsk gubernia and was awarded the Order of St. Alexander of Neva with diamonds. He was promoted to general of cavalry on 22 April 1841. O'Rourke died at his estate at Vselube in the Grodno gubernia in April 1849. During his career, O'Rourke also received two golden swords (one with diamonds) for courage. His brother O'ROURKE (O'Rourke I) Patrice Kornilovich, rose to colonel and led the Volhynia Horse (later Uhlan) Regiment on 24 October 181, but sickened and died on 10 June 1812.

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Alexander Mikaberidze

Alexander Mikaberidze is an assistant professor of history at Mississippi State University. He holds a law degree from the Republic of Georgia and a Ph.D. in history from Florida State University, where he worked at the Institute on Napoleon and the French Revolution. Read More...

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