Belousov Sergey Vladislavovich, Doctor of historical sciences, associate professor, head of sub-department of general history, historiography and archaeology, Penza State University (40 Krasnaya street, Penza, Russia), email@example.com
Background. In recent years, the national history has shown an increased interest in the study of the Patriotic War of 1812. One of the challenges faced by researchers consists in the examination of the status of war prisoners from the Napoleon’s Army in various provinces of the Russian Empire. The aim of the article is to consider the issues, related to the passage of groups of prisoners from the Napoleon’s Army through the territory of the Penza province in 1812 – the beginning of 1814.
Materials and methods. Implementation of the research tasks was achieved through the dialectical method of studying historical processes, including the principles of historicism, objectivity and systemacy. It helped to fully characterize the variety of sources, compare and analyze them. A critical attitude towards the sources made it possible to reveal contradictions and find positive information that could be distorted as a result of the subjective reflection of the reality.
Results. In the State Archives of the Penza Region the author found official documents of the state highest bodies and central authorities as well as local institutions’ documentation the allowed to define the passage dynamics of war prisoners from the Napoleon’s Army in the territory of the Penza province in 1812 – the beginning of 1814.
Conclusions. It is noted that in autumn Penza became an important transit center in the Volga region through which the war prisoners were moved inland to the place of permanent residence determined for them. It is found that the highest activity in the movement of convoys through the province territory occured in September-December 1812 and May 1813 – January 1814. Based on the analysis of archival documents the author managed to determine the time and the movement direction as well as to determine the size of most transit groups of war prisoners.
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