HADJI-ALI, An Eyewitness Account of Shamil’s Gazavat

  • 04/02/2024
The Great Russian Emperor is the head of seven countries. He shelters all earthly rulers under the shadow of his wing; His sword and power are feared by 62 people; no one can resist him and be at enmity with him; his power shakes the thrones of enemies and the palaces of opponents; he subjugated the whole world. This is the great ocean, lenient to the guilty, generous to those who ask, the refuge of the whole world; a sea of ​​nobility, great power, and countless treasures; a mine of courage and bravery, a source of blessings and mercies. 

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I am katib (writer) Haji-Ali, son of Abdul-Malek-Efendi, resident of the village of Chokh, from the Nakhibashi tribe, Andalal society of the Dagestan region. I was born in 1234 (1817) on the 11th day of the month of Ramadan Gijrah. I studied the Koran for eight years. Then, for 18 years, he studied Arabic sciences under the guidance of scientists from Dagestan. The sciences that I studied are Arabic grammar, jurisprudence, hadith (the history of Muhammad), Tefsir (interpretation of the Koran), Siyar (the history of the wars waged by Muhammad), tawhid (the science of the unity of God), Suluk or Tariqa (the science of piety and Gazavat), Aruz (versification) and Nujum (astronomy).
In 1251, under the guidance of the Egyptian engineer Haji Yusuf, I studied mathematics and architecture, the knowledge of which is necessary for every military man. Thus, I reached the point that I could distinguish useful from harmful and bad from good. My true desire was to enter the service of the Russian Emperor, in which I found my father under Count Paskevich-Erivan; in 1226 and 1231 he served under Baron Rosen, under whom he served as a translator. Fate, however, brought me to serve Shamil, and I served him diligently and honestly. The reason for this was the following. I was under Elisuysky Daniel-Sultan, and my younger brother was under Prince Argutinsky. When Shamil came to Andalal and stopped in the village of Chokh, the residents came to him and tried to slander us, saying: “The sons of Malek-Efendi fled to the Russians, and he has been in their service for a long time; therefore he must be killed or arrested.” Shamil arrested him and sent him to the village of Ansalty to be imprisoned, saying: “If you want to live, then call your children to you; otherwise, this prison will be your tomb.” Then, when Shamil in 1256 (1839) was defeated by the Russians under the command of Prince Argutinsky under Kululyu and Khozrek and retreated from the Kazi-Kumukh Khanate, my brother and I returned home to Chokh. Not finding the old man at home, I received information that he had been arrested by Shamil and imprisoned in the village of Ansalty, we went there. When we came to this village, Shamil freed our father from prison sent him to Chokh, and left me and my brother with him. So, I had to enter the service of Shamil and was his most zealous servant. After seven years of testing, so to speak, Shamil began to trust me and assigned me to manage the construction of fortifications and other work in all 32 areas. I was Shamil’s engineer, chief of the guard, kept track of his income and expenses, the number of nizam (troops) and sometimes served as treasurer and mirza under him. Therefore, I could completely follow his actions, see his orders, know his correspondence, troops, their number, the number of guns and shells, his treasury, the actions of the Naibs, and the position of the people. I was never separated from Shamil, either on campaigns or at home, and he, finally convinced of my devotion, instructed me to monitor the actions and behavior of his associates and scientists. I found in the hearts of these confidants and advisers only envy, slander against each other, and greed for acquiring wealth by any means; contrary to the rules that Shamil himself adhered to. Following their behavior, I recognized people who wholeheartedly sided with Shamil and submitted to him out of captivity, people capable of ruling Dagestan and aspiring to become an imam. Having become familiar with the state of affairs, I became convinced of the fragility of Shamil’s power, of the inevitable destruction of his rule and the fall of all of Dagestan under the rule of the Russian Emperor, because Shamil’s associates and his naibs extremely oppressed the people and did not care at all about justice and welfare in the populations under their control. They only thought about life here, tried to enrich themselves at the expense of the people, and shed the blood of Muslims in vain. Their injustice, greed, and oppression of the people finally reached their extreme limits.
The books say: “The state depends on the well-being of cities.” In another place, it is said: “Power with oppression does not last long.” Reflecting on the consequences of such management, I wanted to describe briefly what I had seen since I was under Shamil, as well as what I heard from reliable people; but I did not include folk stories and rumors here, because they are often false, as I have come across many books filled with empty stories that have no substance.
My goal in compiling this book was to earn attention and favor for the future. It began in 1264 (1847-1849), and finished in 1276 (1859-1860 AD).

Dagestan is inhabited by several different tribes, whose settlements are scattered across inaccessible places: gorges, forests, and mountains, along the rocky banks of fast rivers, gorges, and mountain valleys. The mountaineers are wild, like the very nature that surrounds them, and predatory, like animals. They earn their food by carefully cultivating every convenient piece of land along the slopes and ledges of the mountains.
Previously, they professed different religions and were ruled by Prince Suraka, from the Rus tribe, whose capital was the Avar village of Tanus. Suraka was strong. When, in the year 200, Abu Muslim from Syria conquered Dagestan and by force of arms forced the mountaineers to accept the Muhammadan faith, Dagestan became a mine of scientists and brave men. Abu Muslim, having imposed a feasible tribute on the Dagestan tribes, installed a khan from his relatives in each of them. Dagestan was in this situation for a long time. Generations and khans changed, and with them, the position of the mountaineers changed; they began to decline; everyone began to indulge in their passions and inclinations, some became robbers, others thieves; they began to raid Georgia, Tush, and Mosok; At the same time, internecine wars and tribal feuds between the tribes arose. According to the old people, the land of Dagestan has become a mixture of blood, fights, and discord. These civil strife, wars with bordering countries, and finally, recently the persistent war with the Russians under Kazi-Muhammad, Gamzat-bek, and Shamil have not stopped to this day. Now the root of war, unrest, and unrest has been suppressed by the power of the Russians. 

Since the time of the Syrian Abu Muslim Khan, Dagestan has been largely ruled by his descendants, under the names of khans and beks. The most important of them were the Avar Khans, whose election was completely similar to the election of Russian tsars. No one sat on the Avar throne except the khans from the Surak clan, before his suppression in the male and female tribes, as is known and confirmed by surviving manuscripts and tradition. If the line of Avar khans had ceased, then a khan from Russians, Georgians, or Armenians had to be elected to the throne, which could not happen in the other khanates of Dagestan. The election of other Dagestan khans, such as the Shamkhals, Tsakhur, Kazikumukh, Mekhtulin, and Kaitag khans, was completely different; because the title of khan was sometimes given not by right of inheritance, but to those who managed to appropriate it to themselves by force of arms, of which there are many examples. The procedure for electing Avar khans by inheritance in male and female tribes was the same from the very beginning until now, without any change.

In 1244 (1827) Kazi-Muhammad, the son of Ismail, a learned and brave man, appeared in the village of Gimry. He influenced the people with his intelligence and knowledge, did not shed the blood of Muslims, did not rob their property, was not seduced by earthly goods, and did not value life; however, he had few followers, and his power extended only to some societies. He almost unsuccessfully made raids on Derbent, Chechnya, and Nazran for several years. People tell a lot about him, but it is difficult to believe these stories, especially since I decided to write only what I saw myself and heard from reliable people. In 1249 (1832), Baron Rosen undertook an expedition to Gimry and sent ambassadors to Kazi-Muhammad through Kazi-Kumukh Aslan Khan: Sosiya-bek of Tiflis, Ali-Jan-bek of Nukha and my father, Abdul-Malek of Chokh, with verbal proposals and letters about peace. Kazi-Muhammad, having read the letters of Baron Rosen, after two days of meetings with Gamzat-bek, who was in Gimry at that time, wrote the following in response: “As for stopping hostile actions and making peace, this is a distant matter. We only ask you to allow one thousand cavalry to enter Mecca. It will be peace." Baron Rosen, having read Kazi-Muhammad's answer and seeing his evasiveness, moved against him with a detachment from Chechnya and besieged him in Gimry. After a stubborn battle, Kazi-Muhammad was killed, and Shamil, who was his murid at that time, 10 wounded with a bayonet in the left side of the chest, fled. The Russians, taking a large number of prisoners and booty, returned to Shura in 1249 (1832) of the 3rd Rajab. The body of Kazi-Muhammad was given by the Russians to Shamkhal Tarkovsky, who interred him in the village. Tarkakh, which is near the city of Petrovsk. Kazi-Muhammad ended his life at the age of 75. He had no children except one daughter, who died at the age of 10.

Storm over Gimry (Franz Roubaud 1891)
After the death of Kazi-Muhammad, his companions, murids, associates, scientists, and other persons gathered and elected Gamzat-bek, the son of Ali-Eskender-bek Gotsatlinsky, as imam. It was in Gotsatl, 1251 (1834), the month of Ramadan. At first, his power was recognized only by Gotsatl, Ashilta, Gimry, Teletl, and Mogog. He was learned and smart; in Dagestan, no one could compete with him in courage; he made every effort to subjugate the mountaineers to his power and establish proper governance. However, other Dagestanis did not recognize his power and declared war on him. With 300 people, Gamzat rushed to Andalal, and after a skirmish in which 140 Andalal people died, he subjugated this society to his power; from there he went to Tsudahar and Akusha, who, after a battle in which 120 people on their side fell, submitted to him. Following him, Gidatl, Karanai, Tlensir, Tindal, Bakalal, Titlan, Hindalal, and Andalal recognized his power. Having gathered troops from all subordinate societies, wherever he appeared with his army, they expressed their submission to him. Having reached Khunzakh, in which the Avar khansha Pakhu-bike was imprisoned with her sons Nutsal Khan, Umma Khan, and Bulach, Gamzat besieged it. After the battle, the Avar scientists, with the consent of the Khansha, made an offer to Gamzat-bek to make peace. Gamzat demanded that the Khansha's youngest son, Bulach Khan, be handed over as a hostage. Having no hope for the help asked from Aslan Khan of Kazikumukh, and having lost her army, the khansha was forced to agree to Gamzat-bek’s demand and hand Bulach Khan over to him. Upon the conclusion of peace, Tamzat-bek ordered Nutsal Khan and Umma Khan to be presented to him with all the scientists and honorable persons of Avaria.
Knowing the cunning and deceit of Gamzat-bek and his comrade Shamil, Pakhu-bike decided to send two sons with a handful of brave men who remained with her, telling them: “Oh, heroes! Do not be afraid, be like lions, and trust in God!” Gamzat-bek received the sons of Pahu-bike in his tent. After evening prayer and a sermon to the people, Gamzat-bek and Shamil disappeared from the camp.  A firefight immediately broke out between the Khunzakhs who arrived with the Khans and Murids. Nutsal Khan and Nur-Muhammad of Avar were killed in front of the tent, and Umma Khan in the tent. The Khunzakhs, believing that Gamzat-bek was in the tent at that time, peppered it with well-aimed shots, like a sieve. Thus, two Avar khans and many honorable persons and heroes of Khunzakh died on this day, whose corpses were naked and left in the camp. The next day, Gamzat-bek ordered the death of the old woman Pahu-bike, whose murder is prohibited by law. Gimrin Salihilau burst into the courtyard of the Khansha, who was reading the Koran at that time, and, grabbing her by the hand, led her into the stable, where he cut off her head with a saber. Shamil, on the orders of Gamzat-bek, robbed the Khan's palace and went with Bulach Khan to Gotsatl, where, leaving him, he returned to Gimry. Gamzat-bek settled in the Khan's palace in Khunzakh and dismissed the troops to their homes.
The people, seeing the unjust actions of Gamzat-bek, stopped praying for him and began to say: “Gamzat will pay with his life for the murder of the elderly khansha.” Indeed, sometime later, Gamzat was chopped into pieces in the mosque by Osman, the brother of Hadji Murad, and others for revenge for the murder of the Khans. Then Avaria was left without a khan and a leader, like a flock without a shepherd. As for Aslan Khan, from whom Khansha Pakhu-bike asked for help, at that time he stood with his entire army on Turchi-Dag, from where he secretly sent letters to Gamzat-bek and Khansha, advising the first to exterminate all members of the Avar Khan's house, and the second did not at all submit to Gamzat-bek and did not accept any proposals from him, because he was a Chanka, and she was the daughter of Umma Khan, the ruler of Dagestan; and at the same time he reassured her that he would soon come to her aid with his entire army.
Thus, Aslan Khan persuaded Gamzat to do such a base act - to destroy the Avar khans in revenge for the enmity that was between him and Pahu-bike.

After the death of Gamzat, the power of the imam passed to Shamil, the son of Muhammad of Gimri, a Dagestan Uzden, a relative of the Kazikumukh khans on his mother’s side. The people and scholars from some villages of Hindalal (Koisubu), gathered in Ashilta, and elected him as imam. The election took place in this way: the qadis and the people, having gathered in the main Ashilta mosque, sent for Shamil. He came to the mosque on foot, with 5 murids, and sat in the mihrab (the place in the mosque where the qadi performs public prayer). Then the chief qadi turned to him with a question: “Do you agree to be our imam, Shamil?” Shamil answered: “I agree.” After this answer, the qadi began to pray for the strengthening of Shamil’s Imamship, the extension of his life, and the granting of happiness and prosperity to the people who recognized his power over them. Then the qadi, raising his hands to the sky, said “Fatiha”, which means: it’s over, therefore, according to custom, he stroked his beard with both hands; the people too, raising their hands to the sky, answered: Amen, amen, amen! And stroked the beards. Having completed this ritual, the qadi, followed by all the people and scientists, approached Shamil, kissed his hand, and congratulated him, saying: “Blessed be your Imamship.” Upon his election, Shamil went home to Gimry, where, according to custom, he treated all honorable people and scientists.
Shamil was a learned man, pious, insightful, brave, courageous, decisive, and at the same time a good rider, shooter, swimmer, wrestler, and runner, in a word - no one could compete with him in anything. He studied the people and land of Dagestan well while he was under Gamzat-bek. He was capable of anything he put his mind to.
At the beginning of Shamil’s imamship, his power was recognized only by the Khoisubulins. 15 days after the election, Shamil with 100 people set off from Ashilta to Mount Atlada (in Koisubu), near the village of Butsra, from where he sent 50 people to Gotsatl with the order to bring from there the treasury and treasures of the Avar Khansha Pahu-bike, as well as his son her Bulach Khan, who remained there, all the things of the Baitul-Mala and the weapons taken by Gamzat from the people as a pledge of peace. The murids, having taken 11-year-old Bulach Khan, who was studying the Koran at that time, in Gotsatl, all the things of the Baitul-Mala and weapons, on forty horses, as well as the cattle previously collected by Gamzat-bek (except for the inheritance he inherited from his father), brought to Shamil. He sent the entire treasury to Ashilta, and left Bulach Khan in the village of Kharachi, near Untsukul, ordering the residents to feed and store him. On the same day, Shamil, having heard that the Russians were approaching Gimry, went there with 40 people. After a small skirmish, the Russians returned to Erpel, and Shamil to Ashilta, where he ordered Bulach Khan to be brought and thrown into the river from the bridge between Untsukul and Gimry. Salihilau, the murderer of Bulach Khan's mother, carried out this vile order. After this, Shamil, surrounding himself with murids, traveled around the villages of Koisubu and introduced the Koran and Sharia law everywhere. He had a permanent stay mainly in Ashilta and Chirkat.

A month after the assassination of Gamzat-bek and the approval of Shamil as imam, in the early autumn of 1251 (1834), the 12th Jemalu-akhir, generals Kluki-von-Klugenau and Lanskoy, arriving with a detachment in Gotsatl, settled in the gardens of this village and managed to capture the booty all the property and herds of its inhabitants. This detachment included Shamkhal and his brother, Kazikumukh Aslan Khan with two sons, Nutsal Khan and Muhammad-Mirza, and other Kazikumukh beks, Mekhtulin Ahmed Khan with his brother Ali-Sultan, as well as the cavalry of Andalal and Avaria and all the honorable faces of Dagestan. Here a meeting took place between the main Russian commanders, khans, scientists, and honorable persons, regarding the appointment of a temporary khan in Avaria, and the bringing of the people to the oath of allegiance to the Russian Emperor, with the obligation to consider all enemies of Russia, such as Shamil and others like him, as enemies. All Khans wanted to gain control of the Avar Khanate. A long dispute took place in Umman Kaut Square. Finally, the learned Aslan Khan of Kazikumukh stood up and said: “Know that the throne of Avaria is the throne of the Russian prince Surak, so do not extend your views to him, because you are not from his generation. In the event of the termination of this line, both in the male and female tribe, I am the closest heir to the Avar throne (Aslan Khan’s mother was the sister of Umma Khan of the Avar). So where can you get the Avar throne?” The highest Russian authorities were pleased with his speech and agreed to appoint the son of Aslan Khan, Muhammad Mirza, as the ruler of Avaria in place of the murdered Nutsal Khan, the son of Pahu-bike, until the descendant of Umma Khan came of age. Then General Kluki-von Klugenau took the oath of allegiance from 10-20 honorary people of each society. 20 people from Andalal swore allegiance; The first to swear allegiance was from the village of Tsugura, in Sogratl, Muhamed-kadi. They swore and confirmed that they would strictly carry out the orders of the Russian government and would not at all follow Shamil’s suggestions. Then Kluki-von-Klugenau, turning to those who took the oath, said: “Whoever breaks these promises and oaths and is subjected to the teachings of Shamil, he will be deprived of his rank and place and will be subject to the full severity of punishment for perjurers, even if he was a khan, bek, qadi or any other person.” At the same time, he gave each person who took the oath three Dutch ducats. The oath was taken by Nurich from the village of Tukhita; The translator at that time was Staff Captain Abdul-Malek. Having ordered the burning of the village of Gotsatl, Klugenau and his detachment returned to Temir-Khan-Shura. When Shamil arrived, those who swore the oath were the first to submit to him, and some became his Naibs. I will talk about this in detail below.
Shamil spent the winter of that year with his family and relatives in Gimry, Igali, Chirkat, and Ashilta, from where teaching the murids, he raided Avaria, stole livestock from the residents, and robbed and burned villages.

When Shamil, upon the return of Kluki-von-Klugenau from Gotsatl, began to grow stronger and harm the Avars, ruining their villages, then the most honorable and learned people went, with the permission of Kluki-von-Klugenau, to Tiflis to the commander-in-chief to ask for help, saying that Shamil was their enemy and wants to destroy all of them, just as he destroyed their khans. Baron Rosen ordered Major General Fezi to go with a detachment to Avaria in 1252 (1835). Fezi arrived at the Karadakh bridge, stopped there with a detachment, and ordered the roads to be repaired; then, having ascended to Avaria, he settled in Khunzakh and began building a fortress, and towers, strengthening dangerous places and assigning guards on the border with hostile societies. After the death of Kazikumukh Aslan Khan and his son Nutsal Khan, Muhammad Mirza Khan left Avaria and accepted the Kazikumukh Khanate. In his place, General Fezi appointed Yagya Khan of Kazikumukh, the nephew of Aslan Khan, as governor of Avaria. Yagya-Haji Khan, seeing the restless state of Dagestan, asked to dismiss him and Ahmed Khan of Mekhtulin was appointed in his place, with the same rights as Muhammad Mirza Khan. Hearing about the unrest in Teletl, General Fezi ordered Muhammad Mirza Khan to go forward to Teletl, and he with the main forces followed him across the Golotlinsky bridge, taking with him Ahmed Khan and Avaria's cavalry.

Teletlinsky Kibit-Mukhammed, the son of Khan Khachulav-Mukhammed, was a poor man, but a scientist. He accompanied Gamzat and Shamil in all their campaigns, looked with envy at their power and might, and had a strong desire to achieve significance among the people and be an imam after Shamil. To this end, with the help of cunning, he outraged the people and exterminated the Teletlin beks (33 people) in one day, burning them along with their wives and children. Kibit-Muhammad continued to act in this way and said that he was acting under Sharia. General Fezi, having learned about such actions of Kibit-Muhammad, came out against him in 1252 (1835) with a detachment from all of Dagestan to punish him and capture Shamil and Tashau-Gadzhi, a Chechen scientist and friend of Shamil. Arriving at Teletl, he stopped at Teletlin crops and surrounded the village. After the battle, the Russians took possession of half of the village. Shamil and Kibit-Mukhammed locked themselves in a mosque and 20 huts. They were weakened by great loss and hunger, and therefore, no longer having the strength to defend themselves, they sent secret letters to Muhammad Mirza Khan, asking him to arrange peace between them and the Russians. Muhammad Mirza Khan insisted on making peace and managed to seduce General Fezi. Peace was concluded. Fezi and his detachment returned to Avaria. The hostages of the world were: Shamil’s nephew through his sister Gamzat and Kibit-Muhammad’s nephew. As for Ahmed Khan, he wanted to extinguish the indignation in Dagestan by ending the Kibit-Muhammad family, taking Shamil and his comrades, and ruining Teletl so that not one stone would be left unturned. Therefore, hostility arose between Ahmed Khan and Muhammad Mirza Khan because the latter deceived General Fezi and persuaded him to make peace thereby helping Shamil and Kibit-Muhamed get rid of inevitable death. From Teletl, Shamil and Tashau-Gadzhi with their companions headed through Gidatl to Chirkata.
Here it should be noted that Shamil came to the aid of Kibit-Muhammad in Teletl with 300 horsemen. When he arrived in Karatu, the inhabitants of Akhvakh, having learned of his intention, blocked his path between Akhvakh and Asab; but after threats, they let us through. Having reached the village of Asaba, in Gidatl, he was met by the inhabitants of Gidatl as an enemy, and after a shootout, he was forced to flee back with such haste that the Akhvakh women, having met his companions, took possession of their badges and took away all their food supplies. Shamil with difficulty reached Zunuba (the mowing places of Karata) and hid in one cave for 12 days with a small number of companions, then secretly at night made his way through the Akhvakh villages to the Gida Bridge. The Gidatlin people did not allow him to cross the bridge. He turned to the village of Ratlu, crossed the bridge to the village of Kekh, and reached Teletl through the Karalal hills. It took Shamil so much effort to come to the aid of Kibit-Muhammad. On his return journey, he encountered no such obstacles. Before arriving in Teletl, Shamil sent a letter from the Karalal hill to Andalal with the following content: “You and I are brothers in religion. Two dogs fight, but when they see a wolf, they forget their enmity and rush at him together. Although we are enemies among ourselves, the Russians are our wolf, and therefore I ask you to unite with me and fight against the common enemy; if you do not help me, then God is my help.” The Andalalians did not accept his requests and, with General Fezi, went against him to Teletl.
Over the next three years, Shamil made continuous, not unsuccessful, raids in the surrounding villages. Koisubu: Igali, Harachi, Haradirich, Mushuli; to Gumbet and Andia. But the Avars under the command of the Khunzakh Hadji-Murat, Kara-Kisha, Himmad-bek, Shah-Shabek Dzhengutaevsky, and others everywhere hindered his successes. All these fights were between Muslims alone, without the participation of Russians.

Shamil did not gain any benefit from his raids. Having lost all hope for the assistance and assistance of the Dagestanis, seeing himself surrounded by enemies, both Russian and free tribes of Dagestan, who did not want to submit to his power, and hearing about the approach of the Russians, he chose Akhulgo and, entering it with a small number of Murids, ordered to build a ditch on one accessible side (Akhulgo is surrounded on three sides by a cliff), strengthen it and build a house for himself, in which he began to await the arrival of the Russians.
At the beginning of the summer of 1256 (1839) of the month of Rabiul-Avvala, General Grabbe with a detachment, that included Mehtulinsky Ahmed-hai and the entire cavalry of Dagestan, arrived in Akhulgo and besieged it. The siege lasted three months: the Russians offered Shamil to hand over one of his sons as a hostage. He agreed and handed them his young son, Dzhemaleddin. Then they demanded that he come to the camp himself. Shamil, fearing treason, refused and decided to defend himself.  After a 12-hour assault, the Russians captured the fortification. Shamil with his family and seven followers: Muhammad-Akh-Berdy-Khunzakhsky, Gotsatlinsky: Muhammad Khudanat-ogly, Bammat-Mukhammed-bek-ogly, Pilyat Muhammad-ogly, Chirkeevite Yunus Muhammad-ogly, Nur-Ali Kharadirikhsky, and Zirar Ali-ogly Shagadiysky, went down the cliff to the shore of Koisu and hid there under a rock for three days, from where on the fourth day he fled at night to Shubut. The Russians, having received Shamil's entire treasury and his estate as booty, taking many families captive, returned through Chirkey to Shura.

Storm over Akhulgo (Franz Roubaud 1888)
As General Pullo's oppression of the Chechens intensified, the latter's requests to Shamil to come to free them also increased. Shamil happily hurried to fulfill their wish. In 1256 (1839), 5 months after fleeing from Akhulgo, in winter, Shamil appeared with a handful of his murids in the village of Atakh, in Gekhi, whose inhabitants immediately recognized him as an imam. In the same way, all the villages of Gekhi and Chechnya were conquered. Then, at the invitation, Shamil went to Aukh and Salatau, which also recognized him as an imam. Shamil, carried away by success, arrived through Chirkey with a crowd of Chechens, Salatavs, and Chirkeevites to the village of Ishkarty, in the hope that the Shamkhals would also accept him. A small detachment of Russians sent against him with Shamkhal and Ahmed Khan was surrounded by him; but the next day the main forces of the Russians arrived in time, rescued Shamkhal and Akhmed Khan, and Shamil was forced to retreat through Chirkey, Burtunai, and Bayav to Dargo-Vedeno, which he chose as his residence. The number of Mugajirs (deserters) was constantly increasing; Dargo soon became a populous village. Shamil constantly received invitations from all sides to come with an army and never refused. He knew how to win the favor of the Dagestanis with his affections and promises, earn their trust, and attract to his side smart, learned, and influential people whom he appointed as his Naibs. Thus, the following obeyed him: Chechnya, Gumbet, Salatavia, Andi, Shubut, Kiyalal, Unkratl, Chamalal. Nutsatli, Kalalal, Bogolal, Gidatl, Baklaj, Tetlal and Caralal. Although the mountaineers are a wild people, prone to robberies and robberies, looking at any innovation with fear, they recognized him as their Imam and devoted themselves to him to such an extent that, on his orders, they sacrificed their lives and fought against their fathers, brothers, and children. Shamil, for his part, took care of his subordinates as if they were his children. Having strengthened his power by appointing people loyal to him as naibs, Shamil began to enforce Sharia, eradicating customs that were contrary to his regulations, such as smoking tobacco, drinking hot drinks, etc. In some places, such as in Gidatl, Bogolal, Tsunta, Chamalal, and others, women did not wear pants before Shamil. Having stopped internecine warfare and tribal animosities, Shamil merged societies into one people, ready to carry out all his orders. The mountaineers unquestioningly, externally and internally, accepted and carried out all his orders. Shamil was grateful to them and rewarded everyone according to their merits; he tried to guide them on the true path and provide them with benefits and conveniences of life, he never deviated from Sharia (except for two cases); he conducted Ghazavat as prescribed by the Koran and Hadith. His fame and influence on Dagestan after that increased from day to day for five years, until 1262 (1845).

At the end of 1257 (1840), Shamil, at the request of the Kazikumukh people, went with an army through Andia, Karatu, Teletl to the Kazikumukh Khanate and stopped in Rugudzha. On the same day, General Fezi arrived in Chokh. In the morning, the Chokh elders and scientists came to Fezi and asked him to return. Fezi agreed, but for his part ordered the Chokhites to ask Shamil not to come to them; otherwise, if they allowed him to enter, then all the Chokh merchants located in Tiflis and other places would be arrested and exiled to Siberia, and their goods, in which they are participants, will be confiscated. Upon the return of Fezi, the Chokhs sent two scientists Muhammad-Pirau and Akhmad Khanzad-ogly to Shamil in Rugudzha, asking him to return and convey to him the words of General Fezi. Shamil seemed to accept their request, told the ambassadors that he would return to Teletl in the evening, and asked them to be calm. The Chokh ambassadors returned. Shamil, taking advantage of the foggy day, moved after them. The Chokhites, having learned from the ambassadors that Shamil had returned to Teletl in the evening, were completely calm. But suddenly the hymn of the murids “la-ilaga-illa-llag” was heard below and their icons appeared. Shamil used such a trick because he was afraid of the resistance of the Chokhites. He took them by surprise. The Chokhites did not put up any resistance and convincingly asked Shamil to return. Shamil agreed and said: “I am returning to Rugudzha only to free your merchants.” The Chokhites were very grateful. At night, Shamil from Rugudzhi, lighting the way with torches, headed across the Anada bridge to the Kazikumukh Khanate. By morning he reached the village of Bukhdy and on the same day, after a skirmish, he and his army entered the village. Kumukh, killed Dzhenguta's Yagya-bek Budai-ogly there with thirteen people and captured Prince Gruzinsky, Muhammad-Kadiya-Tsugur, and some other inhabitants of Kumukh. Having taken hostage Mahmud Khan and Tagir-bek-ogly, the nephew of Aslan Khan, the son of Harun-bek Mirza-Zana, and many other honorable persons and appointing Haji-Yagya Khan, the son of Tagir-bek, as the head of the Kazukumukh, Shamil returned with great booty in Dargo.
Upon arrival in Dargo, Shamil began casting guns and preparing military supplies for the war with the Russians and Muslims who did not recognize his authority, giving the order to kill all rebels and suspicious people and confiscate their estates. The casting of guns was carried out by Haji-Jebrail of Untsukul and Musa of Kazikumukh; the first became acquainted with this art in Egypt during his journey to Mecca, and the second was a good gunsmith and helped him.

In 1257 (1840) the engineer Yusuf-Gadzhi Yusuf-Zada-ogly came through Chechnya from Egypt at the request of Shamil. He possessed knowledge unknown to anyone in Dagestan until that time. He knew all the sciences well, especially mathematics and architecture. When Shamil saw his enormous knowledge, he ordered me to study mathematics and architecture from him, and Haji-Yusuf passed on all his knowledge to me. Then, on the advice of Haji-Yusuf, Shamil organized a nizam (regular army), dividing it into hundreds and dozens and placing a naib in each society. Yusuf-Gadzhi was engaged in the construction of fortifications and tried in every possible way to assist Shamil’s enterprises in governance and military operations. Thus, Shamil’s power in Dagestan increased even more and his orders had greater force than before. Shamil saw a clear benefit in this and respected Yusuf as the culprit of all improvements. However, those close to him and the naibs, seeing Yusuf’s strong influence, tried to slander him before Shamil. Shamil corresponded with the hunker (Turkish Sultan) and asked him for help. Hunker constantly promised to send an army and, for his part, asked Shamil not to lose heart and act. Since the hunker's letters were written in Turkish, no one except Yusuf could read them. The Naibs took advantage of this and said that Yusuf was passing on all this information to the Russians. Shamil believed their words and was angry with Yusuf, and despite all his merits, he confiscated his estate and exiled him to the village of Akhna, in Tindi, which the mountaineers called Siberia. Yusuf spent three years in exile, despite all the petitions for him. Then, through Charbi and Chakhner, he fled to Grozny, where he was favorably received. He died in Grozny in 1272 (1855), eight months after his flight.

When the oppression of Russian and Muslim leaders over the Dagestan tribes subject to the Russian government increased, ambassadors and letters began to continuously come from Untsukul and other villages of Dagestan, especially from Avaria, calling on Shamil to free them from the yoke of the Russians, promising to obey him and exactly fulfill everything his orders. In 1260 (1843), on the 1st Sha'ban, Shamil set out from Dargo with 10 thousand cavalry and 3 weapons of his preparation. Upon arrival in Mukhita, which is between Untsukul and Ashilta, he ordered the naibs with part of the vanguard to climb the mountain in front of Untsukul and again hastily descend back, and when the Untsukuls went to the alarm, thinking that this was a raid of some naib, which had often happened before it happened to rush at them and punish them for their insolence. The naibs did as Shamil ordered. When the vanguard appeared on the mountain, the Untsukul youths went to the alarm and, believing that this was the party of some naib, rushed at them. When they galloped to a close distance, all of Shamil’s cavalry rushed at them; the Untsukulians fled; They were pursued to the village, and they left about a hundred bodies on the road. Then Shamil surrounded the village of Untsukul. After a several-day siege, the Russians under the command of Kluki-von-Klugenau came to the rescue and stopped in the village. Harachi. Kluki-von-Klugenau ordered part of the detachment to occupy the Untsukul gardens and take possession of the road. The gardens were occupied, but the Russians could not take possession of the road to Untsukul. After the battle, in which the Russians lost 300 people and two guns, Kluki-von-Klügenau returned with a detachment to Avaria. The Untsukulians and the Russian garrison, having exhausted their strength and having no hope of help, sent the bailiff Kibig-Gadzhi and Lieutenant Anosov with soldiers (about 150) to ask for help. Shamil said to Anosov: “Why did you fight me?” Anosov answered: “Because you are the enemy of our king, and we are his servants and must fight the enemies as much as we can; I could not win the victory, but if there were shells left, I would not have stopped fighting you.” The fortress and village, by order of Shamil, were burned and destroyed, so that no stone was left unturned. Two cannons, cattle, and other property of the Untsukul residents and soldiers were plundered so much that not even a needle was left. The next day, Shamil moved to Balakan. After a small skirmish, Lieutenant Duminsky with a garrison and one cannon surrendered to prisoners of war. From there Shamil headed to Tsatanykh, where the brave captain Dementyev stood with his company. An incessant firefight took place from evening until morning; behind each embrasure lay 1000 or more shell casings from soldiers' cartridges; their guns they were heated up by frequent shots, so it was impossible to touch them with your hand. Shamil's army lost many killed and wounded. None of the soldiers laid down their weapons. Finally, Shamil’s forces took possession of the fortification and two cannons with all the shells. Then Shamil arrived with an army in Tanus and, stopping at the house of Muhammad, sent several parties to the villages of Avaria, from where, upon their arrival, all Russian adherents fled to Khunzakh, where Kluki-von-Klugenau was at that time with a detachment. In the village of Akachi, ensign Zolotov was with his company - a big coward. Without any resistance, he laid down his arms and appeared with a company, one cannon, and all the shells to Shamil in Tanus. In the village of Gotsatl, Captain Kuzmenko, whose complexion was iron, stood with two companies. He was a real brave man. Shamil sent Kibit-Muhammad and Abdurakhman Karahokiy with four thousand against him. After a long skirmish, he was offered to surrender to prisoners of war, saying that ensign Zolotov had surrendered and was now with Shamil and that there was no benefit in resisting such forces with this handful of troops. Kuzmenko did not believe it and asked that Zolotov be brought to him. Zolotov was brought in and told him: “Come out, because you are not able to resist, and if you surrender, it will be of great benefit to you.” Kuzmenko shouted at him from the tower: “May you be cursed by God!” You ate the bread of the Russian Tsar, wore his clothes, and now you serve his enemy. I’ll die here!” Then he shouted to the company: “To the gun!” - and a shootout ensued. The carriage of the Russian gun was broken, the soldiers weakened; and the fortification was taken with all supplies and guns. Captain Kuzmenko, with 20 surviving soldiers, was introduced to Shamil in Tanus. General Klyuy von Klugenau himself was besieged in Hunzach. Thus things continued until the end of the month.

Imam Shamil
Prince Argutinsky, having heard that Shamil had penetrated the interior of Avaria and besieged Klkyuki-von-Klügenau in Khunzakh, moved from Kazikumukh with the Russians, Andalalians, Kazikumukhians, and Tsudaharians and stopped at the Gergebil fortification. The naibs, having learned about Argutinsky's arrival in Gergebil, were a little frightened and wanted to return with the booty that was already in their hands. Shamil, seeing that the naibs were chickening out, wanted to test them secretly. He called them together and said: “The news has arrived that Argut has stopped in Gergebil with large forces; So what do you think is best: return or stop here to fight? And this damned Argut is a wineskin of deceit, insidious, cunning, a real fox.” The naibs were frightened and wanted to return, but no one dared to offer this. Kibit-Muhammad said: “I prefer to return.” Shamil became angry and said: “Come back, Kibit-Muhammad! We know your cowardice, and in such cases, you speak like a woman. As for me, I don’t want to go back so that this Armenian and his comrades, the apostates, will laugh after me! I would rather die than live and endure such shame! You can return wherever you want, but these comrades are enough for me!” And he pointed to the murids. After such a speech, the naibs became a little encouraged. Shamil sent Naib Nyr-Ali with the Charbin people to Bukhnata (a place near Gotsatl) to meet Argutinsky. After a stubborn battle, the Naib and the Charbin people fled. Shamil sent Hadji Murat after him; he was unable to fight and returned with the army to Tanus. Argutinsky approached Tanus. Klücki von Klügenau also left Hunzach and united with it. After a seven-day siege, Argutinsky, not finding an opportunity to oust Shamil from Tanus, returned and stopped with an army near the village of Genechutl, 2 versts from Tanus. Shamil, too, seeing the futility of staying in Tanus and the great loss of troops, ordered Hadji Murad to burn Avar villages and crops, and resettle the inhabitants to Hindalal. Hadji Murat carried out the orders of the imam, burned Avar villages and crops, and resettled the inhabitants to Hindalal. Shamil returned to Dargo at the end of summer, and dismissed the troops to their homes, ordering them to be ready for a campaign after Bayram, in the fall. In this campaign, the mountaineers lost about 1,000 people killed and wounded. The loss of Russians is not known, but 700 soldiers were captured and distributed to the Naibs.

Shamil took the officers with him to Dargo. In this campaign, ten guns with all shells were taken from the Russians.

Five days after the holiday, at the beginning of the month of Shawwal 1260 (1843), Shamil marched to Gergebil with an army of 11,000. Approaching the villages of Kikuni and Gergebil, he ordered the army to occupy the Gergebil gardens. A battle took place under the walls of the fortification. In this fortification with a garrison stood Major Shaganov, whose courage lured him to resist and fight such forces of Shamil. He was offered to surrender three times, but he did not accept the offer; no one from Shura or Akushi came to his rescue; although some general ascended to the Aymyakin heights in Shura, he did not descend to the Gergebil fortification and soon returned. Shamil's troops were inspired by this, and the Russians lost hearts. If the general had not appeared on the hill, then taking Gergebil would have cost a lot of work. Shamil was joined by the Tsudahar qadi Aslan with a small party. Shaganoz and the soldiers fought day and night continuously and lost all hope. The naibs surrounded the fortification and began to besiege it, making a mobile pile of firewood. The fortification was weakened and the water was diverted. Gergebil was taken by storm. Then the troops moved to the plane and stopped in Dzhengutai. Hadji Murad burned the Khan's palace of Ahmed Khan. From there, Shamil moved to Kazanische, where he stayed in Shamkhal’s house, distributing his troops among the villages of Shamkhal (in Kafir-Kumukh, Muslim-aul, in large and small Kazanischi in Buglen). Shamkhal with his family and nukers fled to Shura - Shamkhal and the Dargin district submitted to Shamil and the Akushin qadi Muhammad joined him. To increase his forces, Shamil sent envoys to Chechnya, calling all the horsemen under the command of the brave Shuas (Chechen scientists). The Chechens were not slow in coming. Shamil consulted with the naibs about a means to take the fortification of Temir-Khan-Shura. Having convened all the Shamkhal and given them instructions, Shamil installed his deaf brother Muhammad-Bek in the place of Shamkhal. Then he ordered one cart of firewood to be brought from each yard and piled near Muslim-aul. The people diligently carried out his orders. Over 1.5 months, the naibs raided the Burnoe fortification and plundered it; the deaf Muhammad-Bek with the Shamkhal cavalry and several guns rode around Shura, starting a firefight. 15 days after Shamil ordered the transport of firewood near Muslim-aul, the Russians came from Chechnya to liberate Shura, and the next day in the morning they moved towards us (at the end of autumn). A battle ensued between Muslim-aul and Kazanishchi, Shamil was defeated and, throwing one gun fled to Erpeli. The loss of the mountaineers was counted as 150 people killed. and about 300 wounded. Shamil went to Dargo through Gimry, the cavalry went home through Aimaki, and the infantry and guns arrived in Dargo through Chirkey, Burtunai, and Bayai.

In 1261 (1844) Shamil marched to Salatavia and Aukh against Russian troops. There was no fighting here. Shamil remained there for 15 days. Then spies came from the Dargin district of Akushi so that Shamil would appear there. He moved with 4 thousand cavalry and ten naibs from Gimry, through Kharkas and Kutishi to Akusha, and stopped in the house of Akushinsky Muhammad-Qadi. Following him, the Koisubuyun naibs arrived: Gimrinsky Ibrahim, Balakansky Musa, and Inkhulaisky Said with three guns and the deaf Hadji Muhammad Chokhsky and Sogratlinsky qadi Muhammad. All the naibs of Dagestan gathered here, excluding Kiyal, Unkratl, Chamalal, Tindalal, Bogulal, and their troops. A few days later, Russian troops under the command of General Liders and Prince Argutinoky set out from the fortification of Temir-Khan-Shur. Shamil heard about this, calling all the naibs and Akushinsky qadi Muhammad to consult about the upcoming actions. After much debate, it was decided that it was best to make a retreat. Shamil and the naibs returned to Barkhalis and Khulis. Argutinsky pursued us, defeated us - and we had to flee, losing many killed. Shamil reached Tsudahar and stopped in the house of Qadi Aslan, but from there he was forced to immediately flee, leaving soldiers, three cannons, and more than a hundred people killed under the feet of the Russian cavalry. Then he fled with the remnants of the army to the Karadakh bridge.
Having crossed the bridge, he ordered it to be broken, rubble was made on the bank and guns were placed. Liders started a firefight with us, and Argutinsky and his army wanted to go to Gotsatl across the Maali bridge. Shamil sent the Aukhovites to hurry and come to his aid. 10 days later, at dawn, the Russians returned. We chased them. Kibit Muhammad with part of his army rushed across the Karadakh bridge after the Russians, but our pursuit was unsuccessful because at that time we lost many killed, including several honorable persons.
The people, seeing the return of the Russians, said that they returned due to the death of some nobleman. But I believed that the Russians did not have enough crackers. On the same day, Elisuysky Daniel-Sultan ran out to Shamil. He met with Shamil at Karadakhsky. bridge, Shamil ordered him to settle in Karat, and he, having dismissed the troops to their homes, returned to Dargo-Vedeno.

The commander-in-chief, Prince Vorontsov, moved with a detachment into the interior of Dagestan. He walked through Chirkey, Argutinsky from Kazikumukh to Teletl, and one general from Shali with forces and means with which no campaign in Dagestan had ever been undertaken, saying: “I will crush Shamil and his crowd and wipe out the naibs and troops from the land.” Shamil, having received information that the commander-in-chief stopped in Burtunai with a strong detachment and a large number of guns and was heading straight to Vedeno, ordered the Chirkeevsky centurion Rajebil Mohammed to kill all the captured Russian officers located in all the villages of Dagestan and Chechnya.
After that, a few days later, Shamil with all the naibs prepared to go to meet the commander-in-chief. In the quarter of the month Rabiul-ayavala 1264 (1845), Shamil marched with the entire army of Dagestan to the village of Almakh, in Salatavia. All the naibs of Chechnya and Dagestan gathered here for a council. Shamil said: “Know that the commander-in-chief is coming at us with all the forces of the Caucasus. Its goal should be either to destroy us completely or to make peace with us. So know that if any of you asks me to reconcile with the Russians, I will kill him or sew his mouth shut (which I confirmed with an oath).” The naibs all swore that they would fight. Shamil sent some of them to occupy Anchimeer heights to block the path to Andia and Gumbet. A few days later, having received the news that the Russians had captured Anchimeer, the Naibs, and Shamil were frightened and did not know what to do. Shamil sent troops against the Russians to the fortified Butsrakh, and he immediately returned to Dargo-Vedeno. Upon his arrival, he ordered the residents to move immediately to Chechnya or wherever they wished, and at noon of the same day he went to Andi and ordered the army to settle in Butsrakh (a fortified place). The Russians climbed to the Gumbet Heights and stopped there. Three days later it became cold and snow fell, which caused great harm to the Russian army and horses. The Russian detachment remained there for about ten days. Shamil left Andi to inspect the army and the fortification of Butsrakh, and, considering it unimportant, ordered the army to be stationed in the villages of Andi. The troops returned to Andi and Shamil stayed in the house of the Andean naib Ramazan in the village of Andi. After that, 5 days later, the vanguard of the Russian cavalry rushed to Butsrakh (all the villages of Andi are visible from Butsrakh). Shamil ordered to burning of all the villages of Andi. The villages were set on fire and half an hour later the Russian cavalry attacked us. Shamil's troops fled without any exchange of fire. The commander-in-chief stopped over the village of Andi. The Russian army was proud of its successes. Shamil and the naibs were in fear, not knowing what to do. After 2 days, Shamil received letters from Chechnya from naibs and scientists in which he was asked to return to Dargo: “We and our wives swear to die for you and will serve you differently than the Dagestanis, who fled without fighting at all.” Shamil calmed down and returned with the murids and Chechens to Dargo-Vedeno, leaving the Naibs in Andi to guard the roads in all directions. The Russians followed him to Dargo and, after a minor skirmish, took possession of them. Having camped there, the commander-in-chief gave the troops rest for 15 days. Shamil and the Chechens disappeared into the forests. The Russians were even more happy than before. A few days later, at night, an Aukhovets spy came from the Russians and let Shamil know that in two days the Russian provisions would go through Burtunai to Andi, to Dargo, if you tried to recapture it, and the Russians would weaken from hunger, and through that, you will win the victory. Shamil called all the naibs and told them what the Aukhovets had told. Having given instructions, Shamil ordered his troops to set up an ambush in the forest. The next day, a transport with provisions appeared on the Andean heights under sufficient cover. When the Russians found out that the road was crossed, they let them know from their guns that they should come to their aid. Many troops immediately moved from the main camp. A big battle took place, the likes of which had never happened in Dagestan. The Russians were defeated and forced to flee, losing many killed. Shamil took possession of most of the provisions, two guns, a large number of weapons, and other things. The Russian army and commanders were afraid. The delivery of provisions and the route of retreat were impossible. The soldiers were exhausted and afraid of hunger. After 3 days, the same Aukhov man, Mahmud, appeared and informed Shamil that the commander-in-chief intended to retreat through Chechnya. Shamil ordered the Chechen naibs to occupy the roads and ordered all the naibs of Dagestan to come to the rescue. The Russians, having burned tents (about 700 pieces), set out from Dargah. Shamil pursued them for 3 days. The Russians suffered great damage - horses, packs, and weapons were taken away. The poor man, who previously did not have a donkey, acquired several horses and dressed himself in cloth; the one who had never held a stick in his hands before acquired a good weapon. The naibs and the people, especially the Chechens, whose even their wives attacked the soldiers and robbed them, triumphed, seeing their unexpected successes, as if there were no more Russians left except those who were killed. The Russian detachment from Shali returned without having anything to do.
Prince Argutinsky received news that the commander-in-chief was defeated and returned with a great loss, retreated with infantry from Teletl to Turchi-Dag, and the cavalry returned to Kazi-Kumukh. Argut walked to Teletl through the village. Magar entered Karakh: all of Karalal, Tlensir, Gidatl, Andalal submitted to him. Daniel with his family and nukers was forced to flee to Gunib. Kibit Muhammad was besieged by him in Teletla and, like a fox, looked for a hole to hide. In this campaign, Shamil caused a lot of damage. Many main naibs were killed: Gumbet's Gitingu, Chechen Shugaib and Eldar, Delim's Hadji-Bek, Andean Mamad, and many other scientists and honorable ones from Chechnya and Dagestan.

At the request of the Mugajirs of the Jarobelokan district, Nukha and Akhtov, Shamil went to the Elisu district, set out on Tuesday, the month of Shawwal 1263 (1846), with 12 thousand cavalry and infantry, and stopped in the village. Khachada (in Karalal) in the house of Daniel Sultan. Here a council took place in which Daniel’s mother Tutu-Bike did not accept Shamil’s words and asked him to return this time with an army, saying: “Now winter is approaching, if snow falls, then communications will be cut off and many Muslims may die.” Shamil agreed with her opinion, changed his previous direction, and turned to the village. Tsudahar. Shamil's troops moved to Chokh, from where he ordered Daniel-Sultan to go to Kazi-Kumukh, and he headed to Tsudahar. After the battle, Shamil entered Tsudahar by force and took possession of all the herds and estates of the Tsudaharians. Kibit-Muhammad entered Hajal-Makhi without any resistance, where Shamil and his army arrived and remained there for three days. The Dargins sent ambassadors with letters asking him to come. Shamil sent Kibit-Muhammad with part of his army to Kutishi, where he set out a few hours later. When I noticed the disorder in the army, I told Shamil that I was afraid that we might suffer great damage in this campaign and be disgraced. And that it would be better if he did not leave here, but would remain in this village (Hajal-Mahi). Shamil answered: “What is predetermined will not change.” Before evening, Shamil and his army reached Khalatab-Kuli. And when we were planning to stay, a detachment of Russians arrived and stopped on the Dirkhub Maidan. Shamil hurried to Kutishi, arrived there at midnight, and in the morning the Russians attacked us. Shamil's army was defeated and put to flight, the like of which had never happened before or since. We suffered great losses. They left one cannon with shells, Shamil’s dress, his ax, and all his belongings, and the army returned to the village. Salty. The reason for this failure was the bad order of Kibit-Muhammad, and his cowardice, although he had 6 thousand people under his command. Then the army from Salty was disbanded and returned home and Shamil went to Dargo-Vedeno, losing 140 killed and 200 wounded, not counting prisoners. 

At the end of 1264 (1847), at the beginning of spring, Shamil ordered all naibs, scientists, and other honorable people and centurion commanders of Dagestan and Chechnya to gather in the village. Balgit, in Ichkeria. They recognized Shamil's son (the son's name was Kazi-Muhammad) and swore allegiance to him. At that time, people said that Shamil was passing on the imamship to his son as a family inheritance and that he cared only about himself to rise, but did not think about God and suspected him that he was thirsty for wealth. Through this, disunity and disagreement arose between scientists and some naibs with Shamil. Some naibs and others seeking power tried to give Shamil's affairs a different direction. All the naibs began to accumulate wealth and kill Muslims in vain, not distinguishing between what was permitted and what was forbidden, between truth and falsehood. Outwardly they only seemed to carry out Shamil’s orders, but in essence, they tried to deceive and overthrow him. Shamil considered them to be apostles (helpers), but he did not know that they were traitors. Oppression, intrigues, and gossip spread among the people, while Shamil knew nothing about this, but as soon as he noticed any injustice among the naibs, he immediately removed them from office. They slandered some learned naibs and other influential persons, truly devoted to him, before Shamil, as if they were seeking Imamship. Shamil believed them, removed those close to him, and replaced the naibs. However, he later learned of treachery, base deeds, the envy of many well-wishers, and the illegal actions of his sons. But it was a disease that there were no means or medicines to cure or destroy; all that remained was to submit only to the will of God and his predestination. From then on, our Sharia turned into the lower classes (because everyone interpreted it in their own way). Things took a different direction because the actions of the naibs were associated with injustice. But all of Shamil’s efforts to correct matters were in vain. He was left alone without assistants and often repeated the words of an Arab poet: “I see 1000 people building a building that one person can destroy! What can one person build when there are a thousand destroyers behind him?” So, from that time on, Shamil’s affairs and enterprises were unsuccessful. In all campaigns and battles, the naibs acted according to their wishes, contrary to his orders. I will also describe the actions of his sons.

Two months after Shamil returned from Kutish to Dargo-Vedeno, about 10 people came to him with letters from Kabarda, asking Shamil to come there with an army. On Thursday (Shamil’s custom was to constantly march with an army either on Tuesday or Thursday) of the 14th of Dhul-Hijjah 1263 (1846), Shamil set out with 4 thousand cavalry and 5 thousand infantry and 7 guns and, having crossed Terek, stationed troops in Kabardian villages. The supplies were depleted and the troops received nothing but millet for 3 days. The Russians rushed at us from all the fortifications to surround us. Shamil and his army secretly began to retreat at night and reached the Terek by morning. The naibs, seeing that the Russians had occupied the crossing of the Terek, got scared and fled with the army. Under Shamil, there was no one left except the Murids.
At this time, Hadji Murad approached him and said: “What are the naibs doing?” Shamil replied: “They disobeyed and betrayed me.” Hadji Murad said: “Look at my army.” And he rushed with his cavalry towards the Russians. The Russians fled, and the crossing was cleared. Shamil crossed the river and thus escaped. We saw nothing on this trip except hunger, thirst, and fear. If Hadji Murad had not been there then, half the army would have died. Look now at the Naibs and Hadji Murad! In this campaign, Shamil lost 105 people.

In 1264 (1847), the 11th Shaban, the commander-in-chief Prince Vorontsov rushed to the Gergebil fortification and, after a small skirmish, due to the impossibility of taking the fortification, returned to Turchi-Dag, where he remained for two months. Then he and the detachment went down to the village. Kudali and Salty. Using trenches, the Russians blew up half of Salty and the tower into the fortification and killed many people. The Muslims have weakened. Shamil stood either on Mount Ifuta or on Mount Murad. All of Shamil's troops, even scientists and old men, were located on the banks of the Kara-Koysu. Shamil sent naibs to Salty in turn. The Russians, having surrounded the village, stopped communication between Shamil's troops and the garrison. In Salty, hunger and mortality were discovered among the mountaineers. Omar Saltinsky with other naibs located in Salty (Murtaza-Ali Teletlinsky, Muhammad-Kadi Sogratlinsky, Chokhsky Hadji-Musa, Butlikhiysky Hadjiu, Nurmuhammad Karakhsky, and Idris, who was killed when leaving Salty), left the fortification at night and barely made it through with a great loss through the ranks of the Russians. Shamil and his army returned to Dargo-Vedeno, having lost 1,700 people killed, wounded, and captured. Idris, naib of Gergebil, was killed. The scouts let it be known that the Russians had lost 700 people.

Storm over Salty (Franz Roubaud 1898)
At the request of the Akhty people and their Mugajirs, Shamil ordered the naibs to gather an army and come to Zaib (a place near Golotl), from where he set out for Akhty with 9 thousand (on Thursday, 1265 (1848) 4 Shawwal and stopping in Teletl, sent to Daniel Sultan in Karakh, where he was Naib so that he would go with the army to Akhty. Shamil marched with the army from Teletl to Mount Durty, ordering Daniel to go to Rutul, and stopped in the village of Khozrek, where Shamil appeared and sent ambassadors and letters to Akhty. Muhammad Nabi-Efendi of Akhtyn came from Akhty and said to Shamil: “Let’s go, Imam. We are all submissive to you. And we want you to come.” Shamil sent Daniel-Sultan there with the army in the morning and the afternoon he came there himself and called Akhtyntsev, read instructions to them, and said: "You are a brave people, how many times have you shed the blood of Russians and taken off their clothes, and until now in such a war you have been without an assistant. Know that I and all of Dagestan are your assistants. It is necessary to pull this snake (Russians) out of your heart and remove our enemy from among you.” The Akhtyn people liked his instructions and charming words. They replied: “We swear to die before you and fight our enemies.” Shamil surrounded the Akhtyn fortifications, began a siege, and blew up the tower with gunpowder. The powder magazine was blown up by a well-aimed shot. Shamil besieged the fortification in this way for 15 days. However, the naibs were afraid that Shamil would remain here for the winter and even made a council among themselves, saying that if the fortification was taken, then Shamil would not return this winter and therefore we did not need to try to help him. And thus they betrayed him. Then Argutinsky came through the mountains to Shamil’s rear, but could not fight and retreated. The mountaineers pursued him until evening. After 10 days, Argutinsky appeared again with great force from the side of Khozrov. Shamil's army under the command of Daniel-Sultan and Hadji Murad opposed him. A battle took place near Khozrov. The mountaineers fled, leaving many bodies behind the rubble. Many were killed and captured (from Tlensir and Karalal). Shamil returned from Akhty to Dargo-Vedeno. The loss of Muslims extended to 300 people. killed, wounded, and captured.

In 1266 (1849) 21 Rajab, Prince Argutinsky stopped with a detachment on the hills of Turchi-Dag. Having developed roads and slopes, Argutinsky moved towards Chokh. Shamil, hearing about this, gathered 12,500 people and on Thursday, the 27th of Rajab, he set out and stopped at Chokha, on Khudub Square. After the meeting, he ordered the naibs to approach Chokh and occupy all the hills convenient for battle. Over seven days, they dug ditches and created rubble. The Russians came and camped near Chokh, also made ditches and embankments, installed guns, and occupied all dangerous places. Then the bombing of Chokh began. The walls, built by a skilled Egyptian engineer, were broken and two towers were destroyed. No stone was left unturned as if Chokh did not exist. Shamil ordered to quickly make rubble from logs and baskets filled with earth. The fortress looked as if it had been taken and then destroyed. However, the Russians did not occupy the fortress, it is unknown why, and after 10 days Argutinsky returned with a detachment to Turchi-Dag, and Shamil to Dargo-Vedeno, having lost 260 people killed and 340 wounded in this campaign. During the siege of Chokh, Shamil swore before the Koran, telling the naibs: “If Argutinsky takes Chokh, then I will take off your turbans.” Therefore, the naibs acted diligently.

When Argutinsky returned from Chokh, Shamil and the Naibs rejoiced, thinking that the Russians were exhausted and there was not a single soldier or person left on earth who could resist them. But spies constantly came to Shamil from Kazikumukh and asked him to come there with an army. Therefore, Shamil set out with an army from Dargo on 22 Zul-Qaad 1266 (1849) and stopped in Khunzakh, in the house of Naib Hadji Murat. He moved secretly at night and reached the village by morning. Gaiters. After the battle, Shamil’s army entered the village and did not leave a single resident: they either killed or captured. At the same time, a company of soldiers and Kazikumukh cavalry appeared from the direction of Kumukh under the command of Artutinsky’s translator Abdu-Rahman (he was later killed by Hadji-Murat near Gamashi). The Russians lined up near the village. Shamil's army, busy with plunder, heard about the arrival of the Russians and not knowing their number, rushed to flee in disorder. Shamil, abandoned by the naibs, had to leave Gamashi with the murids. The company and cavalry fiercely pursued those who fled. Then Shamil ordered the naibs to turn and immediately rush at the Russians, the soldiers and Kazikumukh residents, retreating a little, stopped and met them with rifle shots. Only one soldier from the company was captured. After the shootout, Shamil returned to the village. Bara. Here at the council, the naibs decided to return home. Shamil ordered me to write 16 to Daniel Sultan, who went with a detachment to Kuli and Khosrek to return. I said to the naibs (there were 12 of them on this campaign): “Aren’t you ashamed of your wives to return after losing such a battle? By God, if we return like this, then the widows will not be afraid of you, Shamil, and you, the naibs!” But Shamil and the naibs returned without waiting for the Chureks that the wives had put in their bags for the hike to run out. Look at the 12 naibs and a company of soldiers! They cheated on Shamil. Shamil replaced Sogratlinsky Abdulla and Musa-Gadzhi Chokhsky from Naib, for their flight from Gamashi.

The Kazikumukh beks convincingly asked Shamil to come with an army (Prince Argutinsky, the commander of the troops, went with a detachment to Kurakh at that time, and there were few Russians left in Kazikumukh). On Thursday 11 Dhul-Qa'dah, 1267 (1850). Shamil set out with 12 thousand troops and stopped in Rugudzha. At the council here they decided to send a trustworthy naib with an army to Tabasaran because the Tabasarans several times asked for Shamil to come. Shamil sent Naib Omar Saltinsky with 1500 people, and he and his army stopped in Chokha. Gotsatlinsky Said fled to the Russians (he joined the Dagestan cavalry irregular regiment and then fled back to the mountains, stealing 500 rubles in silver, gave half of them to Shamil, for which he was forgiven), and told them that the mountaineers were going to Tabasaran and We have already reached Chirakh. The Russians from Kazikumukh with their cavalry came out to meet Omar and a battle took place on the Chirakh hills. Omar with 1500 people fled from a handful of Russians, losing many killed and captured. Shamil replaced Omar with naib (upon the arrival of Omar with a defeated army, one murid said: “Imam! Omar did not perform morning prayer on the day of the battle.” Omar replied: “How could I pray when it was the Last Judgment.” Shamil said: “You are lazy and a coward, you ran away from a company with 1500 people,” and replaced him. Hadji Murat said to Shamil: “He is only brave in words, but not in reality.” Then Shamil sent Hadji Murad with 500 men of cavalry to Shamkhal. Hadji Murat made his way to Buynak, killed Shamkhal's brother Shakhvali, took his family and all the treasures captive, and went to Tabasaran. And Shamil from Chokh with 7,000 people with two guns climbed Turchidag and sent an army to the village of Gamashi. The battalion under the command of Rakussa met them. The highlanders and naibs fled and Shamil could not hold them. In this campaign there were up to 266 killed, wounded, and prisoners, the Gidatlin naib Muhammad was killed, and Hadji Murat was driven out of Tabasaran by Argutinsky.

In 1268 (1851) about 20 soldiers with their wives and children and two priests came to Dargo-Vedeno and asked Shamil for land to settle. He showed them the place where they built houses and a church. After a while, Shamil’s council started talking about them. Some naibs said that they were allowed to take refuge here, while others denied it. Shamil said: “I don’t want them to live here, they need to be sent to their church” (in Gidatla there is a church built by the Georgians in 880 (1363) Gijra, length 9 arshins, width 5, height 13 arshins and 1 arshin and a quarter thick). Shamil sent them to Batlukh, ordering the local naib to settle them there, set aside land for sowing, and protect them. When they saw that the naib was not following their orders, they fled; There were about 6 people left, whom the surrounding residents killed in one night. Having heard about their murder, I said to Shamil: “If we ignore this matter and do not punish the perpetrators, then the people will be ashamed of you and God will be angry.” Shamil got angry and ordered to find the culprits and punish them. The naibs carried out his orders, but only this served as a reason for greed to rob some of the poor. Naib cheated, and the people reproached Shamil.

In 1269 (1852) a dervish named Hadji-Khairullah came from Herat in Afghanistan just to look at Shamil and serve him. He was very pious. My brother Daudilav took him to him. When Shamil removed my brother on suspicion, this dervish lived for a long time in the mosque, eating alms and without any supervision. When Shamil was told about his sad situation, he ordered his treasurer Khadzhiyau to look after him. The treasurer took him to his house, where he remained for several years as a prisoner, with a yellowed face and an emaciated body. When we noticed his pitiful situation, we said to Shamil: “Your treasurer does not look after him and does not give him food. Command him to pay attention to him, because he is your guest, who has come from afar only for the sake of your name. So have mercy on him. He doesn’t ask you for money, and if we leave such poor people, then God will leave us.” Shamil called Hadjiyau and strictly ordered him to better look after him and feed him. But Khadzhiyau did not carry out Shamil’s orders. Shamil's wife Zagidat learned about the unfortunate situation of the dervish, sent him bread and other food, and clothes with a nuker, and was like a mother to him. Look at the situation of this poor man, the reason for his coming, and the long journey and disobedience of the treasurer Hadjiyau. Dervish often repeated: “Shamil’s state, his treasures and he will not remain in this position because of this stupid traitor Hadjiyau.” The dervish's words came true. I swear to God that no one else was so committed to Shamil and shared difficulties with him as this poor man in all places, especially in Gunib. Shamil did not pay attention to the words of the people, but entrusted everything to his sons and the treasurer, thinking that they were carrying out his instructions and did not know that they were betraying him, the treasurer betrayed him, and in the end, he gave Shamil’s treasury, treasures and books to his enemy Kibit- Muhammad, who sought imamship.

On Thursday 15 Dhul-Qaad 1269 (1852), Shamil set out with 13,000 men and several guns to join the army of Sultan Abdul-Mejid. Until that time, ambassadors and letters came from Kars from Kerim Pasha and Selim Pasha so that Shamil and his army could get to them. Shamil stopped in front of the hills in front of Zagatala and sent his son Kazi-Muhammad and Daniel Sultan with a detachment against Zagatala. The Cossacks rode out to meet them; in the firefight, having lost about 40 people, they returned to the fortification, and the highlanders entered the village. Zagatala, whose residents let them in without any resistance. Shamil stopped at the heights, from where he sent the Egyptian engineer Yusuf-Haji to his son to strengthen the village and build a blockade. The mountaineers built a large barrier between the villages and the fortification. The troops remained in this position for several days. Then Shamil sent Daniel-Sultan with his cavalry to Alazan to take possession of the crossing (ferry). By evening, Daniel Sultan and his cavalry moved past the fortifications towards Alazani. The chief of the Russians, Orbeliani, who was in the fortification, having learned the intention of the highlanders, cut off their path. There was a battle. Daniel Sultan's cavalry was divided into 2 parts: some fled to the village. Tala, and the other to Katekh. Daniel-Sutan spent the night in Talakh in the forest, and Ramazan and part of his party spent the night in Katekh. The next day they united and headed to Belokani, where they stopped. The general with an army from Zagatala came out to them and defeated them. Daniel-Sultan fled to Alazani, and from there he went to Gulluk, Zarna, Lakit, and Amirjanlo (which is in the Elisu district) and was there for about 3 days. The army that remained under Shamil ran out of provisions, heavy rains began, and Daniel-Sultan did not return. Shamil got angry with him and with the army and Kazi-Muhammad went down to Katakh and spent the night there. The next day, Shamil went up to the newly built fortification of Mesedil-Kher (Golden Pond) and, settling around it, prepared to besiege. Two days later, Daniel Sultan returned and, dismounting from his horse at Shamil’s tent, greeted him, took him by the hand, and then went to his tent. Then Shamil said to me: “If Daniel had been the leader in this campaign, I would have killed him with my own hands, because he left my inexperienced son with the infantry in front of the enemies, throwing him into the lion’s mouth, and he went with the cavalry to travel among his friends.” Shamil was dissatisfied with Daniel, but the people did not know this (in this campaign I was treasurer under Shamil). Shamil besieged the fortification and cut off the water. The soldiers weakened, and we constantly fought with them at the fortress. Suddenly the vanguard of Prince Argutinsky appeared on the Zagatala hills, on the road along which Shamil came. The naibs got scared and gathered near Shamil's tent, where a major dispute took place. In the evening, a soldier came running from the Russian fortification and said that the Russians were dying of hunger and thirst in the fortification, and if they stood another night, then they would get the fortification and all the property that was in it. But the Naibs, fearing Argut, asked Shamil to retreat and at night with noise (from the intensified retreat) returned home. This is also treason and cowardice of the naibs. There were 25 naibs here. Of these, Naib Charbi-Ak-Bulat was killed. Many were wounded, 30 killed, and 14 prisoners.

Shamil had long been planning to undertake a campaign in Georgia, bowing to the requests of the inhabitants of Tsuntal and Tindal, whose fathers had previously been at enmity with the Georgians. However, he is not able to undertake the campaign, because the Russians distracted him. In 1270 (1853), Omar Pasha, having reached Kutais, sent a letter to Shamil so that he would come with all his might to unite with him. Shamil performed with 1500 people. and three guns from the Dargs and stopped at Zunub-Karitlya, near Karata. All the naibs of Dagestan and Chechnya gathered here. Shamil did not announce the purpose of the campaign to anyone. After 3 days, the troops moved to the village of Khushtada, and then to the village. Tinda, then to Tsunta. Shamil and his army arrived at the tower on the mountain on the road to Georgia (occupied by Georgian policemen). From this hill, Shamil sent his son Kazi-Muhammad with 7 thousand to the plane of Georgia and sent Daniel-Sultan with 5 thousand to Shildy. He and the rest of the army settled down at the tower. At sunrise, Daniel and his infantry entered Shildy. Here a battle took place in which Naib Tsuntala Tindinsky Hadji Muhammad and others were killed, about 40 people were killed and 60 were wounded.
Kazi-Muhammad headed towards Alazani with his cavalry and plundered some villages on the hills in front of Shildi, where they spent the night. The next day they received orders from Shamil to cross the Alazan with their cavalry. Kazi-Muhammad gathered all the naibs and gave instructions to everyone. Leaving the horse and foot in a cramped place on the road to Shilda, he and the rest of the army crossed Alazan. The Tsuntalians were in front and with them was the Armenian Musa, who knew the house of Prince Chavchavadze. At the direction of Musa, the army moved to Tsinindaly, where, having robbed the house of Prince Chavchavadze, taking princesses, other women, and children captive, they returned with joy. On the way back, seeing that the Russians had occupied the crossing over Alazan, they retreated and crossed elsewhere. Then they saw that the place where the infantry had been left was occupied by the Russians, and when they began to approach, the Russians met them with volleys from their guns. The mountaineers fled along the road to Kvareli and spent the night in the forest between Shilda and Kvareli. The next day, the Russians left the road and returned to the Kvareli fortification, and the mountaineers, having reached Shilyda, spent the night there. Many Muslims were killed. During the retreat, the mountaineers lost many bodies of the killed and wounded, a lot of livestock, and other things. At this time we heard that the general, who was in Zagatala, had moved troops against them from both sides, both from the mountains and from the plain. If they had not received this information, the mountaineers would have attacked Telav the next day. The naibs were frightened by the Russians and climbed into the mountains to Shamil. At this time, Shamil took those two towers where the Georgian prince, who was the commander there, was located and surrendered to prisoners of war with 35 people. Shamil ordered all Georgians to be taken out of the tower and calmed down the captured princesses and children there. Among the prisoners was an old French woman. The Georgian prince asked me to ask Shamil for permission to treat them to tea and whatever he had. He was allowed. Shamil wanted to stay there for more than 2 months, but having heard that the Zaqatal general was going against them, at the request of the naibs he returned to Dargo, writing a letter to Omar Pasha with the following content: “I came to meet you with a strong army, but our connection was impossible because of the battle that took place between us and the Georgian prince. We recaptured their herds, estates, wives, and children, conquered their fortresses with great booty, and returned home in triumph, so rejoice you too!”
On the way back, Shamil allowed the Georgian prince to accompany the captured princesses; upon arrival in Dargo, Shamil put him in prison and placed the prisoners in his palace, where he kept them as they pleased. Having received a letter from Shamil, General Williams from Kars replied: “What kind of robbery is this between you? Shouldn't you try to guide people on the right path with prudent advice? If you have done this before, then there is no doubt that in the end, your business will deteriorate and subsequently you will receive a loss. So think about the consequences and do not attempt such base acts as taking women, small children, and weak old women captive. You will repent later and deserve the contempt of all kings!” Shamil wrote a decent letter in response and sent it with the same ambassador Akhmad-Ali of Samukhi, who delivered the letter from Williams.
Shamil lost about 40 people killed and 60 people wounded in this campaign. When Shamil reached Bezht with his captives, he received news that Prince Orbeliani had raided Burtunai and recaptured the herds, which is why he hastened to return to Vedeno.

Upon Shamil’s return from Georgia with great booty, the naibs triumphed and asked Shamil to make several more similar raids. Shamil did not want to get carried away by this and said: “This is a joy after which you will have to be sad.” The naibs thought that the whole world was in their power and, not content with that great booty and glory, they begged Shamil to gather an army of naibs of Dagestan to go to Chechnya. On Thursday 1270 (1853) with 6 thousand cavalry and 7 thousand foot soldiers and several guns, Shamil set out and stopped in Kharachi. Chechen spies, thinking that Shamil wanted to raid Kazikumukh, came there and let them know. The next day, Shamil and his army moved to the plain in Chechnya and stopped in Shali at noon. At first, Shamil’s goal was to take possession of the village of Devlyat-Girey, because its inhabitants often asked to come with an army. However, the direction changed because the Russians learned about this and occupied all the roads. Shamil and his infantry rushed towards Mechik. A battle took place here. Shamil took possession of half the village. Then, to distract the Russians, he sent cavalry to the Oysungur fortification. But the Russian cavalry left Oysungur on alarm. The mounted highlanders fled, and behind them, the infantry had to retreat in disorder. Many mountaineers fell under the feet of the soldiers; they ran through the thorn bushes, and all of them were ragged and scratched. Shamil repented his campaign when he saw such cowardice and betrayal of the Naibs. He stopped in the village of Mayor-Tup, where he spent 3 days. Shamil then replaced the chief of the cavalry, Shagmandari-Khadzhiyau Chirkeevsky, and wanted to kill him for cowardice. From Major-Tup, Shamil sent his son Kazi-Muhammad with part of the cavalry to Gekhi to recapture the cattle from the Chakhkar fortification. But he returned without success. Then Shamil returned to Dargo-Vedeno, having lost 60 people killed and 108 wounded, repenting and sad.

At the end of Rajab 1271 (1854), Shamil’s son Dzhemaleddin returned from Russia. Everyone was delighted with his arrival. Upon his arrival, he paid attention to the condition and position of Shamil and the people, examined the troops, artillery, structure, and order, and remained dissatisfied and considered all this to be nothing. (Jemaladdin was smart and generous). Then he told his father about the Russian Tsar, his army, and treasury and asked him to reconcile with him. Shamil did not accept his words and even became angry, and after that his father and brothers shunned him. Dzhemaleddin became sad and repented of his return. He was very smart and knowledgeable, but the reluctance of his father and brother did not allow him to bring any benefit from them to the people. After that, he caught a bad cold and got a cough and chest illness, from which he died in 1274 (1857) in Karat, where he was buried. People said that the Russians poisoned him.

On Thursday, 15 Zul-Qaad 1275 (1857), Shamil with the army of the entire Dagestan and Chechnya set out from Dargo and stopping in the village of New Burtunay, began to strengthen it, ordering the naibs to dig it with a ditch. Having strengthened Burtunay and left the army and naibs there, Shamil settled down near the village of Chorto. He repeatedly sent parties, once to Aukh, another time to Chirkey. Here in the forest, a battle took place, the highlanders were defeated and fled, losing many Muslims killed. Naib Tehnutsala Ismail Botlikhsky remained under the feet of the soldiers with his head cut off. Mustafa-Ahmed Kudalinsky was also killed. The soldiers received a lot of weapons and Muslim clothing. This party returned without any success. Then the Russians were busy building towers, cutting down forests, and developing roads. At this time, several battles took place, in which the Russians and the Muslims alternately gained the upper hand. The Muslims suffered many losses in being killed and captured. Dzhemaleddin wanted to arrange peace between his father and the Russians and wanted to beg him to send a commissioner to the Russians to make peace with Salavat Endreevsky, who came to Shamil from Prince Orbeliani, but his father not only did not agree with Dzhemaleddin’s desire but did not even allow him to talk with the Russian ambassador, this greatly crushed Dzhemaleddin. Shamil stood like this for two whole months. Then he returned to Dargo with his three sons, leaving half the army to guard Burtunai. A few days after Shamil’s departure, at dawn, Colonel Rakussa took possession of Burtunai. The troops and naibs who were in Burtunai fled without fighting at all. A garrison of soldiers was left in Novy Burtunai. After that, Shamil’s army returned home. In winter, the Russians came to Kishen-Aukh to build a fortification. Shamil set out with his entire army and stopped in the village of Bilar-Kirgan and ordered the construction of a barrier between the villages of New Burtunay and Dzhanshko and left several naibs there for protection. The brave Prince Orbeliani came there with an army, and a battle took place. Shamil's naibs were developed and fled with great loss. Naib Shamkhal fell on the battlefield with his head cut off. About 200 people were killed here, many were suppressed, falling one on top of the other during the retreat. After this, Shamil was unsuccessful in all his endeavors and repented of everything. The people said that this year belonged to Prince Orbeliani, and therefore there was no point in fighting him (from that time on I was his engineer). Loss in Kishin-Aukh and Burtunai: about 300 killed and 450 wounded. Killed 3: brave Gitinau - naib of Gidatlya, Shamkhal - naib of Tindal and Bogulala and Ismail - naib of Tehnutsala. In no other campaign were so many naibs killed. With the construction of the Burtunay fortress, Shamil’s affairs began to decline. The Russians could never have come to Vedeno if they had not built fortifications in Burtunai. Burtunai’s construction regarding Shamil can be compared to when a wolf grabs a sheep by the neck and there is no longer any salvation for it. This was the situation with Shamil’s affairs after the construction of Burtunay.

In the fall of 1275 (1858), 16 Juladul-Avala, Shamil ordered all naibs with an army to appear at a public meeting in Shali, also ordering all scientists and naibs and other honorary persons of Chechnya to gather there. Everyone gathered and stopped in the square near the Shali fortification (at this time Evdokimov was preparing to march on Vedeno). Here large meetings and discussions took place regarding the Russians. Shamil said: “Don’t be afraid of the Russians. I left Akhulgo with 7 people, and now this is what I have become with the help of you. Don’t think that I will leave you without any help and go to the mountains, no, I will die here on your land. You are so brave. Be calm and don’t be afraid of anything.” Shamil, his son, and the Naibs swore to this. Then Shamil ordered all naibs, scientists centurions, and commanders to swear that they would fight the Russians. They swore and made everyone they could swear. Then Shamil said: “O peoples and societies of Dagestan and Chechnya! Know that I am telling you the truth. I don’t demand money from you, no, my desire is for you to fight the Russians and not have any relations with them, and by God, they have no other goal than these poor inhabitants of Chechnya and Dagestan, wasting so much money and killing soldiers, as soon as they take you as soldiers, and your wives as mothers (Russian women), they will take away your weapons and will not even allow you to have a knife, All of your honorable ones will be sent to Siberia and you will be like men. You wait a little and see what happens after, and you will repent and gnaw your fingers, but nothing will help you then.” 

A month after Shamil’s return from the Chechen meeting, Evdokimov and his army stopped in the village of Basan-Mirza; in Chechnya on the 15th of Rajab 1275 (1858), Shamil opposed him in the village. Tavzan ordered rubble to be made in the ravine (along which the road to Tavzan rises). The Russians began cutting down forests and developing roads. There was a big skirmish in the forest, from which the Russians suffered a lot. Having strengthened all sides behind him and straightened the roads, on a foggy day Evdokimov and his army came from 3 sides to Tavzan. Shamil's troops, abandoning the rubble without firing a shot, fled to the village of Alistanzha. Shamil remained there for 20 days and ordered the construction of rubble in front of the village of Alistanja. Then he ordered the residents of the village of Dargo to move to Ichicha. Shamil, seeing that his army was suffering a lot from lack of provisions and the cold, because snow had fallen at that time, ordered to burn Alistanja and retreat to Dargo. Then he ordered to strengthen Dargo, straighten the rubble, and prepare everything in the village for defense. At night, the vanguard of the cavalry of Evdokimov’s detachment appeared on the mountain, and the infantry appeared in the square near Dargo, where they camped. This place became like the sky on a clear night, dotted with stars, there were so many tents, horses, guns, people, and other supplies. The cavalry rushed towards Dargo, accompanied by volleys from cannons and rifles, and they also shot at us from guns from the mountains. We went out against them with cavalry and guns and defended ourselves courageously, throwing cannonballs and grenades into the center of the Russians and stood firm, so that we could not upset our ranks, and we did not suffer any losses. The Russians retreated and we returned. That night all the naibs gathered in Shamil’s house and asked him to leave Dargo. Shamil agreed to satisfy their requests and, left his son Kazi-Muhammad with 3,500 people in Dargo. and 13 naibs, he, with his entourage and some naibs, went out and stopped in the village. Ersenoy 3.5 versts from Dargo. Then every day there were shootouts and fights. The Russians surrounded Dargo, but Evdokimov was unable to take Dargo by storm, but outwitted the murids. He reached Dargo through trenches and began throwing cannonballs, bombs, and grenades, which greatly weakened the besieged. On Thursday, the 23rd of Ramadan, a strong cannonade continued all day long from all guns on Dargo, so that the volleys merged into one prolonged roar and nothing was visible except smoke and dust. In the evening, when the besieged were preparing to perform namaz, the Russians suddenly, like locusts, rushed screaming from 4 sides to Dargo, the Muslims were unable to withstand the assault and fled, but a handful of brave men remained there to pick up the remaining belongings, and taking them came after the main forces in Kharachi.
After the Russians took possession of Chechnya, Shamil lost all hope of returning it and went to the village. Old Dargo. From that time on, Shamil began to decline day by day. The loss this time extended to 135 killed and about 205 wounded.

After the capture of Dargo-Vedeno, Shamil, not seeing any means of keeping the Chechens behind him, ordered them to gather again, and they gathered in the village. Ersena. Shamil told them: “In all of Dagestan, there are no braver people than you, Chechens! You are the candles of religion, the support of Muslims, you were the reason for the restoration of Islam after its decline. You shed a lot of Russian blood, took away their estates, and captured their nobles. How many times have you made their hearts tremble with fear? Know that I am your comrade and your constant kunak as long as I live. By God, I will not leave here for the mountains until there is not a single tree left in Chechnya.” But the Chechens, not seeing any benefit from his speech, left him and went home. Shamil lost all hope and returned with his followers to the village of Ichicha.

Shamil ordered all naibs to strengthen Mount Kilal and prepare troops. The naibs dug ditches and erected rubble. Kilal was fortified. Shamil transported there the entire treasury, treasures, guns, and other shells and provisions, transported his wives and children there, and settling there with the murids, ordered his son Kazi-Muhammad to strengthen the opposite bank of the Andean Koisu in Achabota, build rubble and increase the number of towers in which will place the guns. Shamil thought that the inhabitants of the surrounding villages would come to his aid when he asked them and then there would be enough of them to resist the Russians.

Shamil, having heard that the commander-in-chief Prince Baryatinsky set out with a detachment, ordered the naibs, scientists, and honorable ones to gather for a council in Khunzakh on 12 Zul-Qaad 1275 (1859), Shamil stopped in the village of Genichutl, in the house of the Avar naib Debir. Naibs, scientists, and others gathered on a hill near Genichutl. Here there was a great debate regarding the Russians. Shamil, noticing that the naibs and the people wanted to betray him and surrender to the Russians, ordered all the naibs scientists and hundreds of commanders and other honorable persons to swear that they would not betray him and would fight with the Russians and would never reconcile with them. Everyone swore that if they cheated, then let their wives leave them. However, everything changed for him later. Shamil told me that Daniel-Sultan did not swear. What does he want? I went to Daniel Sultan and told him about this. Daniel came to Shamil in Debir’s house and swore an oath. Then Shamil told me that Daniel swore, but not like the other naibs. Shamil remained dissatisfied with his oath. Shamil went to Karata, and then to Mount Ichicha. Some time passed like this.

The unrest in Dagestan lasted for a long time and the affairs that took place under the wing of the Russian emperor became known to all powers. And all that the emperor heard about the Caucasus was like the buzzing of a fly or mosquito (that is, he did not pay attention to the Caucasus).
The mountaineers remained under the scourge of Shamil, enslaved, constrained, not knowing which side to take, sad, enduring all difficulties with patience. Shamil and his naibs did not cease to oppress the people, to kill and rob property in vain, he did not listen to the advice of prudent people and considered everyone sane to be a fool, and a harmful person to be useful. Shamil did not stop appointing people known for their depravity as naibs and listening to the slander of informers and oppressors. And this continued until he and his associates lost all power. In 1276 (1859), the commander-in-chief set out with a large detachment through Chechnya and stopped on the Andean hills near Lake Andi-Ratlyad. Crowds of people hurried obediently from all directions. The commander-in-chief affectionately received the conquered and made generous gifts. Everyone was seduced by his generosity, which they had not seen from Shamil, and hurried to come with humility to receive the gift. They forgot Shamil and the oath given to him, seduced by gold and silver, and even more by promises to protect them from the violence and oppression they endured. Even his closest, most trusted persons, naibs, and very children secretly wanted to hand themselves over to the Russians. Meanwhile, Shamil did not know this. The commander-in-chief remained there for a long time, ordering the development of roads. Mirza Shamil Emir-Khan Chirkeevsky, having heard about the generosity of the commander-in-chief, came to him with the seal of the imam, but it seems he received nothing.
Baron Wrangel, on the orders of the commander-in-chief, moved from Burtunai to the Sagritlokh bridge. Shamil, hearing about Baron Wrangel’s approach to Sagritlo, ordered the naibs to break the bridge, create rubble and defend the crossing. But they were reluctant to defend him. After small skirmishes, the Russians crossed the Koisu and the naibs returned to Shamil. Shamil himself went with the army when Baron Wrangel was crossing, but finding this useless, he and his family returned to Ichicha.
After the crossing, all the surrounding communities came with submission to Baron Wrangel. The commander of the troops on the Lezgin line, Prince Melikov, by order of the commander-in-chief, set out with a detachment from Zagatala, through Tsunta. With his appearance, the inhabitants of Tsunta, Antsukh, Tash, Tumaral, Antsraso, Khonal, Gobelal, Tindal came to him with submission. He settled down with a detachment in the place of Achabot.
At this time, Dagestan became like a belly cut lengthwise, in which all the intestines and entrails appeared. When Shamil heard that Prince Melikov and his detachment stopped in Achabot and the mentioned societies submitted to him, he lost heart and lost all hope, because he hoped in these societies, whose fathers were also at enmity with the Russians. Shamil said that Avaria belongs to the descendants of the Russian prince Surak and it does not mean anything if the Russians take possession of it, because they already owned it before, if only those societies remained in our power, then they would come and help us. The head of the Kazikumukh Khanate, Major General Prince Tarkhanov, at the same time moved from Kazikumukh to the Chokh fortification. The Chokhs and Naib, Ismail, who was there, surrendered, then the fortifications of Sogratl, Erib, Rasib, Magar surrendered to him, and all the inhabitants of these societies submitted to him. The leader of the last three fortifications was Daniel-Sultan, who first sent his son Musa-Bek to Tarkhanov, then he appeared to him on the heights of Chavzu-Meer, Lardabora, from where he went to the commander-in-chief. Major General Manyukin from Shura with a detachment moved through Irgani and captured the fortification of Arakan. All the Khoisubulins submitted to him. The head of the Dargin district, Colonel Lazarev from Kutish, moved with a detachment and took possession of Ullu-Kala, Kikun, Maalib, Koroda, Kuyada, the inhabitants of which came to him with submission. After this, the mountaineers did whatever they wanted, arbitrarily: some went to the Russians, some stayed at home, and some followed Shamil.

When Shamil saw that the people, the naibs and even those closest to him had betrayed him and that he was surrounded on 4 sides by Russians, then, leaving in Ichichi guns, bread, a lot of iron, copper utensils, beds, blankets, and other household utensils, he fled with a handful murids to Gunib, taking with them money, gold, and silver on 6 horses, 4 thousand rubles on each horse, various jewelry on one horse, books on 17 horses, guns on three horses, guns on 3 x horses with checkers, pistols, daggers, armor, on 40 horses things and dresses of wives, cloth and so on. On Thursday, the 4th of Safar 1276 (1859), Shamil left with the Gumbetites and their naib Utsmi, they accompanied him to the Konkhidatsky Bridge, and there, having said goodbye to Shamil, they returned home with tears in their eyes. Shamil stayed in Karat, in the house of his son Kazi-Muhammad.
Fearing that the Russians, who were already in Avaria, would block his path, on the same day he left Karat for Gidatl; on the third night after leaving Ichich, Shamil with 40 murids stopped near the villages. Teletl on the hill of Boresht-Tlyara (which means the square where the army stops). Shamil was in great fear. Suddenly, in the evening, Shamil learned from the Karakhi that the Chokhians had submitted and the Russians had occupied the fortification. Shamil and his son Kazi-Muhammad were even more frightened and said: “It seems that it is better to take refuge on Mount Rotlata-Meer or we will go to Tindal. These are the bravest people of Dagestan!” Some suggested that Shamil go to Tabasaran. Shamil and Kazi-Muhammad called a hunter who would go to Gunib to his son Muhammad-Shafi to inquire whether the Chokh fortification had really been taken and whether the Russians were standing there. They said: “Whoever brings us this information, we will generously reward him.” Everyone was silent and no one answered. When I noticed that Shamil was in great anxiety and fear, I said: “On this night I will serve you this service, Imam, or I will die on the road.” I set off on horseback with a friend. In front of Rugudzhi we met the Rugudzhi guards, my comrade was running, and they stopped me, asked where I was going, and when I told them my plan, they showed me the way. Having received an answer from Muhammad-Shafi, I returned to Shamil in the morning. I found him in great excitement; he intended to go to Gidatl and did not know what to do. I handed him the letter and conveyed salam from my son. Having read the letter, Shamil was glad that his son was still alive and well. And thus, having delivered information to Shamil, I was the reason that Shamil decided to go to Gunib. On the way to Gunib, I met some acquaintances among the guards, who secretly told me that my brother Daudilau had submitted and that if Shamil found out about this, it would not be good for me. I told them that I would go to Gunib to take my money from some people and that my family and things would be in such and such a place the next night. When I return, you wait for me there and then we will go, take our family and things, and I will return to my brother in Chokh. This was indeed my desire, but my estate, left in Karakha near Buk-Muhammadil-Kul, was robbed by the Kuyadins, and I was forced to go to Shamil on Gunib.

On Wednesday, the 9th of Safar 1276 (1859), Shamil with his family, some close associates, and murids, arrived in Gunib. Of all the property, treasury, and jewelry that he took with him in packs from Ichich, nothing remained except the weapons that he had in his hands and the horse on which he was sitting. The Teletlinians, Rugudzhinians, and Kuyadinians robbed it all at night on the road, not reaching Rugudzhi; however, Shamil was not attacked. When Shamil arrived at Gunib, they began to fire guns as a sign of joy. My son and I stayed the whole day in Rugudzha, but having heard that my estate had been robbed, and having received information that my wife, following Shamil’s family, had left for Gunib, on Thursday night I went there too. Shamil was very happy because he believed that they had killed me and said: “Don’t worry, I will reward you for the loss of your property.” On Saturday, with all the cavalry that was on Gunib, Shamil went out to inspect this mountain and roads, ordered to strengthen weak points and post guards, correct the rubble, and dig ditches in other places. Then Shamil looked at his companions and found only a few naibs around him: the Andean naib Debir, the Khunzakh Debir, the Sogratlin Nur-Muhammad, and several close associates. Others betrayed him and robbed his treasures. Shamil became sad and fell into thought, then recited the following verses of the Arab poet: “I had brothers whom I considered armor. But now they have become my enemies. I considered them to be well-aimed arrows. Yes! They were like that, but only now in my heart.”
Then Shamil said: “By God if I trusted the Russians, I would certainly now make peace with them so that they would allow me to go to Mecca so that later I could look at the mountaineers, how they will repent when they begin to turn the millstones of torment on their heads.” and punishments, what will be the position of the Naibs and Dagestanis when they begin to take them as soldiers and force them to pay for everything that they, the Russians, have lost from the time of Kazi-Muhammad, Gamzat-bek and in my time to this day. There is no doubt that this is the truth, but the mountaineers will not know it! And if I had been in Dagestan, the Russians could not have done this, just as they could not do it before, when I was in Akhulgo and Shubut.” 

Storm over Gunib (Pyotr Gruzinski)
The commander-in-chief, having arrived at the Keger hill, ordered the troops located in the vicinity of Gunib to surround it and occupy all the paths. Before the arrival of the commander-in-chief, residents of Rugudzha, Hindakh, Kudali came, brought salt and food products, and conveyed various news, but with the arrival of the commander-in-chief, all the paths were occupied so that after that no one could get to Gunib. Then the commander-in-chief ordered Baron Wrangel to send a trustworthy person to Shamil for peace negotiations. Colonel Ali Khan Avarsky, sent by Baron Wrangel, approached Gunib from the direction of Khotoch and shouted: “Hey! Come for peace talks! The commander-in-chief is very merciful and regrets your wives and children, fearing that they will not fall under the feet of the soldiers. You will repent later, but it will not do you any good!” Shamil ordered to answer that tomorrow he would send his son Kazi-Muhammad and that Ali Khan would come tomorrow with Lazarev and Daniel-Sultan to the large rubble at the entrance to Gunib.

On Thursday, the 10th of Safar, Colonel Lazarev with Daniel-Sultan and other persons, by order of the commander-in-chief, arrived and stopped at the wall of Gunib, not far from the house of Muhammad of Kudali. Shamil sent me and his son Kazi-Muhammad to them. We approached the Russians and negotiations began. Colonel Lazarev said: “We have gathered here to find the best for the present and future, to leave hostility and make peace; calm down Shamil, his family, and associates wherever they want; and if Shamil wishes to go to Mecca, he will be released with large gifts from the Emperor.” Negotiations continued for a long time. Kazi-Muhammad said, on the orders of Shamil: “You are traitors. How many times have we made peace with you and left you to fight, but we have seen nothing from you except treason and deception? We will never believe the words of the commander-in-chief or any other person. We did not find in the words of General Grabbe, Fesi, and Klugenau anything other than deception and violation of agreements previously concluded. How can we now believe your words?” Colonel Lazarev replied: “Don’t renew the past. What happened, happened. Better look at the present and think about the consequences! Know that I want to arrange your business as best as possible. You must not confuse former generals with the current commander-in-chief. This one is the Emperor's viceroy. His every order is the word and deed of the Emperor himself. He is his confidant in everything.” Lazarev confirmed these words with an oath. Then he continued: “Tell Shamil to rely on my words! There is no treason here. I wish you well and you should not pay attention to the words of others. Let Shamil know that this commander-in-chief does what he wants and never changes his words.” After these words, Lazarev returned, telling us to tell Shamil the following peace conditions: if Shamil wants to go to Mecca, then he can take with him whoever he wants; he will be escorted to the Turkish border, given a convoy and horses for the congress, and finally, given some gifts. If he does not want to go to Mecca, then he can choose a place in Dagestan where he wants, just not on Gunib, and settle there; the rest of his companions will be settled and calmed down wherever the latter wishes.

The next day after the negotiations, a letter was received from the commander-in-chief with ambassadors Kurban-Muhummadil-Batsadiysky, Muhammad Khutsiysky, and Muhammad Dzhengutaevsky, which confirmed the peace terms proposed by Lazarev. The murids were gathered and the letter was read. There was a lot of talk going on. Shamil said: “The Russians are being cunning just to lure us out of Gunyab.” Others said that people like the Sardar should not cheat. Finally, to verify the truth of the contents of the received letter, Shamil ordered the Khunzakh naib Debir and Chirkeevsky Yunus to go to the commander-in-chief, with a letter with the following content: “From the servant of God Shamil, the great Sardar, the main leader, the adjutant general, Prince Baryatinsky! Peace, praise, and greetings to you! Honorable ambassadors have arrived to us with your sacred letter. We have read it and understood the content. We are sending two ambassadors to you to better explain the conditions of peace and ensure our path to Mecca. We hope you will listen and respond.” The ambassadors verbally proposed Shamil to the commander-in-chief the following peace conditions: to give Shamil about a month until he prepares for the road to Mecca; send some trustworthy person to accompany him, so that no one would offend him on the way to the Turkish border; and those murids who remain in Dagestan should be appeased wherever they wish. When the ambassadors returned, Shamil said to the people: “I wanted to make peace for you. Sardar offered good conditions, and to make sure that they were fair, I sent two ambassadors to him. Now listen to what they have to say.” The ambassadors said: “Everything the Russians say is a lie; because they have one thing on their tongue and another in their heart. We won’t get any benefit from them!” Then the people said: “We thank you, Imam, that you wanted reconciliation for us; but if the Russians are cunning, then we’d better fight until we die; and you fight, Imam!” The next day, Shamil received a second letter, written by proxy of the commander-in-chief, in which he was briefly asked whether Shamil agreed to the mentioned proposals or not. When the letter was received, I was not there. On behalf of Shamil, Abdurakhman, his son-in-law, wrote a reply to the commander-in-chief that with a sword in their hands, they were waiting for the Russians. The commander-in-chief, having read Shamil's answer, ordered the siege to begin. The troops moved from all directions and occupied all important points. Some said that Gunib could not be taken even though it was besieged from all sides. And Shamil himself often repeated in meetings on Gunib: “Don’t think anything about the Russians! They will soon see the futility of the siege and return. And the fact that they surrounded us with such a mass of troops was only to test us. How many times have they chased us? However, we too will pursue them with sabers and will now treat them as we did with Prince Vorontsov. Be calm!” So Shamil encouraged the besieged and inspired them to fight. Several days passed. We exchanged fire as much as we could, dug ditches, and fortified Gunib. Shamil was located near the main ruin, in the house of the deaf Haji Mohammed Kuraliysky. On Monday night of the 8th Rabiul-anwal, two and a half hours before dawn, the Russians moved towards Gunib from all sides. During morning prayer, we heard an alarm. The murid who arrived informed Shamil that the Russians had attacked Gunib from the south and that Muhammad of Kuraliy had been killed. Shamil immediately went to the village with me and the four murids who were with him; the rest of the murids remained at the main rubble below. Having learned from the cannon, which after being fired into a ravine, that Shamil had fled to the village, they stopped the firefight and wanted to run after Shamil; but, noticing that a party of Russians was looking to meet them, they took refuge in the forest. At the same time, another party of Russians broke through the main gate from below and began to head into the village. Having missed this last one, the murids with daggers rushed at her and would have caused her a lot of harm if the troops that had risen from the direction of Rugudzha had not come to her aid. All these murids were either killed or captured; none of them managed to get into the village of Shamil. These were the bravest. If these murids had time to reach the village, then the siege of the village of Gunib would have continued for three days. Shamil, I, and three murids entered his house. The earth seemed cramped to us then, after such space! All Shamil’s tricks were exhausted, his assumptions did not come true and he was overcome by repentance. He lost everything. There were no more than 40 men left in the village; the women took guns and sabers and prepared to defend themselves. Shamil, with me and several murids, went to the mosque, where we also prepared to defend ourselves. Kazi-Muhammad and Muhammad-Shafi, pursued by the Russians from the direction of Khotoch, with several murids rode into the village, which was immediately surrounded by the Russians. Bullets rained down from above and below like hail. Frightened women and children fell screaming and crying in the streets. But suddenly the Russians sounded the all-clear and shouted to us from everywhere that we send trustworthy people for negotiations.

When the cries increased from all sides for one of Shamil’s trustees to be sent to the commander-in-chief, Shamil called me and ordered me to go make peace with the Russians and ask for mercy. I left the village with comrade Yunus Chirkeevsky. Some murids fired at the Russians - I ordered them to stop. I looked at all four sides: everything was covered with Russians. When they saw me, they suddenly shouted: “Come here! Come here!" I went to the closer one. It was some kind of general. I asked, “Who is this?” I was told it was General Kessler. Then Lieutenant Smirnov and the Armenian Zakhar came up to me and said that General Kessler had ordered that our weapons be taken away from us and returned when peace was concluded. I gave the saber to Zakhar, and the rifle and pistol to Ibrahim Chokhsky. Noticing that our business could not be finished through Kessler, I said to Yunus: “Let's leave him; he seemed to have no other goal than to take our weapons away!” Having left Kessler and our weapons in the hands of his translators, who have not returned them to us to this day, we met another general, with whom Daniel Sultan was. This general asked us: “Where is Shamil, why doesn’t he surrender and why did you come?” I answered: “You called us.” Then this general ordered Hasan Khan of Kazikumukh to send us to the commander-in-chief. From Daniel Sultan I learned that it was Baron Wrangel. I found him to be an intelligent man. On the way, we met Colonel Lazarev, who showed us the way to the commander-in-chief. Prince Baryatinsky received us very kindly and told us to introduce Shamil to him. Returning to the village, we found Shamil, Kazi-Muhammad with his family and murids in the mosque. We told Shamil that the commander-in-chief asked him to come and that there would be no treason. But Shamil had already prepared to defend himself, placing his saber in front of him and tucking the tails into his belt. He decided to die, and therefore answered us: “You must fight, and not tell me to go to the commander-in-chief! I want to fight and die on this day.” Kazi-Muhammad told Shamil: “I don’t want to fight, I will go out to the Russians; and you, if you want, then fight!” Shamil became very angry; even women who were in the mosque with weapons in their hands, began to shame and scold Kazi-Muhammad for his cowardice, and some cursed him. We remained in this position for up to four hours. Then, Shamil, seeing his son’s betrayal, agreed to go to the commander-in-chief. We were all happy. Having dressed Shamil, we put him on a horse, and he, turning to his children, said to them: “Be at peace now, Kazi-Muhammad and Muhammad-Shafi! You began to spoil my affairs and ended them with cowardice.” Shamil left the village, accompanied by foot murids. Seeing him, all the troops that were around the village shouted: “Hurray!” Shamil got scared and returned to the village, thinking that he would be deceived and killed. But one of the murids, Muhammad Khudanat-ogly of Gotsatlin, said to Shamil: “If you run, you will not be saved; I’d rather kill Lazarev now and start gazing (fighting for the faith).” At this time, Colonel Lazarev stood separately in front of the Russians, who, noticing us, said: “Where are you going back?!” Do not be afraid! There will be no betrayal between us.” Shamil returned and drove up to Baron Wrangel, who greeted him and sent him to the commander-in-chief. Having reached the headquarters of the commander-in-chief, Shamil dismounted from his horse; here they took him and presented him to the commander-in-chief. Meanwhile, Baron Wrangel ordered me to bring Kazi-Muhammad and Muhammad-Shafi with their wives, and the entire Shamil family to him. I entered the mosque and found Kazi-Muhammad and his brother there with the murids. When he saw me, he asked: “Where did you leave my father?” I answered him: “Don’t you know that I left your father with the Sardar, who took him to his tent.” Then he said to him: “What do you want now?” Kazi-Muhammad responded: “I want to fight until they kill me!” I told him: “If you wanted to fight, you would have fought before, but now the war is over. Get up and come with me!” I took it from my brother and all the families and led them to Baron Wrangel, who was waiting for them not far from the village. Baron Wrangel, having received them, told me: “I am very pleased with your service and will never forget it.” After that, I no longer saw Shamil, the commander-in-chief, or Baron Wrangel. Thus, I was a mediator in concluding peace. At sunset, I went to my family and found my wife and children crying. Our entire estate was plundered by the police so that not even a needle remained. My wife began to reproach me and said: “You served Shamil for so many years, what did you get?” And on this day, when everyone was guarding their things, you were an intermediary between Shamil and the Russians, and your estate was robbed by the police.” That night, my wife and children, almost naked, with bare heads and barefoot, went and at midnight, reaching Hindakh, we stopped there with our Kunaks. I then suffered a loss of 2,250 rubles, in addition to weapons, a horse, and a watch; In addition, 137 books that I received from my father were lost. I didn’t even have anything left to buy, except for the clothes and the dagger that I was wearing. Although my wife managed to save, by tying it under her shirt, almost 280 rubles worth of things and money. but seven days later both these things and the money disappeared in the house of my Kunak, where I stayed and gave them to him for safekeeping when I went to see Colonel Lazarev. I know and now I see how the thief is wasting my money and things, and I ask God to help me return them. I have never seen greater misfortune than on the day of the conclusion of peace; especially since my wife and children had previously become accustomed to a somewhat decent life, but after that they were left hungry, naked, and barefoot. However, I tried to forget this misfortune, because I was glad that I remained alive and did not dare to complain that the property was stolen. The Russian bosses helped me and gave me the means to support my family.

Imam Shamil's Surrender
As for Shamil’s eldest son, Jamaleddin-Ahmed, he was the smartest and most educated person. He died (may God have mercy on him!) in 1274 (1857) and was buried in the village of Karata. His youngest son, Muhammad-Shafi, was young and inexperienced. He had no power, constantly made scandals, and dragged his feet; however, he had one good quality - generosity. As for the middle son, Kazi-Muhammad, Shamil subjugated all the naibs to him, and transferred to him power over all of Dagestan, thinking that he would imitate him. Shamil said: “I have already become weak and my head has already turned gray; That’s why I want to entrust all matters to my son; I will prepare for death and pray to God.” The people called Kazi-Muhammad imam. The naibs constantly flattered Shamil that his son, Kazi-Muhammad, was good, praised his actions, and hid from him his deeds that deserved censure. With this they betrayed Shamil. They asked to entrust everything to Kazi-Muhammad to take advantage of his weakness and inexperience. They said to Shamil’s face: “Your son is good and even smarter than you.” Meanwhile, they knew that Kazi-Muhammad was hiding a lot of baseness, that he was stingy, of bad character, and a coward. The people considered him a good person because he, like a woman, constantly smiled at everyone, even his greatest enemies. The Mugajirs and brave men constantly tried to increase their treasury through plunder. How many brave men of Dagestan fell on the banks of the Kura and Alazani! How many heroes were captured and died in Russian shackles, whose wives and children were left without any care? How many Mugajirs died on the border of Akushi and Shamkhal, pierced in the chest by soldiers’ bayonets? In this way, the mountaineers tried to elevate Shamil and bring glory and wealth to his son. Even though the Dagestanis never submitted to reins similar to themselves, and were predatory like wolves, and rushed like lions to take possession of prey, they gave this booty to Shamil! Many were killed under the pretext that they did not give the rightful share to the Baitul-Mal, and all their property was confiscated. At first, if Shamil ordered to kill someone, he took his estate, acquired it in raids, and inherited it, leaving nothing to the family of the murdered man, who in this case were forced to go live with strangers; then he ordered the naibs to leave the hereditary estate to the wives and children of the murdered man. But the naibs did not carry out Shamil’s orders, and with the assistance of Kazi-Muhammad, with whom they shared in half, they killed many to take possession of the estate, and thereby weakened the power of Shamil and lowered the spirit of the people. The consequence of this measure was that the number of men decreased and the number of women increased. There were crop failures and various diseases befell the people. I swear to God, the mountaineers were sometimes forced to eat grass for ten days or more from hunger, and despite this situation, they obeyed Shamil and his son. Finally, the Russians entered Dagestan from all sides. The people didn't know what to do. Shamil, not paying attention to his subordinates, burned many villages, fled to Gunib, and left the mountaineers, like sheep, scattered in different directions. The wrath of God descended on Shamil and God allowed his enemies to take possession of his treasury, jewelry, and property. It is so indecent for Kazi-Muhammad to reproach the inhabitants of Dagestan for doing this and not otherwise and leaving Shamil and his family without military help. Are they not ashamed in front of those who know him very well to speak like this and reproach the Dagestanis, when for so many years they were submissive to Shamil and fought so bravely for them? By God, if the mountaineers were not so brave, then Shamil’s children would now live in Gimry and do the same thing that their ancestors did: grabbing a donkey by the tail, they drove it to the plain and into the mountains - in the summer they sold dried apricots, and in the fall - onion. The Dagestanis suffered from Kazi-Muhammad everything that a person can endure; he even strangled some of his murids, associates, and scientists, when it was impossible to kill them openly. If it were possible to pack mountaineers like donkeys and send them into the forest for firewood, then Kazi-Muhammad would do it. This is what he did and ruled the people, who, seeing Shamil’s disposition towards him, were afraid to complain about him. As for his courage, I will tell you one incident that happened in Dagestan. When Aslan Khan of Kazikumukh arrived in the village of Khosrek with an army to seize the throne of his uncle Surkhay Khan, who was at odds with the Russians, the son of Surkhay Khan came out with an army to meet Aslan Khan and said: “By God, I I will not return from this place until I die.” And he fought until he was killed. His father went out with an army and went to help, but on the road he met him on a stretcher, already killed. They told him: “Your son is killed.” Surkhay Khan answered: “A son like him needed to prefer death to life when he saw that a father like me was being deprived of the throne.” Then He said to the bearers: “Bury him,” and did not even look at the face of the dead man. This is what courage should be! If there had been even a spool of courage in the heart of Kazi-Muhammad, he would not have left Karata, but with a drawn sword would have defended the entrance to Karata until he was killed, or would have taken poison and killed himself, or would have shed at least drop blood from his finger at the loss of such a state, his Imamship and such a treasury. So he valued his power and authority, and such was his courage! He was very stingy. I will cite one case with Muhammad of Kurdistan. One Mugajir arrived from Kurdistan in the name of Muhammad. Shamil respected him very much and gave him everything he needed to live. During the siege of Dargo-Vedeno by Evdokimov, Muhammad voluntarily entered the fortification to fight the Russians. Shamil released 1900 rubles from his treasury. ser. Kazi-Muhammad ordered to distribute it to the poor warriors and mugajirs. Kazi-Muhammad gave an abaza to everyone for four days. This Muhammad comes to Kazi-Muhammad and says that he has nothing to eat. Kazi-Mukammad asks: “Has the time expired?” The Kurdistanian replied that the term was only four days, and he had been feeding on this base for seven days. Kazi-Muhammad, not thinking that this wanderer had come from afar and that if he did not give, then he would have nowhere to take it from and that, moreover, he was fighting for him, he did not give him anything. The Kurdish man told him: “You cannot be blamed if you do not give, because you have not seen how the sultans give and you are not a sultan, and if you give, then there is nothing to praise you for because the custom of the sultans is to give generously.” But Kazi-Muhammad still did not give it. The Kurdistanian left the fortification and went to Shamil. Such was the stinginess of Kazi Muhammad! In their childhood, Shamil’s children saw the daily increase in their father’s power and wealth, as everyone knows. When they reached adulthood, their eyes were not satisfied with wealth and glory, luxury, and women. They took possession of all the treasures of the Dagestan khans, even the wealth of the Georgian princes, did not leave any good weapons in the hands of the brave mountaineers, collected the best horses from all over Chechnya - and they took it all, begging, in the form of a gift, or innocently killing just to take possession, and between However, they did not think about how their father, Shamil, lived, who preferred khinkal made from corn to all fancy dishes, and when he stayed with the naibs for Kunak, he asked to be treated to khinkal and Kalmyk tea. But the sons were not content with chureks made from pure wheat, but also ate pilaf made from rice and, in addition to Chinese tea, drank coffee. They did not obey Shamil, like others, and very often violated his orders, but the father, out of his condescension and love for them, did not punish them for this, but let them pass as if without noticing. Finally, they chose songwriters and other unreliable people as murids, friends, and assistants. When Shamil noticed this to them, they said that these were good people. Thus, the naibs imitated Shamil’s children in their actions, so that all the people began to cry out to God to deliver them from the tyrants. And God heard their prayer. Each person must first notice the vices in himself, then in others, so Kazi-Muhammad should first look at himself, and then reproach the mountaineers.
Thus, Shamil had to be responsible for the evil of his children and naibs. But if Shamil himself had been the cause of such evil, then he would not have been received so favorably by the Emperor, and through him, his children, who deserved reproach, were received with respect.

Imam Shamil and his sons
Shamil received great wealth, allocating for himself a fifth of the booty acquired on all borders in raids carried out by naibs and hunters. He did not have any mines from which he could extract gold or silver. From within he had little income.
I was Shamil’s secretary and kept track of all his income and expenses. Shamil's largest income came from Iriba and Ullukale, where the Mugajirs lived. From there they raided Georgia, Akusha, and other places and gave a fifth of their spoils to Shamil. In 1269 (1852), when the post office was established near Elizavetopol, the income was 15,230 rubles. silver; in 1268 (1851) - 1613 rubles. ; sir, and in 1267 (1850) - 1000 rubles. ser. These incomes increased every year and Shamil’s wealth constantly increased. But in the end, the Russians, especially the hunters, began to occupy exits, first on the Lezgin line, from where one day, in 1271 (1854), out of a hundred Mugajirs, only one returned, as a result of which the raids on the Jarobelokan district, Shirvan, Sheki and other places in the South stopped. Dagestan. The Mugajirs then intensified their raids from the village of Ogly on Tsudahar, the Dargin district, Akusha, and other eastern places, from where they also received a lot of booty. But in 1269 (1852) an army was stationed in Kutishi, towers were built, exits were occupied, and not only did the murids and Mugajirs stop raiding, but often their herds were repulsed by the brave Kutoshin commander, whom they feared. Some Mugajirs from Ullukale fled, others were captured, and in the end, there were only a few of them left there. When in this way all the exits for raids from Chechnya, Dagestan, and the Lezgin line were occupied, Shamil’s border income ceased. The naibs' estates began to decline. The mountaineers, out of habit, began to rob each other, and internecine hostility began. Denunciations and violence were used. The naibs condoned such disorder because they had occasions to take advantage of other people's property, punishing the guilty and the innocent for various unfair denunciations. Often, for selfish reasons, they ordered the killing of people. Therefore, a lot of petitioners began to come to Shamil, complaining about the injustice of the Naibs. But the naibs, for their part, used a trick: they begged Shamil that, to maintain respect for the naibs, he would not accept complaints from those who did not have paper from the naib. And Shamil succumbed to their vile deception. After that, the Naibs began to resemble hungry wolves who greedily tear to pieces their children. The people resorted to Shamil with complaints, but he listened only to those who had papers from the naibs. The naib never gave paper to someone whom he oppressed. The mountaineers became weaker and poorer every day, they were already tired of fighting; and they said: “It makes no difference to us, no matter what happens in the world.” First, the people, and then the naibs themselves, began to negotiate with the Russian border commanders, who kindly received them and gave them generous gifts. Shamil did not know about such baseness of the naibs and completely relied on them. Thus, Shamil’s power was destroyed by the treachery and betrayal of the Naibs and his entourage, the Russian army, and gold.