Chernyshev, Aleksandsr Ivanovich
Born Dec. 30, 1785 (Jan. 10, 1786), in Moscow; died June 8 (20), 1857, in Castellammare di Stabia, Italy. Russian military and state figure. Adjutant general (1812); general of the cavalry (1826); count (1826); grand duke (1849).
Chernyshev entered the guards cavalry in 1802 and fought in the war with France between 1805 and 1807. From 1808 to 1812 he performed important diplomatic assignments in France and Sweden and served as a military and diplomatic agent in Paris. Chernyshev was with Emperor Alexander I in the army field forces at the beginning of the Patriotic War of 1812, commanding a cavalry detachment. He took part in the foreign campaigns of the Russian army of 1813–14, became a member of the tsar’s retinue in 1815, and assumed command of a cavalry division in 1821. In 1826, Chernyshev was a member of the commission investigating the Decembrists.
Chernyshev became a senator in 1827 and was appointed deputy chief of the Main Headquarters and head of the war ministry in 1828. Between 1832 and 1852, as minister of war he strengthened the recruiting system with the statute of 1831 and increased the centralization of the war department. He became chairman of the Council of State in 1848. An advocate of harsh discipline and obsolete linear tactics, Chernyshev was one of those primarily responsible for the defeat of the Russian Army in the Crimean War of 1853–56.