Overcoat of Admiral V.A.Kornilov
In this overcoat Admiral Vladimir Kornilov (1806–1854) was mortally wounded on Malakhov Kurgan (mound) during the first bombing of Sevastopol on October 5, 1854.
In September 1854, the Chief of Staff of the Black Sea Fleet, Vice-Admiral Vladimir A.Kornilov, was appointed a Commander of Defense of Sevastopol and Chief of Staff of the Garrison.
September of 1854 was a critical time for Sevastopol: Anglo-French troops landed in Crimea. The city was perfectly fortified from the sea and was almost unprotected from the land and was in mortal danger. In an unbelievably short time Kornilov managed to organize the land defense of Sevastopol that allowed to withstand 11 months of siege and 6 bombardments.
On the day of the first bombardment of the besieged city on October 5, 1854 Kornilov, as always, inspected the fortifications and on the Malakhov Kurgan (mound) he was fatally wounded by a fragment of the cannonball. In hospital, to remove the overcoat, it had to be cut (hence the lengthwise cut).
Overcoat has a single-breasted cut, Admiral's epaulets of silver galloon with a monogram: "HI" under the crown. (In 1852 V.A.Kornilov was promoted to rank of Vice-Admiral with appointment as General-adjutant of Nicholas I). At the back are stitched folds diverging to the hem. Pleats at the waist are hold by tabs. On the sides are pockets with flaps: the left pocket has a slot for the sword. The lining is white cotton with a ribbon belt pulled through the leather loops. The overcoat is badly damaged: large pieces of fabric are torn in the hem. The upper part of left side and left sleeve are cut.
In 1872 an overcoat of Kornilov and other Sevastopol relics were exhibited in the Sevastopol Department of the all-Russia Polytechnic exhibition held in Moscow in 1872 and were extremely popular.
Eduard I.Totleben in the "Description of defense of Sevastopol" gave an account of this injury. On the day of first bombing of Sevastopol by the allies, October 5, when the city’s defense had been put to a test, Kornilov "wishing to see everything and to support the energy of the troops by his own example, went to the 3rd Bastion. Many officers begged him not to put himself in danger. "Though I am absolutely convinced, – answered Kornilov, – that each of you shall fulfill his duty as honor and circumstances demand, but in this solemn day I have a sincere need to see our heroes on the field of their merit".
And, despite the requests of those around him, he went on to the Malakhov Kurgan (mound), where soon he was mortally wounded by cannon ball in the left leg. "Well, gentlemen, I leave you to defend Sevastopol! Don't you give it away!" he said, gathering his strength Kornilov addressing the officers surrounding him. After that he fainted and was transferred to the naval hospital, where he died after two hours of severe suffering."