8 Expedition Preparations and Equipment
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PART II The 19O6 Expedition This page intentionally left blank 67 Expedition Preparations and Equipment The Order. Monetary Resources. Group Composition. The Pack Train. Scientific Equipment. Clothes and Shoes. Mosquito Nets. Food Rations. “Staff Captain Arsenyev, of the 29th East Siberian Infantry Regiment, has been assigned leader of an expedition to explore the Sikhote-Alin Mountains and the coastal regions north of Saint Olga Bay, time allowing , and the upper reaches of the Ussuri and Iman Rivers, to be carried outsummerandautumnofthisyear.LieutenantGranatmanofthesame regiment,EnsignAnofryevoftheUssuriCossackDivision,andLieutenant -Engineer Merzlyakov have been named his assistants. In addition, the detachment will consist of seven riflemen from the 24th East Siberian Infantry Regiment, and four Cossacks from the Ussuri Cossack Division .1 Due to the extraordinary conditions of this service, disciplinary authority of the expedition leader has been elevated to the equivalent of Battalion Commander. All officers and lower-ranking personnel named here shall report for duty no later than May 15th of this year.” SuchreadOrder#404,giventomebyP.F.Unterberger,thePriamur governor-general, on May 22nd, 1906. 1. The four Cossacks were Belonozhkin, Epov, Murzin, Kozhevnikov, and the riflemen were Dyakov, Vakushev, Yegorov, Auzin, Tatarinov, Bumatov, Melyan, Kazantsev, Boloban, Zagursky, Turtygin, and Bochkarёv. Apparently Arsenyev received twelve riflemen, not seven as in the order. 8 68 The 1906 Expedition In addition to those named in the order, the following also took part in the expedition: the former regional staff commander, GeneralLieutenant P. K. Rutkovsky, who would go with us only as far as Saint Olga Bay, and N. A. Palchevsky, a forester who would act as the expedition botanist.2 The goal of the expedition was to describe the natural history of the area. The governor-general allocated us 3,000 rubles.3 An accounting of our expenses at the end of the expedition revealed the following costs: 1. Equipment and supplies for the pack train: 503.58 rubles 2. Various expenses in the field: 1,009.28 rubles 3. Horse fodder: 534.52 rubles 4. Food: 715.36 rubles 5. Guides and interpreters: 541.72 rubles Therefore, we overspent our budget by 214.46 rubles. We identified travel routes along the Ussuri, Ulakhe, and Fudzin Rivers using 10-kilometer scale maps, and routes along the coast using 40-kilometer scale maps dating from 1889. In those days, any information about the central Sikhote-Alin was incredibly scarce, and was nothingmorethanthefruitsofcasualscouting .AsforthecoastnorthofSaint Olga Bay, there was only fragmentary information from naval officers who had visited those areas to survey the bays and inlets. Preparationsfortheexpeditionbeganinmid-March,andtookabout two months to complete. I was allowed to pick my riflemen from any in the region (except those from the ranks of engineer or fortress artillery ), and because of this I had the best people in my expeditionary detachment, mostly Siberians from the Tobolskaya and Yeniseyskaya provinces.4 True, the people from there were somewhat depressing and unsociable,buttheywereexcellentforthistypeofworkastheyhadbeen accustomed to hardship since childhood. 2. See plate 12 for an image of P. K. Rutkovsky with V. K. Arsenyev. 3. $40,734 in 2012 dollars. 4. Regions in the West Siberian Governor-Generalship, some 4,000 and 2,700 kilometers west of Khabarovsk, respectively. Expedition Preparations and Equipment 69 Many people clambered to take part in this expedition. I took down every name and made inquiries with their company commanders. I excluded anyone who lived in a city or had a background in commerce. In the end, the detachment was comprised of hunters and fishermen. During the selection process I made a point to ensure that everyone under consideration knew how to swim and commanded some kind of special skill. In addition to soldiers, there are always outsiders who want to join as well. These “gentlemen” think such trips are nothing more than a relaxing and enjoyable jaunt and can never understand that it is in fact hard work. In their minds they imagine caravans, tents, camp fires, good lunches, and excellent weather. But they’re forgetting about rain, gnus, starvation, and many other hardships that any explorer is constantly threatened by the moment he leaves civilization for the forest wilderness.5 Many of these types of people plan to go, but usually only two or three of them actually do. Letters arrive even as late as the eve of departuresayingthingssuchas ,“duetochangingcircumstancesIcannottake part in the expedition. I wish you good luck. . .” and the like. Telegrams of a similar nature appear even at the debarkation point. In the end, two types of people come ready to participate. The first...



Subject Headings

  • Ussuri River Valley (Russia and China) -- Description and travel.
  • Natural history -- Ussuri River Valley (Russia and China).
  • Dersu Uzala.
  • Arsenʹev, V. K. (Vladimir Klavdievich), 1872-1930 -- Travel -- Ussuri River Valley (Russia and China).
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