Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 31.djvu/392

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guards, and two other sons, are said to have left Ireland about the same time, and all to have fallen in the service of France. Young Peter Lacy marched with his regiment to Piedmont, joined the army under the Marquis de Catinat, and fought at Marsaglia or Val de Marseilles on 4 Oct. 1693, where his uncle, James Lacy, was mortally wounded (cf. ib. pp. 176–8), and in the subsequent campaigns in Italy in 1693–6. In 1697 he accompanied his regiment to the Rhine; but the peace of Ryswick led to the disbanding of Athlone and other Irish regiments. Disappointed of employment in Hungary against the Turks, Lacy entered as a lieutenant in the Polish service under Marshal the Duc de Croy, by whom he was presented to the czar, Peter the Great (D'Alton). The czar selected Lacy as one of a hundred foreign officers to be employed in training the Russian troops, and appointed him captain in the infantry regiment of Colonel Bruce. He served against the Swedes in Livonia and Ingria (a Russo-Finnish province, now part of the government of St. Petersburg), and after the fall of Jamburg was appointed to command a company called the Grand Musketeers, composed of one hundred Russian nobles armed and horsed at their own expense. When attending the czar in Poland in 1705, he was made major of the regiment of Schemeritoff, with which he served against the Swedes under Lewenhaupt, and in 1706 lieutenant-colonel of the regiment of Polotsk, where he was appointed to train and instruct three regiments. In 1707 he greatly distinguished himself at the siege of Bucko in Poland. In 1708 he was made colonel of the regiment of Siberia, and repeatedly distinguished himself in the operations against Charles XII and his ally, Mazeppa, on the Dnieper, particularly at the seizure of Rumna in December of that year. The following year the czar gave him a regiment of grenadiers. At the battle of Pultowa Lacy commanded a brigade of the right wing, although he did not attain the rank of brigadier until four years later. According to Russian authorities, the success of the day was largely due to an order issued by the czar at Lacy's suggestion, directing the troops to reserve their fire for close quarters. From 1709 to 1721 Lacy was frequently engaged against the Danes, Swedes, and Turks. He became a brigadier-general in August 1712, major-general the month after, and lieutenant-general in July 1720. He signalised himself in the war of 1720–1 by his many successful descents on the Swedish coast, in one of which he anchored with 130 galleys, and encamped his advance-guard on shore within twelve miles of Stockholm (cf. Schuyler, ii. 517). In 1723 Lacy was summoned to St. Petersburg to take his seat at the council of war, and at the coronation of the Czarina Anne the year after, he rode behind the imperial carriage, throwing gold and silver coins among the populace. In 1725 he was made a knight of the Alexander Nevsky order, and was appointed commander-in-chief in St. Petersburg, Ingria, and Novogorod, to which the governments of Esthonia and Courland were added the year after. In 1727, when Maurice de Saxe (afterwards the famous marshal) was, in opposition to the court of St. Petersburg, made Duke of Courland, Lacy was sent to expel him from the duchy, and was afterwards appointed governor of Livonia and Esthonia. In 1733 he was engaged with Marshal Münnich in establishing Augustus of Saxony on the throne of Poland, in opposition to the deposed Stanislas. On the fall of Danzig, after a siege of 135 days in open trenches, during which the Russians lost eight thousand men, including two hundred officers, Lacy received from Augustus the order of the White Eagle, and his portrait set in brilliants. Lacy remained in Poland until the victory of Busawitza, where, with fifteen hundred dragoons, eighty hussars, and five hundred Cossacks, he put to rout twenty thousand Stanislasites, and the surrender of the rest of the Poles under Czerski, in April 1735, decided the contest in favour of Angustus. After a brilliant reception at Warsaw, Lacy was detached with a contingent of fifteen thousand (subsequently reduced to ten thousand) Russian troops, to join the imperialist forces collected near Mannheim, under Prince Eugene, in consequence of the declaration of war between Austria and France. Peace between Austria and France being agreed upon, Lacy repaired early in 1736 to Vienna, and on his way thence to St. Petersburg met a courier bearing his patent as a Russian field-marshal.

War having been declared against Turkey, Lacy was sent to reduce Azov. During the months of May and June 1736 Lacy carried on the approaches against Azov by sap, the Turkish garrison making repeated sallies, during one of which Lacy was wounded. At the beginning of July, the town being a heap of ruins from the Russian shells, and provisions running short, the Turkish bashaw capitulated, marching out with 3,463 men, and leaving behind some three hundred pieces of ordnance and 291 Christian captives, who were set at liberty. Lacy then marched to assist Münnich on his return from a disastrous expedition in the Crimea, and afterwards, with his own troops and the remnant of Münnich's force, went into winter quarters