Letters between Nicholas and Alexandra (1915)

The following letters between Tsar Nicholas II and his wife, Alexandra, were exchanged in early September 1915. They discuss Nicholas’ assumption of command of the military and the dismissal of his cousin, Nicholas Nicholaevich, from the supreme command:

[Alexandra to Nicholas]

September 4th, 1915

“You have fought this great fight for your country and throne alone and with bravery and decision. Never have they seen such firmness in you before and it cannot remain without good fruit.

Do not fear for what remains behind one must be severe and stop all at once. Lovey, I am here, don’t laugh at silly old wifey, she has trousers on unseen, and I can get the old man [Goremykin] to come and keep him up to be energetic whenever I can be of the smallest use. Tell me what to do, use me at such a time God will give me the strength to help you because our souls are fighting for the right against the evil…

Give me some news as soon as you can… Tell me the impression, if you can. Be firm to the end, let me be sure of that otherwise shall get quite ill from anxiety.

Bitter pain not to be with you know what you feel, and the meeting with N [Nikolaevich] won’t be agreeable. You did trust him, and now you know what months ago our Friend said, that he was acting wrongly towards you and your country and wife…”

[Nicholas to Alexandra]

September 7th, 1915

“Thank God it is over. Here I am again with a new responsibility on my shoulders. God’s will be done! I feel at peace as if I had been at Holy Communion.

On the memorable morning of September 5th when I arrived, I prayed long and re-read without end your first letter. As the moment for our meeting approached, I felt more and more at peace.

N. [Nikolaevich] entered with a smile and just asked when he was to leave. In the same manner, I replied that he might remain two days. Then we discussed several questions relating to military operations, generals, etc. and that was all… This is the beginning of a new clean page and what will be written on it, God alone knows.

Wifey, dear, don’t you think you should help hubby while he is away? It is too bad that you have not done this before, at least during the period of the war.

I do not know of a more agreeable feeling than to be proud of you as I have been these last months when you have kept after me to be firm and to stick to my opinion.

We had just finished playing dominoes when I received, through Alexiev, a telegram from Ivanov that today our 11th army in Galicia attacked two German divisions… With such good results that we took more than 150 officers, 7,000 soldiers, 30 cannon and many machine guns. This happened immediately after our troops learned that I assumed the chief command. This is a mark of God’s grace, and so soon!”