A fort was erected here in the 16th century to prevent the incursions of the free Cossacks and runaway serfs who gathered on the lower Volga, as also the raids of the Kalmucks and Circassians.
Broadly speaking, the army is divided into regulars, Cossacks and militia.
The Zaporozhian Cossacks colonized the steppes farther E., towards the Don, where they met with a large population of Great Russian runaways, constituting the present Don Cossacks.
The Zaporozhian Cossacks, sent by Catherine II.
They are Lamaists by religion and immigrated to the mouth of the Volga from Dzungaria, in the 17th century, driving out the Tatars and Nogais, and after many wars with the Don Cossacks, one part of them was taken in by the Don Cossacks, so that even now there are among these Cossacks several Kalmuck sotnias or squadrons.