Having joined the army as a junker (cadet), he later passed the exam to become an officer of the most junior rank. When the Crimean War began, Tolstoy transferred from the Caucasus to the Dunay Army, which was fighting against the Turks, and then to Sevastopol, to which the combined forces of England, France and Turkey had laid siege. In Sevastopol, he commanded a battery at the fourth bastion and distinguished himself for exceptional personal bravery – for which he was awarded the Order of St. Anna, 4th Class “For Valor”, subsequently followed by the silver medal “For the Defense of Sevastopol” and bronze medal “In Commemoration of the 1853–1856 War”. In the Crimea, Tolstoy was overcome with new impressions and literary plans, among these publication of a journal for soldiers. It was here that he began to write the Sevastopol Sketches, which were soon published to enormous acclaim.
1854-Leo Tolstoy (cadet)