The article deals with the introduction in the russian army of company literacy schools for the lower ranks. The attention is paid to the forming of regimental libraries, as well as recommended literature for reading by the lower ranks. There were used as materials the unpublished documents of the Central state archive of the Navy (St. Petersburg, Russian Federation). In addition, there were attracted the orders on the army, as well as the publications of russian officers in the central military edition of the Russian Empire - the journal "Voennyi sbornik". The traditional research of this kind the principles of historicism, objectivity, analytical, probabilistic and statistical, typological and comparative methods form the methodological basis of the work. On the basis of dissimilar facts obtained in the course of practical work with sources, the method of historicism allowed to see the important phenomena and processes related to the organization of company schools, as well as regimental libraries in the russian army in the late 1850s. In conclusion, the authors stated that the Crimean war, which was unsuccessful for the Russian Empire, gave a powerful impetus to the development of military affairs, as well as it helped to increase the literacy among military personnel. Established in 1857, the company literacy schools acutely increased the number of literate lower ranks. The training in company schools was carried out during parking of military units on winter flats. The period of study in these schools was no more than 3 years. However in the army there were a significant number of problems in the organization of availability of training the lower ranks. One of such problems was the remoteness of parts of a company from a place of a dislocation of school, since, as a rule, the division was not quartered in one settlement, but in several. Copyright © 2018 by Sochi State University.