The Ural Cossack Army (until 1775 and in 1917 Yaitsk Army) was stationed in the Ural region along the middle and lower streams of the Ural river. The capital of the region was the town Yaik, founded in 1613 and renamed in 1775 as Uralsk. In the beginning of the 18th century the Yaik Cossacks already acknowledged themselves as a military service class of Russia, but kept considerable autonomy. The Nizhneyaitskaya Line (Lower Yaik Line) was created on the river Ural in 1734, and the Yaik Cossacks were entrusted to defend it from nomad raids.
After the Yaik Cossacks participated in the Pugachev rebellion, anything remaining of their independence was terminated. Control was transferred to the mandated ataman and army office. From 1782 the Ural Cossack Army was managed part of the time by Astrachan, and part of the time by Orenburg General-Governor.
In 1803 the 'Provisional Regulations' about military service were introduced; this evoked some unrest which was suppressed. In 1868 new 'Provisional Regulations' were introduced, in which the Ural Cossack Army in civil matters became subordinate to common local bodies, and in military matters - to the General-Governor of a newly-formed Ural Province, who was also mandated ataman.In 1874 for insubordination to the new regulations a few thousand Cossacks were exiled to Central Asia in the area of the Aral sea. The Ural Cossack Army participated in almost all of Russia's wars, including the Patriotic War of 1812 and the Conquest of Central Asia. During WWI the Ural Cossack Army supplied 9 cavalry regiments, 1 battery, 1 Life Guard squadron, 9 special and reserve squadrons, 2 steppe teams (all together 10,447 men). In 1920 the Ural Cossack Army was disbanded.