Timeline of World History TIMELINE OF WORLD HISTORY



1800 - 1899
1800-09 1810-19 1820-29 1830-39 1840-49 1850-59 1860-69 1870-79 1880-89 1890-99
1800 1810 1820 1830 1840 1850 1860 1870 1880 1890
1801 1811 1821 1831 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891
1802 1812 1822 1832 1842 1852 1862 1872 1882 1892
1803 1813 1823 1833 1843 1853 1863 1873 1883 1893
1804 1814 1824 1834 1844 1854 1864 1874 1884 1894
1805 1815 1825 1835 1845 1855 1865 1875 1885 1895
1806 1816 1826 1836 1846 1856 1866 1876 1886 1896
1807 1817 1827 1837 1847 1857 1867 1877 1887 1897
1808 1818 1828 1838 1848 1858 1868 1878 1888 1898
1809 1819 1829 1839 1849 1859 1869 1879 1889 1899
  BACK-1814 Part III NEXT-1815 Part II    
FitzGerald Edward
1810 - 1819
History at a Glance
1810 Part I
Marie Louise, Duchess of Parma
Edict of Fontainebleau
First Republic of Venezuela
Mexican War of Independence
Argentine War of Independence
Colombian Declaration of Independence
Foolish Fatherland
Chilean War of Independence
Bolivian war of independence
Charles XIV John
Invasion of Guadeloupe
Cavour Camillo
1810 Part II
Cumberland Presbyterian Church
Montalembert Charles
Musset Alfred
Scott: "The Lady of the Lake"
Goya: "The Disasters of War"
The Nazarenes
Beethoven: "Egmont"
Chopin Frederic
Chopin - Nocturne Op.9 No.2
Frederic Chopin
Nicolai Otto
Nicolai - The Merry Wives of Windsor - Overture
Otto Nicolai
Rossini: "La Cambiale di Matrimonio"
Schumann Robert
Schumann - Piano sonata n.1 op.11
Robert Schumann
Spurzheim Johann Gaspar
Hahnemann Samuel
Girard Philippe
Humboldt University of Berlin
Krupp Friedrich Carl
Barnum Phineas Taylor
1811 Part I
George IV
Battle of the Danube
Massacre of the Mamelukes at Cairo
Napoleon Francois-Joseph Charles
Battle of Fuentes de Onoro
Paraguay independent of Spain
Venezuelan War of Independence
Peruvian War of Independence
San Martin Jose
Battle of Las Piedras
Artigas Jose Gervagio
Invasion of Java
Battle of Tippecanoe
1811 Part II
Bottiger Karl August
Niebuhr Barthold Georg
University of Oslo
Jane Austen: "Sense and Sensibility"
Stowe Harriet Beecher
Friedrich de la Motte-Fouque: "Undine"
Gautier Theophile
Goethe: "Aus meinem Leben: Dichtung und Wahrheit"
Gutzkow Karl
Thackeray William Makepeace
Dupre Jules
Jules Dupre
Ingres: "Jupiter and Thetis"
Thomas Lawrence: Portrait of Benjamin West
Thorvaldsen: "Procession of Alexander the Great"
1811 Part III
Liszt Franz
Franz Liszt - Liebestraum - Love Dream
Franz Liszt
Prague Conservatoire
Carl Maria von Weber: "Abu Hassan"
Avogadro Amedeo
Great Comet of 1811
Bunsen Robert
Poisson Simeon-Denis
Manning Thomas
Berblinger Albrecht Ludwig
1812 Part I
French invasion of Russia
Battle of Borodino
Kutuzov Mikhail
Malet Claude-François
Perceval Spencer
1812 Part II
War of 1812
Battle of Salamanca
Siege of Burgos
Battle of Tordesillas
Hegel: "Science of Logic"
Jewish emancipation
Browning Robert
Robert Browning 
"Dramatic Romances"
"The Pied Piper of Hamelin"
The Brothers Grimm: "Fairy Tales"
Lord Byron: "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage"
Dickens Charles
Charles Dickens
"Great Expectations"
Theatre Royal Drury Lane
Goncharov Ivan Aleksandrovich
Smiles Samuel
Krasinski Zygmunt
Kraszewski Joseph Ignatius
1812 Part III
Elgin Marbles
Rousseau Theodore
Theodore Rousseau
Pforr Franz
Franz Pforr
Beethoven: Symphonies No. 7 (Op. 92)
Encounter between Beethoven and Goethe at Teplitz
Beethoven: Symphonies No. 8 (Op. 93)
Flotow Friedrich
Friedrich von Flotow: Piano Concerto No. 2
Friedrich von Flotow
Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, Vienna
Burckhardt Johann Ludwig
Krupp Alfred
Red River Settlement, Manitoba, Canada
Hampden Clubs
1813 Part I
German Campaign 1813–1814
Battle of Dresden
Battle of Lutzen
Battle of the Katzbach
Battle of Leipzig
Battle of York
Battle of Fort George
Capture of USS Chesapeake
Battle of Crysler's Farm
Capture of Fort Niagara
Battle of Buffalo
Battle of Vitoria
Siege of San Sebastian
First Serbian Uprising
1813 Part II
Herbart Johann Friedrich
Kierkegaard Soren
Schopenhauer: "On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason"
Colby College, Maine
The Baptist Union of Great Britain
Jane Austen: "Pride and Prejudice"
Buchner Georg
Byron: "The Giaour"
Hebbel Friedrich
Ludwig Otto
Shelley: "Queen Mab"
Turner: "Frosty Morning"
London Philharmonic Society
Rossini: "L'ltaliana in Algeri"
Verdi Giuseppe
Anna Netrebko "Final Scene" La traviata
Giuseppe Verdi
Wagner Richard
Richard Wagner - Ride Of The Valkyries
Richard Wagner
Campbell John
Blaxland Gregory
Across the Blue Mountains
Lord Thomas
1814 Part I
1814 campaign in France
Six Days Campaign
Battle of Champaubert
Battle of Montmirail
Battle of Chateau-Thierry
Battle of Vauchamps
Battle of Orthez
Treaty of Chaumont
Battle of Arcis-sur-Aube
Battle of Paris
Battle of Toulouse
Treaty of Fontainebleau
Treaty of Paris
Congress of Vienna
Napoleon's exile to Elba
1814 Part II
Christian VIII
Bakunin Mikhail
Battle of Chippawa
Burning of Washington
Battle of Plattsburgh
Treaty of Ghent
Anglo-Nepalese War of 1814–16
First Anglican bishop in Calcutta
Motley John Lothrop
1814 Part III
Jane Austen: "Mansfield Park"
Byron: "The Corsair"
Edmund Kean's Shylock
Lermontov Mikhail
Mikhail Lermontov
"Death of the Poet"
"The Demon
Walter Scott: "Waverley"
Williav Wordsworth: "The Excursion"
Adelbert von Chamisso: "Peter Schlemihl"
Goya: "The Second of May 1808"
Goya: "The Third of May 1808"
Ingres: "Grande Odalisque"
Millet Jean Francois
Jean Francois Millet
Orfila Mathieu Joseph Bonaventure
Industrial printing presses
Lord's Cricket Ground
1815 Part I
Battle of New Orleans
Hundred Days
Neapolitan War
Battle of Waterloo
Napoleon's surrender
Second Peace of Paris
Ney Michel
1815 Part II
Corn Law
Bismarck Otto
Spanish Invasion of New Granada in 1815–1816
Basel Mission
Beranger Pierre
Byron: "Hebrew Melodies"
Geibel Emanuel
Hoffmann: "Die Elixiere des Teufels"
Scott: "Guy Mannering"
Trollope Anthony
Anthony Trollope 
"Barchester Towers"
Wordsworth: "White Doe of Rylstone"
1815 Part III
Goya: "La Tauromaquia"
Menzel Adolf
Adolf Menzel
Turner: "Crossing the Brook"
Franz Robert
Robert Franz - Oh Wert thou in the Cauld Blast
Robert Franz
Kjerulf Halfdan
Halfdan Kjerulf - Spring Song
Halfdan Kjerulf
Robert Volkmann - Cello Concerto in A minor
Robert Volkmann
Davy lamp
Fresnel Augustin-Jean
Prout William
Prout's hypothesis
Steam battery "Demologos", or "Fulton"
Nations in Arms
Nations in Arms
Apothecaries Act
McAdam John Loudon
Robertson Allan
Eruption of Sumbawa Volcano
1816 Part I
Maria I, Queen of Portugal
John VI of Portugal
Argentine War of Independence
Argentine Declaration of Independence
Federal Convention
American Bible Society
Gobineau Joseph Arthur
Karamzin Nikolai
1816 Part II
Jane Austen: "Emma"
Bronte Charlotte
Charlotte Bronte
"Jane Eyre"
Byron: "The Siege of Corinth"
Freytag Gustav
Derzhavin Gavrila
Leigh Hunt: "The Story of Rimini"
Shelley: "Alastor"
Goya: "The Duke of Osuna"
Rossini: "Barbiere di Siviglia"
Spohr: "Faust"
Brewster David
Laennec Rene-Theophile-Hyacinthe
Siemens Werner
Cobbett William
Froebel Friedrich
1817 Part I
Habeas Corpus Suspension Act
Wartburg Festival
Second Serbian Uprising (1815-1817)
Third Anglo-Maratha War 1817-1818
Bockh August
Hegel: "Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences"
Llorente Juan Antonio
Mommsen Theodor
David Ricardo: "Principles of Political Economy and Taxation"
Byron: "Manfred"
Thomas Moore: "Lalla Rookh"
Storm Theodor
Thoreau Henry David
1817 Part II
Constable: "Flatford Mill"
Daubigny Charles
Charles Daubigny
Thorvaldsen: Ganymede Waters Zeus as an Eagle
Leech John
John Leech
Watts George Frederic
George Frederic Watts
Rossini: "La Gazza ladra"
Rossini: "Cenerentola"
Ritter Carl
Long Stephen Harriman
"Blackwood's Magazine"
"The Scotsman"
Waterloo Bridge
1818 Part I
Chilean Declaration of Independence
Bavarian constitution proclaimed
Treaty of 1818
Dobrovsky Josef
Froude James Anthony
Marx Karl
Karl Marx
"Manifesto of the Communist Party"
- Marxism
Friedrich Engels
First International
1818 Part II
Byron: "Don Juan"
Keats: "Endymion"
Peacock: "Nightmare Abbey"
Walter Scott: "Heart of Midlothian"
Shelley Mary
Mary Shelley "Frankenstein"
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley 
"Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus"
Turgenev Ivan
1818 Part III
Burckhardt Jakob
Fohr Carl Philipp
Karl Philipp Fohr
Donizetti: "Enrico, Conte di Borgogna"
Gounod Charles
Gounod - Ave Maria
Charles Gounod
"Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht"
Rossini: "Mose in Egitto"
Bessel Friedrich Wilhelm
Encke Johann Franz
Oxley John
British Admiralty Expeditions
Scoresby William
Phipps Constantine Henry
Buchan David
Parry William Edward
Ross James Clark
Order of Saint Michael and Saint George
Raiffeisen Friedrich Wilhelm
1819 Part I
Founding of modern Singapore
Queen Victoria
Victorian Era
Peterloo Massacre
Albert, Prince Consort
Jakob Grimm: "German Grammar"
Hermes Georg
Schopenhauer: "Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung"
Sismondi Jean
Wilson Horace Hayman
1819 Part II
Byron: "Mazeppa"
Eliot George
George Eliot 
"Silas Marner"
Fontane Theodor
Howe Julia Ward
Keats: "Hyperion"
Keller Gottfried
Kotzebue August
Lowell James Russell
Shelley: "The Cenci"
Whitman Walt
Walt Whitman
"Leaves of Grass"
Washington Irving: "Rip van Winkle"
1819 Part III
Courbet Gustave
Gustave Courbet
Theodore Gericault: "The Raft of the Medusa"
Ruskin John
Thorvaldsen: "Lion of Lucerne"
Turner: "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage"
Museo del Prado
Chasseriau Theodore
Theodore Chasseriau
Offenbach Jacques
Offenbach - Barcarole
Jacques Offenbach
Schumann Clara
Mitscherlich Eilhard
Oersted Hans Christian
Central Asia Exploration
Moorcroft William
First Sightings of the Antarctic Continent
Bransfield Edward
Weddell James
Bellingshausen Thaddeus
Burlington Arcade, Piccadilly, London

Napoleon on Board the Bellerophon, 1815
YEAR BY YEAR:  1800 - 1899
1815 Part I
Battle of New Orleans

The Battle of New Orleans was a series of engagements fought between December 23, 1814 through January 8, 1815 and was the final major battle of the War of 1812. American combatants, commanded by Major General Andrew Jackson, prevented an invading British Army, commanded by General Edward Pakenham, and Royal Navy, commanded by Admiral Alexander Cochrane, from seizing New Orleans as a strategic tool to end the war. The Treaty of Ghent was signed on December 24, 1814 (but was not ratified by the US Government until February 1815), and hostilities would continue in Louisiana until January 18 when all of the British forces had retreated, finally putting an end to the Battle of New Orleans.


The Battle of New Orleans by Henry Bryan Hall after William Momberger
Battle of Lake Borgne
By December 12, 1814, a large British fleet under the command of Sir Alexander Cochrane with more than 8,000 soldiers and sailors aboard, had anchored in the Gulf of Mexico to the east of Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Borgne. Preventing access to the lakes was an American flotilla, commanded by Lieutenant Thomas ap Catesby Jones, consisting of five gunboats. On December 14, around 1,200 British sailors and Royal Marines under Captain Nicholas Lockyer set out to attack Catesby's force. Lockyer's men sailed in 42 longboats, each armed with a small carronade. Lockyer captured Catesby's vessels in a brief engagement known as the Battle of Lake Borgne. 17 British sailors were killed and 77 wounded, while 6 Americans were killed, 35 wounded, and 86 captured. The wounded included both Catesby and Lockyer. Now free to navigate Lake Borgne, thousands of British soldiers, under the command of General John Keane, were rowed to Pea Island, about 30 miles (48 km) east of New Orleans, where they established a garrison.

Eighteenth century map of southeast Louisiana
Night attack of December 23
On the morning of December 23, Keane and a vanguard of 1,800 British soldiers reached the east bank of the Mississippi River, 9 miles (14 km) south of New Orleans. Keane could have attacked the city by advancing for a few hours up the river road, which was undefended all the way to New Orleans, but he made the fateful decision to encamp at Lacoste's Plantation and wait for the arrival of reinforcements. During the afternoon of December 23, after he had learned of the position of the British encampment, Andrew Jackson reportedly said, "By the Eternal they shall not sleep on our soil." This intelligence had been provided by Colonel Thomas Hinds' Squadron of Light Dragoons, a militia unit from the Mississippi Territory. That evening, attacking from the north, Jackson led 2,131 men in a brief three-pronged assault on the unsuspecting British troops, who were resting in their camp. Then Jackson pulled his forces back to the Rodriguez Canal, about 4 miles (6.4 km) south of the city. The Americans suffered 24 killed, 115 wounded, and 74 missing, while the British reported their losses as 46 killed, 167 wounded, and 64 missing.

Historian Robert Quimby says, "the British certainly did win a tactical victory, which enabled them to maintain their position". However, Quimby goes on to say, "It is not too much to say that it was the battle of December 23 that saved New Orleans. The British were disabused of their expectation of an easy conquest. The unexpected and severe attack made Keane even more cautious...he made no effort to advance on the twenty-fourth or twenty-fifth". As a consequence, the Americans were given time to begin the transformation of the canal into a heavily fortified earthwork. On Christmas Day, General Edward Pakenham arrived on the battlefield and ordered a reconnaissance-in-force on December 28 against the American earthworks protecting the advance to New Orleans. That evening, General Pakenham met with General Keane and Admiral Cochrane for an update on the situation, angry with the position that the army had been placed in. General Pakenham wanted to use Chef Menteur Road as the invasion route but was overruled by Admiral Cochrane who insisted that his boats were providing everything that could be needed.

  Admiral Cochrane believed that the British Army would destroy a ramshackle American army and allegedly said that if the Army would not do so his sailors would. Whatever Pakenham's thoughts on the matter, the meeting settled the method and place of the attack. On December 28, groups of British troops made probing attacks against the American earthworks.

When the British troops withdrew, the Americans began construction of artillery batteries to protect the earthworks, which were then christened Line Jackson. The Americans installed eight batteries, which included one 32-pound gun, three 24-pounders, one 18-pounder, three 12-pounders, three 6-pounders, and a 6-inch (150 mm) howitzer. Jackson also sent a detachment of men to the west bank of the Mississippi to man two 24-pounders and two 12-pounders from the grounded warship USS Louisiana.

Jackson's force was outnumbered by the attacking British forces. Jackson's army of 4,732 men comprised 968 US Army regulars, 58 US Marines, 106 seamen of the US Naval battalion, 1,060 Louisiana Militia and volunteers (including 462 free people of color), 1,352 Tennessee Militia, 986 Kentucky Militia, 150 Mississippi Militia and 52 Choctaw warriors, along with a force of the pirate Jean Lafitte's Baratarians. Additionally, Jackson had the support of warships in the Mississippi River, including the USS Louisiana, the USS Carolina and a steamboat Enterprise,

The main British army arrived on New Year's Day, and attacked the earthworks using their artillery. An exchange of artillery fire began that lasted for three hours. Several of the American guns were destroyed or knocked out, including the 32-pounder, a 24-pounder, and a 12-pounder, and some damage was done to the earthworks.

The British guns ran out of ammunition, which led Pakenham to cancel the attack. Unknown at the moment to Pakenham, the Americans on the left of Line Jackson near the swamp had broken and run from the position. Pakenham decided to wait for his entire force of over 8,000 men to assemble before launching his attack.


Battle of New Orleans, January 1815
Battle of January 8
In the early morning of January 8, Pakenham ordered a two-pronged assault against Jackson's position. Colonel William Thornton (of the 85th Regiment) was to cross the Mississippi during the night with his 780-strong force, move rapidly upriver and storm the battery commanded by Commodore Daniel Patterson on the flank of the main American entrenchments and then open an enfilading fire on Jackson's line with howitzers and rockets. Then, the main attack, directly against the earthworks manned by the vast majority of American troops, would be launched in two columns (along the river led by Keane and along the swamp line led by Major General Samuel Gibbs). The brigade commanded by Major General John Lambert was held in reserve.

Preparations for the attack had floundered early, as a canal being dug by Cochrane's sailors collapsed and the dam made to divert the flow of the river into the canal failed, leaving the sailors to drag the boats of Col. Thornton's west bank assault force through deep mud and left the force starting off just before daybreak, 12 hours late.

The attack began under darkness and a heavy fog, but as the British neared the main enemy line the fog lifted, exposing them to withering artillery fire. Lt-Col. Thomas Mullins, the British commander of the 44th (East Essex) Regiment of Foot, had forgotten the ladders and fascines needed to cross a canal and scale the earthworks, and confusion evolved in the dark and fog as the British tried to close the gap. Most of the senior officers were killed or wounded, including General Gibbs, leading the main attack column on the right comprising the 4th, 21st, 44th and 5th West India Regiments, and Colonel Rennie leading a detachment of light companies of the 7th, 43rd, and 93rd on the left by the river.

Possibly because of Thornton's delay in crossing the river and the withering artillery fire that might hit them from across the river, the 93rd Highlanders were ordered to leave Keane's assault column advancing along the river and move across the open field to join the main force on the right of the field. Keane fell wounded as he crossed the field with the 93rd. Rennie's men managed to attack and overrun an American advance redoubt next to the river, but without reinforcements they could neither hold the position nor successfully storm the main American line behind.

  Within minutes, the American 7th Infantry arrived, moved forward, and fired upon the British in the captured redoubt: within half an hour, Rennie and most of his men were dead. In the main attack on the right, the British infantrymen either flung themselves to the ground, huddled in the canal, or were mowed down by a combination of musket fire and grapeshot from the Americans. A handful made it to the top of the parapet on the right but were either killed or captured.

The 95th Rifles had advanced in open skirmish order ahead of the main assault force and were concealed in the ditch below the parapet, unable to advance further without support.

The two large main assaults on the American position were repulsed. Pakenham and his second-in-command, General Gibbs, were fatally wounded, while on horseback, by grapeshot fired from the earthworks. With most of their senior officers dead or wounded, the British soldiers, having no orders to advance further or retreat, stood out in the open and were shot apart with grapeshot from Line Jackson. After about 20 more minutes of bloodletting, General Lambert assumed command and eventually ordered a withdrawal.

The only British success was on the west bank of the Mississippi River, where Thornton's brigade, comprising the 85th Regiment and detachments from the Royal Navy and Royal Marines, attacked and overwhelmed the American line. Though both Jackson and Commodore Patterson reported that the retreating forces had spiked their cannon, leaving no guns to turn on the Americans' main defense line, this is contradicted by Major Mitchell's diary which makes it clear this was not so, as he states he had "Commenced cleaning enemy's guns to form a battery to enfilade their lines on the left bank".

General Lambert ordered his Chief of Artillery, Colonel Alexander Dickson, to assess the position. Dickson reported back that no fewer than 2,000 men would be needed to hold the position. General Lambert issued orders to withdraw after the defeat of their main army on the east bank and retreated, taking a few American prisoners and cannon with them.

At the end of the day, the British had 2,042 casualties: 291 killed (including Generals Pakenham and Gibbs), 1,267 wounded (including General Keane) and 484 captured or missing. The Americans had 71 casualties: 13 dead; 39 wounded, and 19 missing.


The battlefield at Chalmette Plantation on January 8, 1815
Siege of Fort St. Philip
On January 9, British naval forces attacked Fort St. Philip which protected New Orleans from an amphibious assault from the Gulf of Mexico via the Mississippi River. American forces within the fort withstood ten days of bombardment by cannon before the British ships withdrew on January 18, 1815.

1815 painting of the battle by participant Jean Hyacinthe de Laclotte of the Louisiana Militia based on his memories and sketches made at the site.
Withdrawal of the British
Three days after the battle, General Lambert held a council of war where he concluded that despite his request for reinforcements as well as a siege train, capturing New Orleans and continuing the Louisiana campaign would be too costly and thus agreed with his officers to withdraw. By January 19 the British camp at Villere's Plantation had been completely evacuated.

On February 4, 1815, the fleet, with all of the British troops aboard, set sail toward Mobile Bay, Alabama. The British army then attacked and captured Fort Bowyer at the mouth of Mobile Bay on February 12. The following day, the British army was making preparations to attack Mobile when news arrived of the peace treaty. The treaty had been ratified by the British Parliament but would not be ratified by Congress and the President until mid-February. It did, however, resolve that hostilities should cease, and the British abandoned Fort Bowyer and sailed home to their base in the West Indies. Although the Battle of New Orleans had no influence on the terms of the Treaty of Ghent, the defeat at New Orleans did compel Britain to abide by the treaty. However, it would have been problematic for the British to continue the war in North America, due to Napoleon's escape from Elba on February 26, 1815, which ensured their forces were needed in Europe.
Also, since the Treaty of Ghent did not specifically mention the vast territory America had acquired with the Louisiana Purchase, it only required both sides to give back those lands that had been taken from the other during the war.

From December 25, 1814, to January 26, 1815, British casualties during the Louisiana Campaign, apart from the assault on January 8, were 49 killed, 87 wounded and 4 missing. Thus, British casualties for the entire campaign totaled 2,459: 386 killed, 1,521 wounded, and 552 missing. American casualties for the entire campaign totaled 333: 55 killed, 185 wounded, and 93 missing.

Six currently active battalions of the Regular Army (2-7 Inf, 3-7 Inf, 1-5 FA, 1-6 FA, 1-1 Inf and 2-1 Inf) and one Mississippi Army National Guard regiment (155th Inf) are derived from American units that fought at the Battle of New Orleans.

Although the engagement was small compared to other contemporary battles such as the Battle of Waterloo, it was important for the meaning applied to it by Americans in general and Andrew Jackson in particular.

Americans believed that a vastly powerful British fleet and army had sailed for New Orleans (Jackson himself thought 25,000 troops were coming), and most expected the worst.
The news of victory, one man recalled, "came upon the country like a clap of thunder in the clear azure vault of the firmament, and traveled with electromagnetic velocity, throughout the confines of the land." The battle boosted the reputation of Andrew Jackson and helped to propel him to the White House. The anniversary of the battle was celebrated as a national holiday for many years, and continues to be commemorated in south Louisiana.


General Andrew Jackson stands on the parapet of his makeshift defenses as his troops repulse attacking Highlanders, as imagined by painter Edward Percy Moran in 1910.
In honor of Jackson, the newly organized Louisiana Historical Association dedicated its new Memorial Hall facility on January 8, 1891, the 76th anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans.

A federal park was established in 1907 to preserve the battlefield; today it features a monument and is part of Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve.

"The 8th of January" became a traditional American fiddle tune, honoring the date of the battle. More than a century later, the melody was used by Jimmie Driftwood to write the song "The Battle of New Orleans", which was a hit for Johnny Horton and Lonnie Donegan.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Napoleon leaves Elba and lands in France; Louis XVIII flees; the "Hundred Days" begin
Hundred Days

The Hundred Days, sometimes known as the Hundred Days of Napoleon or Napoleon's Hundred Days, marked the period between Emperor Napoleon of France's return from exile on Elba to Paris on 20 March 1815 and the second restoration of King Louis XVIII on 8 July 1815 (a period of 111 days). This period saw the War of the Seventh Coalition, and includes the Waterloo Campaign and the Neapolitan War. The phrase les Cent Jours was first used by the prefect of Paris, Gaspard, comte de Chabrol, in his speech welcoming the King.

Napoleon returned while the Congress of Vienna was sitting. On 13 March, seven days before Napoleon reached Paris, the powers at the Congress of Vienna declared him an outlaw, and on 25 March, five days after his arrival in Paris, Austria, Prussia, Russia and the United Kingdom, members of the Seventh Coalition, bound themselves to put 150,000 men each into the field to end his rule. This set the stage for the last conflict in the Napoleonic Wars, the defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo, the restoration of the French monarchy for the second time and the permanent exile of Napoleon to the distant island of Saint Helena, where he died in May 1821.

Napoleon's rise and fall

The French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars pitted France against various coalitions of other European nations nearly continuously from 1792 onward. The overthrow and subsequent execution of Louis XVI in France had greatly disturbed other European leaders, who vowed to crush the French Republic. Rather than leading to France’s defeat, the wars allowed the revolutionary regime to expand beyond its borders and create client republics. The success of the French forces made a hero out of their best commander, Napoleon Bonaparte. In 1799, Napoleon staged a successful coup d'état and became First Consul of the new French Consulate. Five years later, he crowned himself Emperor Napoleon I.

The rise of Napoleon troubled the other European powers as much as the earlier revolutionary regime had. Despite the formation of new coalitions against him, Napoleon’s forces continued to conquer much of Europe. The tide of war began to turn, however, after a disastrous French invasion of Russia in 1812 that caused Napoleon to lose much of his army.

  The following year, during the War of the Sixth Coalition, Coalition forces defeated the French in the Battle of Leipzig.

Following its victory at Leipzig, the Coalition vowed to press on to Paris and depose Napoleon. In the last week of February 1814, Prussian Field Marshal Blücher advanced on Paris. After multiple attacks, maneuvering, and reinforcements on both sides, Blücher won the Battle of Laon in early March 1814; this victory prevented the Allied army from being pushed north out of France.

The Battle of Reims went to Napoleon, but this victory was followed by successive defeats from increasingly overwhelming odds. Coalition forces entered Paris after the Battle of Montmartre on March 30, 1814.

On 6 April 1814, Napoleon abdicated his throne, leading to the accession of Louis XVIII and the first Bourbon Restoration a month later. The defeated Napoleon was exiled to the island of Elba, while the victorious Coalition sought to redraw the map of Europe at the Congress of Vienna.


Napoleon leaving Elba, painted by Joseph Beaume
Exile in Elba
Napoleon with the Elba Squadron of volunteers from the 1st Polish Light Cavalry of his Imperial Guard.
Napoleon spent only nine months and 21 days in uneasy retirement on Elba (1814–1815), watching events in France with great interest as the Congress of Vienna gradually gathered. He had been escorted to Elba by Sir Neil Campbell, who remained in residence there while performing other duties in Italy, but was not Napoleon's jailer. As he foresaw, the shrinkage of the great Empire into the realm of old France caused intense dissatisfaction among the French, a feeling fed by stories of the tactless way in which the Bourbon princes treated veterans of the Grande Armée and the returning royalist nobility treated the people at large. Equally threatening was the general situation in Europe which had been stressed and exhausted during the previous decades of near constant warfare.

The conflicting demands of major powers were for a time so exorbitant as to bring the Powers at the Congress of Vienna to the verge of war with each other. Thus every scrap of news reaching remote Elba looked favourable to Napoleon to retake power as he correctly reasoned the news of his return would cause a popular rising as he approached. He also reasoned that the return of French prisoners from Russia, Germany, Britain and Spain would furnish him instantly with a trained, veteran and patriotic army far larger than that which had won renown in the years before 1814. So threatening were the symptoms that the royalists at Paris and the plenipotentiaries at Vienna talked of deporting him to the Azores or to Saint Helena, while others hinted at assassination.

  Congress of Vienna
At the Congress of Vienna (November 1814 – June 1815) the various participating nations had very different and conflicting goals. Tsar Alexander of Russia had expected to absorb much of Poland and to leave a Polish puppet state, the Duchy of Warsaw, as a buffer against further invasion from Europe.

The renewed Prussian state demanded all of the Kingdom of Saxony. Austria wanted to allow neither of these things, while it expected to regain control of northern Italy. Castlereagh, of the United Kingdom, supported France (represented by Talleyrand) and Austria and was at variance with his own Parliament.

This almost caused a war to break out when the Tsar pointed out to Castlereagh that Russia had 450,000 men near Poland and Saxony and he was welcome to try to remove them. Indeed he stated "I shall be the King of Poland and the King of Prussia will be the King of Saxony". Castlereagh approached King Frederick William III of Prussia to offer him British and Austrian support for Prussia's annexation of Saxony in return for Prussia's support of an independent Poland.

Frederick William repeated this offer in public, offending the Tsar so deeply that he challenged Metternich of Austria to a duel. Only the intervention of the Austrian crown stopped it. A breach between the Great Powers was avoided when members of Britain's Parliament got word to the Russian ambassador that Castlereagh had exceeded his authority, and Britain would not support an independent Poland. The affair left Prussia deeply suspicious of any British involvement.

The brig Inconstant, under Captain Taillade and ferrying Napoleon to France, crosses the path of the brig Zéphir, under Captain Andrieux. Inconstant flies the tricolour of the Empire, while Zéphir flies the white ensign of the Monarchy.
Return to France
While the Allies were distracted, Napoleon solved his problem in characteristic fashion. On 26 February 1815, when the British and French guard ships were absent, he slipped away from Portoferraio with some 600 men and landed at Golfe-Juan near Antibes on 1 March 1815. Except in royalist Provence, he was warmly received. He avoided much of Provence by taking a route through the Alps, marked today as the Route Napoléon. Firing no shot in his defense, his troops swelled until it became an army. On 5 March, the nominally royalist 5th Infantry Regiment went over to Napoleon en masse. The next day they were joined by the 7th Infantry Regiment under its colonel, Charles de la Bédoyère, who was executed for treason by the Bourbons after the campaign ended. An old anecdote illustrates Napoleon's charisma. When royalist troops deployed to stop the march of Napoleon's force at Lyon, Napoleon stepped out in front of them, ripped open his coat and said "If any of you will shoot your Emperor, shoot him now." The men joined his cause.

Marshal Ney, now one of Louis' commanders, had said that Napoleon ought to be brought to Paris in an iron cage, but on 14 March, Ney joined Napoleon with 6,000 men. Five days later, after proceeding through the countryside promising constitutional reform and direct elections to an assembly, to the acclaim of gathered crowds Napoleon entered the capital, whence Louis XVIII had recently fled.

The royalists did not pose a major threat: the duc d'Angoulême raised a small force in the south, but at Valence it did not provide resistance against Imperialists under Grouchy’s command; and the duke, on 9 April 1815, signed a convention whereby they received a free pardon from the Emperor. The royalists of the Vendée moved later and caused more difficulty for the Imperialists.

  Napoleon's health
The evidence as to Napoleon's health is somewhat conflicting. Carnot, Pasquier, Lavalette, Thiébault, and others thought him prematurely aged and enfeebled. At Elba, as Sir Neil Campbell noted, he became inactive and proportionately corpulent.
There, too, as sometimes in 1815, he began to suffer intermittently from retention of urine, but to no serious extent.

For much of his public life, Napoleon was troubled by hemorrhoids, which made sitting on a horse for long periods of time difficult and painful. This condition had disastrous results at Waterloo; during the battle, his inability to sit on his horse for other than very short periods of time interfered with his ability to survey his troops in combat, and thus exercise command.

Others saw no marked change in him; while Mollien, who knew the emperor well, attributed the lassitude which now and then came over him to a feeling of perplexity caused by his changed circumstances.

Constitutional reform
At Lyon, on 13 March 1815, Napoleon issued an edict dissolving the existing chambers and ordering the convocation of a national mass meeting, or Champ de Mai, for the purpose of modifying the constitution of the Napoleonic empire. He reportedly told Benjamin Constant, "I am growing old. The repose of a constitutional king may suit me. It will more surely suit my son."

That work was carried out by Benjamin Constant in concert with the Emperor. The resulting Acte additionel (supplementary to the constitutions of the Empire) bestowed on France a hereditary Chamber of Peers, and a Chamber of Representatives elected by the "electoral colleges" of the empire.

According to Châteaubriand, in reference to Louis XVIII’s constitutional charter, the new constitution – La Benjamine, it was dubbed – was merely a "slightly improved" version of the charter associated with Louis XVIII's administration; however, later historians, including Agatha Ramm, have pointed out that this constitution permitted the extension of the franchise and explicitly guaranteed press freedom. In the Republican manner, the Constitution was put to the people of France in a plebiscite, but whether due to lack of enthusiasm, or because the nation was suddenly thrown into military preparation, only 1,532,527 votes were cast, less than half of the vote in the plebiscites of the Consulat; however, the benefit of a 'large majority' meant that Napoleon felt he had constitutional sanction.

Napoleon was with difficulty dissuaded from quashing the 3 June election of Lanjuinais, the staunch liberal who had so often opposed the Emperor, as president of the Chamber of Representatives. In his last communication to them, Napoleon warned them not to imitate the Greeks of the late Byzantine Empire, who engaged in subtle discussions when the ram was battering at their gates.


Strategic situation in Western Europe in 1815: 250,000 Frenchmen faced a coalition of about 850,000 soldiers on four fronts. In addition, Napoleon was forced to leave 20,000 men in Western France to reduce a royalist insurrection.

Military mobilisation
During the Hundred Days both the Coalition nations and Napoleon I mobilised for war. Upon reassumption of the throne, Napoleon found that he was left with little by Louis XVIII. There were 56,000 soldiers of which 46,000 were ready to campaign. By the end of May the total armed forces available to Napoleon had reached 198,000 with 66,000 more in depots training up but not yet ready for deployment. By the end of May Napoleon had formed L'Armée du Nord (the "Army of the North") which, led by himself, would participate in the Waterloo Campaign.

For the defence of France, Napoleon deployed his remaining forces within France with the intention of delaying his foreign enemies while he suppressed his domestic ones. By June the forces were organised thus:

-V Corps, – L'Armée du Rhin – commanded by Rapp, cantoned near Strasbourg;
-VII Corps – L'Armée des Alpes – commanded by Suchet, cantoned at Lyon;
-I Corps of Observation – L'Armée du Jura – commanded by Lecourbe, cantoned at Belfort;
-II Corps of Observation – L'Armée du Var – commanded by Brune, based at Toulon;
-III Corps of Observation – Army of the Pyrenees orientales – commanded by Decaen, based at Toulouse;
-IV Corps of Observation – Army of the Pyrenees occidentales – commanded by Clauzel, based at Bordeaux;
-Army of the West, – Armée de l'Ouest (also known as the Army of the Vendee and the Army of the Loire) – commanded by Lamarque, was formed to suppress the Royalist insurrection in the Vendée region of France which remained loyal to King Louis XVIII during the Hundred Days.

Opposing Coalition forces:

Archduke Charles gathered Austrian and allied German states, while the Prince of Schwarzenberg formed another Austrian army. King Ferdinand VII of Spain summoned British officers to lead his troops against France. Tsar Alexander I of Russia mustered an army of 250,000 troops and sent these rolling toward the Rhine. Prussia mustered two armies. One under Blücher took post alongside Wellington’s British army and its allies. The other was the North German Corps under General Kleist.

-Assessed as an immediate threat by Napoleon I:
-Anglo-Allied, commanded by Wellington, cantoned south west Brussels, headquartered at Brussels.
-Prussian Army commanded by Blücher, cantoned south east of Brussels, headquartered at Namur.
-Close to the borders of France but assessed to be less of a threat by Napoleon I:
-The German Corps (North German Federal Army) which was part of Blücher's army, but was acting independently south of the main Prussian army. Blücher summoned it to join the main army once Napoleon's intentions became known.
-The Austrian Army of the Upper Rhine, commanded by Field Marshal Karl Philipp, Prince of Schwarzenberg.
-The Swiss Army, commanded by Niklaus Franz von Bachmann.
-The Austrian Army of Upper Italy – Austro-Sardinian Army – commanded by Johann Maria Philipp Frimont.
-The Austrian Army of Naples, commanded by Frederick Bianchi, Duke of Casalanza.

-Other coalition forces which were either converging on France, mobilised to defend the homelands, or in the process of mobilisation included:
-A Russian Army, commanded by Michael Andreas Barclay de Tolly, and marching towards France
-A Reserve Russian Army to support de Tolly if required.
-A Reserve Prussian Army stationed at home in order to defend its borders.
-An Anglo-Sicilian Army under General Sir Hudson Lowe, which was to be landed by the Royal Navy on the southern French coast.
-Two Spanish Armies were assembling and planning to invade over the Pyrenees.
-A Netherlands Corps, under Prince Frederick of the Netherlands, was not present at Waterloo but as a corps in Wellington's army it did take part in minor military actions during the Coalition's invasion of France.

-A Danish contingent known as the Royal Danish Auxiliary Corps commanded by General Prince Frederik of Hesse and a Hanseatic contingent (from the free cities of Bremen, Lubeck and Hamburg) later commanded by the British Colonel Sir Neil Campbell, were on their way to join Wellington; both however, joined the army in July having missed the conflict.
-A Portuguese contingent, which due to the speed of events never assembled.


The Battle of Waterloo, by William Sadler II
War begins
At the Congress of Vienna, the Great Powers of Europe (Austria, Great Britain, Prussia and Russia) and their allies declared Napoleon an outlaw, and with the signing of this declaration on 13 March 1815, so began the War of the Seventh Coalition. The hopes of peace that Napoleon had entertained were gone – war was now inevitable.

A further treaty (the Treaty of Alliance against Napoleon) was ratified on 25 March in which each of the Great European Powers agreed to pledge 150,000 men for the coming conflict. Such a number was not possible for Great Britain, as her standing army was smaller than the three of her peers. Besides, her forces were scattered around the globe, with many units still in Canada, where the War of 1812 had recently ceased. With this in mind she made up her numerical deficiencies by paying subsidies to the other Powers and to the other states of Europe that would contribute contingents.

Some time after the allies began mobilising, it was agreed that the planned invasion of France was to commence on 1 July 1815, much later than both Blücher and Wellington would have liked as both their armies were ready in June, ahead of the Austrians and Russians; the latter were still some distance away. The advantage of this later invasion date was that it allowed all the invading Coalition armies a chance to be ready at the same time. Thus they could deploy their combined numerically superior forces against Napoleon's smaller, thinly spread forces, thus ensuring his defeat and avoiding a possible defeat within the borders of France. Yet this postponed invasion date allowed Napoleon more time to strengthen his forces and defences, which would make defeating him harder and more costly in lives, time and money.

Napoleon now had to decide whether to fight a defensive or offensive campaign. Defence would entail repeating the 1814 campaign in France but with much larger numbers of troops at his disposal. France's chief cities, Paris and Lyon, would be fortified and two great French armies, the larger before Paris and the smaller before Lyon, would protect them; francs-tireurs would be encouraged, giving the Coalition armies their own taste of guerrilla warfare.

Napoleon chose to attack, which entailed a pre-emptive strike at his enemies before they were all fully assembled and able to co-operate. By destroying some of the major Coalition armies, Napoleon believed he would then be able to bring the governments of the Seventh Coalition to the peace table to discuss results favourable to himself, namely peace for France with himself remaining in power as its head. If peace were rejected by the allies despite any pre-emptive military success he might have achieved using the offensive military option available to him, then the war would continue and he could turn his attention to defeating the rest of the Coalition armies.

Napoleon's decision to attack in Belgium was supported by several considerations. First, he had learned that the British and Prussian armies were widely dispersed and might be defeated in detail. Also, the British troops in Belgium were largely second-line troops; most of the veterans of the Peninsular War had been sent to America to fight the War of 1812. And, politically, a French victory might trigger a friendly revolution in French-speaking Brussels.

  Waterloo Campaign
The Waterloo Campaign (15 June - 8 July 1815) was fought Between the French Army of the North and two Seventh Coalition armies, An Anglo-allied army and a Prussian army. Initially the French army was commanded by Napoleon Bonaparte, but he left for Paris after the French defeat at the Battle of Waterloo. Command then rested on Marshals Soult and Grouchy, who were in turn replaced by Marshal Davout, who took command at the request of the French Provisional Government. The Anglo-Allied army was commanded by the Duke of Wellington and the Prussian army by Prince Blücher

The war between France and the Seventh Coalition became inevitable when the other European Great Powers refused to recognise Napoleon as Emperor of the French on his return from exile on the Island of Elba. Rather than wait for the Coalition to invade France, Napoleon decided to attack his enemies and hope to defeat them in detail before they could launch their combined and coordinated invasion. He chose to launch his first attack against the two Coalition armies cantoned in modern day Belgium, then part of the Netherlands but until the year before part of the First French Empire.

Hostilities started on 15 June when the French drove the Prussian outposts in crossed the Sombre at Charleroi placing their forces at the juncture between the cantonment areas of Wellington's Army (to the west) and Blücher's army to the east. On the 16 June the French prevailed with Marshal Ney commanding the left wing of the French army holding Wellington at the Battle of Quatre Bras and Napoleon defeating Blücher at the Battle of Ligny. On 17 June, Napoleon left Grouchy with the right wing of the French army to pursue the Prussians while he took the reserves and command of the right wing of the army to pursue Wellington towards Brussels.

On the night of 17 June the Anglo-allied army turned and prepared for battle on a gentle escarpment, about 1 mile (1.6 km) south of the village of Waterloo. The next day the Battle of Waterloo proved to be the decisive battle of the campaign. The Anglo-Allied army stood fast against repeated French attacks, until with the aid of several Prussian corps that arrived on the east of the battlefield in the early evening they managed to route the French Army. Grouchy with the right wing of the army engaged a Prussian rearguard at the simultaneous battle of Wavre, and although he won a tactical victory his failure to prevent the Prussians marching to Waterloo meant that his actions contributed to the French defeat at Waterloo. The next day (19 June) he left Wavre and started a long retreat back to Paris.

After the defeat at Waterloo Napoleon chose not to remain with the army and attempt to rally it, but returned to Paris to try to secure political support for further action. This he failed to do and was forced to resign. The two Coalition armies hotly pursued the French army to the gates of Paris, during which the French on occasion turned and fought some delaying actions, in which thousands of men were killed.

Initially the remnants of the French left wing and the reserves that were routed at Waterloo were commanded by Marshal Soult while Grouchy kept command of the left wing. However on 25 June Soult was relieved of his command by the Provisional Government and was replaced by Grouchy, who in turn was placed under the command of Davout.

When the French Provisional Government realised that the French army under Marshal Davout was unable to defend Paris, the Government authorised delegates to accept capitulation terms which led to the Convention of St. Cloud (the surrender of Paris) which ended hostilities between France and the armies of Blücher and Wellington.

The first Prussian troops entered Paris on 8 July, the same day Louis XVIII was restored to the French throne, and a week later on 15 July Napoleon surrendered to Captain Frederick Maitland of HMS Bellerophon.

Under he terms or the peace treaty of November 1815, Coalition forces remained in Northern France as an army of occupation under the command of the Duke of Wellington.

Napoleon abdicates
On arriving at Paris, three days after Waterloo, Napoleon still clung to the hope of concerted national resistance; but the temper of the chambers and of the public generally forbade any such attempt. Napoleon and his brother Lucien Bonaparte were almost alone in believing that, by dissolving the chambers and declaring Napoleon dictator, they could save France from the armies of the powers now converging on Paris. Even Davout, minister of war, advised Napoleon that the destinies of France rested solely with the chambers. Clearly, it was time to safeguard what remained; and that could best be done under Talleyrand's shield of legitimacy.
Napoleon himself at last recognised the truth. When Lucien pressed him to "dare", he replied, "Alas, I have dared only too much already". On 22 June 1815 he abdicated in favour of his son, Napoléon Francis Joseph Charles Bonaparte, well knowing that it was a formality, as his four-year-old son was in Austria. On 25 June he received from Fouché, the president of the newly appointed provisional government (and Napoleon's former police chief), an intimation that he must leave Paris. He retired to Malmaison, the former home of Joséphine, where she had died shortly after his first abdication.

On 29 June the near approach of the Prussians, who had orders to seize him, dead or alive, caused him to retire westwards toward Rochefort, whence he hoped to reach the United States. The presence of blockading Royal Navy warships under Vice Admiral Henry Hotham with orders to prevent his escape forestalled this plan. Finally, unable to remain in France or escape from it, he surrendered himself to Captain Frederick Maitland of HMS Bellerophon early in the morning of 15 July and was transported to England. The full restoration of Louis XVIII followed the emperor’s departure. Napoleon I was exiled to the island of Saint Helena where he died in May 1821.

  Prussians enter Paris
With the abdication of Napoleon the provisional government led by Fouché appointed Davout, Napoleon’s minister of war, as General in Chief. French troops concentrated in Paris had as many soldiers as the invaders and more cannons.

There were two major skirmishes and a few minor ones near Paris during the first few days of July. In the first major skirmish, the Battle of Rocquencourt, on 1 July French dragoons supported by infantry and commanded by General Exelmans destroyed a Prussian brigade of hussars under the command of Colonel von Sohr (who was severely wounded and taken prisoner during the skirmish), before retreating.

In the second, on 3 July, General Dominique Vandamme (under Davout's command) was decisively defeated by General Graf von Zieten (under Blücher's command) at the Battle of Issy, forcing the French to retreat into Paris.

With this defeat, all hope of holding Paris faded and it was agreed in the Convention of St. Cloud (signed on 3 July 1815) that the French Army would withdraw south of the Loire River and on 7 July Graf von Zieten's Prussian I Corps entered Paris.

Other campaigns and wars
While Napoleon had assessed that the Coalition forces in and around Brussels on the borders of north east France posed the greatest threat because Tolly's Russian army of 150,000 were still not in the theatre, Spain was slow to mobilise, Prince Schwarzenberg's Austrian army of 210,000 were slow to cross the Rhine, and another Austrian force menacing the south eastern frontier of France was still not a direct threat, Napoleon still had to place some badly needed forces in positions where they could defend France against other Coalition forces whatever the outcome of the Waterloo campaign.


Invasion of France by the Seventh Coalition armies in 1815.
Neapolitan War
The Neapolitan War between the Napoleonic Kingdom of Naples and the Austrian Empire, started on 15 March 1815 when Marshal Joachim Murat declared war on Austria and ended on 20 May 1815 with the signing of the Treaty of Casalanza.

Napoleon had made his brother-in-law, Joachim Murat, King of Naples on 1 August 1808. After Napoleon's defeat in 1813, Murat reached an agreement with Austria to save his own throne.

However he realized that the European Powers, meeting as the Congress of Vienna, planned to remove him and return Naples to its Bourbon rulers. So, after issuing the so-called Rimini Proclamation urging Italian patriots to fight for independence, Murat moved north to fight against the Austrians, who were the greatest threat to his rule.

The war was triggered by a pro-Napoleon uprising in Naples, after which Murat declared war on Austria on 15 March 1815, five days before Napoleon's return to Paris. The Austrians were prepared for war. Their suspicions were aroused weeks earlier, when Murat applied for permission to march through Austrian territory to attack the south of France. Austria had reinforced her armies in Lombardy under the command of Bellegarde prior to war being declared.

The war ended after a decisive Austrian victory at the Battle of Tolentino. Ferdinand IV was reinstated as King of Naples. Ferdinand then sent Neapolitan troops under General Onasco to help the Austrian army in Italy attack southern France. In the long term, the intervention by Austria caused resentment in Italy, which further spurred on the drive towards Italian unification.

Civil war
Provence and Brittany, which were known to contain many royalist sympathisers, did not rise in open revolt, but La Vendée did. The Vendée Royalists successfully took Bressuire and Cholet before they were defeated by General Lamarque at the Battle of Rocheserviere on 20 June. They signed the Treaty of Cholet six days later on 26 June.

  Austrian campaign
Rhine frontier

In early June General Rapp's Army of the Rhine of about 23,000 men, with a leavening of experienced troops, advanced towards Germersheim to block Schwarzenberg expected advance, but on hearing the news of the French defeat at Waterloo, Rapp withdrew towards Strasbourg turning on 28 June to check the 40,000 men of General Württemberg's Austrian III Corps at the battle of La Suffel – the last pitched battle of the Napoleonic Wars and a French victory. The next day Rapp continued to retreat to Strasbourg and also sent a garrison to defend Colmar. He and his men took no further active part in the campaign and eventually submitted to the Bourbons.

To the north of Württenberg's III Corps, General Wrede's Austrian (Bavarian) IV Corps also crossed the French frontier and then swung south and captured Nancy against some local popular resistance on 27 June. Attached to his command was a Russian detachment under the command of General Count Lambert that was charged with keeping Wrede's lines of communication open. In early July Schwarzenberg, having received a request from Wellington and Blücher, ordered Wrede to act as the Austrian vanguard and advance on Paris and by 5 July the main body of Wrede's IV Corps had reached Châlons. On 6 July the advance guard made contact with the Prussians and on 7 July Wrede received intelligence of the Paris Convention and a request to move to the Loire. By 10 July Wrede's headquarters were at Ferté-sous-Jouarre and his corps positioned between the Seine and the Marne.

Further south General Colloredo's Austrian I Corps was hindered by General Lecourbe's Armée du Jura that was largely made up of National Guardsmen and other reserves. Lecourbe fought four delaying actions between 30 June and 8 July at Foussemagne, Bourogne, Chèvremont and Bavilliers before agreeing to an armistice on 11 July. Archduke Ferdinand's Reserve Corps together with Hohenzollern-Hechingen's II Corps laid siege to the fortresses of Huningen and Muhlhausen, with two Swiss brigades from the Swiss Army of General Niklaus Franz von Bachmann, aiding with the siege of the former place. Like other Austrian forces, these too were pestered by francs-tireurs.


Clément-Auguste Andrieux's 1852 The Battle of Waterloo
Italian frontier
Like Rapp further north, Marshal Suchet with the Armée des Alps initially took the initiative, and on 14 June invaded Savoy. Facing him was General Frimont with an Austro-Sardinian army of 75,000 men based in Italy. However, on hearing of the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo, Suchet negotiated an armistice and fell back to Lyons where on 12 July he surrendered the city to the Frimont's army.

The Liguria coast was defended by French forces under Marshal Brune who fell back slowly into the fortress city of Toulon after retreating from Marseilles before the Austrian 'Army of Naples' under the command of General Bianchi, the Anglo-Sicilian forces of Sir Hudson Lowe supported by the British Mediterranean fleet of Lord Exmouth and the Sardinian forces of the Sardinian General d'Osasco, the forces of the latter being drawn from the garrison of Nice. Brune did not surrender the city and its naval arsenal until 31 July.

Russian campaign
The main body of the Russian Army, commanded by Field Marshal Count Tolly, and amounting to 167,950 men, crossed the Rhine at Mannheim, on 25 June – after Napoleon had abdicated for the second time – and although there was a light resistance around Mannheim it was over by the time the vanguard had advanced as far as Landau. The greater portion of Tolly's army reached Paris and its vicinity by the middle of July.

  Treaty of Paris
Issy was the last field engagement of the Hundred Days. There was a campaign against continuing Napoleonic strongpoints that ended with the capitulation of Longwy on 13 September 1815. The Treaty of Paris was signed on 20 November 1815 bringing the Napoleonic Wars to a formal end.

Under the 1815 Paris treaty the previous year's Treaty of Paris, and the Final Act of the Congress of Vienna, of 9 June 1815, were confirmed. France was reduced to its 1790 boundaries; it lost the territorial gains of the Revolutionary armies in 1790–92, which the previous Paris treaty had allowed France to keep.

France was now also ordered to pay 700 million francs in indemnities, in five yearly instalments, and to maintain at its own expense a Coalition army of occupation of 150,000 soldiers in the eastern border territories of France, from the English Channel to the border with Switzerland, for a maximum of five years.

The two-fold purpose of the military occupation was made clear by the convention annexed to the treaty outlining the incremental terms by which France would issue negotiable bonds covering the indemnity: in addition to safeguarding the neighbouring states from a revival of revolution in France, it guaranteed fulfilment of the treaty's financial clauses.
On the same day, in a separate document, Great Britain, Russia, Austria, and Prussia renewed the Quadruple Alliance.

The princes and free towns who were not signatories were invited to accede to its terms, whereby the treaty became a part of the public law according to which Europe, with the exception of Ottoman Turkey established "relations from which a system of real and permanent balance of power in Europe is to be derived".

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Neapolitan War

The Neapolitan War was a conflict between the Napoleonic Kingdom of Naples and the Austrian Empire. It started on 15 March 1815 when Joachim Murat declared war on Austria and ended on 20 May 1815 with the signing of the Treaty of Casalanza. The war occurred during the Hundred Days between Napoleon's return from exile and before he left Paris to be decisively defeated at the Battle of Waterloo. The war was triggered by a pro-Napoleon uprising in Naples, and ended after a decisive Austrian victory at the Battle of Tolentino and Ferdinand IV was reinstated as King of Naples and Sicily. However, the intervention by Austria caused resentment in Italy, which further spurred on the drive towards Italian unification.

Before the French Revolutionary Wars, Naples was ruled by the Bourbon King Ferdinand IV. Ferdinand was a natural opponent of Napoleon and was allied with the Third Coalition against him. However, after defeat at the Battle of Austerlitz and the Treaty of Pressburg, Ferdinand was forced to cede Naples to the French in early 1806.

Initially, Napoleon’s brother Joseph Bonaparte ruled Naples. Then in 1808, Joseph was made King of Spain and Napoleon installed his brother-in-law, Joachim Murat, as King of Naples.

Murat originally ruled Naples following the same legal and social system used in France, whilst still participating in Napoleon's campaigns. But following the disastrous Battle of Leipzig, Murat abandoned La Grande Armée to try to save his throne. As defeat in the War of the Sixth Coalition loomed, Murat increasingly moved away from Napoleon, eventually signing a treaty with Austria in January 1814 and joined the Allied side.

But as the Congress of Vienna progressed, Murat's position became less and less secure as there was growing support to restore Ferdinand to the throne. The most vocal of all Murat's opponents was the United Kingdom, which had never recognised Murat's claim to the throne and moreover had been guarding Ferdinand in Sicily, ensuring he retained the Sicilian throne.

When Murat was informed of Napoleon's plan to escape from exile in Elba on 1 March 1815, Murat sided with him once more, and declared war on Austria as soon as he learned of Napoleon's return to France.

Neapolitan advance
Joachim Murat declared war on Austria on 15 March 1815, five days before Napoleon's return to Paris and the beginning of his Hundred Days. The Austrians were prepared for war, after their suspicions were raised when Murat applied for permission weeks earlier to move his troops through Austrian land in order to attack the south of France. Austria had reinforced her armies in Lombardy under the command of Bellegarde prior to war being declared.

At the start of the war, Murat reportedly had 82,000 men in his army, including 7,000 cavalry and 90 cannon, although this figure was grossly exaggerated to try to encourage Italians to join his cause. The real number was somewhere in the region of 50,000 men.

Leaving behind a reserve Army of the Interior in case of an invasion from Sicily, he sent his two elite Guard Divisions through the Papal States, forcing the Pope to flee to Genoa. With the remainder of his army, Murat established his headquarters at Ancona and advanced on the road towards Bologna. On 30 March, Murat had arrived in Rimini, where he gave the famous Rimini Proclamation, inciting all Italian nationalists to war.

The Italian population was mostly wary of Habsburg Austria, as they feared the increasing Austrian influence in Italy. Under the terms settled by the Congress of Vienna, direct Austrian rule was restored in the Duchy of Milan 19 years after Napoleon's invasion. Habsburg princes had also been reinstated in the Grand Duchy of Tuscany and the Duchy of Modena.

Murat was hoping that an Austrian army in Naples would prove too much, and that the Italian population would rise up in support of his cause.

Map of the Neapolitan War
However, no such general insurrection occurred as any unrest was quickly quashed by the Austrian authorities and Murat found few Italians outside Naples were willing to take up arms and join his cause. Many saw Murat as a man trying to save his crown rather than a beacon of Italian unification.

By now, the number of Austrian troops in Lombardy had swelled to 120,000 and the commander entrusted with the force to confront Murat was Baron Frimont.

The army was originally intended to invade southern France after Napoleon's return, but now had to be diverted to face the approaching Neapolitan army. Frimont moved his headquarters to Piacenza in order to block any potential advance on Milan.

Meanwhile, on the same day that Murat gave the Rimini Proclamation, the Austrian advanced guard under the command of General Bianchi was beaten back at an engagement near Cesena.

Bianchi retreated towards Modena and took up a defensive line behind the River Panaro, allowing Murat to take Bologna on 3 April.

  Murat engaged Bianchi again at the Battle of the Panaro; the Austrians were defeated and driven back. The Austrian vanguard was forced to retreat to Borgoforte, allowing the Neapolitans to advance on Modena.

Following the battle, the division under the command of General Carascosa immediately occupied Modena, Carpi and Reggio Emilia, whilst Murat moved against Ferrara. However, the garrison in Ferrara withstood the best efforts of the Neapolitans to take the citadel, tying up a large number of Neapolitan troops in a costly siege.

On 8 April, Murat attempted to cross the Po River and finally set foot in Austrian-controlled Italy. Murat had received little reinforcement from the Italian populace up to this point but he hoped he would find more support north of the Po River, which was under direct Austrian rule.

The region had once been part of the Kingdom of Italy, a French client republic, and it had been reported that about 40,000 men, mostly veterans of Napoleon's campaigns, were ready to join Murat once he arrived in Milan.

He chose a crossing at the town of Occhiobello. It was there that Murat finally engaged with the bulk of the Austrian army under the command of Frimont.

Meanwhile, the two Guard Divisions Murat had sent into the Papal States had passed unmolested into Tuscany and by 8 April had occupied Florence, the capital of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. The Grand Duke fled to Pisa, whilst the Austrian garrison in Florence under the command of General Nugent was forced to retreat to Pistoia, with the Neapolitan army in pursuit.

But with reinforcements arriving from the north, and his army in a strong defensive position, Nugent was able to turn and halt the Neapolitan pursuit. Murat and the Neapolitans had reached the zenith of their campaign.


Murat as King of Naples

Austrian counterattack
The Battle of Occhiobello proved to be the turning point of the war. Murat's attempts to cross the River Po proved unsuccessful and after two days of heavy fighting, the Neapolitans fell back after suffering over 2,000 casualties. To make matters worse, the United Kingdom declared war on Murat and sent a fleet over to Italy.

Meanwhile, Frimont had ordered a counterattack to try to relieve the garrison in Ferrara. He ordered a corps under the command of Bianchi to advance on Carpi, which was guarded by a brigade under the command of Guglielmo Pepe.

Another column was ordered to cut off Pepe's line of retreat. However, Carascosa, who was in command of the Neapolitan troops around Modena, saw the Austrian trap and ordered a retreat to a defensive line behind the Panaro where he was joined by the remainder of his division, which had been evacuated from Reggio Emilia and Modena.

But even after Carascosa's retreat, Murat was still in a position to continue the siege at Ferrara. In response, Frimont ordered a corps under the command of General Neipperg to attack his entrenched right flank.

On 12 April, after bitter fighting at the Battle of Casaglia, the Neapolitan troops were driven from their entrenched positions.

Murat was forced to lift the Siege of Ferrara and retreated back on the road to Bologna. On 14 April, Frimont attempted to force a crossing of the Panaro, but was repelled.

  However, only two days later, Murat and his army retreated from Bologna, which was quickly retaken by the Austrians.
In Tuscany meanwhile, Murat's two Guard Divisions also inexplicably retreated without being harassed in any way by Nugent. By 15 April, the Austrians had retaken Florence and when the news reached Murat, he ordered a general retreat of his main force back to their original headquarters in Ancona.

With the road to Florence now clear and the Italian peninsula opening up in front of him, Frimont ordered two corps south to deal with Murat once and for all. Bianchi's corps was ordered to march towards Foligno via Florence in an attempt to threaten the rear of the Neapolitans and to cut off their line of direct retreat, whilst Neipperg's corps was sent into direct pursuit of Murat as he retired to Ancona.

With the war turning in Austria's favour, Frimont was ordered back to Lombardy to oversee the army that was now amassing in preparation for an invasion of France. A large portion of the Austrian force was also recalled, leaving only three Austrian corps totalling around 35,000 men in Italy.

Murat, who placed too much faith in his Guard Divisions and believing they would be able to halt the advance of Bianchi and Nugent, retreated slowly, even turning to check the pursuit at the Ronco and Savio rivers.

But the Austrian advanced guard caught the retreating Neapolitan force twice by surprise at Cesenatico and Pesaro. Murat hurried his retreat and by late April, his main force had arrived safely in Ancona, where he was reunited with his two Guard Divisions.

Battle of Tolentino
Meanwhile, Bianchi's corps had made swift progress. Arriving in Florence on 20 April, they had reached their target of Foligno by 26 April and now threatened Murat's line of retreat. Neipperg's corps was still in pursuit and by 29 April, his advanced guard had arrived in Fano, just two days' march away.

However, the two Austrian armies were separated and Murat hoped to quickly defeat Bianchi before turning on Neipperg. Much like Napoleon's tactics before Waterloo, Murat sent a division under Carascosa north to stall Neipperg whilst his main force headed west to face Bianchi.

Murat originally planned to face Bianchi near the town of Tolentino, but on 29 April, Bianchi's advanced guard succeeded in driving out the small Neapolitan garrison there. Bianchi, having arrived first, then formed a defensive position around the hills to the east of Tolentino.

With Neipperg's army approaching to his rear, Murat was forced to give battle at Tolentino on 2 May 1815. After two days of inconclusive fighting, Murat learned that Neipperg had outmanoeuvred and defeated Carascosa at the Battle of Scapezzano and was approaching. Sensing the inevitable, Murat ordered a retreat.

The battle had severely damaged the morale of the Neapolitan troops and many senior officers had been casualties in the battle. The battered Neapolitan army fell back in disarray.

Heroic resistance of the Neapolitan people against the French
On 5 May, a joint Anglo-Austrian fleet began a blockade of Ancona, eventually taking the entire garrison of the city as prisoners.

By 12 May, Bianchi, who was now in command of both his and Neipperg's corps, had taken the town of L'Aquila along with its castle. The main Austrian army was now marching on Popoli.

During this time, General Nugent had continued to advance from Florence. Having arrived in Rome on 30 April, allowing the Pope to return, Nugent advanced towards Ceprano. By mid May, Nugent had intercepted Murat at San Germano (now Cassino).

Here, Murat attempted to check Nugent's advance but with the main Austrian force under Bianchi in pursuit, Murat was forced to call off the action on 16 May.

Soon afterwards, the Austrian armies united near Calvi and began the march on Naples.

  Murat was forced to flee to Corsica and later Cannes disguised as a sailor on a Danish ship, after a British fleet blockading Naples destroyed all the Neapolitan gunboats in the harbour.

On 20 May, Neapolitan Generals Pepe and Carascosa sued for peace and concluded the Treaty of Casalanza with the Austrians, bringing the war to an end. On 23 May, the main Austrian army entered Naples and restored King Ferdinand to the Neapolitan throne.

Murat, meanwhile, would attempt to reclaim his kingdom. Coming back from exile, he landed with 28 men at Pizzo, Calabria on 8 October 1815. However, unlike Napoleon months earlier, Murat was not greeted with a warm welcome and was soon captured by Bourbon troops.

Five days after he landed at Pizzo, he was executed in the town's castle, exhorting the firing squad to spare his face. This ended the final chapter of the Napoleonic Wars.

Shortly after the end of the war, the Kingdoms of Naples and Sicily were finally united to create the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.

Although the two kingdoms had been ruled by the same king since 1735, the formal union did not happen until 1816.

King Ferdinand IV of Naples and III of Sicily would become King Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies. Meanwhile, the Austrians consolidated their gains in Northern Italy into the Kingdom of Lombardy–Venetia.

Although Murat failed to save his crown, or to start a popular nationalist movement with the Rimini Proclamation, Murat had ignited a debate for Italian unification. Indeed, some consider the Rimini Proclamation as the start of Risorgimento.

The intervention of Austria only heightened the fact the Habsburgs were the single most powerful opponent to unification, which would eventually lead to three wars of independence against the Austrians.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Battle of Waterloo

18 June 1815

Forces Engaged

Anglo-Dutch: 50,000 infantry, 12,500 cavalry, and 156 guns. Commander: Field Marshal Arthur
Wellesley, the duke of Wellington.
Prussian: 61,000 men. Commander: Field Marshal Prince Gebhard von Bliicher.
French: 49,000 infantry, 15,570 cavalry, and 246 guns. Commander: Napoleon Bonaparte.

Napoleon's defeat ended his remarkable career and began four decades of European peace.

Historical Setting
Although Napoleon fought brilliantly in defense of France after his defeat at Leipzig in 1814, he was too badly outnumbered to stay in power. The victorious allied powers of Austria, Britain, Prussia, and Russia restored the French monarchy by placing Louis XVIII on the throne and removed Napoleon from the scene by exiling him to the small island of Elba in the Mediterranean. Louis immediately began to undo many of the reforms instituted by the French Revolution and Napoleon, and that made him immediately unpopular with the French population. Not surprisingly, Napoleon was encouraged to hear this and, taking advantage of the temporary absence of his keeper, stole a boat and sailed to France, arriving 1 March 1815.

The storming of Plancenoit by Ludwig Elsholtz
The next few weeks were remarkable, as thousands of men flocked to his banner. Louis sent out armies to stop him, and they all defected to their emperor. Napoleon had not fired a shot, but by his sheer force of personality was re-creating another army. Louis soon realized the danger and on 18 March fled for England. Napoleon reassumed the throne the next day.
In Vienna, the allied nations that had exiled the French leader had been squabbling over how to run Europe, but news of Napoleon's return galvanized them into unity and action.

Burying their differences, at least temporarily, they refused Napoleon's offer of peace and collectively swore to bring him down once again. This they could do because among them the four countries could field 500,000 men, but in March the troops were scattered across the Continent, and it would take time to gather them together. A separation of enemy forces had been Napoleons favorite situation, for he was a master at gaining the central position and then dividing and conquering. He quickly moved to defeat the two closest armies, a Prussian army under Field Marshal Prince Gebhard von Bliicher and an Anglo-Dutch army under Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, the duke of Wellington.

Napoleon believed that he could beat them separately. After having done so, he would be able to negotiate with Austria and Russia.
  Most of the men that marched with Napoleon in the early summer of 1815 were veterans of his Grande Armee, but many of the veterans of his final campaigns the previous year had been youths. Still, the old enthusiasm was there and Napoleon did not hesitate. Although he gathered together some 400,000 soldiers, he was forced to divide them across France to guard against early movements by his enemies as well as to suppress the occasional royalist uprising, garrison forts, and provide protection for his supply lines. Thus, when he marched with the Army of the North toward Belgium he had less than 100,000 men.
Napoleon's objective was the frontier city of Charleroi. It lay at a junction of roads running toward Brussels, where Wellington had his headquarters, and toward Namur, where Bliicher had his. From Charleroi, Napoleon could then attack either force and, by doing so, drive each back upon its lines of communication, which would take them farther from each other. Napoleon was also a master of deception, and he once again managed to keep his whereabouts a secret from his enemies until it was too late. He arrived at Charleroi and seized the town on 15 June. The English and Prussians were unaware he had even left Paris. The Prussians who held the town indeed fell back eastward toward Namur, but Bliicher marched to make a stand at Sombreffe. Napoleon, upon capturing Charleroi, immediately sent a division up both roads to establish contact with his opponents and give him the necessary intelligence as to which to attack first.

Lord Hill invites the last remnants of the French Imperial Guard to surrender,
painted by Robert Alexander Hillingford
The Battle
To truly separate his enemies, Napoleon had to drive Bliicher past Sombreffe toward Namur and not allow Wellington, to the north, closer than Quatre-Bras, for the final road linking the two armies passed through those towns. Napoleon sent Marshal Ney to Quatre-Bras on 16 June, but apparently with such vague orders that Ney did not feel compelled to seize the crossroad town in any hurry. Thus, his 25,000 men were held at bay most of the day by a British brigade as Wellington quickly brought men up in support.
At the same time, Napoleon led about 77,000 men up the Charleroi-Sombreffe road. On the way, he encountered 88,000 Prussians at Ligny. He drove them back, but at this point committed his first error. Assuming that Ney had quickly fulfilled his mission, Napoleon sent orders for him to come down the road from Quatre-Bras and fall on the Prussian flank. Such a west-to-east movement would have either crushed Bluchers army or at least driven it eastward according to plan. Assuming that would be done, Napoleon did not launch a serious pursuit himself. Thus, he did not realize that, instead of falling back to the east, Blucher withdrew northward, along a smaller road parallel to Wellington's line of march. Not until the following morning did Napoleon send a force in pursuit, and they went in the wrong direction for some time before learning of the Prussians' real whereabouts at the town of  Wavre. The pursuit force under Marshal Emmanuel de Grouchy wheeled left and marched for the Prussians, attacking their rear guard halfheartedly on 18 June, while Napoleon was fighting for his life several miles to the west.

Napoleon spent 17 June marching toward Quatre-Bras, linking his force with Ney's and then moving north up the road toward Brussels. Wellington had abandoned Quatre-Bras the night before and established a position 2 to 3 miles south of the village of Waterloo. Napoleons advance was hampered by a downpour, which also negated most of his intelligence gathering. Thus, when he approached Wellington's position, he did not launch an immediate attack, but waited until 18 June to get a better view of the field and to allow it to dry out so his cavalry and artillery could better operate. It did not dry sufficiently for either to act as he hoped, so around noon he opened the battle by launching a division under his brother Jerome toward a British position on the French left, the farm of Hougoumont. This was intended to draw in Wellington's reserves, after which Napoleon would launch his major assault at the British center.
Wellington deployed his army well. It consisted of about 66,000 men, of whom 31,000 were British and the remainder made up of allied troops contributed by the Dutch or some of the German principalities. Centered just in front of the village of Mont St. Jean, he anchored the British right at Hougoumont and stretched his forces along a west-to-east line behind the villages of La Haye Sainte, Papelotte, and Smohain. Only a screen of men were visible to the French because Wellington, as was his wont, placed the bulk of his force on the reverse of a long ridge. Having seen Wellington do that before in Spain was one reason that Ney hesitated before assaulting Quatre-Bras.

Map of the Waterloo campaign.
Jerome's assault on Hougoumont was stymied by an impressive British defense mounted by the Scots Guards and Coldstream Guards, aided by some allied troops from Nassau and Hanover. Jerome's attack was intended to be a diversion, but he pressed it too hard and engaged the left wing of the French army ratherdian drawing out the British reserves. Still unaware of the strength of Wellington's force, Napoleon decided to launch his main assault following a half-hour artillery barrage that opened at 1330. It had little effect because of Wellingtons placement of his troops behind die ridgeline, not only out of the line of sight but also the line of fire. As this bombardment was taking place, observers in the French headquarters noticed movement far to the east. Identifying it as an advancing army, Napoleon assumed it was Grouchy returning from his pursuit. Instead, it was the advance guard of Bluchers Prussians. Napoleon immediately sent off a message for Grouchy to strike Bluchers force from the rear, but that message could not possibly reach him in time to affect the outcome at Waterloo.
Convinced that he could drive Wellington away before the Prussians arrived, Napoleon sent in his infantry at 1400. Slowed by the muddy ground, they were thrown back by spirited British counterattacks. A follow-up cavalry assault failed to break the British, whose infantry formed into squares and beat back repeated attacks. Across the open ground before the ridgeline, the battle raged for 3 hours with neither side gaining the upper hand. At 1630, the Prussians struck the French right flank, and Napoleon was forced to weaken his attack in the center to deal widi the new threat. Marshal Ney led a massive cavalry charge between Hougoumont and the central village of La Haye Sainte, but, unsupported (until too late) by infantry, the cavalry were slaughtered.

Situation from 17:30 to 20:00
The French finally managed to secure La Haye Saint at high cost, and for a moment the battle hung in the balance. Ney called for reinforcements to press his hard-won success, but the only reserves available were the Imperial Guard. Napoleon had in the past committed them last in order to allow them die killing blow in numerous batdes, but here he refused to send them into battle. Unable to press on with his shattered cavalry force, Ney could not keep up the pressure on Wellington's center, which was being reinforced. Wellington, seeing Ney's predicament, finally played his trump card. Calling up the infantry and cavalry that had hidden themselves all day long on the reverse of the ridge, he ordered diem to sweep down onto the field. That charge, coupled with the increasing pressure brought by Bluchers army, broke the French line. When the Imperial Guard was finally committed at 1900 to save the day rather than finish off a broken foe, they were too little and too late. When they too broke, the sight of the heretofore unbeaten Guard in flight was too much for the rest of the French army. Only a handful of men stood fast to cover Napoleon's escape. Called upon to give themselves up, the reply was, "The Guard dies, but never surrenders."

Adolf Northen, "Prussian Troops Storm the Village of Plancenoit during the Battle of Waterloo." Oil on canvas.Kunstballe,Hamburg, Germany. (ErichLessing/ArtResource,NewYork)
The French army collapsed at the end of the day, as did Napoleon's chance of retaining power. Wellington's British and allied forces had lost approximately 15,000 casualties; the Prussians suffered another 7,000. The French army, however, lost at least 30,000, of whom about 7,000 were prisoners of war.

Napoleon made a feeble attempt to keep his throne, but abdicated on 21 June 1815. Less than a month later, he was placed aboard a British warship and taken to the tiny Atlantic island of St. Helena, roughly halfway between Africa and South America. From there he would be unable to sail back to France as he had done from Elba.
The new French government, under the restored monarch Louis XVIII, signed the Treaty of Paris in November, by which France ceded more land and returned to the borders that France had originally held when the French Revolution began in 1789. The Quadruple Alliance, or Concert of Europe, made up of Britain, Austria, Russia, and Prussia, agreed that diey would enforce the treaty. This made them, for all practical purposes, the police of Europe for the next half century.
  Had Napoleon succeeded at Waterloo, had Bliicher retreated east instead of north, had the rain not fallen so hard on 17 June, what may have happened? True, with Prussian and British armies out of the way, the Austrians and Russians may well have negotiated a peace settlement. Whether that would have ended the Napoleonic Wars is doubtful, however, because Napoleon never seemed to be able to remain passive. Obsessed as he was, another coalition certainly would have formed against him and ground down his army as they had done at Leipzig and afterward in 1814. Had he been content to rule peacefully, however, the reforms he instituted as emperor would have had a much longer life, and the revolutions that France suffered in 1830 and 1834 would probably not have happened. Then again, with the taste of democracy that the French enjoyed before the wars, perhaps they would not have suffered another ruling family to govern them, to exchange the Bourbons for the Bonapartes. With Napoleon peacefully in power, would the Concert of Europe have managed the balance of power and kept Europe out of war for four decades? It is probably best that Napoleon ended his career when he did, leaving France a legacy of greatness it has not enjoyed since.
Napoleon's surrender

Napoleon was being pressured to leave French soil by the interim French government in Paris. If he delayed, he risked becoming a prisoner of the Bourbons, or the Prussians or Austrians. The alternative was to surrender to the British and request political asylum. On 10 July Napoleon sent two emissaries, General Anne Jean Marie René Savary and the Comte de Las Cases, out to Bellerophon to meet Maitland and discuss the possibility of allowing Napoleon to travel to the United States.

Maitland was under orders to prevent this, and instead offered to take Napoleon on board his ship and transport him and his retinue to Britain. Further discussions and negotiations took place over the next few days, but with his options running out, Napoleon had decided by 13 July to surrender to the British. On 14 July Maitland was given a letter informing him that Napoleon would come out to the Bellerophon the following morning to surrender.

Napoleon embarked aboard the brig Épervier early in the morning of 15 July, and made his way out to the Bellerophon. As he approached, the 74-gun Superb, flying Vice-Admiral Hotham's flag, was sighted approaching.

Concerned that the brig might not reach Bellerophon before the Superb arrived, and that consequently Hotham would take over and receive Napoleon himself, Maitland sent Bellerophon'​s barge to collect the former Emperor and transfer him to the ship. At some point between 6 and 7 am, the barge pulled alongside Bellerophon and General Henri Gatien Bertrand climbed aboard, followed by Napoleon.

The marines came to attention, and Napoleon walked to the quarterdeck, took his hat off to Maitland and in French announced "I am come to throw myself on the protection of your Prince and your laws." Maitland bowed in response. With the former emperor in custody aboard a British warship, the Napoleonic Wars were finally over. To maritime historian David Cordingly, this moment was Bellerophon'​s "crowning glory [when] six weeks after the battle of Waterloo, ... Napoleon, trapped in Rochefort, surrendered to the captain of the ship that had dogged his steps for more than twenty years."
The surrender of Buonaparte on board the Bellerophon, a popular, and somewhat stylised, 1816 print by G. M. Brighty, showing the moment of Napoleon's surrender to Captain Maitland
Napoleon on the Bellerophon
Maitland showed Napoleon the great cabin, which he had placed at his disposal, and gave him a tour of his ship. At 10:30 am the Superb anchored in the roadstead and Maitland went to make his report. Hotham approved of his arrangements, and agreed that Napoleon should be transported to England aboard the Bellerophon. He came aboard himself to meet the former Emperor, and a grand dinner was held in the great cabin, attended by Napoleon's retinue and British officers. The following day Napoleon visited Hotham on the Superb, and after his return, Maitland began the voyage to England in company with HMS Myrmidon. A routine was soon developed, with Napoleon usually taking a walk on deck around 5 pm, followed by a formal dinner at 6 pm.

The sailors and officers removed their hats and kept their distance when Napoleon came on deck, only talking with him if he invited them to. The routine was broken slightly early in the morning of 23 July, when Napoleon appeared at dawn, as Bellerophon came in sight of Ushant, the last piece of French land visible for the remainder of the journey. He climbed up to the poop deck, attended by a midshipman, and spent the morning watching the coastline slowly recede from view. He was joined by members of his retinue, though he did not speak to any of them.
  Bellerophon anchored off Brixham on the morning of 24 July, and there Maitland received orders from Admiral Lord Keith to "prevent every person whatever from coming on board the ship you command, except the officers and men who compose her crew." Despite turning away the shore boats which approached the anchored warship bringing fresh bread and fruit to sell, word eventually leaked out that Napoleon was aboard the ship. The news created a sensation, and large numbers of boats filled with sightseers soon surrounded the ship. Occasionally Napoleon would come out to look at them, but despite entreaties from some people to be allowed on board, Maitland refused to allow any contact between ship and shore. On 26 July Bellerophon received orders to proceed to Plymouth harbour where Lord Keith was anchored aboard his flagship HMS Ville de Paris. Napoleon remained on board Bellerophon and the ship was kept isolated from the throngs of curious sightseers by two guardships, HMS Liffey and HMS Eurotas, anchored close at hand.

Bellerophon spent two weeks in Plymouth harbour while the authorities came to a decision about what to do with Napoleon. On 31 July they communicated their decision to the former emperor. Napoleon was to be exiled to the remote island of Saint Helena. He would be allowed to take three officers, his surgeon, and twelve servants.


Napoleon on Board the Bellerophon, exhibited in 1880 by Sir William Quiller Orchardson. Orchardson depicts the morning of 23 July, as Napoleon watches the French shoreline recede. His retinue, from left to right Planat, Montholon, Maingaut, Las Cases, Savary, Lallemand and Bertrand, look on. In the background, Las Cases's son leans over the rail.
Napoleon, who had hoped to be allowed to settle quietly in Britain, was bitterly disappointed by the news. Bellerophon was not to take him into exile. The Admiralty was concerned that the ageing ship was unsuitable for the long voyage to the South Atlantic, and the 74-gun HMS Northumberland was selected for the task. On 4 August, Lord Keith ordered Bellerophon to go to sea and await the arrival of HMS Northumberland. On 7 August Napoleon thanked Maitland and his crew for their kindness and hospitality, and left the Bellerophon where he had spent over three weeks without ever landing in England. He boarded Northumberland, which then sailed for Saint Helena.

Captain Maitland's own account of the time Napoleon spent on board his ship was published in 1826.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Second Peace of Paris

Treaty of Paris of 1815, was signed on 20 November 1815 following the defeat and second abdication of Napoleon Bonaparte. In February, Napoleon had escaped from his exile on Elba; he entered Paris on 20 March, beginning the Hundred Days of his restored rule. Four days after France's defeat in the Battle of Waterloo, Napoleon was persuaded to abdicate again, on 22 June. King Louis XVIII, who had fled the country when Napoleon arrived in Paris, took the throne for a second time on 8 July.

In addition to the definitive peace treaty between France and Great Britain, Austria, Prussia and Russia, there were four additional conventions and the act confirming the neutrality of Switzerland signed on the same day.

Definitive Treaty
The 1815 peace treaties were drawn up entirely in French, the lingua franca of contemporary diplomacy. There were four treaties, between France and each of the four major Seventh Coalition powers: Austria, Great Britain, Prussia and Russia. All four treaties were signed on the same day (20 November 1815), had verbatim stipulations, and were styled the same way (for example the "Definitive Treaty between Great Britain and France").

The treaty was harsher towards France than the Treaty of 1814, which had been negotiated through the manoeuvre of Talleyrand, because of reservations raised by the recent widespread support for Napoleon in France. France lost the territorial gains of the Revolutionary armies in 1790–92, which the previous treaty had allowed France to keep; the nation was reduced to its 1790 boundaries (plus the enclaves of the Comtat Venaissin and the County of Montbéliard, which France was allowed to keep). France was now also ordered to pay 700 million francs in indemnities, in five yearly instalments, and to maintain at its own expense a Coalition army of occupation of 150,000 soldiers in the eastern border territories of France, from the English Channel to the border with Switzerland, for a maximum of five years. The twofold purpose of the military occupation was rendered self-evident by the convention annexed to the treaty outlining the incremental terms by which France would issue negotiable bonds covering the indemnity: in addition to safeguarding the neighboring states from a revival of revolution in France, it guaranteed fulfilment of the treaty's financial clauses.
Although some of the Allies, notably Prussia, initially demanded that France cede significant territory in the East, rivalry among the powers and the general desire to secure the Bourbon restoration made the peace settlement less onerous than it might have been.

  The treaty was signed for Great Britain by Lord Castlereagh and the Duke of Wellington and by the duc de Richelieu for France; parallel treaties with France were signed by Austria, Russia, and Prussia, forming in effect the first confederation of Europe. The Quadruple Alliance was reinstated in a separate treaty also signed 20 November 1815, introducing a new concept in European diplomacy, the peacetime congress "for the maintenance of peace in Europe" on the pattern of the Congress of Vienna, which had concluded 9 June 1815.

The treaty is brief. In addition to having "preserved France and Europe from the convulsions with which they were menaced by the late enterprise of Napoleon Bonaparte," the signers of the Treaty also repudiated "the revolutionary system reproduced in France."

The treaty is presented "in the desire to consolidate, by maintaining inviolate the Royal authority, and by restoring the operation of the Constitutional Charter, the order of things which had been happily re-established in France." The Constitutional Charter that is referred to so hopefully, was the Constitution of 1791, promulgated under the Ancien régime at the outset of the Revolution. Its provisions for the government of France would rapidly fall by the wayside, "notwithstanding the paternal intentions of her King" as the treaty remarks.

The first Treaty of Paris, of 30 May 1814, and the Final Act of the Congress of Vienna, of 9 June 1815, were confirmed. On the same day, in a separate document, Great Britain, Russia, Austria, and Prussia renewed the Quadruple Alliance. The princes and free towns, who were not signatories, were invited to accede to its terms, whereby the treaty became a part of the public law by which Europe, with the exclusion of Ottoman Turkey, established "relations from which a system of real and permanent balance of power in Europe is to be derived."

Additional Article on the Slave Trade
An additional article appended to the Definitive Peace Treaty, addressed the issue of slavery. It reaffirmed the Declaration of the Powers, on the Abolition of the Slave Trade, of 8th of February 1815 (Which also formed ACT, No. XV. of the Final Act of the Congress of Vienna) and added that the governments of the contracting parties should "without loss of time, ... [find] the most effectual measures for the entire and definitive abolition of a Commerce so odious, and so strongly condemned by the laws of religion and of nature."

A map of the Eastern boundary of France to illustrate The Second Peace of Paris 20th Nov. 1815
Convention on Pecuniary Indemnity
The convention on pecuniary indemnity regulated the mode of liquidating the indemnity of 700 millions francs to be paid by France, in conformity to the fourth article of the treaty. The sum was to be paid, day by day, in equal portions, in the space of five years, from 1 December 1815.

Thus, France had to pay on account of this convention, 383,251 francs every day for five years; equal to about 16,000 pounds sterling at the exchange rate of the day. For this daily quota, the French government had to give assignations on the French treasury, payable to bearer, day by day. In the first instance, however, the Coalition Commissioners were to receive the whole of the 700 million in fifteen bonds of 46⅔ million each; the first of which was payable on 31 March 1816, the second on 21 July 1816, and so on, every fourth month. In the month preceding the commencement of each of these four monthly periods, France was to redeem successively one of these bonds for 46⅔ millions, by exchanging it against the first-mentioned daily assignations payable to bearer, which assignations, for the purpose of convenience and negotiability, were again subdivided into coupures, or sets of smaller sums.

As a guarantee for the regular payment of these assignations, and to provide for deficiencies, France assigned, moreover, to the allies, a fund of interest, to be inscribed in the Grand Livre of her public debt, of seven millions francs on a capital of 140 millions. A liquidation was to take place every six months, when the assignations duly discharged by the French Treasury were to be received as payments to their amount, and the deficiency arising from assignations not honoured would be made good, with interest, at five percent from the fund of interest inscribed in the Grand Livre, in a manner specified in this convention.

  Convention on the Military Line
The convention on the military line regulated all matters concerning the temporary occupation of the frontiers of France by a Coalition army of 150,000 men, conforming to Article 5 of the definitive treaty. The military line to be occupied, would extend along the frontiers which separated the departments of the Pas de Calais, of the North of the Ardennes, of the Meuse, of the Moselle, of the Lower Rhine, and of the Upper Rhine, from the interior of France.

It was also agreed that neither the Coalition nor the French troops would occupy (unless for particular reasons and by mutual agreement), the following territories and districts:

In the Department of the Somme, all the country north of that river, from Ham, to where it falls into the sea;
In the Department of Aisne, the districts of Saint-Quentin, Vervins and Laon;
In the Department of the Marne, those of Rheims, Sainte-Menehould, and Vitry;
In the Department of the Upper Marne, those of Saint-Dizier and Joinville;
In the Department of the Meurthe, those of Toul, Dieuze, Sarrebourg and Blamont;
In the Department of the Vosges, those of Saint-Dié, Bruyères and Remiremont;
The District of Lure, in the Department of the Upper Saône; and that of Saint-Hippolyte in the Department of the Doubs.

France was to supply all the wants of the 150,000 allied troops who remained in the country. Lodging, fuel, light, provisions, and forage were to be furnished in kind, to an extent not exceeding 200,000 daily rations for men, and 50,000 daily rations for horses; and for pay, equipment, clothing, &c.

France was to pay to the allies 50 millions francs per annum during the five-year occupation: the allies, however, were content with only 30 million, on account, for the first year. The territories and fortresses definitively ceded by France, as well as the fortresses to be provisionally occupied by the Coalition troops for five years, were to be given up to them within ten days from the signature of the principal treaty, and all the Coalition forces, except 150,000 which were to remain, were to evacuate France within 21 days from that date.

The direct expense entailed upon France by this convention greatly exceed the amount of the indemnity of 700 million. Estimating the value of the soldier's portion and allowances at 1½ francs, and the cavalry ration at 2 francs, the annual cost of the deliveries in kind for 200,000 portions and 50,000 rations would have been 146 million in francs, which, with the addition of 50 million franc of money per annum, formed a total of 196 million francs per annum, equal to 22,370 sterling per day at the exchange rate of the time.


South-east frontier of France after the Treaty of Paris, 1815
Convention on Private Claims upon France
The convention on private claims upon France assured the payment of money due by France to the subjects of the Coalition powers, in conformity with the treaty of 1814 and to the 8th article of the 1815 peace treaty. There were twenty-six articles in the convention which:

provided for the liquidation of all claims arising from articles furnished by individuals, and partnerships, by virtue of contracts and other arrangements with French administrative authorities;
arrears of pay to military persons or employees no longer subjects of France;
deliveries to French hospitals;
loans contracted by French military or civil authorities;
losses of money confided to the French post-office. &c.

The third article stipulated the restitution of the funds of the Hamburg bank, seized by Marshal Davout, to be regulated by a separate convention between commissioners from that city and those of Louis XVIII.

This issue was already contentious and had been subject to secret articles in both of the 1814 Convention for a suspension of hostilities with France and the 1814 Paris Peace Treaty. The matter was settled when the French government agreed to pay compensation in a special convention signed by the parties on 27 October 1816.

An additional article to the third convention covers the payment of a claim of upwards of forty million francs to the Counts of Bentheim and Steinfurt, was agreed upon.

All these claims were to be sent in within a year after the ratification of the treaty or they would be voided (Article 16), and committees for their liquidation were to he appointed.

Articles 17, 18, and 19, related to the payment of the claims and their inscription in the Grand Livre (general ledger). The claims under this convention were immense, so it is totally impossible when the convention was signed for the parties to have a clear idea of the amount. As a guarantee of payment, the 20th article provided that a capital, bearing 3½ millions of francs in interest, be inscribed in the Grand Livre, the interest of which is to be received half yearly by joint-commissioners.

  Convention on Claims of British Subjects
The fourth convention related exclusively to the liquidation of the claims of British subjects on the government of France, in conformity with the Paris peace treaty of 1814, and the Article Eight of the Paris Peace Treaty of 1815. All British subjects who, since 1 January 1791, had suffered loss of property in France, by sequestration or confiscation by the French Government, were to be indemnified. The amount of permanent stock lost was to be inscribed in the Grand Livre, and to bear interest from 22 March 1816; excepting, however, such holders as had, since 1797, voluntarily submitted to receive their dividends at a third. The same was to be the case in regard to former life annuities from the French government.

Indemnification was further granted for the loss of immovable property by sequestration, confiscation, or sale; and particular regulations were laid down for ascertaining its value in the fairest possible manner. A separate account was to be kept of arrears that had accrued for all types of property, for which arrears were to be calculated at an interest of four percent per annum. Movable properly, lost through the above causes, was also to be paid for by inscriptions according to its value, with interest calculated on it at three percent per annum. From this indemnity, however, were excluded ships, cargoes, and other movable property seized in conformity to the laws of war and the prohibitory decrees. All claims of the above, or any other description, were to be given in, within three months after the date of the signing fourth convention (20 November 1815) from Europe, six months from the western colonies, and twelve months from the East Indies, &c.

The claims were to be examined and decided on by a mixed commission of liquidation: and, if their votes were equal, an arbitrator would be chosen by lot from a mixed commission of arbitration. As a guarantee for the payment of claims sanctioned under this convention, there was to be inscribed in the Grand Livre, before 1 January 1816, a capital bearing 3½ millions francs of interest, in the name of a further mixed commission of English and French officers, who were to receive such interest; without, however, disposing of the same otherwise than by placing it in the public funds, at accumulating interest for the benefit of the creditors.
As soon as the inscription was have been effected, Britain would restore the French colonies as agreed in the treaty of 1814, including the islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe, provisionally re-occupied by the British troops.

Act on the Neutrality of Switzerland
The Swiss Confederation had been internationally recognised as an independent neutral state at the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. During the Napoleonic Wars it failed to remain neutral, as some cantons had been annexed into other states and, under French influence, the Act of Mediation was signed and the Swiss Confederation was replaced by the more centralised Helvetic Republic which was allied to France. With the fall of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1814, the Cantons of Switzerland started the process of constructing a new, less centralised constitution.

On 20 March 1815, at the Congress of Vienna, the European powers (Austria, France, Great Britain, Portugal, Prussia, Russia, Spain and Sweden) agreed to recognise permanently an independent, neutral Switzerland, and on 27 May Switzerland acceded to this declaration.

However, during Napoleon's Hundred Days the Seventh Coalition suspended the signing of the Act of Acknowledgement and Guarantee of the perpetual Neutrality of Switzerland until after Napoleon Bonaparte was defeated — this allowed Coalition forces to pass through Swiss territory. So with Article 84 of the Final Act of the Congress of Vienna dated 20 November 1815, the four major Coalition powers (Austria, Great Britain, Prussia and Russia) and France gave their formal and authentic acknowledgement of the perpetual neutrality of Switzerland.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Michel Ney executed for aiding Napoleon at Waterloo
Ney Michel
Michel Ney, duke d’Elchingen, (born Jan. 10, 1769, Sarrelouis, Fr.—died Dec. 7, 1815, Paris), one of the best known of Napoleon’s marshals (from 1804), who pledged his allegiance to the restored Bourbon monarchy when Napoleon abdicated in 1814. Upon Napoleon’s return in 1815, Ney rejoined him and commanded the Old Guard at the Battle of Waterloo. Under the monarchy, again restored, he was charged with treason, for which he was condemned and shot by a firing squad.

Marshal Michel Ney, duc d'Elchingen
  Military service
Ney was the son of a barrel cooper and blacksmith. Apprenticed to a local lawyer, he ran away in 1788 to join a hussar regiment. His opportunity came with the revolutionary wars, in which he fought from the early engagements at Valmy and Jemappes in 1792 to the final battle of the First Republic at Hohenlinden in 1800.

The early campaigns revealed two contrasting features of Ney’s character: his great courage under fire and his strong aversion to promotion.

Willing to hurl himself into battle at critical moments to inspire his troops by his personal example, he was unwilling to accept higher rank, and when his name was put forward he protested to his military and political superiors. In every instance he was overruled: it was as general of a division that he fought in Victor Moreau’s Army of the Rhine at Hohenlinden.

A year before that battle, Napoleon, under whom Ney had never served, had emerged as master of France. In May 1801, Ney was summoned to be presented to the First Consul at the Tuileries, where Napoleon and Joséphine had surrounded themselves with the ceremony and splendour of a court. The Army of the Rhine had been disbanded, and Ney had bought a modest farm in Lorraine.

His first encounter with Bonaparte was formal and unremarkable, for the First Consul, regarding Moreau as a military rival and political opponent, viewed the close associates of that general with suspicion. Joséphine, however, took him up and found him a wife, Aglaé Auguié, one of her maids of honour and daughter of a high civil servant. They were married in the chapel of the Auguié château near Versailles. Ney, with his influential new connections, became, at 33, part of the social and military world of the Consulate.

Adolphe Yvon - Marshall Ney at retreat in Russia
When peace with England broke down and Bonaparte was assembling armies along the Channel coast, Ney asked for employment and was given command of the VI Army Corps. Early in 1804, when police uncovered a plot by émigré Royalists to kidnap or murder Napoleon and restore the Bourbons to the throne, Ney’s republican friend, General Moreau, was said to be involved, and with other alleged conspirators was put on public trial. Napoleon commuted Moreau’s two-year sentence for banishment. On May 19, 1804, the day after Napoleon had had himself proclaimed hereditary emperor of the French, he revived the ancient military rank of marshal, and 14 generals, including Ney, were gazetted marshals of the empire.
When Napoleon led his armies in swift marches into the heart of the Continent, after a new European coalition of Russia, Austria, and England had been formed against France, the first victory was won by Ney at Elchingen in October 1805—for which he was created duke of Elchingen in 1808—and less than two months later Napoleon defeated the Russo-Austrian armies at Austerlitz. Ney was active in the defeat of Prussia at Jena in 1806 and of the Russians at Eylau and Friedland in 1807. When he was sent to Spain in 1808, his fame for personal bravery remained undimmed, but at the same time he was also known as a touchy and temperamental commander whom the general staff found difficult to fit into a tactical pattern.

His impulsiveness sometimes verged on insubordination when his orders did not come from the Emperor himself.
   Since Napoleon directed the Spanish operations by remote control, Ney quarrelled with all those set above him, and, early in 1811, he was sent home in near disgrace.

The Russian campaign of 1812 reestablished his position. On the morning after the somewhat inconclusive battle at Borodino, Napoleon made him prince de la Moskowa. On the retreat from Moscow, Ney was in command of the rear guard, a position in which he was exposed to Russian artillery fire and to numerous Cossack attacks. He rose to heights of courage, resourcefulness, and inspired improvisation that seemed miraculous to the men he led. “He is the bravest of the brave,” said Napoleon when Ney, for weeks given up as lost, joined the main body of the frozen and shrunken Grand Army.

In the European campaigns of 1813, Ney had to fight against former friends. Moreau had returned from exile in the U.S. to serve as Tsar Alexander I’s military adviser and was killed by a French cannonball outside Dresden. Ney had the mortification of being defeated at Dennewitz by the crown prince of Sweden, Charles XIV John, who as Jean Bernadotte had served as a sergeant in the revolutionary armies, as had Ney.
At Leipzig, Ney was wounded and had to be sent home. The defeated army fought its way back across Germany into France, where, deaf to all appeals for peace, Napoleon launched a new campaign. Ney, commanding in eastern France, organized the kind of partisan warfare he had learned in the revolutionary wars.


Marshal Michel Ney, Duke of Elchingen, Prince of Moscow
  Ney’s political shift
Napoleon concentrated his remaining forces at Fontainebleau to fight the allies in Paris, but Ney, speaking for himself and other marshals, told him that the army would not march. “The army will obey me,” said Napoleon. “Sire,” replied the Bravest of the Brave, “the army will obey its generals.” Napoleon was forced to abdicate. Ney retained his rank and titles and took an oath of fidelity to the Bourbon dynasty.

On March 1, 1815, Napoleon reappeared in France. Ney, ordered to take command in the district of Besançon, told the King “that man deserves to be brought back to Paris in an iron cage.” Ney, however, found that the population in his military district was intensely hostile to the Bourbons. Therefore, after receiving messages from Napoleon, he announced his decision to join the Emperor and was deliriously cheered by his soldiers and the populace. The King fled from Paris, and Napoleon reentered the Tuileries. Ney spent the period mostly in disgruntled retirement at his country estate. He saw little of Napoleon until three days before Waterloo, when he was summoned and asked to serve. He was put in charge of the left wing against the English, Napoleon taking the right wing against the Prussians, whom he defeated at Ligny.

Ney fought the English in the drawn battle of Quatre-Bras. His conduct at Waterloo has remained a matter of controversy. When at nightfall the French fled from the field, Ney, his face blackened by smoke and holding a broken sword in his hand, shouted to a colleague: “If they catch us now, they’ll hang us,” a remark of prophetic accuracy.

Death of Marshall Ney, by Jean-Léon Gérôme
Trial and death
After the second return of the Bourbons, Ney made a halfhearted attempt to flee the country, but was recognized and arrested in a remote corner of southwestern France. First put before a court-martial, he refused to recognize its competence and insisted on his right as a peer to be tried by the upper chamber. As he had expected, he was sentenced to death in one of the most divisive trials in French history. In December 1815, a firing squad in the Luxembourg Gardens ended what his soldiers had always regarded as a charmed life.

Ney was a soldier’s soldier, wholly without political ambition or judgment. He was at his greatest in the campaigns for France’s natural frontiers at the beginning and end of his career, but out of his depth in Napoleon’s intricate strategy for the domination of Europe. He showed little interest in external distinctions or social success. The dignity with which he met his death effaced the memory of his political vagaries and made him, in an epic age, the most heroic figure of his time.

Harold Kurtz

Encyclopædia Britannica
Murat Joachim, King of Naples (b. 1767), executed after attempt to regain Naples
Murat fled to Corsica after Napoleon's fall. Joined by around a thousand followers, he hoped to regain control of Naples by fomenting an insurrection in Calabria. Arriving at the Calabrian port of Pizzo, Murat attempted to rally support in the town square, but things went very wrong. The crowd was hostile and he was attacked by an old woman blaming him for the loss of her son. Calabria had been badly hit by Murat's repression of local piracy and brigandage during his reign. Forces of the king, Ferdinand IV of Naples, arrested him, and he was put on trial for treason.
He was eventually sentenced to death by firing squad at the Castello di Pizzo, Calabria.

When the fatal moment arrived, Murat walked with a firm step to the place of execution, as calm, as unmoved, as if he had been going to an ordinary review. He would not accept a chair, nor suffer his eyes to be bound. "I have braved death (said he) too often to fear it." He stood upright, proudly and undauntedly, with his countenance towards the soldiers; and when all was ready, he kissed a cameo on which the head of his wife was engraved, and gave the word — thus,

«Soldats! Faites votre devoir! Droit au cœur mais épargnez le visage. Feu!»

"Soldiers! Do your duty! Straight to the heart but spare the face. Fire!"

Murat is memorialised by a grave in Père Lachaise Cemetery, though it is claimed that he is not actually buried there but that his body was lost or destroyed after his execution. Others say he was buried in a church in Pizzo, making the removal of his body possible later on.

Murat met a fearless death, taking the shots
standing and unblindfolded.
Napoleon I

Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815)



Ambition, which overturns states ... which fattens on blood and crime, ambition which inspired Charles V, Philip II, Louis XIV, is like all unbridled passions, a violent, irrational delirium which only ceases with life; just as a fire, fanned by a relentless blast, only dies out when there is nothing left to burn.

Napoleon Le Discours de Lyon (The Lyons Treatise) (1791). An early meditation on power: the junior artillery officer reveals his paragons, Charles V and Philip II of Spain and Louis XIV of France.


I believe that in a free society he is a dangerous man; he seems to me to have the attributes of a tyrant, and I believe he would be one, if he were king, and that his would be a name of horror to posterity and to the sensitive patriot.

Lucien Bonaparte, Napoleon's brother, June 1792; Correlli Barnett Bonaparte (1978) p.28.


Soldiers, you are naked, ill-fed; though the Government owes you much, it can give you nothing ... I want to lead you into the most fertile plain in the world. Rich provinces, great cities will lie in your power; you will find there honour, glory and riches.

Napoleon to the army of Italy, spring 1796 (in fact, composed on the remote South Atlantic island of St Helena where he was exiled in 1815 - a classic example of Napoleon's capacity to rewrite history). During the campaigns of 1796 and 1797 Napoleon brought the whole of northern Italy under French control.


There can be no question of republicanizing Italy. The people are not at all inclined to accept liberty, neither are they worthy of this boon. In view of their degradation, all we can hope for is the silence born of cowardice and the respect born of fear; they execrate our principles as contrary to their passions and their prejudices.

Consul Fourcade to the Directory, May 1796; T.C.P. Blanning The French Revolutionary Wars 1787-1802 (1996) p. 173. An expression of French revolutionary disdain for an Italian populace seen as the slaves of clericalism and absolutism.


We are still too young to think of liberty. Let us think of being soldiers, and when we have a hundred thousand bayonets, then we can talk.

Ermelao Federigo, officer in Napoleon's Grande Armee; Stuart Woolf A History of Italy 1700-1860 (1979) p.205. Italy did achieve independence in 1861 but, unlike Germany, not through its own military resources; French intervention made all the difference.


Poland has not perished yet,
So long as we still live.
That which alien force has seized
We at sword point will retrieve.
March, march, Dabrowski!
From Italy to Poland!
Let us now rejoin the nation
Under thy command.

Josef Wybicki 'Marching Song of the Polish Legion'; Norman Davies God's Playground: A History of Poland (1981) Vol.2, p. 16. The Legion was raised in France in 1797, placing its hopes in France for the restoration of the Polish state, which had been partitioned among Austria, Russia and Prussia between 1772 and 1795. Instead, Napoleon created the Grand Duchy of Warsaw as a French satellite in 1807. The song later became the Polish national anthem. Jan Henryk Dabrowski fought for France throughout the Napoleonic Wars.


Once did she hold the gorgeous East in fee;
And was the safeguard of the West: the worth
Of Venice did not fall below her birth,
Venice, the eldest child of Liberty.

William Wordsworth 'On the Extinction of the Venetian Republic' (1802). Venice, once the mightiest sea power in the eastern Mediterranean, was now a mere pawn in international politics, consigned to Austria by France in 1797 as a result of Napoleon's conquests in Lombardy and Venetia.


It remains for me only to return to the crowd, to return, like Cincinnatus, to the plough, and to give an example of respect for the magistrates and of hatred of military rule, which has destroyed so many republics.

Napoleon to the Directory, 10 Oct. 1797; Letters and Documents of Napoleon Vol.1 (1961) p.206. The hero of Roman antiquity, Cincinnatus was chosen as dictator of the Republic in 458 ВС when its survival was in doubt. He accomplished his rescue mission and then, after only 16 days, resigned power to return to his farm. Napoleon here is being utterly disingenuous, as the item below shows.


I have seen kings at my feet, I could have had fifty million in my coffers, I could have laid claim to many other things; but I am a French citizen, I am the senior general of the Grande Nation; I know that posterity will do me justice.

Napoleon, 17 Nov. 1797; Jean Tulard Napoleon (1977; 1984 trans.) p.84. Napoleon proclaims the grandeur of France to his troops before returning home from Italy to command the army assembled for the invasion of Britain. The phrase Grande Nation became a synonym for France in the era of Bonaparte's epic achievement.


Soldiers! Think how from the tops of these pyramids forty centuries look down upon you!

Napoleon in Egypt, before the Battle of the Pyramids, 21 July 1798; Gaspard Gourgaud Memoires Vol.2 (1823) p.239. In May a French military expedition sailed for the eastern Mediterranean to deny the Levant to Britain and so threaten the overland route to British India. In this battle Napoleon defeated the Islamic Mameluk dynasty and momentarily seized control of Egypt and Syria, although Nelson's victory at the Battle of the Nile on I Aug. cut off his seaborne route back to Europe.


If ever I have the luck to set foot in France again, the reign of hot air is over.

Napoleon, Cairo, 11 Aug. 1799; R.M. Johnston The Corsican (1910). Napoleon indicates his contempt for parliamentarian-ism before returning overland to France to mount his coup d'etat against the regime of the Directory, in power since the fall of Robespierre in 1794.


FIRST CITIZEN, 1799-1804

Frenchmen, be wary, even of your generals' glory ... Take care that a citizen does not emerge in France so dangerous as to make himself your master. He will either hand you over to the court and rule in its name, or usurp both people and crown to erect on the ruins of them both, a legal dictatorship, the worst of all tyrannies.

Maximilien Robespierre Le Defenseur de la constitution (The Defender of the Constitution) May 1792. Robespierre, like Burke, prophesies the denouement that came on 9 Nov. 1799 with the coup of 18 Brumaire (revolutionary calendar).


Gentleman, we have a master: this young man does everything, can do everything and will do everything.

Emmanuel Sieyes to the legislature, I I Nov. I 799. Sieyes, a leading figure in the events of 1789 (see 5 15:8), was a minister in the Directory and, together with the 30-year-old Napoleon, engineered its destruction.


His proclamations, in which he speaks only of himself and says that his return has given rise to the hope that he will put an end to France's troubles, have convinced me more than ever that in everything he does he sees only his own advancement.

The writer and liberal oppositionist Benjamin Constant to Sieyes, I I Nov. 1799; Tulard (1977; 1984 trans.) p. 17.


Citizens, the Revolution is established upon its original principles: it is consummated.

Bonaparte, Emmanuel Sieyes and Roger Ducos, proclamation, 15 Dec. 1799; j. M. Thompson Napoleon Bonaparte (1953) p. 143. This inaugurated the new regime, the Consulate, with Napoleon as First Consul for a term of ten years. It was an attempt to give the coup the imprimatur of the Revolution but also to draw a line under a revolutionary process that, to critics such as Napoleon, threatened to dissolve into anarchy. The Consulate can be said to have come close to achieving this difficult balancing act.


For the sake of rest and order, the nation throws itself into the arms of a man who is believed sufficiently strong to arrest the Revolution and sufficiently generous to consolidate its gains.

Alexis de Tocqueville, unpublished sketch for a sequel to L'Anden Regime et la Revolution; John Lukacs (ed.) 'The European Revolution' and Correspondence with Gobineau (1959) p. 147.


I am the bookmark that shows the page where the Revolution has been stopped; but when I die it will turn the page and resume its course.

Napoleon, attrib.


I wish to throw blocks of granite on to the soil of France.

Napoleon on his restructuring on the French legal system under the Civil Code (renamed the Code Napoleon in 1807), one of his most enduring achievements; Thierry Lentz Napoleon (1998) p.64. Napoleon believed that the Revolution had dissolved French society into 'grains of sand'; the Code was an act of consolidation, to bring back the social coherence and stability supposedly lost in the turmoil of the 1790s.


The belief that a sheet of paper can be of any value unless it is supported by force has been one of the cardinal mistakes of the Revolution ... A constitution ought to be made so that it does not impede the action of government.

Napoleon; D.G.M. Sutherland France /789-/8/5 (1985) p.360.


You see me master of France; well, I would not undertake to govern her for three months with liberty of the press.

Napoleon to Prince Metternich; Louis-Antoine Fauvelet de Bourrienne Memoires de Napoleon Bonaparte (1855) Vol. I. This calls to mind the old East European joke: Xerxes, Alexander and Napoleon are watching the May Day parade in Red Square. Napoleon, reading Pravda, the Communist Party newspaper, exclaims: 'With a paper like this, no one would have heard of Waterloo!'


Doubtless the government of Buonaparte is the best that can be contrived for Frenchmen. Monkeys must be chained, though it may cost them some grimaces. If you have read the last senatus consultum, you will find that not an atom of liberty is left.

Walter Savage Landor to his brother, 16 Aug. 1802; Malcolm Elwin Savage Landor (1958). Landor uses the Italianate spelling of Napoleon's surname, which Napoleon himself had dropped by this stage. The 'senatus consultum', modelled on Roman practice, was a decree of the unelected senate, reflecting the authoritarian nature of the new regime. Landor was an implacable opponent of Napoleon, to the extent that he spent a considerable sum of his own money to equip volunteers to fight in Spain after the French invasion of 1808.


You are free to hold your own opinion; nevertheless, I must warn you that the first man not to vote for the Consulate for life will be shot in front of the regiment.

Stanislas de Girardin, prefect of Seine Inferieure, quoting a general advising his troops how to vote in the referendum on whether Napoleon should be made Consul for life; Tulard (1977; 1984 trans.) p. 120.


I defy you to show me a republic, ancient or modern, which did not have an honours system. You call them baubles? So be it, men are led by baubles!

Napoleon to his chief of staff, Alexandre Berthier, on the projected Legion d'Honneur, 14 May 1802; Johnston (1910). The Legion d'Honneur, created on 19 May, established a new elite (numbering some 35,000 by 1815), owing their distinction entirely to Napoleon, whose profile was at the centre of the order's red-ribboned medal. It remains one of Napoleon's permanent legacies.


When a divisional chief replied to Napoleon's questioning satisfactorily, fluently and without hesitation, he returned from the Tuileries with the ribbon of the Legion d'Honneur, or with the dignity of a councillor of state. This was one of the compensations for an iron rule: when a man was talented ... Napoleon with his Herculean arm, would seize him by the hair and place him on a pedestal, saying: 'Behold my creature!'

Ymbert Moeurs administratives (1826).


I see in the physical situation and composition of the power of Bonaparte, a physical necessity for him to go on in this barter with his subjects and to promise to make them masters of the world if they consent to be his slaves.

Richard Brinsley Sheridan, Dec. 1802; Arthur Bryant The Years of Victory (1944) p.39.


My power proceeds from my reputation, and my reputation from the victories I have won. My power would fall if I were not to support it with more glory and more victories. Conquest has made me what I am; only conquest can maintain me.

Napoleon, 30 Dec. 1802; Johnston (1910).


EMPEROR, 1804-14

So he too is nothing but a man. Now he also will trample all human rights underfoot, and only pander to his own ambition; he will place himself above everyone else and become a tyrant.

The German composer Ludwig van Beethoven, on hearing that Napoleon had declared himself emperor, May 1804; Ferdinand Ries Biographical Notes on Ludwig van Beethoven (1838). Ries was Beethoven's pupil and witnessed Beethoven tear the title-page of his third symphony in two; now known as the Eroica, it had been dedicated to Napoleon.


When a work displeased him, he threw it into the fire ... If the author was not among his favorites, or if he spoke too well of a foreign country, that was sufficient to condemn the volume to the flames. On this account I saw his Majesty throw into the fire a volume of the works of Madame de Stael, on Germany.

Constant Wairy, first valet to Napoleon; Proctor Jones (ed.) Napoleon (1992) p. 142. Napoleon, and the liberal woman of letters Mme de Stael were sworn political enemies, and her book On Germany had to be published in London.


'Look up there,' he told him. 'Do you see anything?' 'No,' answered Fesch, 'I see nothing.' 'Very well, in that case, know when to shut up,' replied the emperor. 'Myself, I see my star; it is that which guides me. Don't pit your feeble and incomplete faculties against my superior organism.'

Auguste Marmont Memoires Vol.3 (1857) pp.339-40. Cardinal Joseph Fesch was the half-brother of Napoleon's mother, Marmont one of his illustrious marshals.


I have come too late; men are too enlightened; there is nothing great left to do ... Look at Alexander; after he had conquered Asia and been proclaimed to the peoples as the son of Jupiter, the whole of the East believed it... with the exception of Aristotle and some Athenian pedants. Well, as for me, if I declared myself today the son of the eternal Father, there is no fishwife who would not hiss at me as I passed by.

Napoleon to Admiral Decres, 3 Dec. 1804, the day after he had crowned himself emperor in the cathedral of Notre Dame.


As soon as I had power, I immediately reestablished religion. I made it the groundwork and foundation upon which I built. I considered it as the support of sound principles and good morality, both in doctrine and in practice. Besides, such is the restlessness of man, that his mind requires that something undefined and marvellous which religion offers; and it is better for him to find it there, than to seek it of Cagliostro, of Mademoiselle Lenormand, or of the fortune-tellers and impostors.

Napoleon, I June 1816; Emmanuel-Augustin Las Cases La Vie, exit et conversations de Napoleon Bonaparte Vol.2 (1823). The Italian Count Cagliostro, necromancer and freemason, died in 1795 after a long career of charlatanry. Mile Marianne Lenormand was a fashionable fortune-teller, reading the cards for Parisian high society.


For the pope's purposes I am Charlemagne ... I therefore expect the pope to accommodate his conduct to my requirements. If he behaves well I shall make no outward changes; if not, I shall reduce him to the status of bishop of Rome.

Napoleon to Cardinal Fesch, 7 Jan. 1806; Thompson (1953) p. 136. In July 1809, after Pope Pius VII had excommunicated him, Napoleon had the pope arrested and imprisoned (he did not return to the Vatican until 1815). Charlemagne was crowned Holy Roman Emperor by the pope in 800 (see 188:7) and immediately asserted the religious supremacy of the empire over the papacy, in line with the practice of all Roman emperors since Constantine.


Q: What are our duties towards Napoleon Bonaparte, our Emperor?
A: We owe ... love, respect, obedience, loyalty, military service and the taxes ordered for the preservation and defence of the empire and his throne. We also owe him fervent prayers for his safety and for the spiritual and temporal prosperity of the state.
Q: Why are we bound in all these duties towards our Emperor?
A: Because God ... has made him the agent of His
power on earth. Thus it is that to honour and serve our Emperor is to honour and serve God Himself.

Imperial Catechism; E.E.Y. Hales Revolution and Papacy (1960) pp.88-9. The Catechism, drilled into all French children approaching their first communion, enshrined the veneration expected by the new emperor. It was ordained that 16 Aug. be kept as St Napoleon's Day, presumably to eclipse the Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin on 15 Aug.


Never was a scene more beautiful; what opportunities it offers to the genius of painting. It is the precursor of the immortal battle that signalled the coronation anniversary of His Majesty. Thus will an astonished posterity cry when it observes this picture: 'What men and what an emperor!'

The dedicated admirer of Bonaparte, the painter Jacques-Louis David, 19 June 1806, on his canvas The Distribution of the Eagles; Warren Roberts Jacques-Louis David (1989) p. 164. The battle in question was Austerlitz, fought on 2 Dec. 1805, exactly one year after Napoleon's coronation, a crushing defeat of Austria, which gave the French empire complete ascendancy over central Europe.


It is not enough to give power to those whom the people reject; it must be forced to choose them. It is not enough to forbid press freedom; one needs newspapers that parody it. It is not enough to silence a representative assembly; one must maintain a false pretence of opposition, tolerated when it is futile and dispersed when it overshadows. It is not enough to dispense with the national will; the minority must offer support in the name of the majority.

Benjamin Constant Principes de Politique, completed in 1806 after his expulsion by Napoleon from the Tribunat (the upper house of the legislature) and not published in full until 1980; Jack Hayward After the French Revolution (1991) p. I 18.



iGuerra a cuchillo! (War to the Knife!)

Jose de Palafox, governor of Saragossa, to the French invading forces, 4 Aug. 1808. French troops entered Spain on 16 Feb. to supplant the unreliable Spanish Bourbon dynasty and make Spain part of Napoleon's Europe-wide dominion. Joseph Bonaparte, Napoleon's brother, was declared king on 9 May.


Women, or rather furies let loose, threw themselves with horrible shrieks upon the wounded, and disputed who should kill them by the most cruel tortures; they stabbed their eyes with knives and scissors, and seemed to exult with ferocious joy at the sight of their blood.

M. de Rocca Memoirs of the War of the French in Spain (1816) p.255.


Not a drum was heard, not a funeral note, As his corse to the rampart we hurried, Not a soldier discharged his farewell shot O'er the grave where our hero we buried.

Charles Wolfe 'The Burial of Sir John Moore after Corunna' (1817). General Moore was killed on 16 Jan. 1809 in a rearguard action covering the evacuation of his forces to the Spanish port of La Corufia. Moore became legendary as an heroic loser, in a well-established English tradition.


I construe that perforce it must be one of the alternative duties, as given below ... 1. To train an army of uniformed British clerks for the benefit of the accountants and copy-boys in London, or perchance, 2. To see to it that the forces of Napoleon are driven out of Spain.

An exasperated Sir Arthur Wellesley (later Duke of Wellington) responding to the bureaucratic demands of the War Office in London; Peter G. Tsouras Warriors' Words (1992) p.97.


I don't know what effect these men will have upon the enemy, but, by God, they frighten me!

Sir Arthur Wellesley from Portugal on the men under his command, 1809.


I have seen many persons hanging in the trees by the sides of the road, executed for no reason that I could learn, excepting that they had not been friendly to the French invasion ... the route of their column on their retreat could be traced by the smoke of the villages to which they set fire.

Sir Arthur Wellesley to the war minister, Lord Castlereagh, 18 May 1809; Despatches Vol.4, pp.3 17, 3 18. Reminiscent of a scene from Goya's etchings The Disasters of War, recording the atrocities committed by the French occupation forces.


Soon after daylight the bugle sounded for two hours' plunder ... One of our officers saw a man go among a number of women and force off all their ear-rings. Those that would not give way [he] broke off a bit of their ear ... I passed many wounded ... 8 or 10 shot through the face, their heads one mass of clotted blood, many with limbs shattered, some shot in the body & groaning most piteously and, oh shame to the British soldiers, the fatigued officers could not get the men moved all day from their plunder and intoxication.

George Hennell, 94th Foot, 9 April 1812, on the aftermath of the capture of Badajoz on 7 April; Michael Glover (ed.) A Gentleman Volunteer (1979) pp. 17, 18.


It is quite impossible for me or any other man to command a British army under the existing system. We have in the service the scum of the earth as common soldiers.

Viscount Wellington, 2 July 1813; Despatches Vol.10, pp.473, 495-6. Wellesley was elevated to the peerage in Sept. 1809



I saw the emperor - that world spirit - riding on parade through the city. It is indeed a wonderful sensation to see such an individual here on horseback, who begirds the world and rules it.

The philosopher and Napoleonophile, GeorgWilhelm Friedrich Hegel, on the emperor's entry into Jena, Oct. 1806; Karl Lowith From Hegel to Nietzsche (1965) p.215. Prussia was comprehensively defeated in the Battle of Jena on 14 Oct., and Hegel had a poor reward for his devotion. The University of Jena was closed by the French, and Hegel lost his position as professor of philosophy.


I see that God has given [Napoleon] dominion over the world; never has that been clearer to me than in this war.

The Swiss historian and royal historiographer in the Prussian capital, Berlin, Johannes von Muller, soon after the overwhelming Prussian defeat at Jena; Paul Sweet Friedrich von Gentz (1941) p. 134. Muller's idolatry paid off better than Hegel's, when Napoleon made him secretary of state for Westphalia in 1807.


Though ... the bones of our national unity ... may have bleached and dried in the storms and rains and burning suns of several centuries, yet the reanimating breath of the spirit world has not ceased to inspire. It will yet raise the dead bones of our national body and join them bone to bone so that they shall stand forth grandly with a new life ... No man, no god, nothing in the realm of possibility can help us, but we alone must help ourselves, as long as we deserve it.

Johann Gottlieb Fichte Addresses to the German Nation (1807); G.S. Ford Stein and the Era of Reform in Prussia (1965) p. 11 I. Fichte the philosopher became the arch-exponent of German nationalism with the publication of this mystical call to arms.


The events in Spain have made a distinct impression and are a visible proof of what we should long ago have perceived. It would be very helpful if in discreet ways the news about them could be spread, since they show to what lengths cunning and the desire to dominate may go, as well as what a nation may do when it has the strength and courage.

Baron vom Stein to Prince Wittgenstein, 15 Aug. 1808; Ford (1965) p. 153. Stein, one of the architects of reform in Prussia after the humiliation of Jena, was dismissed as a senior minister when Napoleon discovered the contents of this letter. It was written not long after Madrid had risen against the French on 2 May, a high inspiration to Stein, a dangerous precedent to Bonaparte.


Germania, sacred fatherland,
A German's passion and his hope!
Thou land supreme! Thou glorious land!
We swear to thee anew;
Forbidden ground to knaves and slavish serfs;
They'll feed the crow and raven!
While we march on to Hermann's field,
And we will have our vengeance!

Ernst Moritz Arndt Hymne an der Vaterland (1808). Hermann (Arminius), the German tribal chief, destroyed the Roman army led by Varus in the Thuringian forest in the year AD 9. The victory was a huge inspiration to German nationalists, including the dramatist Heinrich von Kleist, in his play The Rattle of Arminius, also written to celebrate the 1800th anniversary of the battle. During the final days of World War II an SS detachment is said to have made a last stand in the forest around the statue of Hermann.


Clasp your spear to your faithful breast,
It clears the way to freedom.
Now cleanse the earth
Of German land
With thy pure German blood!

The poet Karl Theodor Korner, mortally wounded in battle against the French on 26 Aug. 1813.


Let the nation learn to trace itself to its source, delve into its roots: it will find in its innermost being a fathomless well-spring which rises from subterranean treasure; many minds have already been enriched by drawing on the hoard of the Niebelungen; and still it lies there inexhaustible, in the depths of its lair.

The writer Josef Gorres, 1810; Collected Writings (1854) Vol. I, pp.125 ff. The Niebelungen were a mythical community of dwarfs living deep under the earth, guardians of a fabulous hoard of gold.


Q: What is your opinion of Napoleon, the Corsican, the great emperor of the French?
A: I see him as a detestable man, as the fount of all evil and the death of everything good, as a criminal there are not enough words to indict; the very angels will run out of breath when they try to list his offences on judgement day.
Q: How do you picture him?
A: As a spirit of destruction, who rises from hell, glides through the temple of nature and makes its columns tremble.

The German playwright Heinrich von Kleist Katechismus fur Deutsche (1809); Works Vol.4. Compare the Imperial Catechism.



For ever I see him high on horseback, the eternal eyes set in the marble of that imperial visage, looking on with the calm of destiny at his Guards as they march past. He was sending them to Russia, and the old grenadiers glanced up at him with so awesome a devotion, so sympathetic an earnestness, with the pride of death: Те, Caesar, morituri salutant [Caesar, they who are about to die salute you].

The German poet Heinrich Heine Englische Fragmente (English Jottings). Heine was 15 years old when Napoleon invaded Russia in 1812. He never quite outgrew his adolescent crush on the great man.


[They imagined] that they knew what they were doing and did it of their own free will, but they were all involuntary tools of history, carrying on a work concealed from them but comprehensible to us. Such is the inevitable fate of men of action, and the higher they stand in the social hierarchy the less they are free ... Providence compelled these men, striving to attain personal aims, to further the accomplishment of a stupendous result no one of them at all expected — neither Napoleon nor [Tsar] Alexander, and still less any of those who did the actual fighting.

Leo Tolstoy War and Peace (1868/9) Vol.2, Bk 3, Ch. I. The famous determinist view of the Franco-Russian collision.


This long road is the road to India. Alexander left from as far away as Moscow to reach the Ganges.

 Napoleon to Count Louis-Marie de Narbonne, his envoy in Vienna, 1811; attrib.


The emperor is mad, completely mad, and he will turn us all, such as we are, arse over heels, and the whole thing will end in an appalling catastrophe.

Anon, minister to Marshal Marmont, 1809; Tulard (1977; 1984 trans.) p.297.


If the Emperor Napoleon sent his army into the Russian interior, it would be annihilated like Charles XII's at Poltava, or forced to make a hasty retreat.

The French Captain Leclerc, Jan. 1812; Tulard (1977; 1984 trans.) p.300. Charles XII of Sweden was routed by Tsar Peter the Great at Poltava in 1709.


There is the sun of Austerlitz.

Napoleon before the Battle of Borodino, west of Moscow, 7 Sept. 1812; Thompson (1953) p.332. On the morning of Austerlitz, 2 Dec. 1805, the sun broke through the mist to reveal the battlefield and pave the way for the French triumph that followed. The French also won at Borodino, but unlike Austerlitz it was a pyrrhic victory — Napoleon losing a quarter of his army, dead and wounded - and did not end the war.


This is a war of extermination, a terrible strategy which has no precedent in the history of civilization ... To burn down their cities! A demon has got into them! What ferocious determination 1 What a people! What a people!

Napoleon's reaction to the burning of Moscow after his entry into the city on 14 Sept. 1812; E.V. Tarle /8/2(1959) p.585.


The flames of Moscow were the aurora of the liberty of the world.

The liberal writer Benjamin Constant The Spirit of Conquest (1813) Preface.


The leaders, pushed on by those who came behind them, pushed back by the guards or the bridge-engineers, or held up by the river, were crushed, trampled under foot or hurled into the drifting ice of the Beresina. There arose from this immense and horrifying throng, sometimes a deafening hum, sometimes a huge clamour mixed with wailing and dreadful curses.

Philippe Paul Segur Histoire de Napoleon et la Grande Armee pendant I'annee 1812 (1824) Ch.8. Segur was himself involved in the disastrous retreat from Moscow after 18 Oct.; here we have his nightmare recollection of the crossing of the River Beresina on 26-28 Nov.


The dull monotonous thud of our footsteps, the crackle of the frozen snow and the feeble moans of the dying, were the only things to break that vast and doleful silence ... Even the most determined of our men lost heart. Sometimes the snow opened up under their feet; more often the glassy surface gave them no support. They slid at every step and stumbled continually as they marched on ... Soon they fell on their hands and knees ... finally their heads dropped into the snow, reddening it with a livid bloodstain, and their torment was over.

Philippe Paul Segur (1824) Ch.9.


It's a long way to Carcassonne.

Words attrib. to a dying French soldier on the retreat from Moscow. Carcassonne, in southwest France, is indeed many, many days' march from Moscow.



In order to have good soldiers, a nation must always be at war.

Napoleon in conversation with one of his mythologists, Barry O'Meara, on St Helena, 26 Oct. 1816; B. O'Meara A Voice from St Helena (1822).


You can't stop me! I spend thirty thousand men a month.

Napoleon, speaking to the Austrian foreign minister, Prince Metternich, 1810.


Conscription is the vitality of a nation, the purification of its morality, and the real foundation of its habits.

Napoleon Political Aphorisms.


Then, only one man seemed to be alive in Europe; everyone else tried to fill their lungs with the air he had breathed. Each year France made this man a present of 300,000 of her youth; it was the tribute paid to Caesar, and if he had not had that flock of sacrificial lambs behind him, he could not have followed his star. It was the escort he needed to propel him across the world and finally to dwindle away in a little valley on a lonely island, under a weeping willow.

Alfred de Vigny Confession d'un enfant du siede (Confession of a Child of the Century) (1836) Ch.2. The poet de Vigny served in the Royal Guards throughout most of the Bourbon Restoration after Napoleon's downfall.


Some have produced sores on their arms and legs by blistering themselves, and to make these sores, so to speak, incurable, they dressed them with water and arsenic. Many have given themselves hernias and some apply violent acids to their genitals.

Prefect Stanislas de Girardin on resistance to conscription in 1813; Tulard (1977; 1984 trans.) p.319.


I have served, commanded, conquered forty years.
I have seen the destiny of the world in my hands,
And I have always known that at every turn
The fate of States hinges on a single moment.

Napoleon, 31 Aug. 1813, quoting from Voltaire's 1736 drama La Mon de Cesar (The Death of Caesar) Act I, Sc. I, at the point when his grip on central Europe began to weaken.


My star was growing paler; I felt the reins slipping from my fingers; and I could do nothing. Only a thunderstroke could save us. I had, therefore, to fight it out; and day by day, by this or that piece of ill-fortune, our chances were becoming more slender.

Napoleon, 19 Oct. 1813, after his defeat at the Battle of Leipzig; Johnston (1910). The battle was known as the 'Battle of the Nations' because Napoleon faced a multinational force, supposedly fused by a common resistance to his imperialism.


To kill myself would be a gambler's death. I am condemned to live. Besides, only the dead do not return.

Napoleon, II April 1814; Correspondence Vol.31, pp.485-6. He spoke after abdicating as emperor and before going into exile on the Mediterranean island of Elba, off the northwest coast of Italy.


The young people, and above all the military, are not satisfied by the change of government. The former because a career of glory and fortune is closed to them; the latter because they have to leave these things behind!

Francois Espinasse to William Lorrain, Le Havre, June 1814; A Border Schoolmaster: The Written Effects of William Lorrain (2000) p. 146. The French naval lieutenant Espinasse was taken prisoner in 1809 and became a good friend of the Scots schoolmaster William Lorrain. He returned briefly to France after Napoleon's abdication before settling in Scotland. His letter gives one good reason why the emperor was to make his comeback in 1815.


Victory will advance at the charge. The eagle, with the national colours, will fly from steeple to steeple all the way to the towers of Notre Dame.

Napoleon, proclamation of 9 March 1815, issued at Grenoble after his escape from Elba; David Hamilton-Williams Waterloo: New Perspectives (1999 edn) p.57.


[Marshal Ney] said, among other things, that he would bring Napoleon in a cage: to which the King [Louis XVIII] replied - 'Je n aimerais pas un tel oiseau dans ma chambre!' [I shouldn't fancy a bird like that in my room!']

The Hon. H.G. Bennet in conversation with the confidant of the great, Thomas Creevey, 3 April 1815; John Gore (ed.) The Creevey Papers (1963) p. 129. Louis XVIII had been placed on the French throne after Napoleon's abdication in 1814. Ney, who had served Napoleon, went over to Louis at the Restoration but defected to Napoleon and fought with him at Waterloo. He was later shot for high treason.


The Tiger has broken out of his den.
The Ogre has been three days at sea.
The Wretch has landed at Frejus.
The Buzzard has reached Antibes.
The Invader has arrived in Grenoble.
The General has entered Lyons.
Napoleon slept at Fontainebleau last night.
The emperor will proceed to the Tuileries today.
His Imperial Majesty will address his loyal subjects tomorrow.

Paris broadsheet, issued late March 1815, charting the changing national mood on Napoleon's northward march from Provence, thence up the Rhone valley to Paris.


You are weakening and chaining me ... France is asking what has become of the emperor's strong right arm, the arm she needs to master Europe. Why speak to me of goodness, abstract justice, and natural law? The foremost law is necessity, the foremost justice is national security.

Napoleon to the Council of State, April 1815, in response to its call for a degree of constitutionalism; John Holland Rose The Life of Napoleon I (1902) p.451.


This man -I mean Napoleon - has been cured of nothing and returns as much of a despot, as eager for conquests, in fact, as mad as ever ... The whole of  Europe will fall on him; it is impossible for him to hold out and all will be finished within four months.

Joseph Fouche to Etienne Pasquier (political survivors both), April 1815; Tulard (1977; 1984 trans.) p.334. An accurate prediction by a man who had been a ruthlessly efficient minister of police for the emperor but who now saw the way the wind was blowing and stood ready to pave the way for a second Bourbon restoration.



There, it all depends upon that article whether we do the business or not. Give me enough of it, and I am sure.

Duke of Wellington to Thomas Creevey, Brussels, late May-early June 1815; Gore (1963) p. 142. The target of the duke's comment was a British infantry private who was sightseeing in the city centre; Creevey, the well-connected diarist, was always, apparently, in the right place at the right time.


Suddenly a dark mass of cavalry appeared for an instant on the main ridge, and then came sweeping down the slope in swarms, reminding me of an enormous surf bursting over the prostrate hull of a stranded vessel, and then running, hissing and foaming, up the beach.

Cavalie Mercer Journal of the Waterloo Campaign (1927 edn) p. 168. A British horse-artilleryman gives an unforgettable picture of a French cavalry charge at Waterloo on 18 June.


Just as it is difficult, if not impossible, for the best cavalry to break into infantry who are formed into squares and who defend themselves with coolness and daring, so it is true that once the ranks have been penetrated, then resistance is useless and nothing remains for the cavalry to do but to slaughter at almost no risk to themselves.

The French Captain Duthilt Memoires (1909 edn) p.42. Wellington could be said to have won at Waterloo not least because his British infantry squares - static formations walled by artillery, musket and bayonet - held firm in the face of multiple French cavalry onslaughts.


Then we got among the guns ... Such slaughtering! I can hear the Frenchmen yet crying Diable when I struck at them, and the long-drawn hiss through their teeth as my sword went home ... The artillery drivers sat on their horses weeping aloud as we went among them; they were mere boys.

Corporal Dickson of the Union Brigade; John Keegan The Face of Battle (1976) p.20l.


By God! I've lost my leg!
Have you, by God?

Exchange between the stricken Lord Uxbridge and the Duke of Wellington, late in the day at Waterloo; Marquis of Anglesey One-Leg (1961) p. 149.


La Garde recule! (The Guard is falling back!)

At about 7.30 p.m., when the outcome was still in doubt, Napoleon sent in the experienced veterans of his Old Guard. Their repulse marked the decisive turning point of the battle, and the French were soon routed; Elizabeth Longford Wellington: The Years of the Sword (1969) p.481.


Merde, je ne me rends pas! (Shit, I'm not surrendering!)

General Pierre de Cambronne, commander of the Guard, when called on to surrender; Longford (1969) p.481. 'Merde' subsequently passed into legend as 'le mot de Cambronne', and the response is often bowdlerized as The Guard dies, but it does not surrender!'


Just close up to within a yard or two of a small ragged hedge which was our own line, the French lay as if they had been mowed down in a row without any interval. It was a distressing sight, no doubt, to see every now and then a man alive amongst them, and calling out to Lord Arthur [Hill] ] to give them something to drink.

Thomas Creevey on the field of Waterloo two days after the battle; Gore (1963) p. 152. Hill was Wellington's second-in-command.


It has been a damned nice thing - the closest run thing you ever saw in your life.

Duke of Wellington to Thomas Creevey, 19 June 1815; Gore (1963) p. 150.


It was the most desperate business I ever was in. I never took so much trouble about any Battle, & never was so near being beat.

Duke of Wellington to his brother, 19 June 1815; Camden Miscellany (1948) Vol. 18.


Never did I see such a pounding match. Both were what the boxers call gluttons. Napoleon did not manoeuvre at all. He just moved forward in the old style, in columns, and was driven off in the old style.

Duke of Wellington to General Beresford, 2 July 1815; Despatches Vol. 12, p.529.


I am wretched even at the moment of victory, and I always say that next to a battle lost, the greatest misery is a battle gained.

Duke of Wellington, July 1815; The Diary of Frances, Lady Shelley Vol.1 (1912) p. 102. In his despatch on Waterloo, Wellington wrote: 'Nothing except a battle lost can be half so melancholy as a battle won' (The Times, 22 June 1815).


On one side, precision, foresight, geometry, prudence, retreat assured, reserves economized, obstinate composure, imperturbable method... war directed, watch in hand, nothing left voluntarily
to intuition...; on the other, flashing glance, a mysterious something which gazes like the eagle and strikes like the thunderbolt, prodigious art in disdainful impetuosity, all the mysteries of a deep soul, intimacy with Destiny ... Waterloo is a battle of the first rank won by a captain of the second.

Victor Hugo Les Miserables (1862) Cosette, Ch.16.


They planned their campaigns just as you might make a splendid piece of harness. It looks very well; and answers very well; until it gets broken, and then you are done for. I made my campaigns of ropes. If anything went wrong, I tied a knot; and went on.

Duke of Wellington; Sir W. Fraser Words on Wellington (1899) p.37.


I come, as Themistocles did, to seat myself at the hearth of the British people. I put myself under the protection of its laws, a protection which I claim from Your Royal Highness as the strongest, the most resolute, and the most generous of my enemies.

Napoleon to the Prince Regent, 13 July 1815; J.M. Thompson (ed.) Napoleon's Letters (1934). Themistocles, architect of the victory of Athens over Persia in 480 ВС, was expelled from Athens ten years later and found a welcome in Persia, where he subsequently died. Napoleon I - unlike Napoleon III -was not given asylum in Britain.


Wherever wood can swim, there I am sure to find this flag of England.

Napoleon, embarking for exile on the far-off island of St Helena, July 1815, paying tribute to the omnipresence of British sea-power.



Napoleon was a man! His life was the stride of a demi-god.

The German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Gesprdche mit Eckermann (Conversations with Eckermann) (1828). Goethe met Napoleon at Erfurt on 2 Oct. 1808.


Napoleon's jealousy of Davout had so completely lodged in the minds of the other generals the idea
that the emperor wished to see no trace in them of talent superior to his, that they considered it wise to act always like pure automatons rather than let themselves be guided by their own intelligence, even when unforeseen circumstances seemed to demand personal initiative. How different was the thinking in 1796 during the immortal Italian campaign, when they all burned with republican fervour, obeying with zeal but, if no orders reached them from the commanding general, daring to be self-reliant.

The French novelist Stendhal (Henri Beyle), who had served Napoleon loyally but not uncritically; The London Magazine (Feb. 1825). Davout was one of Napoleon's most brilliant (and ruthless) marshals.


He put his foot upon the neck of kings, who would have put their yoke upon the necks of the people: he scattered before him with fiery execution, millions of hired slaves, who came at the bidding of their masters to deny the right of others to be free. The monument of greatness and glory he erected, was raised on ground forfeited again and again to humanity - it reared its majestic front on the ruins and the shattered hopes and broken faith of the common enemies of mankind. If he could not secure the freedom, peace, and happiness of his country, he made her a terror to those who by sowing civil dissension and exciting foreign wars, would not let her enjoy those blessings.

William Hazlitt Political Essays (1819) Preface. The writer Hazlitt fell into deep melancholy after Waterloo.


О lank-haired Corsican! How lovely was your France
Beneath the mighty sun of Messidor!
She was a wild and rebel thoroughbred
With no steel bit nor reins of gold to hold in check;
An untamed mare, her rustic rump still reeking of the blood of kings,
But proud, her great hoof pounds the ancient earth,
Free for the first time in her life ...
With withered hocks, she's at last gasp and spent,
And staggering at every step,
She begged for mercy from her alien cavalier;
But executioner, you paid no heed!
Weary at last of journeys without end,
Of moving on but never reaching home,
Of making all creation new,
And scattering the human race like dust.

Auguste Barbier The Idol (1831) Sect.3. Messidor, the tenth month of the revolutionary calendar, ran from 19/20 June to 19/20 July.


The truth is that he loved it [France] as a rider loves his horse ... [forcing] it on over ever wider ditches and ever higher fences - come up, now, one more ditch, just another fence ... But after what seemed like the last hurdle, there are always new barriers to jump, and in any case the horse must inevitably remain what it always was - a mount, and an overburdened one.

Hippolyte Taine Les Origines de la France contemporaine: Regime moderne (The Origins of Present-day France: The Modern Era) Vol. I (1891) p. 129.


It is quite something to be all at once a national glory, a revolutionary guarantee, and a principle of authority.

The French statesman and historian Francois Guizot, 1840; Tulard (1977; 1984 trans.) p.347.


It is possible to lead astray an entire generation, to strike it blind, to drive it insane, to direct it towards a false goal. Napoleon proves this.

The Russian liberal revolutionary Alexander Herzen, с 1855; R.V. Sampson Tolstoy (1973) p.61.


He left France smaller than he found it, true; but you can't measure a nation like that. As far as France is concerned, he had to happen. It's rather like Versailles: it just had to be built. Don't let us haggle over greatness.

President Charles de Gaulle in conversation with his minister of culture Andre Malraux, 1969; Andre Malraux Les Chines qu'on ofaat (The Oaks We Fell) (1971). The huge baroque Palace of Versailles, outside Paris, was built for Louis XIV as the emblem of royal grandeur, and just as it symbolized the glory of France, so too did Napoleon. No doubt de Gaulle himself felt that for France he, also, 'had to happen'.


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