Rare letter from Napoleon to his son Prince Eugene Napoleon ((Eugène de Beauharnais).
Letter signed “Nap.”
About 225 x 185mm.
Note that "votre affectionné père" (your caring father) precedes the signature. It is rare to find such a formulation before the signature, except for some close to him like his adopted son.
Osterode [Ostroda, Poland], 22 March 1807
faites partir des dépôts des quatre régiments de cuirassiers et des 3e, 24e, 15e, 19e et 23e régimens de chasseurs tous les hommes qui existent aux dépôts bien montés, bien équipés.
Vous les dirigerez sur Augsbourg. Faites de tous ces détachements une seule colonne que vous mettrez sous les ordres d’un officier supérieur.Je suppose qu’elle sera forte au moins de mille hommes. Comme j’ai porté les régimens de cavalerie à mille hommes, et que le ministre Dejean a fait les fonds pour la remonte et leur harnachement, je suppose que ces régimens seront de cette force : vous ne mettrez pour ces détachements que les officiers & sous-officiers indispensables pour la route. [Mots barrés : sur ce, je prie].
Votre affectionné père. Nap."
Following Eylau’s massacre (and his half-victory of the Russian and Prussian troops), the emperor set up his headquarters (the imperial camp), not fr from the battlefield, at Osterode castle. He stayed there from February 21 to April 1, 1807, with the Guard staying in barracks surrounded by palisades, and the rest of the army camping nearby. Anticipating the next attacks and the continuation of the Polish campaign, Napoleon had to call in the cavalry after the hecatomb caused by Murat’s spectacular but deadly charges on his regiments of fighters and cuirassiers. Two months later, the decisive victory of the French in Friedland put an end to the Fourth Coalition. This letter, which evokes the logistical problems of the troops, was written four days before a major decision. On 26 March 1807, Napoleon signed a decree establishing the first eight battalions of the baggage train. A month later, after the Battle of Eylau, the success of the Grand Army was lessened by heavy losses, due in large part to the inadequacy of the company’s equipment. Napoleon wanted to better equip and supply his men: this would be the supply mission and, from 1807to 1814, the 24 battalions created would participate in all of the imperial campaigns. The Emperor, wishing to give this Corps a striking mark of his satisfaction, had him give his first eagle in May 1812 in Mainz, before the departure for the Russian Campaign. Today, more limited but more numerous campaigns, have increased the participation of the Train in external operations in which the French army has been engaged, from Libya in 1978, to the Balkans in 1992, Afghanistan in 2001 or Mali since 2013. The Train remains the vehicle for transport support and refuelling support with nine active formations. Its banner consists of the Legion of Honour tie and the cross of the external battlefield operations. Napoleon dictats his orders here to his adopted son, Eugène de Beauharnais (1781-1824), son of Josephine. Officially adopted by Napoleon in 1806, he would marry the daughter of the Bavarian King, Auguste-Amélie, a happy marriage that would result in six children. One of his daughters, Josephine of Leuchtenberg would marry Oscar Bernadotte, Royal Prince of Sweden. Today his descendants have become the current rulers of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Belgium and Luxembourg. After a brilliant military career, Napoleon appointed him viceroy of Italy in 1807 and he became a full member of the imperial family. Covered in titles (Grand Duke of Frankfurt, Prince of Eichstett...), he also became one of Napoleon's most loyal subordinates, who made him general-in-chief. Eugène de Beauharnais would distinguish himself at the Wagram battles and commanded the 4th army corps during the Russia Campaign. During the winter of 1812-1813, after Napoleon’s departure from Russia to Paris, it was Prince Eugène who skilfully brought back the remnants of the Great Army, despite the attempts of the Russians and their new Prussian allies to obliterate them completely. Of all the men in the imperial family, he is probably the only one that a truly affectionate mutual trust, that was never withheld, linked with Napoleon, as evidenced by the very nice formula added to the Emperor’s signature that closes this document and which is a rare formula in documents signed by the Emperor. Covered in glory during the Russian Campaign, his loyalty to the Emperor earned him the respect of all, worthy of the motto he had adopted: “Honour and loyalty.” After Waterloo he took refuge in Munich where his father-in-law named him Duke of Leuchtenberg, and he devoted himself to his possessions. He died prematurely in Munich, where he is buried, in 1824. Two other letters from Napoleon to his son-in-law can be cited, including one that has entered Dominique de Villepin’s Napoleonic collection, dated from 18 March 1809, in which the Emperor instructs him in the conduct to be held and the work to done in the peninsula. Napoleon encouraged Eugene de Beauharnais to move to Strà from where he would be "able to (...) to ensure the armament of Venice, the work of Malghera, and to review the corps that are in the camps of Udine, Osoppo, Treviso and even in Friuli. (...)" (Correspondence of Napoleon Premier, No. 14926; Villepin Sale, No. 189). The oldest dates from 1805, a few days after he was appointed viceroy of Italy, and "dictates the line and behaviour": " Vos fonctions sont importantes et votre besogne très considérable. Étudiez-vous à connaître l’histoire de chacune des villes qui composent mon Royaume d’Italie ; visitez les places fortes et toutes les positions célèbres par des combats. Il est probable qu’avant que vous ayez trente ans vous ferez la guerre, et c’est un grand acquis que la connaissance du territoire. Enfin, soyez inflexible pour les fripons. C’est une victoire gagnée pour l’administration que la découverte d’un comptable infidèle. Ne souffrez pas que l’armée française fasse la contrebande. » (7 June 1805, Archives nationales, AF IV 866, prairial an XIII, no. 88-2).
A certificate of authenticity will be included upon request.
- Kirjojen lukumäärä
- Historia, Napoleon
- Kirjailija/ Kuvittaja
- Napoléon Bonaparte
- Kirjan nimi
- Lettre signée à son fils - Signature autographe
- Vanhimman kohteen julkaisuvuosi
- 1. painos
- Alkuperäinen kieli
- 225×185 mm