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Napoleon Bonaparte Signed Letter from Polish Campaign, War of the 4th Coalition For Sale
Napoleon Bonaparte Signed Letter from Polish Campaign, War of the 4th Coalition:
Napoleon Bonaparte Signed Letter from Polish Campaign, War of the 4th Coalition: “once they arrive in Berlin … review them, let them rest several days, and give them coats and shoes.”
Letter Signed, in French, signed as “Napol” at the top of the third page. Written at Osterode, Germany, March 11, 1807. 7.25 x 8.875 inches.
Translation from the French
“Monsieur General Clarke, my intention is that the 2nd Italian
regiment reports at Kolobrzeg, until the entire Italian division is
present; that will permit us to return the 19th of the Line here.
Marshall Kellermann writes me that the 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th
provisional regiments have left. The 5th has been at Kassel a long time.
Write to Kassel requesting that they send you the 5th, it will be
replaced by the 9th. The 6th must be at Magdeburg, the 7th must have
returned by the 5th. The 8th will arrive there the 17th. My intention is
that we leave no one at Magdeburg, and that you direct everyone to
Szczecin or to Kostrzyn.”
“Maral Kellermann assures me that they are well armed and dressed.
My managerial staff needs reinforcements for these eight provisional
regts; I have thus ordered Mal Kellermann to have the last four
regiments, that is, the 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th, depart as soon as they
are organized. My intention is that, once they arrive in Berlin, you
review them, let them rest several days, and give them coats and shoes.
You will do the same thing at Kostrzyn. The 31st Light Infantry must
arrive at Berlin. Direct them towards Szczecin, after giving them a
little rest, and reviewing them. I prefer that regiments pass by
Szczecin rather than by Kostrzyn, because circumstances can render them
exposed, and that they clear a passage from Marienberg to Torun...”
“The 45th of the Line arrives the 14th at Mainz and will proceed
directly to Magdeburg. The 3rd Battalion of the 17th of the Line will
begin marching March 2nd for Magdeburg. You will review them. If there
are 800 mn, dash them off to this regiment, without leaving them any
time at Magdeburg. The 3rd Battalion of the 21st of the Line will have
arrived at Mainz. Ask Marshall Kellermann when he arrives. On this, I
pray that God keeps you in his holy care. At Osterode March 11, 1807.”
Napoleon Bonaparte—emperor, military commander, and master geopolitical
strategist—addressed this lengthy missive to his Minister of War, Henri
Jacques Guillaume Clarke (1765-1818), in early March 1807, from the
last months of the War of the 4th Coalition (October 1806-July 1807),
when Napoleon’s forces were marching east conquering modern day Poland.
Napoleon won the war after forcing the surrender of Polish strongholds
Szczecin in October 1806, Gdansk in May 1807, and Kolobrzeg in July
Napoleon personally commanded his Grande Armee of up to 1,000,000
soldiers. In this Polish campaign, Napoleon’s French forces joined
German, Italian, and Polish troops against the coalition of Prussia,
Russia, Great Britain, and Sweden.
As this letter shows, Napoleon was intimately involved in the minutest
details; Napoleon berated subordinates if they did not report everything
to him. This letter mentions the movements of 15 regiments to and from
nine German and Polish cities.
Napoleon relied on General Clarke for inspection and provisioning,
conscription and internal discipline. General Clarke was recognized with
the title of Duc of Feltre in August, 1809.
Marshall Francois-Christophe de Kellermann (1735-1820) was a career
soldier whose resistance against the Prussians at the Battle of Valmy
(1792) earned him Napoleon’s great respect.
Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821). Born at Ajaccio,
Corsica. He quickly rose through the ranks of the French Army to become
Commander of the Army of Italy. After he defeated the Austrian army and
conquered Italy in 1796, he was given command of the Army of England.
Rather than attacking directly, he planned to wipe out her trade in the
Indian subcontinent. Sailing from Toulon, he captured Malta, and in
early July 1798, he captured Alexandria and advanced into Cairo.
However, at the Battle of the Nile on August 1, 1798, the French fleet
was practically annihilated by Admiral Nelson’s Royal Navy. Napoleon
secretly returned to Paris in 1799, in time to join in the coup d’état
that overthrew the Revolutionary government. He arranged a new
constitution, and was to a ten-year term as First Consul. But, having
secured peace with Austria and the Pope, he arranged an election that
voted him Consul for life. On December 2, 1804, Napoleon crowned himself
Emperor of France.
In 1805, he found himself at war with Prussia, Saxony, and soon Austria
in addition to England, causing the fall of The Holy Roman Empire. He
later set off the Peninsular War by sending armies into Portugal and
Spain. Napoleon’s “Continental System” was undermined by Russia, which
opened her ports to neutral shipping. In June of 1812, Napoleon invaded
and attempted to conquer the Russian Empire. He defeated the Russian
army at Borodino in September. However, Napoleon miscalculated the
Russian winter, the strength and nationalism of the Russian people and
the determination of Czar Alexander I to protect his empire at all
costs; to deprive Napoleon’s troops of shelter and supplies, the Czar
had Moscow burned. The disastrous defeat and retreat cost Napoleon more
than 500,000 men, of the army of 600,000 he had set out with.
In 1813, Wellington routed the French and forced them out of Spain.
Prussia, Saxony and Austria, had allied with Russia, and invaded France
and stripped away much of her conquests. Napoleon was forced to abdicate
in April, 1814; he was given sovereignty over the island of Elba, and
allowed to retain the title of Emperor. Within a year, Napoleon returned
to Paris, supported by his army and his people. Europe declared war.
Wellington’s army in Belgium and Blucher’s on the Rhine joined forces to
overwhelm Napoleon at Waterloo. Napoleon fled to Paris and surrendered
in July, 1815. Exiled a second time, the man who ruled Europe spent his
last six years on the small island of St. Helena in the South Atlantic.
He died there six years later. His body wasn’t allowed to be repatriated
Napoleon instituted political and social reforms that reined in the
excesses of the French Revolution, pulled the nation out of bankruptcy,
created a fair tax scheme, reorganized the French educational system,
and instituted the Napoleonic Code, which provides the precedent for
modern French law, combined the basic tenants of old Roman law with
ideas from the Enlightenment. He thus planted the seeds of the modern
middle class and created institutions that continue to shape our world.
On watermarked cream bifold paper in near fine condition, with light paper folds.
Ex-Marc-Arthur Kohn, “The Empire in Paris,” December 2, 2013 (Paris, France), part of lot 38.
SETH KALLER, INC.
Historic Documents and Legacy Collections
over 20 years, Seth Kaller has been one of the country’s largest buyers
of important historic documents and artifacts. More than 10,000 rare
manuscripts, documents, maps, and books handled by Kaller are now in
institutional and private collections including working drafts of the
United States Constitution, Lincoln-signed copies of the 13th Amendment
and Emancipation Proclamation, and rare prints and broadsides of the
Declaration of Independence.
is a member of the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America
(ABAA), the Professional Autograph Dealers Association (PADA), the
American Antiquarian Society, the Manuscript Society, the New-York
Historical Society’s Chairman’s Council, and the Papers of Abraham
Lincoln Advisory Board.
we sell comes with our absolute guarantee that it is original and
authentic. If this is ever proven not to be authentic it may be returned
for a full refund.
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