“A long absence is very painful for one with a sensitive soul”

I came upon a gem today--a book of published correspondence from the 1812 campaign, specifically a compilation of letters intercepted by the Russians, both from and to soldiers in the Grande Armée. You can find the book on HathiTrust here (it might not be viewable outside the US, but it's probably elsewhere online as well). …

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“The public insult made to his honor”

Continuing on with Louise Murat's memoirs, we reach what not only Louise herself, but most historians likewise regard as the pivotal moment in the Murat/Napoleon relationship: the unhappy conclusion of the 1812 campaign. Louise points out that prior to this, the two men had always managed to overcome their previous differences upon being reunited again …

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“The good Cossacks were playing with him…”

Despite finding themselves facing off against him in one war after another over the years, the Cossacks gained a great admiration for Murat. His dashing courage on the battlefield, combined with his garish uniforms and towering plumage, which made him an easily distinguishable target in any encounter, left them captivated. During the 1812 campaign, they …

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“The arts awaken the imagination, elevate the soul…”

Murat departed from Naples at the beginning of May 1812, to take command of the massive cavalry force assembled by Napoleon for the campaign against Russia. Traveling through Posen on his way to join the Emperor in Danzig, he took the time to write an extraordinary letter to his ten-year-old daughter Letitia. The letter--one of …

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