Recollections of Marshall Macdonald, Duke of Tarentum
Edited by Camille Rousset, Translated
by Stephen Louis Simeon (1893)
By M. CAMILLE ROUSSET.
IN the month of May,
1825, the sexagenarian Marshal Macdonald, left a widower for the third
time, was plunged in the deepest grief. fly his previous marriage he had
only daughters ; the last marriage, solemnized scarcely four years
before, and which had terminated so sadly, left him a son, heir to his
name. It was for this child still in the cradle that, far from Paris,
far from the conventional consolations and condolences of the Court, the
Marshal undertooknot to distract, but to occupy the isolation caused by
his sorrow to note down the various stages of his long and glorious
career. He did not pretend to write memoirs; they are merely
recollections destined for the child who was alone to see them in the
future. Sixty-five years have elapsed since they were penned ; more than
fifty have come and gone since the Marshal died, and his grand-daughter,
the Baronne de Pomrnereul, has thought that, in the interest and for the
advantage of history, as well as for the reputation and fame of her
ancestor, the moment has come to lift the veil which, until now, has
covered these 'Recollections,' and has entrusted to me the task of
revealing them to the public. It is a great honour, for which I am
grateful to her. I could not help feeling respectful emotion as I turned
over those pages impregnated with sincerity, and which breathed forth
truth like a refreshing perfume. On no occasion, nor in any presence,
did Macdonald conceal his thoughts, even when with the greatest of men,
with Napoleon or with Louis XVIII.
There is no single
erasure or alteration in this manuscript Of 472 folio pages; there are
consequently a few incomplete sentences, of which it has been found
necessary to restore a word or two. With these exceptions, and with the
omission of a few intimate details of precious interest for the family,
but not for anyone unconnected with it, the text has been treated with
the respect it merits.
IntroductionJourney to the Hebrides ParentageBrothers and
SistersWith MailleboisLife at Sancerre Gentleman-Cadet At St. GermainMarriage.
First CampaignBattle of JemmappesAppointed ColonelArrival at LilleDumouriez's
Treachery Events at LilleInterrogation End of the Incident.
General LarnarlièreMacdonald appointed Adjutant-General---Execution of
LamarlièreSkirmishes at Linselles and ComminesEntry into LilleA
Warlike CommissionerDenunciationA Loyal FriendA Broken ReedExtension
of Command General Pichegru--Belgium and HollandBattle of HooglèdeOn
Passage of the WaalIts ResultsReconnaissance at ArnheimArrival at
NaardenCapitulation of NaardenOn the Banks of the Vssel Delfzyl--The
Peace of BasleCommand in OverysselOrdered to WalcherenFeverRernoval
Army of the Sambre and MeuseDnnauwerthOperations on the RhineNeuwieciMistake
of Genera] CateIvertHis Excuse and RecallAt DüsseldorfFresh
hostilities on the RhineArrival of General AugereanPoliteness and
Literary Attainments of General LefehvreMacdonald summoned to Paris.
Ordered to ItalyThe Army of RomeGeneral ChampionnetInsurrection in
Rome--Championnet's FlightEvacuation of Rome General MackNepi and
OtricoliDifferences with Championnet Explanation.
At Fort Sam-Angelo--Junction with KellermanoReturn to Rome A Speedy
Decision--Before Capua--A TruceArrest of Mack Commander-in-chief of
the Army of NaplesArrival at Naples--- Rising in NaplesInsurrections
in the CountryMiracle of St. J anuarius Preparations.
Had NewsAdvance to RomeAlarm for NaplesDeparture from RomeSarzana
and PontremoliRising in TuscanySurrender of Fort Sant'-ElmoA Brave
ActionCapitulation of Ferrara Generals Montrichard and SchérerOffer
Battle of ModenaThe Marshal in DangerSeverely wounded - Montrichard's
MistakeAustrian Breach of FaithMarch towards the Trebbia and TidoneBattle
of the Trebbia.
Absence of MoreauVictor's DelayFlight of VictorPlans for Retreat
Difficulties of the MarchModena and SassuoloHesitation of
MoreauBlockade of Mantia Concentration near GenoaThe Army of the
A Valuable Collection lostJoubert Commander-in-chiefFall of
MantuaDeath of JoubertBack at ParisAction against Moreau Landing of
NapoleonThe 18th BrumaireReorganization of the ArmiesMorcau's
Double-dealingThe Army of the Grison - Peace of LunévilleDiplomatic
Mission to Denmark.
At CopenhagenDiplomacy against the GrainRecall to France Monsieur (le
Talleyrand- Trial of MoreauNapoleon elected EmperorThe Legion of
HonourIn DisgracePurchase of CourcellesRecalled to Active
Departure for ItalyUntrustworthy IntelligenceA Bad Beginning Arrival
at VicenzaPrince EugèneWarnings and Defensive Measures.
Defence of the AlponeRetreat of the Archduke JohnCombat on the PiaveAn
Incomplete SuccessCapit ulat ion of PrewaldSiege of Layhach --Advance
Arrival at GratzAdvance to RaabBattle of RaabBefore Komor
The Eve of WagramBattle of WagramThe Marshal's Baton gained on the
Field of BattleDismissal of BernadotteArmistice.
Vandamme's OutburstReturn to GratzIndependence of the
ArchdukeRecognition of the ArmisticeGrand Cordon of the Legion of
HonourDuke of Tarentum Divorce of the Emperor Evacuation of StyriaMarriage
NegotiationsMarriage of the Emperor.
Cornmander-in-chief of the Army of CataloniaBlockade and Surrender of
FiguerasFirst Attack of Gout.
Preparations for the Russian CampaignOn the NiemenMuratRetreat
towards TilsitGeneral Vorck Intense ColdAnxiety and DoubtsAttitude
of the PrussiansDefection of the Prussians.
Alarm at NaplesA TrapA Terrible MarchRussian UntrustworthinessAlarm
of the King of NaplesPlan of ActionArrival at DantzicSummons to
ParisReception by the Emperor.
The Grand ArmyBattle of LutzenOccupation of DresdenBattle of
J3aut7enA Futile CongressPassage of the BoberSurrender of VandammeSkirmish
at GoldbergBattle of the Katzbach Disorderly RetreatGeneral SebastianiSerious
Concentration at DresdenContradictory OrdersMovements of the
Enemy-Battle of Leipsic - Commencement of the Retreat- Treachery of the
HessiansDestruction of the BridgeConfusion and DisorderPassage of the
ElsterA Terrible SpectacleReception by the EmperorLoss of Carriages.
Marshal AugereauPassage of the SaaleAt ErfurtPlain SpeakingArrival
at GelnhausenDiscouragement---In Hanau Woods Issue from the
WoodsEntry into Hanau.
At MayenceWhat Caulaincourt saidConversation with the Emperor Want of
Money Evacuation of ArnheimSurprise of NeussThe Enemy cross the
RhineAdvance into France.
Campaign in FranceBombardment of ChâlonsEscape from Epernay Champaubert
and Château-Thierry--Congress of Châtillon Surprise at TroyesRetreat
of the EnemyThe Emperor at ArcisDeparture of the Emperor.
Battle of ArcisOn the MarneBattle of St. DizierBefore VitryAn
Unlucky MisprintReturn towards ParisThe Approaching End.
Fall of ParisFeeling in the ArmyScene at FontainebleauHeurnonyule's
Letter Abdication of the Emperor Nomination of the CommissionersThe
Duke of RagusaAt Petit-Bourg.
Prince SchwartzenbcrgArrival of the Commissioners in ParisReception by
the Emperor AlexanderThe Commissioners' Proposals The Provisional
GovernmentA Lamentable DefectionThe Regency negativedDecision of the
AlliesReturn to Fontainebleau.
Attitude of NapoleonHis Opinion of MarmontCommand given to BerthierFeeling
among the AlliesAustrian TrickeryEagerness of NeyHis Parsimony.
Reported Flight of NapoleonDesertions---The New Order of Things
Macdonald refuses AdhesionTermination of the Drama - Last Interview at
Delivery of the TreatyThe Marshal's Reappearance at the Tuileries
Dinner with the CzarAnd with MonsieurArrival of the King at CompiègneHis
Reception of the MarshalsDinner with the King--Macdonald's OpinionThe
King comes to Saint Ouen.
The King's Entry into ParisThe Old GuardFirst Steps towards
UnpopularityThe Council of WarMismanagement - Parliamentary
IndependenceThe Marshal's Nickname--The Legion of Honour.
Universal DiscontentIndifference of the GovernmentQuestion of the
IndemnitiesReception of the Duke and Duchess of Angoulme.
A Disquieting SummonsLanding of NapoleonMonsieur at LyonsMutinous
Meeting of OfficersGrounds of ComplaintDeparture of Monsieur A
StratagemIllusory HopesA Critical MomentRetreatA Hasty
FlightGeneral Digeon's TerrorA Hard Ride.
With MonsieurIncidents of the FlightGeneral Du Coetlosquet - The
King's GenerosityMeeting of the SenateAdvice to the KingHasty
The State of ParisImminent PerilPlan of EscapeHint to Viomesnii At
Saint Denis---A Disorderly MarchAt AbbevilleThe Sub-Prefect of Bthune.
Outside LilleEntry into LilleThe Kings UneasinessAn Inconvenent
LossThe King's DecisionDeparture for the Frontier The King's
Return to LilleDefection of MortierA Trustworthy MessengerAt BéthuneExcelmans
and Ney-Dessole's NervousncssInterview with DavofitMathieu DumasThe
News of Waterloo.
Secret MeetingsThe Temporary GovernmentThe Cockade Question The King
at ArnouvilleThe Secretaryship for War--Ministerial CandidatesMission
to ParisArch-Chancellor of the Legion of Honour.
The King's Second Entry into ParisThe Army of the LoireThe Ordinances
of July- Resignation of the Prince of Eckmuhl - Marshal Macdonald takes
the Command -Gallantry of General DrouotHis Modesty and Religious
Feelingjudicial Murder of the Hero of BeresinaLast Moments of Marshal
NeyInfamous Behaviour of General Lecchi Anecdotes of the Emperor's
Interview with the Officers Warrants of Arrest - Difficulties at
Bourges Feeling among Napoleon's SoldiersEnd of the Disbandment -
Release from BourgesMission to Lyons - A Startling Confesion.
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