LANNES (JEAN). Autograph letter signed to his wife Louise Guéheneuc. Saragossa, February 1, 1809. 3/4 p. in-4, address on the back, remnant of a red wax seal with his initials. EXTRAORDINARY LETTER ON THE TERRIBLE SIEGE OF SARAGOSSA, ONE OF THE FIRST EXAMPLES OF URBAN WAR. The city had quickly responded to the insurrectionary call of May 2, 1808, in Madrid, and the French conducted an initial unsuccessful siege from June to August 1808. Intervening personally in Spain, the emperor entrusted Marshal Lannes at the head of 18,000 men with the resumption of the siege from 20 December 1808. After terrible hand-to-hand street fighting, the city defended by General Palafox capitulated on 21 February 1809 after losing half of its inhabitants. "WHAT A HORRIBLE WAR... WE HAVE BEEN IN THE [PLACE] SINCE THE 27TH, FIGHTING NIGHT AND DAY WITH UNPARALLELED FEROCITY. Today we have made an irreparable loss, the brave gl LACOSTE was killed [André-Bruno de Frévol de Lacoste, born in 1775, died this very day of a shot received in front of Saragossa]. THE FIRE IS ON TWO OR THREE POINTS OF THE CITY, WE ARE CRUSHING IT WITH BONBES, THAT DOES NOTHING ON THE MORALE OF THESE PEOPLE. I hope that in a few days we will be able to get rid of them. Write to me a few times, I haven't heard from you in a long time. Give our little children a big kiss. Goodbye, my dear friend, I love you with all my heart... "Second wife of Marshal Lannes, married in 1800, Louise Guéheneuc (1782-1856) became lady of the Palace of Josephine and then lady-in-waiting of Marie-Louise, while her father François-Scholastique Guéheneuc was appointed to the Senate, and her brother Louis Guhéneuc became general and aide-de-camp to Napoleon I.