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32 

NAPOLEON I. Letter signed "Nap" to General Géraud Christophe Michel Duroc, with autograph apostille of the latter. Paris, March 29, 1813. 2 pp. 1/3 in-4, paper a little wrinkled by moisture with cutting at the bottom of the second sheet without damage to the text, later handwritten mention across the first page. General of division, grand marshal of the Palace, General Duroc had the confidence of Napoleon I since the first campaign of Italy, and was frequently charged with particular missions apart from his regular attributions. The Emperor had recourse to him here to deal with matters relating to the Ministry of War. IN THIS CRITICAL MOMENT WHEN NAPOLEON I WAS TRYING TO REBUILD THE GREAT ARMY AFTER THE DESASTER OF RUSSIA TO FACE THE ALLIES, it was a question here of moving the Dutch soldiers away from their native country to prevent desertions or reversals, and to place a cordon of safe troops there, near Rotterdam (in Gorinchem called Gorcum then) and Amsterdam (in Naarden) "Monsieur le duc de Frioul, the 1st battalion of the Wards [of the Guard], which is at St-Servan, will go to Brest. It will remain organized as it is and will do service in Brest. - The 2nd battalion, which is at Boulogne, will send 400 men, all French, to Lille. - The 4th battalion, which is at Versailles, will be formed into 6 companies. - 4 companies will leave with 200 men, all French, and will go to Lille where they will join the 400 men of the 2nd battalion coming from Boulogne, making 600 men. From there, these 600 men will go to Antwerp, where they will receive 200 Frenchmen from the 3rd battalion which is in that place. From Antwerp, the battalion will continue on its way to Gorcum, where it will hold garrison, thus composed of 4 companies and 800 men, all French, including the cadres. - The 3rd battalion will send from Antwerp 400 men to Boulogne, all Dutch. It will send to Versailles 300 men all Dutch, and this battalion remaining thus composed of 8 to 900 men all French, will go to Naarden where it will hold garrison. - However, all those soldiers of these battalions who would be 5 feet tall and 19 years old, either French or Dutch, will go to Mayence to be incorporated into the Young Guard. - It is necessary that that is carried out in such a way that the Dutch do not perceive that one does not want to send them to Holland... "Provenance: Provenance: collection of the Earls of Crawford and Balcarres, Alexander William and James Ludovic Lindsay (armorial bookplate stamped Bibliotheca Lindesiana).

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Location of the item : France - 77300 - fontainebleau

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