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  • #191737
    Avatar photoOotKust
    Participant

    [1800] Army of the Rhine- Moreau

    Yes, not another piece on Italian battles, but another definite insider for Man of the Year!

    I’d written this a while back and thought, well, we ain’t covered him much here. Other than touching on his ‘attached’ Polish Legion of the Danube here https://www.thewargameswebsite.com/forums/topic/up-the-poles/ not much by me either.

    I’ve also rechecked for egregious errors before posting and in case anything needed updating…


    1800 clearly was a ‘year of two halves’, a bit like 1813.

    Is there another analysis/ compendium of similar status that covers the events of the ‘break’ in negotiations and resumption of hostilities?

    On Why?
    To answer my own inquisition- so many of the Armee du Rhin were sent to Santo Domingo/ Martinique etc. to perish there later.

    To rationalise the hypothesis I think it’s necessary to find out who died or became tragically ill there and determine the ratio of previous campaigns vs other officers (ie the Bonaparte associates).

    On Military Honours
    Recognising that political manipulation had a conscious effort in ‘honours’ awarded various regiments, never occurred to me in the past.

    However having looked at research for [1805] the 108e de ligne under Friant/ Davout, I see the previous major battle before their actions at Austerlitz, was Hohenlinden.

    It was front and centre literally, at the battle, and took significant stand-up and firing actions to restrain the Austrian advance until pressured by numbers.

    Jeff Berrys excellent site https://obscurebattles.blogspot.com/2020/06/hohenlinden-1800.html and graphics highlight the impressive infantry numbers [which N. later could only dream of attaining].

    And this part of his graphics shows what a nice little ‘centre’ Division Moreau had, highlighting where the 108e stood- a small basket of names from the future, not forgetting all the others associated as well:-

    OB_Hohenlinden 1800 graphic _JeffBerry©

    Unfortunately that political suppression of French victories has coloured our views of the period ever since. What gets repeated/ recited, with much of history I find, is the ‘popular’ version of the truth, not the whole…

    Grouchy for example, had a whole other history long before his 1815 campaign ‘infamy’…

    From Picard- Hohenlinden 1909, p248/9 we read:-

    It is appropriate, with Napoleon, to address to Moreau a well-founded critic: “While the fate of the campaign was decided at the fields of Ampfing and Hohenlinden, the three [actually TWO] divisions of Sainte-Suzanne and the three divisions of Lecourbe, i.e. half of the army, were not on the battlefield.

    What is the point of having troops when you don’t have the art of using them on important occasions? ” These divisions missed the battle because of the widely dispersed device adopted by the army of the Rhine to march on the Inn. Moreau had committed the fault of not sparing himself the means to concentrate his forces in good time: he himself acknowledged it.

    An eminent critic says of the day of Hohenlinden a judgment that seems accurate: Thus ended this battle which, after that of Rivoli, is undoubtedly the most extraordinary of those that were fought in the first two wars of the Revolution…
    Moreau succeeded because the use of his forces was wisely calculated and fortune served him well. The part that luck had in Bonaparte’s successes was greatly exaggerated; but, except for Marengo’s day, he was never better served by fate than Moreau at Hohenlinden.

    It was said that everything that was going on in the enemy army was combined to ensure a brilliant victory. The direction of the imperial columns; operations; the failure of Lauer and Weyrother to reflect, who forgot that the centre, having a superb road, would lead long before the rest of the army, were all causes of this success; and Moreau, who was unaware of these circumstances, could not foresee anything in his calculations to profit from them.

    If the centre had moved less quickly, or if Riesch, with the left wing, had arrived, according to the Austrian disposition, half an hour earlier at Christoph, Richepance would have encountered his column, and the rout in the plain of Maitenbeth would not have taken place.

    Perhaps the Austrians would nevertheless have been defeated, but the battle fought as a series of combats, would have yielded only insignificant results; yet the French had not collected any trophies.

    However, while Moreau could not count on such favourable incidents, his dispositions were nevertheless excellent in the state in which he [was forced] was to oppose the enemy forces.

    Isn’t it a rich compliment that a decisive battle can be won with just half of the troops available? The following two weeks showed that neither caution nor calamity awaited the army of Moreau, despite the criticisms.

    Virtually the same occured with Auerstadt, however occupying an entire French Corps against an army more numerous, but again just as uncordinated as these Austrians were.

    As much as it signalled the continuing rise of France and Bonaparte, it also sealed that success with the demise of any potential political competitors.

    Commentators made several admirable additions, this one perhaps broader. From http://napoleon-histoire.com
    Author:Hr. Dr. Herbert Zima

    An excerpt of Austrian accounts and reports of the battle with quotes from the Austrian authors analysis and his sources:-

    The situation, on the French side, is quite different: the Army of the Rhine was an incomparable instrument in the hands of a respected superior command of the troops, its victories of the summer, but also their convinced republicanism, had forged a formidable morale of fight. The “Rhine Spartans”, as their contemporaries called them, had, according to Madame de Staël, stuck to their “republican simplicity”, Mathieu Dumas*, who would later be Minister of War to Joseph, King of Naples, and Deputy Chief of Staff of the Imperial Army in Germany in 1809, characterizes the Army of the Rhine in 1800 as follows:

    This army, even if it was not, from the point of view of numbers, the strongest, but surely the most beautiful that France had ever had, was in an exceptional state. The talent and efforts of General Dessolle, his chief of staff, had brought his organization, his training, his discipline and his maneuverability to the highest level of perfection. Its equipment and armament had been renovated and improved.
    The artillery, commanded by General Eblé, one of the best officers in Europe, had been reorganized, almost completely overhauled and significantly distributed in the arsenals of Augsburg and Munich.
    (2)-Picard, Hohenlinden, page 36

    Unlike the other armies of the Republic, the Army of the Rhine had, in particular, a month’s supply in its stores.

    The rhetoric of Dumas of course side-stepping any reference to the by then discredited and banished Moreau, aiding the story of silence, of course.
    *Gen M Dumas- architect of the Legion d’honneur; confrere of Berthier, served under Rochambeau in the US colonies…

    Another equally damning report:-

    There too, a controversy developed, the day after the battle: did Moreau foresee this flank attack from the start, or did it happen, so to speak, “by chance”? ?

    Without a doubt the battle of Hohenlinden was glorious for General Moreau, for the generals, the officers, the French troops. It was one of the most decisive of the war. But it should not be put on the account of any maneuver, of a combination, of a military genius.
    (Napoleon at Gourgaud, at Sainte-Hélène) (3)-Idem page 243.

    We can certainly see in this judgment a way, psychologically motivated but not very noble, to devalue a rival and, therefore, cannot be taken seriously. Marengo’s lessons should have softened the great warrior and made him more objective.

    This matter is also highlighted by Jeff Berry in his Obscure Battles article.

    To reassert the positive:-

    In his Memoirs, unpublished, but used by Picard in his study of Hohenlinden, Decaen records how, the evening before the battle, he moved ahead of his division to the French headquarters at Anzing.
    Moreau wanted to order him to reinforce Grenier’s left wing. On the remark that, given the state of the roads, he could not be, with the head of his division, at Hohenlinden until around 2 o’clock in the afternoon – that is to say too late – Moreau asked if he could follow Richepance’s march. On Decaen’s positive response, Moreau reportedly replied:

    “Well, I wanted to turn the enemy with 10,000 men, it will be with 20,000!” (6)-Idem, page 171.

    We can therefore say that the encirclement maneuver of the Decaen and Richepance divisions is the result of Moreau’s orders.

    Of course, he could not know where the Austrian main army would be, on Haag’s road, when his right wing arrived. The attack on the backs was surely a matter of luck, which helps the smartest. But the attack on the Austrian flank would also have had decisive consequences.
    But above all we must salute the intelligent decision of Richepance – then barely 30 years old – to have decided on this attack behind the backs of the Austrians, with the few troops at his disposal.
    (7)-Jean Tranié

    On the travesty of natural justice taken against the victors, he cites:-

    8) The Battle of Hohenlinden will also have unfortunate consequences for the careers of some of its protagonists, guilty of remaining loyal to Moreau, who will soon find himself in the ranks of the opposition. Decaen will be sent to Pondicherry, Richepance in Guadeloupe, where he died in 1802 of malaria. Dessolle will remain unemployed for many years. Much later, in 1815, he will vote for death at the trial of Marshal Ney.

    It is a good analysis, though in several places the author is referring to Austrian thoughts of a French ‘offensive’, not sure whether his or the contemporaries, when of course the Austrians claimed to be following up a retreating army (it wasn’t), but then coloured their own embarrassment by pretending they fought something they hadn’t.

    The authors quotations say it all however in his leading statements of fact:-

    Assessing how the Austrian troops were led is easy – even if the diagnosis hurts (1) : a demoralized army, assembled with difficulty and made up of new recruits and a command that can only be criticized: a young and inexperienced Archduke and his mentor, who is in fact the decision maker, but who during his life has never been more than an engineer officer. Added to this is an overvalued Weyrother whose weak qualities have already been revealed to Rivoli.

    The stern but not irrelevant opinion that “Weyrother, much too late for Austria, died after the battles of Hohenlinden and Austerlitz” is from the Bavarian historian, Lieutenant General Heilmann, author of a reference work on the campaign of 1800 in Bavaria.

    That this army, under such a command, was sent into battle, the fault lies undoubtedly with the Emperor Francis.

    The Heilmann comment may be a little harsh, if somewhat true, but again the gung-ho adoption of outlandish hypotheses and hyper-exuberance on the part of the Austrian High Command [_and not just limited to this campaign or sphere ] is as obvious as Erz.Karls epilepsy, as noted, agreed to by a critical and jealous brother, the Emperor Francis II.

    Schwarzenberg [in 1800] wrote to his wife:

    My God ! What a command, no understanding of men…. If we wanted to believe that a name alone (Schwarzenberg refers here to the Archduke) was enough to beat the enemy, this fight avenged the Archduke Charles…. One more defeat, and the army is on the verge of disintegration; the confidence of the troops has disappeared…

    For all of Napoleons failures and biases, the Allied ‘cousins’ all exhibited their own forms of delusion and grandeur that caused and created countless deaths and mayhem.

    This however takes nothing away from the fighting men of both sides in 1800, who are shown to have acted well on many occasions.

    The deeper details of the Bavarian involvement is welcome of course. [And some detailled information was forthcoming that needs further transcription].

    regards
    davew

    #191739
    Avatar photoTony S
    Participant

    The Republican wars, before Napoleon’s Coronation, are sadly neglected aren’t they?  I’ve got the Arnold book on Hohenlinden, but your original sources are interesting.  Thanks Dave.

    (And as I write this, I am disappointed that my Essex package containing my Republican French troops hasn’t yet arrived).

    #191741
    Avatar photoOotKust
    Participant

    (And as I write this, I am disappointed that my Essex package containing my Republican French troops hasn’t yet arrived).

    Wow you’re quick Tony!!
    Yes agree, of course we’ve learnt so much more now…

    I too was panicking this week* about a small packet of Austrian goodies from Perry- a bit taken aback that their guns are so wacking big tho! I mean, hell… the Wurtz 6 pdr is the same size as my Russian 12’s!

    *Sodding PostOrrifice had been sitting on the package for 3 bloody weeks- their ‘notifications’ being useless and I’d been there to pick up important mail the week before- no card/ notice at all from them.

    I shall have to delete this no doubt before continuing…
    -d

    #192689
    Avatar photoOotKust
    Participant

    In a significant side-step, I had to locate some info for someone else- what did I pull out but the 1961 copy of  ‘The Gamble’- a blistering critique of the 1796 plans and actions of you know who.

    Actually done by a professor published in French in 1936, its a startling, archive sources based dissertation of the campaign of which we know so little actual detail.

    It will force me to re-read as have not done so for over two decades!
    -d

    #192886
    Avatar photoOotKust
    Participant

    An extract from Berjauds fine site, this time referencing an exploit by some legere and the 4eme de ligne, post Hohenliden on the way to Wien:- “How to Ford a River and Capture Boats for crossing… in Winter”

    …three intrepid chasseurs of the 14th Legere had determined to swim [the river] to take a boat that had been sighted half a mile above the bridge at Laufen; -Bernard, a drummer, set an example for them.
    The other two are Lemâle and Perrin, chasseurs of the same battalion.
    These intrepid soldiers, having to fight against the severity of the season, {this being Winter 1800 ! and rivers fed by the Alps} had even more to do against the current of the Salzach carried them twice to the shore from where they had managed, with all possible penalties, to pull their boat.
    Ffinally they could not complete their painful task until two of them had thrown themselves back into the river swimming and, by means of the rope attached to the boat, they managed to reach the left bank again.

    This trait of courage, to which no name can be given, inspired the greatest enthusiasm.
    Soon a large number of chasssurs of the 14th  headed by Capitaine Jean et l’Adjudant Major Cornille, entered the river to pass one of its arms which had only two feet of water, embarked and then descended on the other bank.

    I hastily grasp this {opportunity} given by this dedication. I determined to throw 300 or 400 men on the right bank, including two companies of the 4eme Demi-Brigade, commanded by Capitaine Cazeneuve et le Lieutenant Duvaldreux, who waded through most of the {deep} water, like the soldiers of the 14th Legere, although the 10eme mounted Chasseurs also wanted to pass beyond the first arm of the river on their horses and I made provisions for their protection, and above all by forcefully shooting and cannoning the enemy who was placed in ambush at the head of the bridge. We took a few more boats… “

    In Picard E., Paulier V. : « Mémoires et journaux du Général Decaen », Plon, Paris, 1910, t. 2, p. 169)

    Seems a plausible exploit by a relatively small number for a game scenario- when many rules create the greatest obfuscation about crossing obstacles.

    Sadly as they only fought ‘nature’ and not the enemy directly, these men mentioned in a despatch for their ‘intrepidity’ received no formal recognition whereas many other “armes d’honneur accordées à ses braves…”.

    I’d note as an aside, that many such river crossings {actually both sides} also occured in the Alps campaigns of 1799. Per Dr.C Duffy ‘Eagles over the Alps’.
    -d

    #194150
    Avatar photoOotKust
    Participant

    My alter-hobbyhorse, among a few I suppose, continued with the publication of some contemporary artwork depicting the army of 1800.

    Thanks to fabulous Markus Stein site and his personal dedication to the spirit of sharing, from http://uniformenportal.de/index.php?/category/29 some fabulous Wm.Kobell original, contemporary artwork. Copies available by using the download menu (disk)…

    Here’s his explanation of the two primary prints and 3 detailed shots_

    >>Two paintings by the famous painter Wilhelm von Kobell, showing French revolutionary troops in front of Munich, were exhibited as part of the 1809 campaign exhibition at the Bavarian Army Museum in Ingolstadt.

    They must be troops of the army of Moreau, which operated in the Munich area and won the Battle of Hohenlinden against the Austrian Army in 1800.

    Kobell is known for his good observation of the uniforming and equipment of the soldiers and is therefore a very good, contemporary image source for the uniformed customer.

    The paintings are owned by the Federal Republic of Germany.

    1- The first painting with a camp scene in the northeast of Munich.
    2- The second painting with a camp scene near Oberföhring, whose church can be seen in the background.

    There follows 3 details from above.
    3- An excerpt from the first painting with French lights and line infantry. Consider the heterogeneous* clothing – THE mark of the revolutionary infantry – and the attachment of the epaulettes to the infantry in rear view**.

    *IE – dissimilar uniform characteristics- an oxymoron I suppose!
    **The ‘unstrapping’ of the epaulette by so many, often illustrated, appears to be a matter of convenience, by loosening the shoulders of the habit or surtout, making them more ‘at ease’ to wear_dw.

    4- The left section in the second picture shows two cavalry of the Heavy Cavalry (which should soon be converted into Kürassiere) as well as a line infantry. In the background a (exercising?) group of line infantry.
    5- The right section of the second painting shows relaxed line infantry in the bivouac. Note the structure of the camping space by means of boards (*doors) and other aids.
    *_dww trans.
    Detail -2 pic.

    On another tack (that’s a nautical term for the uninitiated)… seen in the paintings above, and a whole heap of others- the [French] cavalry troopers wearing a yellow over black plume on their hatwear?

    And you see early ADCs and some hussards also adorned. Surely, logic would tell you that a form of misunderstanding could occur, given those are the ‘national’ colours of the enemy- Austria?
    Yet even into the Consular period, riders of the etat-major continued to wear such ‘distinctions’.

    I can’t fathom how this comes about!

    However, I can see me creating some ‘cavalry’ in the future, as an Armée du Rhin type ‘Hohenlinden’ force becomes a reality.
    The perfect figures are the old Minifigs ‘Spanish Dragoons’ in a wide bicorne with suitable horse furniture. Better than their ‘new sculpt’ version.

    On the matter of plumage, arose a query-

    >>Are you sure yellow over black? Could they have been red over yellow over blue which would equate with “l’Armée des Patriotes”?

    Further to the ‘plumes’ matter, I also have another plate from Kobell which is in the series by Dr P Martin Strasbourg, issued as Soldaten Im Bunten Rock -The French Army 1789-1807. ©W.Keller &Co Stuttgart 1969,

    The volume I’m referencing: a plain slip card cover and separate mountable plates with a tie bound multi-lingual booklet explanation of the artwork.

    [/url]IMG_5669_sm Soldaten- © by Dr P Martin Strasbourg, issued as Soldaten Im Bunten Rock -The French Army 1789-1807. ©W.Keller &Co Stuttgart 1969 on Flickr.

    I’ve taken a detailed pic of the relevant portion with a declaration that I own the print I have photographed which is covered by ‘Fair Use’ doctrine, it is an excerpt of the piece.

    So having got the legalese out of the way, the artwork clearly shows the yellow over black chapeau plume of the 8eme Cavalerie in 1800, by Wilhelm Kobell.

    The analysis that goes with it calls out the ‘yellow and black’ plume feature. And yes the interesting officers/ AdC horse in a clearly ‘lighter’ blue schabraque- not bleu celeste but probably meant to be ‘bleu-de-ciel’, with gold fringe all around. Also clearly not an unusual piece of the period being used by ‘heavy’ cavalry officers!

    Though I haven’t looked it up, I’m guessing that given their facings were jonquille, some regiments applied their facing to the plumes as well. The first 6 being scarlet. There’s enough similar drawings to believe these are correct colours.

    Equally interesting is the Carabinier- of the 1er Regiment- always an issue to identify the regiments because they are nearly always depicted wearing their ‘gauntlet’ gloves. Also the pre-Empire use of cavalry ‘overalls’ – grey/blue material with side stripes in chamois if not yellow, with cloth buttons (false or real unknown). Certainly a ‘campaign’ dress witnessed by Kobell in 1800! We should not be surprised!


    On infantry, given that the above, and that the deployed force only contained one demi-brigade legere, the 14eme, does it follow that those depicted are from that regiment?

    http://uniformenportal.de/picture.php?/159/category/30

    The uniforms look very smart, a bit ‘Germanic’ in the casquet area that looks more like a later raupenhelm of the Bavarians?

    The infantry one of each playing cards with the carters/ drivers- a chasseur/ eclaireur with green epaulettes and no plume; a carabinier with red epaulettes and plume; and lying aside an ordinary chasseur with no attributes.

    And of course the one on guard duty in brown greatcoat/ capote. An item that has been falsely claimed as to not have existed before the Empire or middle-Empire period countless times. Also, does the depiction of plumes in contemporary illustrations, long a ‘nationalistic’ display of cohesion among the ‘volunteers’ of France, appear erroneously? I think not…

    Of interesting I noted from  ‘Picard_ Vol 1’

    (4) Moreau se plaignait de n’avoir pas 12 bataillons d’infanterie légère sur 120 dont se composait l’armée. (Au Ministre de la guerre, Bâle, 10 ventôse.)

    Certainly wasn’t shy asking, nay demanding, help for the impoverished, unpaid and in part rebellious, Armée de Moreau…

    Perhaps this is partly why they fell out so badly- showing up the poor Government (not directly Bonapartes fault_) ministries over pay, supply, equipment, clothing and horses, recruits etc.

    Even Massena gets a slap (from Moreau) for “taking the front line officers to Italy”… with him. Meaning in my interpretation, the best officers.

    So only 10% legere composition? Not that many demi brigades d’infanterie légères but more than one.

    Assigned to the Army du Rhin were the 1er, 10eme and 14eme Legéres. At 3 bons per regiment making 9, unsure who the other demi-brigade was.

    Source:
    Schneider, Günter : Hohenlinden 1800 – die vergessene Schlacht


    More Reading:
    Back on Hohenlinden see Chuquet’s criticisms of Picard’s work in Historiens et marchands d’histoire : notes critiques sur des récents : La duchesse de Chevreuse ; La Tour du Pin ; Les vainqueurs de la Bastille ; Les discours de Danton ; Les volontaires nationaux ; Dumouriez ; Le général Dours, Stanislas Fréron ; Hohenlinden ; Le duc d’Enghien ; Duroe ; Étiene de Laclos ; Napoléon et le monde dramatique ; Madame de Genlis ; Delphine de Custine ; Le Brulard de Stendal ; A la barre de l’histoire ; La jeunesse de Louis-Philippe ; La guerre de 1870 / Arthur Chuquet
    Chuquet, Arthur
    Paris : Fontemoing et cie, s.a.
    High definition at http://resolve.ubsm.bg.ac.rs/HRS/1540

     

    #194992
    Avatar photoOotKust
    Participant

    Combinations of events, as history often does, cross each other- different people and different circumstances, yet apparently all actng ‘in good faith’.

    I usually stick to my ‘core’ interests and research, but a side step here and there doesn’t hurt does it? In reading through a demi-brigade by Berjaud, one which was in the Army du Rhin but had been transferred to the Army of Italy- the 1799 version, not the ‘Reserve’ Army of Dijon 1800 as its covert name was applied.

    So the Chef de brigade- Alexander Boutrouë, of the 68th demi-brigade infantry wrote his memoirs with a number of interesting facets.

    I’ll take this piece out of context. He’d been captured at the Battle of Novi, another impressive combat commanded (mainly) by Suvorov. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Novi_(1799) and was on parole in France awaiting release. This is the battle where a very respected, and endorsed under B., General Barthélemy Joubert was felled by a single shot from a Hungarian with a bullet to the heart leading an assault of the 26eme Legere, very early on in the battle.

    “Events which happened in Paris during the current of the summer would have had to, in other time than these, produce happy results.
    But I see that they have past without bringing any favourable change, by reason that the blindness with which are afflicted the referees of our destinies is such as none of them sees the chasm which opens under its steps.
    Never the posterity will be able to think in the opportunities that find today the villains and the swindlers to succeed. It seems that each hastens to iron out difficulties to them, and however, though there are surely many corrupt people, we are not degenerate in this point; the mass of the nation, at the bottom, is good, or, at least, if it is not it really, actively, she asks only the being; I can assert it to you, because I have many things observé by crossing our departments of the South of France.
    It is naturally necessary to conclude from the fact that those who, by their position, could punish or ruin some and protect others are really very guilty, and that they take on the head a big and terrible responsibility.
    However, you should not lose any hope, because, from instant to the other one and at the instant when they expect it least, he can arrive from events which change completely the face of business. Furthermore, we should be the dupes of eternal fantasy, never close our hearts in hope.
    I read with a lot of interest all details of your last letter. I approve all the more works which you have made this summer to your home, that they give more value to your property, and that they still augment your modest pleasure.
    I will write you immediately arriving in Niort.”

    Lucky I suppose he wrote this early in the piece and not under the later Consulate or Empire! Such was an opinion on the coup-d’etat of Brumaire.

    Meanwhile, back to early movements of the 68eme. The remnants of the Army of Italy
    reforming inside France (whether on parole or not) were used for ‘police’ duties. The West of France was still in turmoil, so his commentary on the la the Vendée and ‘Chouanns’ :

    October 6th, 1799 (11 Vendémiaire year 8), Alexander Boutrouë, Chef de Brigade of the 68th demi-brigade infantry of line wrote from Limoge, to his brother:
    “You will have, undoubtedly, learnt from our father, my good friend, that I was taken prisonnier-de-guerre in the battle of Novi, 28 last Thermidor, at last hour of struggle with misters Husses [Hungarians?].
    I have returned Fructidor 4th, and, since this epoch, I am en route to return to Niort, in the department of Deux-Sèvres, where now is the 3rd battalion, the one made prisonnier à Turin. I will stay there until my exchange there [referring to the ‘parôle’ military custom].

    Until this time, I shall come to see you, if however my presence is not necessary in this new country, where revolt of the Chouans again smells.
    So that you are in even to see on your map the routes which I held until now, I am going to give you the names of the main cities by where I am past: Novi, Genoa, Savone, Oneglia, San-Remo, Nice, Draguignan, Toulon, Marseilles, Avignon, Montélimart, Vienna, Roanne, Clermont, Aubusson, Bourganeuf.
    The commissioner of wars not having made me my continuance of route for Niort yet, I do not know where I will travel next.

    “I received your letter, dear friend, of 5 pluviôse. It seems that you did not receive my last, of the 1st nivôse. I acknowledged receipt to you of the letter of my mistress of Turin, whom you returned me. I did not write you since this time; I would have made it, that my letters would not have reached you, because all our correspondence was interrupted by misters Chouans.”

    Before the peace made with them, we occupied Sands of Olonne, Saint-Giles, Roche-sur-Yon, Herbariums and Fontenay. All these places are very distant to some of others, and my detachments could not correspond between them. Now that we have peace, I will give it more often of my news.

    A few days before the pacification of the Vendée, to us their donné avong a nice rubbing near Sands; we have them person killed many men and have of it drowned man about sixty in the marshes of Sands. We made them, besides, 300 prisoners, but they did the honour them, even to those that we took disguised.

    We are rather quiet, and it seems that all inhabitants are very happy to be in peace. God wants that it lasts. I however fear that, when we will go to disarm them, they make the grimace a bit. It is after this operation that we will be able to count on a solid peace.

    I am happy now that misters Chouans could not accomplish their plans in our country, and that finally your properties remain undamaged.

    I have forgotten to tell you this day tabout my brave Palatine [apparently his pet dog]; captured in the affair of Floréal 23rd, in front of Valence; since this time I did not hear anything about him; but he had not to get used with the Russians, because he did not love them very much [??].

    As I have another about twenty my prisoners officers who will not hesitate to come back to France, I still hope that somebody from them will bring him back to me. In the meantime I have another dog; he is very young and I will neglect nothing to give him a bright education. These days I will give him instructions. His name is Souvarow.

    So later in 1799 and thence 1800 we find that internal matters of France remain unsettled, just as the First Consul found less rest in the states of Northern Italy than he’d hoped for with their ‘liberation’ from previous masters.

    Bouncing from one campaign to another, in the meantime, new orders were issued:


    On December 4, 1799 (13 frimaire year 8), the Consul Bonaparte wrote, from Paris, to General Berthier, Minister of War:
    “The Minister of War will gather at his house Generals Moreau and Clarke, to decide together an operational plan for the new army of the Rhine.

    The Consuls would like the Rhine army to move to Bavaria towards the end of December. It will be reinforced, 1 ° of the 4th, 15th, 56th, 42nd, 51st, 68th, of two Batavian half-brigades and two French half-brigades of the army which is in Batavie, of the 21st fighter regiment, which is in Paris, and of three cavalry regiments, which are in Batavie; (2) all battalions of conscripts which may be sent there and which shall be incorporated upon arrival.

    The Minister of War will withdraw from the interior any cavalry regiments he may, in order to send them to the army of the Rhine. He will particularly send the 11th Hussars, which we will equip for this purpose as quickly as possible “

    Thus Moreau, removed from a lost campaign, to Germany, was now reinforced by some of the units formerly taken from there.
    I am reading between these records, that while the 3/ 68eme remained ‘en parole’ and inside France for some time, the first and second battalions were to reform and march to the Armée de Rhin. The note on ‘conscripts’ also interesting, without any further detail apparent.
    Regards -d

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