Emperor of the French Napoleon I.

New letters of Napoleon I, omitted from the edition published under the auspices of Napoleon III online

. (page 28 of 34)
Online LibraryEmperor of the French Napoleon INew letters of Napoleon I, omitted from the edition published under the auspices of Napoleon III → online text (page 28 of 34)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


am assured that important documents will be found. Appoint
men on whom you can rely.

DXVIII

TO MARSHAL DAVOUT, PRINCE D'ECKMUHL,
MINISTER OF WAR.

PARIS, lyk April 1815.

WRITE by special express to General Grouchy, that he
must have received the letter I sent him, direct, through the



NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I 335

telegraph, and which appeared in yesterday's Moniteur ;
that he must make the Due d'Angouleme sign a promise to
have the Crown diamonds returned, and never to bear arms
against France ; and that he is to notify to him the Decrees
which condemn him to death, as a member of the Bourbon
family, if he should re-enter France. General Grouchy must
take back any money which has been drawn from the Public
Funds, and let him go.

The intercepted letters show that the Prince of Essling is
not behaving very well. Yet we must await the result of his
measures. Send the Marshal orders to proceed to Paris.

I believe I have cashiered General d'Aultanne. Let me
know to what part of the country he belongs. He will be
sent back to his own neighbourhood ; there is no use in his
coming to Paris. I have also cashiered General de Loverdo ;
he must not come to Paris, nor must General Monnier
come here, but, as he belongs to Avignon, he must not be
left there. He might be sent somewhere near Grenoble,
under surveillance.

Fresh Generals must be sent to the 8th Division, and none
of the present ones must be left with it. I conclude I have
cashiered General Ernouf ; he must not come to Paris ; send
him to some small commune, under surveillance.

Generals Gilly and Merle are exceedingly well spoken of.
They may be successfully employed in the country where
they now are, and so may Rivaud and Morin, the Gendar-
merie officers, who were put in prison by the Princes.



DXIX

TO M, FOUCHfi, DUG D'OTRANTE, MINISTER OF POLICE.

PARIS, i^th April 1815.

I SEND you a letter from General Fressinet If Dambray
has not made his submission, by the time this present order
reaches you, you will issue a warrant for his arrest, and
have him taken to Vincennes. Write to the Prefect of Rouen
that he is to take measures to keep down the emigres, and
make a clearance of the men who are known to have been
attached to the old regime. If Dambray does make his sub-
mission, you will remove him from Normandy, and send him
into Burgundy, under surveillance.
23



336 NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I

DXX

TO M. DE CAULAINCOURT, DUG DE VICENCE, MINISTER
FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

PARIS, 27 f A April 1815,

I DESIRE you will draw me up a report, to be read at the
Ministerial Council on Saturday, and printed in Sunday's
Moniteur. This report will set forth the communications
we have made to England, and the answers received ; those
we have made to Switzerland, with the answers ; all we
know about the Allies' plans ; our correspondence with the
King of Naples, the advantage which should accrue to us
therefrom, and all we know as to his operations. This report
must be clear and truthful ; it will be drawn up with two
objects :

The first, to inform the nation as to the situation, and to
hint what we have learned of the enemy's arrangements,
and of their avowed plan for dividing and weakening France.
You will not fail to remark, that we have printed all their
Notes, and that they have not printed one of ours ; that the
Powers who desire to make war against us, can only do so,
by deceiving the nations as to our real position ; that we
do not desire to decei/e any one, and are anxious to make
the whole truth known.

The second object will be, to point out that people are
fond of representing us as living, like the men of '93, in a
state of the most complete anarchy ; and that this was one
of the chief reasons which induced us to institute, by virtue
of a fourth plebiscite, that true liberty, without anarchy,
which is indispensable to the internal happiness of the
nation, and need not alarm any other Power.

You will realise the importance of this report, with its
double object. Work at it, so that it may appear in Sunday's
Moniteur.

DXXI
TO M. GAUDIN, DUG DE GAfiTE, MINISTER OF FINANCE.

PARIS, 1st May 1815.

I SEND you a summary of the finances of the Conde
family. I desire you will bring me a statement of those of
the Orleans family, and of that of the King, etc., on Wednes-
day, so that we may take steps to reassure their creditors.



NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I 337

DXXII

TO PRINCE CAMBACRS, GRAND CHANCELLOR OF THE
EMPIRE, IN CHARGE OF THE MINISTRY OF JUSTICE.

PARIS, 2nd May 1815.

You have a notoriously evil-disposed man in your offices.
My intention is that to-morrow (Wednesday), you shall
bring me a statement of the persons to be discharged, both
from the Ministry of Justice, and from the offices of the
Council of State. If you do not make these alterations,
I shall be obliged to make them myself, and that would be
an unlucky step, for I might make mistakes, and once I had
made up my mind, I should not alter anything that had
been done. 1

DXXIII

TO MARSHAL DAVOUT, PRINCE D'ECKMUHL,
MINISTER OF WAR.

PARIS, 2nd May 1815.

REPLY to Marshal Grouchy that it is not true that the
Allies have asked for a passage through Switzerland, and
over the Simplon, for their troops. Neither is it true that
the King of Naples was beaten on the I5th. He gained a
very distinct advantage on the 1 8th, at Cesena, and has
retired in good order.

The last news of Marmont tells us he is at Ghent, so he
is probably not commanding the Piedmontese troops.



DXXIV -

TO M. FOUCHfi, DUG D'OTRANTE, MINISTER OF POLICE.

PARIS, yd May 1815.

THE Due de Berri's aide-de-camp, Mons. de LeVis, has
been in Paris for the last two days. He is living at No. 2
Rue Neuve du Luxembourg. Try to have him arrested, so
as to get possession of his papers.

1 A similar letter was written to the Minister of the Interior ; the last sentence
was struck out of the draft by the Emperor himself.



338 NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON 1

DXXV
TO VICE-ADMIRAL DUG DECRES, MINISTER OF THE NAVY.

PARIS, $th May 1815.

YOU will tell Captain Moncabrie" that a letter has been
found amongst Mons. de Blacas' papers, in which he de-
scribes the conversation he had with me at Frejus, to
Mons. Malouet ; that his description is perfectly correct, and
couched in friendly terms, and that I was pleased with it.

DXXVI

TO M. FOUCHE, DUG D'OTRANTE, MINISTER OF POLICE.

PARIS, $th May 1815.

IT is asserted that Mons. Fouache, the ex-Sub-Prefect
of Havre, is encouraging a gathering of two hundred soldiers
recalled to duty, who are collecting round Havre. Order this
Fouache to come to Paris, and if the action imputed to him
is true, have him arrested.

There is also said to be a gathering of the nobility at
Blangy, in the Seine-Inferieure, at the house of a Mons. de
Calonne. What are they doing there?

It is also reported that a great number of persons go to
the house of a certain Demoiselle Mache, at Rouen, bringing
money with them.

DXXVII

TO MARSHAL DAVOUT, PRINCE D'ECKMUHL,
MINISTER OF WAR.

PARIS, $th May 1815.

SEND orders that Colonel de Vence, who is at Rouen, and
who is keeping up a correspondence with his former regi-
ment, is to be arrested on the spot, and taken to the Abbaye.

DXXVIII

TO MARSHAL DAVOUT, PRINCE D'ECKMUHL,
MINISTER OF WAR.

PARIS, \\th May 1815.

I REQUEST you will submit to me, during the day, a list
of all the general and senior officers in the King's household,



NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I 339

whom I have consented to take back into the army. I have
no intention of revoking this decision. But with regard to
those who have obtained promotion while in the King's
household, you will submit me the draft of a Decree, to annul
such promotion my intention being only to give them com-
missions in the rank they held before the end of April 1814.
Those persons who refuse to engage in their former rank,
will be cashiered.

I hear General Montmarie is still in Paris, because, he
says, I have not confirmed his Lieutenant-General's appoint-
ment. These gentlemen overtax my good-nature. I will
not ratify any promotion given "by the King, in his house-
hold. I do quite enough, when I wipe out the disfavour
with which I must regard those persons who entered the
King's household at all, and admit them to the rank they
held in 1814.

DXXIX

TO M. FOUCHfi, DUG D'OTRANTE, MINISTER OF POLICE.

PARIS, I3/A May 1815.

IT appears that Mathieu Montmorency is the Comte de
Lille's principal agent in the Vendee, and that he is the
mainspring there, at the present moment. You must issue a
writ of Habeas Corpus against him, and have him prosecuted,
as a promoter of civil war. Either he will come, or he will
not come. If he does not, he will be condemned in default,
and all his property will be laid under sequestration.

DXXX

TO MARSHAL DAVOUT, PRINCE D'ECKMUHL,
MINISTER OF WAR.

PARIS, i-$th May 1815.

As the 43rd Regiment has joined the force in the
Vendee, this regiment, with 500 gendarmes and 300 men of
the naval force, must put General Delaborde in a position
to allow all the line troops, of which we are in such great
need, to move away to the army.

Give orders to the Chief Inspector of Gendarmerie, to send
the rest of his 1st Battalion to Angers, so that there may be



340 NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I

500 gendarmes there, as soon as possible. Give orders
that these 500 men, with 100 of the local gendarmes,
1000 men of the 43rd Regiment, and the 300 men of the
naval troops at least 1800 men in all, are to be divided
into three flying columns, of 600 men each. Each column is
to be placed under the orders of a General, or Senior Officer,
and these will arrange all operations between them. If the
country is well covered by these columns, all seditious move-
ments should be stifled. They must find out whether the
Due de Bourbon is there, or not, and give orders to the chief
personages in the country, whose conduct does not appear to
be reliable, and even to d'Autichamps, to proceed to
Paris. You may also desire General Delaborde to fill up
the 3rd, 4th, and 5th Battalions of the 43rd Regiment, with
retired soldiers, who do not wish to leave the country ; giving
them an assurance that this regiment, which is intended to
insure the peace of the locality, will not be employed else-
where. By this means, he will at once have five battalions,
instead of two. As the depot is at Rochefort, he might
even bring over a skeleton battalion from Nantes.



DXXXI

TO M. FOUCH, DUG D'OTRANTE, MINISTER OF POLICE.

PARIS, i$th May 1815.

GIVE orders that the parish priests of Meudon and St.
Cloud are at once to leave their commune, and be sent,
under surveillance, to a place forty leagues from Paris.
These two priests will, further, be dismissed They are very
dangerous men, whose presence cannot be permitted where
I live.

DXXXII

TO M. FOUCH, DUG D'OTRANTE, MINISTER OF POLICE.

PARIS, \6fk May 1815.

I AM assured that on the I5th, the Sub-Prefect of Nogent-
le-Rotrou had a proclamation from Louis XVIII. affixed to
the church door, and that there has been a great deal of
disturbance in that Commune. Give me an account of this
matter.



NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I 341

DXXXIII

TO MARSHAL DAVOUT, PRINCE D'ECKMUHL,
MINISTER OF WAR.

PARIS, 1 8^ May 1815.

You will receive the Decree declaring Marseilles in a
state of siege. Desire Marshal Brune to put General
Verdier in command of the town. Give him orders to
parade his troops at an opportune moment, to have the
Decree secretly printed, and to give his instructions to
General Verdier, who will publish his proclamation, disarm
the National Guard, reorganise a new one, and have
twenty-five or thirty of the principal leaders of the Royalist
party taken to Fort Samalgue, all at the same moment.
Desire him to take all the steps circumstances may render
necessary.

DXXXIV

TO COMTE RAL, PREFECT OF POLICE.

PARIS, iqtk May 1815.

IT appears that Mons. Bresson de Valensolles, who was
the Marshal's agent at Vienna, went abroad a week ago.
You will realise the importance of this communication. See
about verifying how, and by what road, he went.

A certain Lagarde, who was in Russia, spent the night at
Langres, forty-eight hours ago. He was on his way to
Paris, where he must have arrived. News might be had of
him from Ouvrard, who appears to have some connection
with him. It will be necessary to find out, without attract-
ing any notice, whether he is here, and, if he has not come,,
to take steps to seize his papers before he arrives.

DXXXV

TO MARSHAL DAVOUT, PRINTE D'ECKMUHL,
MINISTER OF WAR.

PARIS, iQth May 1815.

AUTHORISE General Delaborde to keep the 6th Regi-
ment of the line, as well as the 43rd. He must form flying



34* NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I

columns, made up of the Gendarmerie, and of troops of the
line. Authorise him to have a military court attached to
them, and to have every man who is taken with arms in his
hands, shot. And give him permission to send all persons
who appear to him suspicious, into Champagne, Burgundy,
and Dauphine, and to have all persons who promote armed
gatherings, arrested.

Order General Delaborde to collect his forces, to proceed
to Mons. La Rochejaquelein's house, and raze it to the
ground. He will have all his property placed under seques-
tration. The Province of Vendee will recognise, in this
vigorous action, a renewal of the misfortunes which over-
whelmed it ten years ago.

A Proclamation will point to it, as the beginning of the
fresh disasters the Province will have to undergo, and which
may yet be avoided.



DXXXVI

TO COMTE MOLLIEN, MINISTER OF THE PUBLIC
EXCHEQUER.

PARIS, 2$rd May 1815.

BY virtue of my Decree of 3rd May, the Exchequer owes
the Empress Josephine, the Princes Joseph, Louis, Jerome,
Princess Hortense, and her children, 3,965,955 francs 93
centimes, and the Emperor 8,680,622 francs 25 centimes
total, 12,646,578 francs 18 centimes. The Princes and the
Crown are in equal need of these funds, to pay arrears
of expenditure. Yet the Exchequer finds it impossible to
pay them off. This has made me resolve to effect a pay-
ment through the Crown Exchequer, in bills issued for the
purchase of National Forests. Choose lots worth a million
each, in various Departments. My intention is that these
bills shall be negotiated in payment of the arrears of debt.
I am desiring the Crown Comptroller to see you about the
matter. I wish the whole business to be concluded in the
course of this week. 1

1 A similar letter was sent to Mons. de Montalivet, Comptroller to the
Crown.



NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I 343

DXXXVII

TO M. FOUCHE, DUG D'OTRANTE, MINISTER OF POLICE.

PARIS, 2$th May 1815.

SEND an agent to Noyon. Public meetings are held
there, at which Royalists openly proclaim themselves. Your
agent will remain there several days, without being known,
and will then report to you as to the ringleaders, who must
be arrested, or removed to a distance. The Ghent Pro-
clamations are posted at Noyon.

Give orders that the ex-Mayor of Givet, and a certain
Longueil, are to leave Givet, and go to a distance. Send
them to live, under surveillance, in some small town in
Burgundy.

DXXXVIII

TO MARSHAL DAVOUT, PRINCE D'ECKMUHL,
MINISTER OF WAR.

PARIS, 25^ May 1815.

I SEND you back General Delaborde's correspondence.
He seems still to be following a dangerous course.

The town of Nantes does not require the help of the 1 5th
Regiment. The town, with its population of 60,000 souls,
cannot allow the enemy to capture it.

Repeat orders by special express :

(ist) That he is to mass the I5th, 25th, and 26th Regi-
ments, and all his Gendarmes, and place these troops under
General Corbineau's orders.

(2nd) To recall all small detachments, whether at Fonte-
vrauld or any other place.

(3rd) As the Young Guard will reach him to-morrow, he
will form a third column, under the orders of General Brayer.
Thus he will have General Travot's column, General Cor-
bineau's column, and General Brayer's column. He will
add all the Cavalry and Gendarmes he has. He will leave
General Charpentier at Nantes, where he will form a fourth
column ; and as soon as they are ready, these four columns
will march, keeping touch, so as to be able to support each
other. General Corbineau will be in command until General
Lamarque arrives. Give orders for the thorough organisa-



344 NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I

tion of the National Guard, at Saumur and Angers, where
the populace is well disposed. It is of importance that it
should be provided with weapons.

You must set a price on the heads of La Rochejaquelein,
d'Autichamps, and the other leaders. Arrange your march
so as to reach their family properties, and destroy their
country-houses. The Generals must issue proclamations,
and must make the Prefects do the same, to enlighten
the minds of the population of the Vendee. They must
announce that large numbers of troops are approaching.
Make General Travot aware of my satisfaction. General
Lamarque is about to start. Give him the same instructions.
The chief point is that he should always keep his troops
together, so as to avoid all chance of failure. Nantes,
Saumur, and Angers must defend themselves, and he need
not do more than garrison the castles, in those towns. The
officers you have appointed have not yet started ; yet it
is very important that somebody should be there, to look
after the preparations for defence, and stir up the communes.

DXXXIX

TO GENERAL COMTE DROUOT, ASSISTANT MILITARY
SURGEON OF THE IMPERIAL GUARD.

PARIS, 25^ May 1815.

I HAVE written you several times, regarding my intention
that the Young Guard shall be enlisted through recruiting
offices, established in the different military quarters ; that
the officers commanding battalions shall draw up the recruit-
ing placards, and that they shall proceed, with drummers,
to the different public squares, and there read the said
placards aloud. This may not answer, but I think it will
procure you several thousand men.

DXL

TO GENERAL COMTE LEMAROIS, COMMANDING THE
I5TH MILITARY DIVISION, AT ROUEN.

PARIS, 2$th May 1815.

I HAVE your letter of 2oth May. Send me the names
of all the worst finance officials, but try not to make any



NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I 345

mistakes ; I shall dismiss them. Let me have details about
the Duchatel family, and let them know that if their be-
haviour does not improve, I shall dismiss them all. Send
me also a statement of the Generals who must be changed.
Speaking generally, you are too vague in your remarks.

You must have received the Decree whereby I appoint
a Superior Committee of Order over which you will preside.
Clear your Departments of everything which can bring harm.
It is of urgent importance that you should send off your
battalions of the National Guard to Dunkirk. Send the
old soldiers you are recalling to Paris ; it will be an excuse
for getting them away.

I have sent you new Prefects. Concert measures with
them, and with the Superior Committee. Have minutes
kept of your deliberations ; and everything you ask shall
be done. Alter the feeling of that fair Province, in the
population of which so much good exists.



DXLI

TO M. FOUCHfi, DUG D'OTRANTE, MINISTER OF POLICE.

PARIS, 2tyk May 1815.

I SEND you a letter from the Prefect of the Sarthe. Make
him aware of my displeasure. This is not worthy of the
Police Commissary of Boulogne. How has he allowed events
thus to come upon him unawares, without having taken a
single step, or even organised one battalion of the National
Guard, all through his Department, to protect it? His con-
duct stamps him a very poor administrator, or else a fool.

DXLII
TO M. FOUCH, DUG D'OTRANTE, MINISTER OF POLICE.

PARIS, ist June 1815.

THE disarming of Marseilles seems to have brought the
Revolutionary Party in that town back to life ; and if none
but reliable men are enrolled in the National Guard, we
shall have their assistance in keeping down the evil-disposed
section.

I see Bordeaux still goes on very badly. Take the same



346 NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I

steps for disarming the Bordeaux National Guard, doing
the same thing there as at Marseilles, and re-organising the
Guard, with none but the faithful men belonging to the town.
They will suffice to keep down the malcontents. Desire the
Committee of Order to arrest all persons who held commands
under the King, and to have all volunteers who enrolled for
the Duchesse d'Angouleme arrested, and sent to serve in the
army.

The same course should be followed at Toulon and Mon-
tauban : the National Guard must be disarmed, and recon-
stituted with men who are friendly to the Revolution.
These four operations should change the whole face of the
south of France.

Make me a report about Lille. What is the strength of
the National Guard in that town, and would it not be well to
disarm it? Steps would be taken, later, for raising another.
It seems to me too great an imprudence to leave arms in the
hands of a disaffected National Guard.



DXLIII

TO VICE-ADMIRAL DUG DECR&S, MINISTER OF THE NAVY.

PARIS, ist June 1815.

You will receive a Decree to provide men for the Artillery
of the Guard. Select them out of the three battalions now
in Paris, and draft them into the Guard to-morrow. You will
fill their places with conscripts, and men from the naval
ports.

You have suggested my bringing five companies of gunners
to Paris, to be composed of a hundred cadets, who would be
treated as soldiers each company to be commanded by a
captain, and midshipmen. The whole battalion under a post-
captain. I think the idea a very good one. Give them
orders to come to Paris. Select the post-captain who is to
command them, and, when you have given the necessary
orders, submit me the draft of a Decree, to sanction the
formation of this new corps.

If you have boatswains and chief boatswains, in my pay,
who are not actually employed, you might form them into a
similar Artillery battalion.



NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I 347

Give orders to the 133 Artillery officers on half-pay, to
proceed to the Northern fortresses, to those in Alsace, and to
those on the Meuse. Send to the Minister of War, to find
out the number to be sent to each fortress, and their rank,
and distribute them accordingly.

You have suggested my raising a battalion of midship-
men. I should also wish to raise one of gunners, numbering
500 men that is, five companies. I should bring them to Paris.
They will be commanded by naval officers of superior rank,
and the chief command of the battalion will be given to a
Rear-Admiral. How much would it cost?

I should also like to organise the retired naval officers,
living in their own homes at Marseilles, Nantes, and
Bordeaux, into companies of 100 men each. This would
have a great effect on public feeling in those towns. You
must know how many unemployed naval officers there are
in these towns, and how much this arrangement would cost
me.

DXLIV

TO MARSHAL SOULT, DUG DE DALMATIE.

PARIS, yd June 1815.

I THINK you may, to avoid exciting remark in the army,
assert, without any inconsistency, that the Bourbons' flight
from French territory, their appeal to strangers to restore
them to their throne, and the will of the whole nation,
have broken all engagements made with them. Without
this sentence, I think the Order of the Day might do you a
mischief amongst suspicious persons.



DXLV

TO KING JOSEPH.

PHILIPPEVILLE, igthfune 1815.

ALL is not lost. I suppose that by collecting all my
forces, I shall still have a hundred and fifty thousand men
remaining. The federated troops, and the best of the
National Guard, will furnish me a hundred thousand men ;
and the depot battalions fifty thousand more. Thus I shall
have three hundred thousand soldiers, with whom I can at



348 NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I

once oppose the enemy. I will horse my Artillery with
carriage- horses. I will raise a hundred thousand conscripts.
I will arm them with muskets taken from the Royalists, and
from the ill-disposed members of the National Guard. I will
raise the whole of Dauphine, the Lyonnais, and Burgundy,
I will overwhelm the enemy. But the people must help me,
and not bewilder me. I am going to Laon. I shall doubtless
find people there. I have no news of Grouchy. If he has
not been taken, as I fear, I may have fifty thousand men within
three days. With them, I can keep the enemy engaged, and
give France, and Paris, time to do their duty. The Austrians
march slowly, the Prussians are afraid of the peasants, and
dare not advance too fast ; everything may yet be retrieved.



Online LibraryEmperor of the French Napoleon INew letters of Napoleon I, omitted from the edition published under the auspices of Napoleon III → online text (page 28 of 34)