Cottin, P. & Henault, M. (Ed.).


Heinemann, 1st Eng., translated ed., 1899. Xvi + 356 pp., frontis. Re-cased retaining original green covers but with new e.p.’s. ; 21 x 14cm. V.G.+. Sergeant Bourgogne enlisted in the highly thought of Velites at the age of twenty and in 1807 he was promoted Corporal. In 1812 he was promoted Sergeant in the detachment of Velites serving with Napoleon’s crack troops, the Guard. His experiences in Russia are fully described in this classic French memoir which is the only surviving eyewitness account of Napoleon’s capture of, and disastrous retreat from, Moscow during the freezing winter of 1812. Separated from his regiment by the fire that ravaged the city, Bourgogne spent three months fighting his way back to Prussia, re-joining the straggling column in retreat. On his return he was commissioned Second Lieutenant in the 145th Line Regiment and saw action in Prussia. At the battle of Dessau in 1813 he was wounded and captured. During his imprisonment he wrote notes about the Russian campaign which, supplemented by letters he had written to his mother, were to provide the basis of his Memoirs. These are mainly concerned with the retreat from Moscow and remain a valuable historical account. First English Edition.

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