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 Research | Napoleonic Cugnac Campaign of the Army of the Reserve in 1800 English Part 1 Chapter 4

IN 1800


Offensive of the Austrians in Italy. – Surprised of Mount Cenis. – Reinforcements directed towards Mont Blanc. – Movements of Chabran's division and Watrin. – Continuation of the organization of the Army of the Reserve.

The movements of the Army of the Reserve were subordinated to the operations of the Army of the Rhine. They did not depend less situation on the Army of Italy, against which the Austrians pronounced a vigorous offensive in early April.

The operations of Melas against Masséna in the river of Genoa were known in France only at the end of the month; but one learned soon, in Dijon and Paris, the attack directed by the Austrians on Mount Cenis,


The situation of the left wing of the Army of Italy was as follows, 20th ventôse year 8 (March 11, 1800) (1):

TURREAU, commanding general.

Le Cat, general, adjutant general chief of staff.

BARDENET, brigadier general, commanding artillery.

VIRIVILLE, directing commissioner.

the 9th division
(3,553 men).
St-Jean-of-Maurienne (2).
Major general.
Generals of brigade. VALETTE.
Adjutant generals. FLAVIGNY.
104th of line 2,300 men.
21st 200
12th 540
15th light 350
Sappers 19
Light artillery 144
8 division
(4,332 men).
Spray (3).
Major general.
Generals of brigade. KISTER.
Adjutant general. PAULET.
26th of line 1,200 men.
80th 612
88th 548
107th 400
28th light 1,150
Sappers 167
Artillery on foot 212
light 43

As of April 4, the prefect of Mont Blanc (4) claimed reinforcements:

…. I learn today that the posts of the little Mount Cenis, Bessan and the pass of the Roue are not kept: the enemy can turn our posts by these passages and do captive all that is there….

…. It is not only important to replace the 104th demi-brigade, but still to increase the number of the troops which must defend the valleys of Maurienne and Tarentaise with 4,000 men (5)….

April 7, it exposed its fears again to see the enemy “carrying, by incursions, death and desolation in a department (6).

The following day, the events gave him reason.

Report of the movements operated in the current of the month of germinal by 8th and the 9th divisions forming the left wing of the Army of Italy under the orders of General Turreau.

Spray, the 1st floréal year 8 (April 21, 1800).

the 9th division (1682 men).

11th germinal (7), the brigadier general Valette arrived at Saint-Jean-to-Maurienne, to take the command of the 9th division, which General Kister commanded. the 104th demi-brigade of line, which formed the cause beyond control in Maurienne, had received order to leave for Genoa; it passed Galibier 11th germinal, except two detached companies with Sallanches, which were not joined yet, which passed 13th, without to have lost world; the first column left 7 men and 1 there officer, who perished in snows, according to the particular reports.

This demi-brigade, strong of 2,500 men, was replaced by the batallion of war of the 15th light, strength of 145 men, included officers.

14th germinal, General Valette accepted order to make leave for Embrun a company sappers, only troop which remained, with the 15th light, for the guard of Mount Cenis and the valleys, with 60 gunners without weapons.

16th in the morning, General Valette accepted the imperative order to make leave the 15th light without any delay, making it pass by Galibier, to go to Briançon; the General started from continuation to go to Lanslebourg, in order to activate this movement, to overcome the difficulties which could arise and take the measures necessary to it to put the national guard in activity, so that it made the service until the arrival of the new troops; he made leave an officer in post to make arrive of Tarentaise, with forced march, the 21st demi-brigade of line and 150 men of the 12th.

18th (8), day fixed for, departure of 15th, Mount Cenis was attacked.

The enemy arrived on two columns; its force was 15 to 1600 men. The strongest column passed by the little Mount Cenis, turned the lake and fell with impetuosity on the rear from the posts. The second column went up by Novalèse. At four o'clock in the morning, Mount Cenis was carried. A detachment of 20 men of the 15th light, commanded by an officer, who had escorted….(9) 564 Austrian prisoners who had been returned the day before, had received order to go to take post in Mount Cenis and was almost ridden, when it was enveloped by the column which went down on Lanslebourg. This column melted then on the aforementioned village and arrived there almost at once that some carriages of the 15th light which were escaped for him, only warning which we had of the enemy. The little of men who remained in Lanslebourg did not have even time to meet and was forced to withdraw itself. The enemy continued us until Termignon. The evening, not knowing neither the force nor the intentions of the enemy, General Davin gave an opinion in front of the village of Saint-Andrew; there remained nothing any more but one about sixty combatants.

19th, one pushed a reconnaissance on Lanslebourg; one could not enter there, being occupied by superior forces. 20th, it arrived the 21st demi-brigade of line, strong of 140 men. 21st, one took again Lanslebourg. 23rd, arrived at Saint Michel a detachment of the 12th of line, also coming from Tarentaise; 23rd, one went up towards Mount Cenis, one placed a post close Ramasse.

The aforementioned day, one accepted light artillery a detachment, a company of sappers, with a depot of the 25th light, forming in all 150 men, who were directed on Lanslebourg; the 25th light, made up men of which a part awaited his retirement, remained in Modane, to provide to the post of Charmet with 15 employees with the customs.

23rd, the Small-Bernard was attacked at eight o'clock in the evening. The enemy was pushed back (10).

25th, arrived from Lyon to Saint Michel a detachment of the 15th light, strength of 180 men, which of continuation was directed on Lanslebourg.

26th, one seized Mount Cenis; the enemy presented himself at the post of Grande-Croix and was pushed back and continued to the plain of Saint Nicolas; the enemy had 3 wounded men and the officer who commands the detachment was mortally. General Valette had been transported in Lanslebourg this day and set out again about it to transport its headquarters in Modane.

The outposts of the enemy are, in this moment, in front of Venaus, village located at one mile above Suze, where their principal forces are concentrated. According to several reports, they can be approximately 3,500 men. Their outposts, on the side of the valley. of Oulx, are in Gravère, where they have several pieces of artillery.

the 8th division (4,694 men).

20th germinal, the troops composing the advance guard, 1200 men, gathered in Fénil and left there at eight o'clock in the evening, to go to attack the enemy, who had posts in front of Exilles. Arrivals with Oulx, they were divided in two columns; the first, strong 400 men, left two hours there before the second to gain the heights until Ramasse and, from there, to fall on Exilles to seize some.

The second, strong of 800 men, carried on his road two hours after the departure of the first and is arrival with the outposts of the enemy at five o'clock in the morning. It was attacked, and, after having fought during approximately two hours, the troops seized Exilles; the enemy lost, in this business, approximately 45 killed or wounded men and 30 prisoners; there was not, on our side, that 3 wounded.

The evening, over the five hours, the enemy, strength of approximately 2,400 men, came to attack our troops in the positions which they had captures with Exilles and forced to give up them for one moment; but it again was attacked and obliged, after three hours of action, to withdraw itself; it lost, in this second business, 50 to 60 killed or wounded and 90 prisoners; we had only 7 wounded and 2 prisoners taken by continuing the enemy.

22nd, we withdrew ourselves from Exilles, not having enough force to support this post, and gave an opinion with Oulx, where we (sic) remained until the 24 and, from there, on the old positions, in Fénil.

In the number of our casualties, is the Blamont adjutant general, who commanded the advance guard, and behaved with greatest bravery and was wounded with the column heading, with the bridge of Exilles, when the enemy disputed the passage of it to him.

The citizen Pracfke, commander of batallion of the 28th light demi-brigade, was also wounded with the same passage, and, the same, was distinguished perfectly. The citizen Capue, captain with the same corps, showed greatest courage.

The 28th light, which commanded this advance guard, fought with greatest intrepidity, and one could not give him too many praises of the control which it held in this business.

26th, the enemy attacked at ten o'clock in the morning, with 2 pieces of artillery, the outposts of Fenestrelles, placed between Villaret and Mentoulles; the republican tirailleurs pushed back those of the enemy and, by this means, the 2 pieces were folded up on Villaret; the force of the enemy was of 400 men.

The evening, between five and six hours, the enemy, reinforced of 600 men of the regiment of Rohan and 60 hussars, made one second attack, still with its 2 pieces of artillery. Our posts, obliged to yield to the higher force, were folded up on the position; encouraged by the fire of the strength, 150 republicans, at most, of the 26th line, pushed back the enemy until Villaret. We had, in this business, only 3 wounded men; the enemy lost 12 died, more than 60 wounded and 4 prisoners.

27th, the outposts detached from the patrols which were shot respectively and the enemy is always turned over to his old positions.

Valette (11), brigadier general to the Minister for the war.

Modane, 10th floréal year 8 (April 30, 1800).

Citizen Minister,

I receive today, 9 floréal, the letter that you made me the honor be written at the date of the 27th the germinal last; I hasten to submit the report to you that you ask me, by making it go back at the time of my arrival to the headquarters of the 9th division of the army.

11th germinal, I was able at Saint-Jean-to-Maurienne to take the command of the 9th active division. The 104th demi-brigade of line, which occupied Maurienne, strong from approximately 2,500 men, had received the order to leave there without the least delay, to go to forced march to the right wing of the army, while passing by Galibier, Briançon, etc This movement took place 11th and 13th, in spite of the difficulties of the passage, which were such, that it perishes there 2 officers and 11 soldiers.

It is not useless to observe here only the General Kister, which I replaced, had conceived more the sharp concerns at the beginning of the 104th demi-brigade, and that it had testified, in the presence of some people, her impatience to see me arriving, while saying: “If Mount Cenis must be taken, I do not want that it either while I command division. ”

It did not remain any more, to keep the Mount Cenis and the various passes succeeding of Piedmont in Maurienne, that 223 men of the 15th demi-brigade of light infantry; 152 were placed on Mount Cenis with 53 gunners without weapons (12).

Frightened of this destitution, I wrote some following General Turreau, by observing to him that the enemy would probably not attack the Mount Cenis of face; but that, overcoming the difficulties of the season, it could turn it, to remove the men, to plunder the magazines, to destroy the works, to take along our artillery and to withdraw continuation; because I envisaged well that it would not be established there. Unfortunately, my forecasts were checked, and, with them, those of General Kister, and of all those which knew our destitution and which knew how much the enemy was been useful exactly by its spies.

I ordered at once with the 21st demi-brigade, placed in Tarentaise, strong of 123 men, to go, by doubling the marches, with Saint-Jean-of-Maurienne; she could arrive there only 18th.

I had received 16th, at nine o'clock in the morning, an order of the chief of staff of the left wing, to make leave, without the least time, the 15th demi-brigade; I join the certified copy here of it. This departure became for me a new subject of concerns; but supposing that this movement was due to some operations of General Turreau, that I to fix on him the attention of the enemy, and putting all my duty to obey, I imagined to want gave the Brenier General, commanding in Tarentaise, the order to send 150 men of the 12th to me demi-brigade of line.

I wrote at the same time with the Boyer adjutant general, commanding in Chambéry, that it made me pass at least 100 men; I limited myself to this number, because I knew that there were only very few troops in this position, and I made, in addition, a very pressing circular with all the administrations of Maurienne, so that they had to set up the national guard, in their saying, not to sow terror, that military operations required the temporary displacement of the major part of the troops of the valley, by adding that one was going to send new troops to me, and that, until they were arrivals, I needed the help of the respective national guards; such were the expressions of my circular.

Consulting only my zeal for the public thing, I go up on horse over the two hours of the afternoon and I arrive at ten o'clock in the evening at Lanslebourg. I wanted by my presence to tranquillize General Davin on the troop movement, to prevent all the difficulties which could have been opposed to its execution and have activated the setting in activity of the national guard.

17th, 500 Austrian prisoners, made the day before at Lanslebourg, were to be returned this same day with the outposts of the enemy, according to a strict order of the commission of exchange. I could have reduced this day even the 152 men who kept Mount Cenis; I believed that it was advisable to retain them there not to make known our weakness on this important point, and I recommended to the officer in charge of the exchange to make profitable the stay few moments that it would make in Novalèse, to examine, if it were possible for him, the positions of the enemy, to know his force and to take, near the inhabitants country, all the intelligence which it could collect, and to announce result to me of this secret mission on its return.

I reduced the same day from Mount Cenis the citizen Caffe, which made temporary function of commander there. I give to this commander knowledge about departure of the 15th light demi-brigade, and I announce provisional measure to him that I had just taken to help it to keep this post, in the event of surprise. I recommend to him to employ the greatest monitoring to double our forces, and to make use of all the possible means to conceal with the enemy the knowledge of our weakness on this point, and especially to multiply the small posts of observation.

It goes up the evening even in Mount Cenis by giving me the insurance which it was going to deal with the provisions that I had prescribed to him; but it is to be noticed that having met in his road the detachment of 25 men who had escorted the Austrian prisoners, and that I had ordered to him to retain on Mount Cenis, it kept deepest silence and let it pass in addition to.

This detachment being gone down with Lanslebourg and not being able to go up following Mount Cenis, because of the excessive fatigue that it had just tested, I returned the execution of this retrograde movement to the following day, with the point of the day. The order was punctually carried out, and it is with some escaped men of this detachment to the continuation of the enemy, who informed us of his arrival, that we must not have been enveloped in Lanslebourg.

For three days, the enemy had been moving for this operation, on which one ensured me that the commander of Mount Cenis had unquestionable concepts, but about which it did not speak to me in our interview. Column of 1200 men was left Suze and was placed, 17th with evening, with foot of little Mount Cenis, post that it us was impossible to keep because of large quantity of snows, but where one was going to make reconnaissance when time allowed it, i.e. when snows could carry.

18th, the enemy arrives at large Mount Cenis over the four hours of the morning; it is divided into three columns when it arrived with height of the lake. All the posts are enveloped in the same moment; the commander is made prisoner while leaving the bed. It had not warned the gunners of the movement of the 15th demi-brigade, the only troop which kept the posts. Only one blow of musket was drawn by the sentinel; it was cut the throat of of continuation.

After this first operation of the enemy, a column remains on Mount Cenis, to occupy the posts there, while another column went down in Lanslebourg; the third column was to emerge on Bramans and by the little Mount Cenis, with, the effect to cut our retirement; but the difficulty of snows prevents this column from carrying out its movement.

As I did not count much on the zeal of the national guard, in spite of the promises which had been made to me, 17th at the evening, by the administration of the canton of Lanslebourg, I rise happiness 18th and I send to seek the municipal agent of the canton, to know the result of the orders that I had given him. It gives me the insurance that, of the 200 National Guards put in requisition, 50 are moving for Mount Cenis and that the 150 others would not delay to go there. I learned that not only one National Guard had not gone to its post.

At the same moment, one shouts that one is attacked; I send my aide-de-camp to the outside, it is attacked by a hail of balls: the enemy enters in Lanslebourg. I go up on horse, but everyone fled; I go on the principal position, where the troop was to be; I see it yielding to the superior forces of the enemy, who made a constant fire; it escapes, and I then to rejoin only one about thirty men, that I position on the heights of Lanslebourg. General Davin does not have time to make leave its horses the stable; it is obliged to run away itself on foot, the enemy was with fifteen steps of him.

Lastly, I gather the men who were dispersed; I order the retirement, which is done without disorder; and the enemy continuing us, I direct my march on Termignon.

There, I give the most severe orders to stop the plundering of the hospital, and I leave Termignon only after me to be assured that one had put in safety the military subsistence and makes evacuate all oxen of the park of this position.

Returned in Modane, I write with General Turreau, General Liebault, Briançon; with the Boyer adjutant general, commanding in Chambéry; with the Klingler adjutant general, commanding in Grenoble, to make known to them of the incursion of the enemy, of which I knew neither the force then nor the plans, and I continue my retirement until on Saint-Andrew, and I order to give an opinion. It was the only point where one could be maintained with some advantage and where one was less likely to be turned.

I returned account each day to the General Turreau of all that occurred, by sending to him the financial statement of my forces; but the correspondence by Galibier was so difficult, that I received only 22nd his first letter, in which it testifies its surprise to me to have learned the occupation from Mount Cenis by major Mesko, commanding enemy troops, before I had given him the news of it. It announces to me, in this letter, that it must attack the enemy 21st, in the valley of Oulx; I did not have whereas 200 and some men, who had been continuously moving.

I learn, indeed, that, 21st, the enemy had been thorough in the valley of Oulx until Gravère, but that having received reinforcements, we were obliged to fold up us on Exilles and Salbertrand; and that having attacked in its turn General Turreau, this one had been obliged to withdraw from Exilles its advanced posts.

The passage of Galibier being always extremely difficult, the correspondence between General Turreau and me was hurt; it complained about my silence, was anxious on my account, while I was to it even more myself, when I saw myself in a similar destitution with that where one left me.

Lastly, 25th, having managed to join together 300 and some men, I give the order to go up to Mount Cenis, 26th in the morning, and to attack the enemy, and to try all the means there to seize this post.

I had gone to Lanslebourg this day even. I learn soon that our troops had met only one enemy post with. Grande-Croix and which it had withdrawn with their approach. I made occupy all the posts and I left in Mount Cenis the Flavigny adjudant to command there.

I have been reinforced, for this time, of various parcellings out of troops. My force is today of approximately 600 men, which is quite insufficient to keep Mount Cenis and all the defiles leading in Maurienne, especially since the troops of the 8th division were obliged to withdraw itself in the valley of Cézanne.

I then thus to be turned several points. Tarentaise is also opened with the enemy of all shares and more slightly still kept than Maurienne; Faucigny is also dismantled troops and without means of defense. One has announced troops to me for a few days; I do not see any arriving. However, the enemy is reinforced on all the points of my line.

I then to show capture of Mount Cenis the troops which I commanded, since, having been withdrawn from the posts and being dispersed in detached houses, they were prepared to leave at the time when they were enveloped. But the fault in is alone with the ineptitude of the commander Caffe, which does not have the shade of its trade and whose reputation is not good.

Here is, citizen Minister, the talk of the facts such as they occurred. The parliamentary officer in charge of the exchange of the prisoners, the only individual of which I hoped to obtain intelligence on the position of the enemy, having been retained against the right of the war and people, it was made all that it was possible to make; I join here copy of his report and the answer which submitted with my letter the enemy commander,

I have the honor to observe you that citizen Depoltre, colonel, commanding artillery of division, constantly followed me, and that it brought as much zeal than of activity in all the operations of which I charged it; it had provided to commander Caffe the means necessary for enclouement of the pieces; but the way in which it was let surprise enabled him neither of the enclouer nor to precipitate them in the ravines formed by the cascade of Cenisia.

FOOT-NOTE. – That the enemy was so certain full execution of his operation, that the column which is assembled of Novalèse had with its continuation approximately 300 mules, intended to transport effects of the magazines and artillery. It laid down only one night with Lanslebourg, left a post to Mount Cenis and is gone down again in Suze.


Attack and capture of Mount Cenis, 8th April 1800.



8th April 1800, Mount Cenis was attacked by a detachment of the corps of Kheim and taken with all its entrenchments, its strength and its 18 guns of position, after the French troops which occupied it had been surprised and obliged to go to discretion. The troops which carried out this attack found under the command of the major (later feld-marshal-lieutenant) Mesko, of the 7th regiment of hussars; as regards staff, the author of this work, in its capacity of major and commander of staff of the corps of the feld-marshal-lieutenant baron de Kheim, commanded a column. Captain Costa, Piedmontese general staff, and mainly a chasseur of these mountains, in this circumstance, particularly were characterized by their precise knowledge from the places, without which any bravery and all goodwill would have remained without fruits. These two men directed truly the columns, of which, by our row, we had nominal control. Here which were the provisions of attack:

Plan of attack of Mount Cenis (14) for April the 7, and 8 1800.

The force of the detachment intended to attack Mount Cenis and to push until Bramans in Savoy, will be of 1200 men.

The 3rd batallion of the regiment of infantry Archduke-Antoine will provide 2 companies of 100 men each one, under the command of the Orosz captain. 2 batallions of the Archduke-Joseph regiment will provide 5 companies of 100 men each one, commanded by major de Pest, with the captains count Fuchs and Barsch. The second batallion of German Banat (Deutsch-Bannater) will provide a company of 100 men, commanded by the Joschich captain. It is necessary that the men chosen for this company are strongly made up, has the solid foot and can support all the fatigues; moreover, one tested bravery and an endurance are necessary.

This troop will take, the 7 at the evening, in Suze, of the bread for three days. One will distribute brandy, which will be distributed in the companies. The complete detachment will gather at eight o'clock in the evening, in front of the barracks of the Archduke-Joseph regiment, to start itself at midnight, in the following order:

Men of Banat at the head;

5 companies of the Archduke-Joseph regiment;

5 companies of the regiment Archduke-Antoine.

A captain of this last regiment will constitute the rear-guard and will make sure that no man leaves the column and that none the peasants who follow with brandy, pickaxes, shovels and crampons, remains behind. This captain will have under his orders 1 quartermaster-sergeant and 20 men, who will have to prevent that none the peasants escapes during the march.

During the march, the officers will remain with their fraction of troop; this one will observe the most complete silence, so that din and the noise do not reveal our march with the inhabitants of the crossed countries. The first which will make noise will be punished in an exemplary way.

The column will march in compact order and with all the precautions through the village of Jaillon, in the valley of Dora, and, from there, through the valley of Chiaori, on the top of the little Mount Cenis; then, it will move towards the barns of Levine and the lake Blanc. With the country cottages, it will rest during a few hours, after which it will take again its march to the barns of Bas-Savalin, or to the vault of Saint-Bartholomée, where it will be divided in four columns moving towards four different points.

The first column, strong of 300 men, under the orders of Captain Reinisch, staff, will move, by Coupe-d'Or and Crusat, towards Ramasse. An officer with 50 men will remain in Coupe-d'Or. When this column arrives in Bouffat, it will occupy with 100 men the dominant heights on the line of Ramasse, and with 100 men those which command Villaret. This column has the principal role to contain an enemy who, from Lanslebourg or Villaret, would assist from Mount Cenis.

The second and the third column, made up each one of a captain and 100 men, will move towards the barns of Bas-Savalin and will march at a small distance one of the other, in order to not lose sight of the fact itself.

The second column will pass on the left from the large lake of the Mount Cenis, which is strongly frozen, and, consequently, form a great surface of ice, and will attack the hamlet of the Post, Tavernettes. At once that it will have determined this point and fact prisoners all the enemies who will be there, half of this column with an officer will discuss the main road of Mount Cenis, and other half on the height known as it Ridge-of-Trouvet.

The third column (with which the author of this work was in person), also made up of 100 men, will cross the frozen lake, which is entirely covered with snow, and will march directly towards the Hospital, where the district of the Caffre colonel is, commanding of Mount Cenis. It will determine its housing, will seize all that it will then find and be placed on the heights of the Hospital, behind the entrenchments of Grande-Croix, in order to cut the retirement to all those which would like to flee.

The fourth and principal column, under the orders of major Mesko, the 7th regiment of hussars, will take the way which passes on the right from the lake and will follow the path which is immediately behind the high entrenchments close to the hotel of Grande-Croix. A captain with 100 men will attack, without wasting time, bayonet with the gun and without drawing, fears it high in front of the hotel, of will seize and occupy the parapets, in order to cut the retirement to all the enemy soldiers being in the other entrenchments and to force them to lay down their arms. At once that the columns will have fulfilled their missions and surprised the enemy, they will send all the prisoners, that they will have made, to Grande-Croix, will be put in of line order and will await later orders.

According to our intelligence, we are stronger than the enemy. – Let us attack We it everywhere by behind. – It is by no means informed of our march. We are, so to speak, some that, without losing a man, we will force it to lay down their arms. – We will seize all his artillery and its ammunition before it could make use of it. – All the spoils, that we will take to him, will belong to the soldiers. That the endurance, bravery, the courage of our troops conclude this expedition, which will make us certainly honor.

A fifth column, nonincluded in those enumerated previously, which commanded by the major count Rosalès, of the regiment Archduke-Antoine, and composed of:

50 men and 1 officer of this regiment;
50 men and 1 officer of the Archduke-Joseph regiment;
20 gunners and being used as artillery;
100 workmen of the country;

more 50 mules and their packs, with a few hundreds of pickaxes and shovels, will gather this evening in front of the town hall of Suze and will receive the following destination: With the head of this column. 1 officer with 60 men will march; the rear-guard will be made of an officer and 30 men. The major count Rosalès will start himself of Suze, 8th, at two o'clock in the morning, and will advance on the main road of Venal, Novalèse, Ferrière, through the valley of Saint-Niklas, always on the principal road of Mount Cenis, and will move towards Grande-Croix, where the enemy will have probably already been demolishes. If that were not, major Rosalès would attack at once with his advance guard, but prudently.

Its Excellence the feld-marshal-lieutenant baron de Kheim gives the most severe orders so that, neither on Mount Cenis, nor front in Savoy, where this column must go, in order to make a diversion in favor of the large army which is occupied driving out the enemy of its positions of the river of Genoa, it anything is plundered and that no act of violence is made against the inhabitants of this area, under penalty of the application of the martial law.

The commanders of the columns and the various units will be responsible for the scrupulous execution of this kind. All the measures will be taken so that the soldier receives meat, wine and brandy. What it will take with the enemy will belong him.

In order to prevent any disorder, one will have to leave posts of safety in Grande-Croix, the Hospital and the Post.

Suze, April 6, 1800.

By order of Mr. feld-marshal-lieutenant baron de Kheim:

Major MESKO,
commanding the outposts.
major and commander of staff.

These instructions were carried out with greatest punctuality and the greatest secrecy. We made a success of with wish the operation, which marched during ten to eleven hours through the deep snow which yielded under our feet, and we climbed the rocks with peak, on which one could hold only by means of the crampons with of which all the soldiers were provided, and still, most of the time, crawling with four legs.

Major Mesko sought to excite his men and shouted constantly to them: “Let us go, my children, of courage! ” And that, in the ten languages which one owed it is to render comprehensible itself of the 1200 soldiers who made the column. Our soldiers, and, in particular, the Walloons, who always find matter with laughing, joked this continual change of language: “Laugh as much as you will want, major Mesko said to them; only: ahead! We are on the way of the honor, which is as invaluable as that of the paradise, and which presents at least as many difficulties. ”

The cold was very large and paralyzed our members and our forces. Thus advancing us masses some, we detached the snow whose mountains were covered and, twice, the avalanches threatened to absorb us or to precipitate us, the heights which we had reached, in the depths of the abyss. It is certainly not exaggerated to compare this march with that of Annibal, with this difference only, only we did not need to make burst the rocks with vinegar, and that with at least as many difficulties, we had less glory.

After this so painful rise, during which we lost several as of ours, which, by awkwardness, lost balance and were precipitated in the abyss, we reached finally the barns of Levine, on the top of the little Mount Cenis, where we still found the vestiges of the entrenchments of the last war. After two hours of halt and a distribution of brandy to our men (thing which, as taught it to us the experiment, is very dangereous because of such a large cold; because several soldiers, who had drunk some too much of only one blow, dropped themselves on the road, were seized by the cold and perished in snow, or were found frozen after the expedition), the various columns restarted and gained, in greatest silence, without the enemy, in spite of the moonlight, realizing of nothing, the positions indicated in the order and encircled almost simultaneously them, without to have drawn a blow from musket. Most of our muskets, which were completely wet by snow, would have been completely unable to function, and if the enemy had been warned of our arrival, or if it had been rather strong, it had given us strong to make, in spite of our numerical superiority, more especially as the cold paralyzed almost all the physical forces of the soldier. It would have more remained of other party only to overcome, die or to go; because one did not have any more to think of beating a retreat by the rocks but we had climbed.

Before the rising of the day, all the top of Mount Cenis, districts of the Post and Hospital, whose commander, the colonel Kaffir (formerly with the service of Piedmont and then commanding Alloboge Legion with the service of the French Republic), a commander of batallion, 38 gunners, 1306 men of the 15th regiment of light infantry, 18 guns of position fell between our hands and were the fruits of such an arduous work.

Major Mesko, after it had removed a sentinel completely stiff with cold, found all the entrenchments abandoned and without any guard. He immediately occupied them with his men and encircled the inn of the Croix-d'Or, in which the enemy, surprised and astonished by our arrival, and seeing us higher numbers some and masters of its entrenchments, capitulated at once and went to discretion. Only one small post, which did not know what had occurred to Grande-Croix, drew on the advance guard from major Rosalès, who emerged per same hour of the valley of Ferrière on the principal road of Mount Cenis.

At the moment when the second column prevented me that the Post was encircled and that 12 men with 1 corporal were made prisoners, I heard the fire of the valley of Niklas and I thought that it was the beginning of the action in Croix-d'Or. Time ago to lose. I thus made advance my troops with the step of race towards the Hospital and I found approximately 40 men with 2 guns in front of a house, where half of these men slept around a large fire of bivouac. My men advanced highly until a range of musket and, when they had summoned the enemies to go, the latter threw their weapons, made signals with their hats and went. I then made surround with 20 men the house of commander Caffre, and, to save any nuisance to him, I went myself, the saber with the hand, in his room. Hardly I had opened the door and had shouted: “Commander, you are my prisoner! ” that I live sitted on the bed a man who put in all haste his boots, too narrow for the circumstance. He immediately seizes the guns which were on the night table and started to shout of all his forces: “Help! ” while it put to me out of cheek. As I was alone, there remained to me nothing other thing to be made to gain the door and to close it behind me. My men, who had heard din, ran at once and I penetrated again, accompanied by some soldiers, in the room. The commander, astonished by a so unexpected visit and annoyed to see itself surprised, gave me its sword. It was treated with all the possible cares, like its men, whose equipment was respected. The good reception which it accepted from the feld-marshal-lieutenant baron Kheim gave birth to, at the French, the suspicion which this officer had betrayed and which it had sold to us his post; but this assumption is not founded. We took Mount Cenis without firing a shot, but at the considerable prices of efforts.

We continued our continuation by Lanslebourg, Termignon, until Bramans, in the valley of Maurienne, which is sprinkled by Isere (sic). It had been necessary to carry the small detachment from 8 to 10 hussars of the 7th regiment, which we had with us, with 30 men, whom one could have made come from Suze, in order to push a point to Chambéry, and at the same time to take a contribution in this city and to worry the French Army of the Reserve (15), which already started to concentrate between Dijon and Geneva. But we accepted from the feld-marshal-lieutenant baron de Kheim the most formal orders to further venture us in no case, because it had received the order to undertake one second expedition to occupy the pass of Tende and to support, from there, the operations of the army of General Melas in the river of Genoa.

Captain Reinisch, staff, while going down with his column from Mount Cenis and the heights from Ramasse on Lanslebourg, seized a gun and a quantity of ammunition and food. Without the awkwardness of a Croat, whose musket left at the entry the village Lanslebourg, we would have made captive in their beds General Valette (which commanded since in Malta) and Davin. Educated of our arrival by people of the vicinity, they had time to flee in the mountain, where, in spite of our research, we could not find them. They left their horses, their baggage, and Madam General Davin; the latter was renewed by a member of Parliament in Chambéry. We occupied Mount Cenis, but very slightly, until April 18, day when the French arrived in force to take it again; but they lost for always the desire for carrying their artillery on this point.

One was obliged to send the troops on our left side, in order to activate the expedition against the pass of Tende, which, soon after, was removed in the same way with the French. It is what prevented us from longer keeping the position of the Mount Cenis, which, moreover, was useless for us, since we do not want to continue to operate by Savoy.

The capture of Mount Cenis deserves, in any case, a position among the most memorable operations in country of mountain of this war.

The fortunate surprise attack of the Austrians in Mount Cenis caused a certain emotion in the close area and brought to make carry out movements with some corps of the Army of the Reserve.

As of 9th April, General Sauret sent from Geneva in Chambéry “2 pieces of artillery and approximately 180 men of guard national or employed to the customs (16)”.

The Klingler adjutant general, commanding by interim the 7th division in Grenoble, directed on Aiguebelle, “with forced marches, approximately 300 men available (17)”.

General Gilly, temporarily commanding the 19th division in Lyon, dispatched in Chambéry, in the night

Of the 9th to the 10th April, “a column of 300 men of infantry and 100 men of cavalry (18)”, about one the third of the garrison of Lyon.

It warned at the same time the General Chabran, whose division, being organized in Châlon-sur-Saône and Mâcon, represented the first level of important forces available.

General Chabran made leave, as of 10th April, “for Lyon, 2 batallions, whose joined together force is of 900 men (19). ”

At the same time, a demi-brigade was sent of Saulieu by General Victor (20), commanding the Army of the Reserve by interim, which wrote with the Minister:

Germinal Dijon, 21st year 8 (April 11, 1800).

The department of Mont Blanc and that of Isere are threatened by the enemies, as you can see it by the letters of which I have the honor to address copy (21) to you.

I believed to have to prevent the intentions of the Government while making at once leave corps the Army of the Reserve, to go to the help of this part of our frontiers; the 6th light demi-brigade will start itself tomorrow to go to Chambéry (22), where it will receive the orders of General Turreau, commanding the left of the Army of Italy.

Salute and respect.


Party of Paris 11th April, with its commander of staff. General Dupont. to go to Basle, Berthier learns how the enemy offensive 14th April, in Langres.

The general-in-chief of the Army of the Reserve to the First Consul.

Germinal Langres, 24th year 8 (April 14, 1800).

The bad ways and my broken transport several times made me arrive here only today, where I learn, by an indirect way, that Mount Cenis was taken.

I dispatch, consequently, an order with the General Vignolle of hurry on 2 demi-brigades on Geneva, from which one will be at the disposal of the commanding general the left wing of the Army of Italy, if, with its own forces, it did not have already recaptured Mount Cenis, if it would be certain that the enemy seized some.

I go up by transport to return to me to Basle, where I will be tomorrow morning.

After me to be concerted with General Moreau, I will go in all diligence to Dijon, and if, which is not probable, the enemy had penetrated in forces in Mont Blanc, I would march with a division to crush it.

It appears that General Saint-Remy is with death; it is of course that it cannot make the campaign. Send to me as soon as possible an artillery General, either General Marmont, or the Andréossy General.

Respect and attachment.


Order with the Minister to activate the sending of the muskets and clothes; a great number of conscripts misses of the two objects.

Two days afterwards, Berthier receives in Basle the following letter:

The Minister for the war in General Berthier, commanding as a commander the Army of the Reserve.

Germinal Paris, 23rd year 8 (April 13, 1800).

According to a dispatch that I receive at the moment (23), it appears that the enemy managed to seize Mount Cenis, and even as it is descended in force with Lanslebourg and Chambéry threat. To the first opinion of this incursion, the commanding general in Lyon sent 400 troops of reinforcement to those which had been folded up on Chambéry.

General Vignolle has, on its side, at once directed towards the same point the 6th light, strong demi-brigade of approximately 2,000 men; she will arrive to Chambéry the 1st floréal.

I gave order to General Chabran to be held ready to stand as his person to Chambéry, by Geneva, with 1500 men, taken among the men available of the demi-brigade made up of the 61st, 69th and 88th; and if that is not enough to supplement this number, I authorized it to take one of the batallions of light infantry also forming part of his division (24).

I charged it, moreover, with forming a detachment of 100 men of cavalry, taken among the squadrons of the Army of the Orient, and, if it would not be possible to extract this number of men completely armed and equipped, it must take this detachment in the 7th regiment of chasseurs, which is in Bourg.

However, I recommended to him to be put moving only if this new reinforcement would become essential, and to act in concert in this respect with General Turreau, commanding the left wing of the Army of Italy.

The intention of the First Consul is that you direct the operations in the part of the Alps which borders the department of Mont Blanc.

I prevent at the same time the General Masséna of these provisions (25).

Salute and fraternity.


14th April, the Minister gives the order to General Chabran “to be started at the receipt of present, with the detachment of 1500 men of infantry and 100 men of horsemen…. to direct you with speed on Geneva and, from there, the various points of the department of Mont Blanc where your presence will be necessary….(26)”, and with the 6th light, “to suspend its march and to stop where it will be joined by the courier”.

This demi-brigade undoubtedly received this order, 17th April, in Lyon, at the same time as a letter of the commander of staff of the army, prescribing to him “to stop and remain in Lyon until new provisions”. As for General Chabran, at the receipt of the letter of the minister with Chalon, 17th April, it starts a batallion.

To reach the strength of 1500 men, it must take 4 batallions, those of 9th, 69th, 75th and 88th (27), and “considering the bad organization of the service of the stages”, it “is obliged of hurry on successively the batallions (2)”.

The column heading must arrive to Geneva 22nd April and the last batallion 25th (28).

Leaving 11 batallions in the Saone, Chabran arrives of its person to Geneva in the evening of the 22nd. It returns account to the minister the following day and adds from there:

I am one cannot more content with the march of the column and the control of the troops. Their requirements in shoes are felt more and more.

Chabran, major general to the Minister for the war.

Geneva, 4 floréal year 8 (April 24, 1800).

Citizen Minister,

I have the honor to address copy of a letter to you which is well made to reassure on the current situation of the department of Mont Blanc.

I believed, according to this letter and the news which reaches me the every day, duty to conform me to the article of your instructions which prescribes me to remain in Geneva, if my presence is not necessary on the spot, and I await your later orders there.

I point out the needs for the troops to you which I command. In consequence of the march that they have just carried out, they are absolutely deprived of shoes. Not means, here, of countering this defect. I ask you to give the promptest orders to make it cease.

Salute and respect.


A few days afterwards, it still insists on the lack of shoes of its troops: “We will find here weapons, it is an essential object; but the shoes miss absolutely. ”

Chabran, major general, with the Minister for the war.

Geneva, 8th floréal year 8 (April 28, 1800).

Citizen Minister,

My first aid having been to inform you of my arrival here and the peace which reigned in the department of Mont Blanc, I expect to receive orders which give to my division and me a final destination. I did not cease, according to your instructions, corresponding with the general-in-chief of the Army of the Reserve, though the order of the day of the 30th germinal on the formation of this army makes mention, neither of the corps which are under my orders, nor of the command which the First Consul had conferred to me.

Despite everything the precautions which I could take, in spite of the untiring zeal of the officers, the desertion on the way went to approximately 300 men It can, partly, be allotted to the absolute defect of pay and shoes. By all my letters, I exposed the shortage of division on these two objects. I will point out it to you, citizen Minister, until one will have carried there remedy (29).

According to the intelligence which the chief of staff of the 7th military division and the artillery commander gave me in Chambéry, there is in this position no artillery piece which one can lay out. Grenoble could provide the six that you had placed at my disposal, but the horses miss.

On 100 horsemen which one was to send to me of Dijon, 50 chasseurs of the 7th regiment only arrived here. They in the worst condition and are very badly equipped.

I did not still receive any news of the General Turreau, with which I had written 27th germinal.

Salute and respect.


Thus, 4,500 men had been put moving without much utility. The First Consul appreciated this event in the following way:

Proclamation with the young French (30).

Paris, the 1st floréal year 8 (April 21, 1800).


General Turreau left Briançon, went on Exilles, from there, on Suze, and being, by there, on the rear of the detachment which the enemy had pushed on Mount Cenis, it obliged it not only with retrograde more quickly than it was not advanced, but still made captive more half of his detachment (31).

The general-in-chief Masséna, especially authorized by the Government, concentrated all his forces on the river of Genoa. The 104th demi-brigade, which was in the 7th division, went to Genoa.

The system of war which the Government adopted is to hold all the troops in masses on some points favorable at the same time to the defensive and the offensive.

The departments frontiers should not thus worry if several points, which have, during all the war, summer furnished with troops, are not it today any more. That they look at on the right and on the left, and they will see many armies, all the more formidable as they are concentrated, not only to threaten the enemy which would like to make some point on the French territory, but still to put themselves moving to repair, by bright victories, the affront that our armies wiped in the last campaign.

That these departments throw a glance behind, and they will see the Army of the Reserve, strong of 50,000 men, who is reinforced the every day, lends to go on the right or on the left, according to chances' of the war and the plans of a Government of which nobody revokes in doubt the military talents (32)….

It was already seen that, the following day, the First Consul reconsidered the same subject in a letter to Berthier.

…. In all the cases, hold your joined together army and do not lend the ear to the commanders of Lyon and other cities which will require troops of you….


On these entrefaites, the general-in-chief of the Army of the Reserve had left Basle 16th April, after having ordered “with General Vignolle, if it is informed that the enemy made progress in Maurienne, to make march the of line 22nd and 40th on Geneva, with the 7th regiment of chasseurs and eight artillery pieces, including four of 8, two howitzers and two pieces of mountain”.

It arrives to Dijon 18th and takes possession of its command the following day.

The Army of the Reserve comprehend 52,946 men (33), including 32,367 present under arms and 20,579 men announced by the Minister.

The organization of these forces continues slowly, under the eyes of the aide-de-camp Lauriston, which addresses to the First Consul of the detailed reports. Watrin's division is directed, ahead-guard, on Geneva, where it will be with range to support the right wing of the Army of the Rhine, in Switzerland, as well as the left wing of the Army of Italy, on the frontier of the Alps.

One waits with some anxiety of the news of Masséna and Moreau.


Order of the day.

Germinal Dijon, 29th year 8 (April 19, 1800).

The general-in-chief Alexandre Berthier took the command of the army.

Major General Dupont (34) is named general chief of staff; it is prevented of its arrival.

The nature of the operations of the army requiring that there be several general officers employed with the staff.

The army is prevented that independently of the Major General Dupont, who is named general chief of staff, the Brigadier General Vignolle, who fulfilled of them temporarily the functions, will continue to be there attaché to be there at the disposal of the general-in-chief, and to transmit its orders when the circumstances or the localities, where it could be, require it.

The Timorous citizens, Laneuville and Lacauchoir will be useful in quality of pupils Commissioners of War, and the Saint-Cricq Commissioner of War is in charge of the detail of the reserve of cavalry, under command of General d'Harville.

The General as a commander with the army.

Officers and soldiers,

A new campaign will open; peace should be conquered. Your value, your patience to support all the deprivations of an active war, a severe discipline, first virtue of the soldier, will ensure us the victory, and, with peace, the happiness of the Republic.

The General as a commander,

Signed: Alex. BERTHIER.

The Major general general chief of staff,


The General as a commander of the Army of the Reserve, with the First Consul.

Germinal Dijon, 29th year 8 (April 19, 1800).

Citizen Consul,

I arrived here yesterday afternoon. I was received with pleasure from the generals, the troops and the inhabitants, at the same time as one expressed the regret not to see you.

I organized the army in 4 divisions (35), which I will carry to 4 demi-brigades each one, as the troops arrive.

I was very content with the spirit of the Army of the Rhine; it is grateful care that the Government took of it. It burns desire to fight.

I pressed my return here because of the events of Mont Blanc. I had sent a courier to the General Turreau, which prevented my orders by attacking the enemy, 22nd, by the valley of Suze. According to a letter of the Boyer adjutant general, commanding the department of Mont Blanc, success was so complete, that the enemy, being turned by his rear and surprised, one did captive all that was on Mount Cenis (36).

I make carry Watrin's division to Geneva, where it will occupy Lausanne and Vevey, and will have a batallion with the camp of Saint-Maurice. It would also carry helps in Mont Blanc, if the enemy made new attempts.

I will make follow other divisions successively, after I will have seen them and that I will have organized their services and their artillery.

I had to authorize General Victor and Duhesme to temporarily fulfill the functions of my lieutenants. General Victor had received his letters of advice, which had already been with the order of the day. The appointment of General Murat, already known here and with the Army of the Rhine, requires that you confirm General Victor and Duhesme like my lieutenants.

The General Murat, who arrives at the moment, brings money to us.

The Vanderberg Company makes the service here; but it is not in measure for Geneva nor to follow the movements of the army. If you had approved the measures which I had captures with citizen Ouvrad, we would have benefitted from a credit of 3 million; you would have made a good operation. Director Dubreton sent agents in Geneva to ensure the service by purchases it; but it can be only with our money, and let us not have we to continue this vicious mode enough, in what it can carry the ration at very strong prices.

It still arrived only 1800 muskets; Gassendi makes the impossible one, but nothing arrives to him.

We have only 60 horses with Auxonne. The artillery of the columns of the Army of the West came with horses from requisition. I had given orders to direct on Auxonne of the horses which were in Mons. I had ordered that the 80 caissons of Sampigny were directed on the Army of the Reserve. These provisions were cancelled by my successor; I wish that by changing my provisions, it provides for our needs, which are large. One can organize the Army of the Reserve only while carrying there the interest and the activity which I carried to the Army of the Rhine, which is in the abundance of all that is necessary for him. I tested pleasures by the reception which I received from the soldiers.

Count, citizen Consul, on my devotion to assist the intentions of the Government. One announces here General Marmont to command artillery. I thank you for this choice, if it is true that it replaces the poor Saint-Remy, which is too sick to be useful.

Devotion and respect.


P.S. – the General Dupont written in detail with the Minister to make known to him all our needs. We do not have only one cartridge with Auxonne, for lack of lead. Al B.

Dupont, major general, commander of staff of the Army of the Reserve, with the Minister for the war.

Dijon, 29 germinal year 8 (April 19, 1800).

Citizen Minister,

The general-in-chief Berthier took the command of the Army of the Reserve today. I will address to you at the first moment the state of the new formation of this army. Its organization is still strong incomplete. The state attached will strike you while showing you what misses with the material of artillery.

Your orders cannot be too pressing to activate the march of the objects intended for this army.

Soon of days, part of its forces will be put moving, and, in less than two decades, it will be necessary that it acts.

Among the fast care that its various services require, I ask you to give a detailed attention to the situation of his artillery and provisioning of war the state in which they are would paralyze the execution of the plan of campaign, if it did not change at once.

I will account to you without delay for the other parts of the service.

DUPONT (37).


Order of the day.

Germinal Dijon, 30th year 8 (April 20, 1800).

The army is formed in the following order:

The general-in-chief Alexandre Berthier;

Major General Dupont, general chief of staff;

Brigadier General Vignolle, employee with the staff.

Adjutant generals employed with the staff: Léopold Stabeurath, Lacroix, Pannetier.

The major generals Duhesme, Victor and Murat will be employed, temporarily, as lieutenants of the general-in-chief.

19th demi-brigade of light infantry,
58th of line,
15th regiment chasseurs à cheval,

will form a division, which will be commanded by Major General Loison, and having under its orders the generals of brigade Gobert and Broussier, and the Mériage adjutant general.

6th demi-brigade of light infantry,
22nd of line,
11th regiment hussars,

will form a division, which commanded by the Major General Watrin (38), which will have under its orders the generals of Gency's Brigade, Malher, and the adjutant general Hulin.

9th demi-brigade of light infantry,
30th of line,
7th regiment chasseurs,

will form a division, which commanded by the Major General Boudet, which will have under its orders the generals of brigade Musnier and Duvignau, and the Dalton adjutant general.

24th demi-brigade of light infantry,
43rd of line,
12th regiment hussars,

will form a division, which commanded by the Chambarlhac major general, which will have under its orders the generals of brigade Rivaud (Olivier), Herbin, and the adjutant general Delort (39).

Major General Murat, commanding the cavalry, will have under his orders the generals of brigade Rivaud (Olivier) (40) and Kellermann.

And them 2nd regiment chasseurs,
8th dragoons,
2nd of cavalry,

and the General Auguste Harville, general inspector of the cavalry,

The major generals will reside in the principal place of their respective cantonments.

The generals of brigade will be distributed in the cantonments of the troops to which they are attachés.

It will have passed from continuation, in each division, a general review. The major generals will address of them the states year chief of staff of dragoons. General, so that it can make known at once, with exactitude, general-in-chief air the situation of all the corps, under the report of the armament. clothing, equipment, pay, masses of maintenance, the strength and present under arms.

Independently of these states, the boards of directors of the corps will address, in the twenty-four hours, with the general staff, the particular situation of their corps, under the report of the pay.

The Major general, general chief of staff,

DUPONT (41).

Alexandre Berthier, general-in-chief of the Army of the Reserve, with the chief of staff.

Germinal Dijon, 30th year 8 (April 20, 1800).

You will dispatch the orders hereafter:

With the 1st batallion of the 6th demi-brigade of light infantry (42), to go to Saint-Maurice to occupy the camp of this position there.

With the 2nd batallion, to go to Vevey (43).

And with 3rd, to leave Lyon to go to Lausanne (44).

With the 3rd batallion of the 59th (45) demi-brigade, to leave Lausanne at once the arrival of the 3rd batallion of the 6th demi-brigade, to go to Poligny, where it will join its demi-brigade.

With the 22nd demi-brigade, to leave the 2 germinal (46) its cantonment to go to Geneva (47).

With the 40th demi-brigade, to start from her cantonment, the 2 floréal, to also go to Geneva (48).

These two last demi-brigades will have a stay in Dijon, where I will review them (49), and where it, will be delivered to them, of the magazines, the objects which could they miss.

The 22nd demi-brigade will take while passing, in Auxonne, two howitzers, two pieces of 8, two pieces of 4 and three caissons of cartridges, which will start to train the artillery crew intended for Watrin's division. You will consequently give the orders to Colonel Gassendi. You ensure means of making give to the troops of Watrin's division 40 rounds per man, which will be taken either in Auxonne, or in Geneva.

You will order with General Watrin to go to Geneva. You will give him an instruction which will carry that the object of the position is under command to support the troops of General Moncey, which hold the outlets of the Valais Alps. You will make known to him the position of the camp of Saint-Maurice. He will prevent of his arrival General Moncey, and you will recommend to him to have care to prevent me of all that he would learn, either on the side of Mont Blanc, or of Switzerland.

You will give all the orders necessary so that Watrin's division is entirely organized: officers of the engineers, artillery officers, Commissioners of War and agents of the various administrations (50).

Give the order to General Boudet to go to Poligny, where it will establish its headquarters. You will make all the provisions so that the troops composing its division (51) are confined, at most, at three hours of march of its headquarters.

While waiting for the arrival of the Loison General, give the order to oldest of the two brigadier generals to take the command of division (52).

Order that the réquisitionnaires and conscripts are daily exerted. Prevent that I propose to see all divisions successively and to make them operate.

Give orders so that all officers or agents of administration intended for each division go to the headquarters of division, and that they cannot come to the headquarters from Dijon without a higher order.

Salute and fraternity.


Order and instruction of the army for Watrin's division.

Germinal Dijon, 30th year 8 (April 20, 1800).

I made known to you, citizen General, the intentions of the general-in-chief on the movements of the 22nd and 40th demi-brigades and on the locations of the three batallions of the 6th light.

I warn you that the 22nd demi-brigade must take, with his passage to Auxonne, two howitzers, two pieces of 8 and two of 4, with their caissons, and three caissons of cartridges of infantry. It will be the beginning of the crew of the artillery park intended for division.

Colonel Gassendi, commanding artillery park with Auxonne, is charged to supply you with 40 rounds per man (53).

I urge you to inform me, at once after the passage of your demi-brigades with Auxonne, of the execution of this kind.

It is essential that you go to Geneva. Your first aid will be of reconnoiter the camp of Saint-Maurice and to establish with advantage the troops intended there to keep it. Your object is under command to support (54) the troops of General Moncey, which occupy the outlets of the Valais Alps. You will warn this General of your arrival; you will maintain with him the frequent communications to fulfill the important goal of your mission, and you will have care to warn, with greatest exactitude, the general-in-chief of all that could occur on the side of Mont Blanc and Switzerland (55).

Dispatch orders so that the officers of the engineers, artillery, Commissioners of War and agents of the various administrations, necessary to organize your complete division (56), go immediately to your provision.

The general-in-chief proposes to review the 22nd and 40th demi-brigades to their passages to Dijon.


Lauriston, aide-de-camp of the First Consul, with the First Consul.

Germinal Dijon, 30th year 5 (April 20, 1800).

Citizen Consul,

I found, with my arrival in Dijon, General Berthier; it is there since 28th. Its presence will contribute much to activate the organization of this army. There is yet only one division of organized; it is that of Chambarlhac, whose headquarters are in Dijon.

The conscripts arrive there in great quantity; I send the state attached of it to you. Unfortunately, it is deserted from it on the road, when one sent them to be built-in in the various corps.

The state of artillery is, so to speak, painful (57). The inaccuracy of the department of military transport blocks all. One does not receive any news of the provisioning which must arrive from Douai. The shortage of the cartridge caissons of infantry is very prejudicial; it should arrive from there from Douai (58).

The weapons miss to arm the conscripts and to supplement the batallions; one received only 1740 from them, which was distributed. However, one announces some of Saint-Etienne; they are on the way. Constructions of sledges is had a presentiment of with the greatest activity; I will go tomorrow to Auxonne to take the state of it.

As for the personnel of artillery, it is complete. There are the number sufficient of on foot for 4 divisions and three and half companies for the park. Some other companies are announced.

The number of on horse artillery companies is also sufficient. It of the 5th regiment well of it there organized one and three of the 2nd regiment which are complete. This regiment will be included in the Army of the Reserve, and, if a division of advance guard would be formed, this 2nd regiment still has a company which it could supplement while making return some detachments.

The arrival of the General Marmont, until one waits today, will be a large good for artillery. It has very good officers to be useful under its orders, especially the Sénarmont citizen, commander of staff, officer of the greatest merit, fulfilling its functions with the greatest distinction.

You are awaited in Dijon with greatest impatience by the soldier and the middle-class man. Your housing will be with the intendance. I press all, so that it is ready to receive you towards 10th floréal.

I believe, Général, that it will be necessary to send, twenty-four hours before your departure, an inspector of the posts to prevent the masters of post, Several do not have the number of sufficient horses, and, as they were arranged with farmers to have some at the time of your passage, it will take them time to gather them.

Salute and respect.


P.S. – General Watrin has just received the order to go on Geneva with three demi-brigades. It has under its orders the generals of Gency's Brigade and Duvignau (59). This measure is only of precaution.


Order of the day of the army.

Dijon, the 1st floréal year 8 (April 21, 1800).

The general-in-chief prevents the army which it proposes to review in his cantonments. He will give a detailed attention to the instruction of the corps and will be made account for the zeal and the firmness of the officers and warrant officers in the maintenance of the military discipline.

He renews the order with the commanders of the corps to make exert their troops daily and to take care particularly of the instruction of the new soldiers.

The Commissioners of War will pass, with greatest and severe exactitude, the ordered reviews, until the inspectors with the reviews took up duties.

The month of germinal will be paid to the officers, with the soldiers. The arrear of the pay will be paid successively according to the states which were requested from the boards of directors.

Citizen Roy is named general post orderly.

The administrative agents intended for each division will go to the headquarters their respective divisions.

No officer, no agent of administration will not be able to go to the headquarters of Dijon without a higher order.

The major generals and of brigade, as well as the adjutant generals, will send to the staff general, as soon as possible possible, the names of the aide-de-camps and assistant employees close to them, in order to carry them on the state to be sent to the payer, so that they receive their salaries.


Alexandre Berthier, general-in-chief of the Army of the Reserve, with the chief of staff.

Dijon, the 1st floréal year 8 (April 21, 1800).

You will employ an adjutant general close to each lieutenant of the general-in-chief.

You will give the order to General Duhesme (60) to pass the review of Watrin's division and Boudet in their various cantonments. He will make operate the troops; he will take care of the instruction of the réquisitionnaires; he will make known the needs for the troops of these divisions; he will establish temporarily his headquarters in Geneva.

Make the same order with General Victor for Chambarlhac's division and Loison's division (61); he will have his headquarters in Dijon.


Alexandre Berthier, general-in-chief of the Army of the Reserve, with the chief of staff.

Dijon, the 1st floréal year 8 (April 21, 1800).

I see, by the report of the directing commissioner as a commander, that transport is almost null. I have just ordered to him to at once make a levy of 1000 mules. You with him concert in this respect.

This levy is independent of that which the directing commissioner Boinod does.


Alex. Berthier, general-in-chief of the Army of the Reserve, with the chief of staff.

Dijon, the 1st floréal year 8 (April 21, 1800).

I ask you to give orders so that I have the every day the financial statement of the position, and particularly the state of the conscripts who arrive each day.

You will please to me to send to me, as soon as possible, the general state of all the troops intended to compose the Army of the Reserve: infantry, horsemen, artillery, etc, with the indication of those arrivals, their location, those on the way, as those whose march would not be announced yet (62).


Order of the day.

Dijon, 2 floréal year 8 (April 22, 1800).

The army is prevented that the brigadier general Marmont commands artillery of the Army of the Reserve (63).

He will be attaché with each of four divisions of the army 25 men of cavalry, who commanded by a lieutenant or second lieutenant, for the service of the ordinances of the general officers. These detachments will be raised every ten days.

The Major general general chief of staff,


Alex. Berthier, general-in-chief of the Army of the Reserve, with the chief of staff.

Dijon, 2 floréal year 8 (April 22, 1800).

I request from you, citizen General, to make the provisions necessary so that the 22nd demi-brigade, which arrive today, and the 40th (64), which arrives tomorrow, to go to Geneva, receive all the conscripts available, armed (65), equipped and equipped. You will make known me which can be the arrear of their pay, so that I see what it will be possible to make them pay with their passage.

Write with the director as a commander, so that it takes the measures necessary to make pay in Geneva the pay of the 6th light demi-brigade, whose commander writes not to have touched anything in Lyon.

Prevent to me hour when I will be able to see these two demi-brigades with their departure of Dijon for Geneva.


Lauriston, aide-de-camp of the First Consul, with the First Consul.

Dijon, 2 floréal at the evening, year 8 (April 22, 1800).

Citizen Consul,

I went this morning, with General Marmont, in Auxonne, to take, at Colonel Gassendi, all the intelligence relating to the situation of his park. Here the result of the operations of General Marmont:

1. It gave the order to an on horse artillery officer to go in post to Saint-Etienne, to make marched with transports, to lead to Lyon the 5,000 muskets which are boxed, if they would not have left, or would be stopped on the road by the defect of military transport. In Lyon, this officer will make them embark on the Saone and will not leave them;

2. According to the intelligence given by the colonel Saint-Vincent, old commander in the Châlons-on-Marne, it has been in this city 6,000 muskets boxed for six months, after being completely repaired. General Marmont must make give by the general-in-chief an order to make come these muskets. It will be an artillery officer of this army, which is currently in Châlons, which will be charged to bring them (66);

3. One missed lead; General Marmont made leave for Tours an officer, to activate the arrival of that announced, and sent in Geneva to take intelligence on the existence of a million cartridges which one says being in this city;

4. It sent an officer in Metz to bring back ten moulds to balls;

5. It sent in the forges at Besancon, pertaining to private individuals, an intelligent officer to buy 1000 shells, 5,000 balls of 8 and balls for grapeshot, either cast iron, or wrought iron.

The number of the pieces of ordnance of the park, of which I sent the state (67) to you, is increased of five pieces by 8, found with Auxonne, and two howitzers of 6 inches, in Besancon.

It still entirely made there only 15 sledges and 15 others which will be it. What caused the delay in this part, it is the little de' talent of the first workmen and the groping which the director was obliged to make in the beginning. Those with caissons are prone to pour because the height of the caisson; but the director will be satisfied, for the caissons, to make an axle with two casters and a front-axle unit, which one will adapt below the caisson, and which will give much less height.

The small cases with ammunition are made with speed.

General Marmont will turn over still the day after tomorrow to Auxonne, to take greater intelligence and to draw new means there of activating the service of artillery. You know too much, Général, its military talents, so that I extend to you to speak about it; but I then to return the astonishment where I was to see it causing the smallest details which could bring fortunate results, and to treat then into large a service which the meanness and the stinginess always harmed.

Confidence, the satisfaction which the general-in-chief testifies to him, that of all the artillery officers under its orders, return the choice that you made some quite invaluable for the artillery, from which the organization in this army would suffer much, if it commanded not it any more as a commander.

I await your guard the day after tomorrow; it will be quartered.

The 1st floréal, it arrived 334 conscripts of department who already provided.

Salute and respect.



Order of the day.

Dijon, 3 floréal year 8 (April 23, 1800).

In accordance with the law of the 23rd floréal (68), the mass of maintenance (69), allotted to each corps and each weapon, will be paid of decade in decade, cumulatively with the pay, and, however, according to a drawn up state particularly and duly stopped in the forms wanted by the aforementioned law.

The commanders of the corps composing the army must authorize to present themselves at the office of the artillery chief of staff, the former employees in the crews of this weapon (knowing to read and write), which wish being incorporated, in the capacity as warrant officers, in the batallions of the artillery train.

Citizen Mutel, colonel, are in charge of the functions of general chief of staff of the engineers.

The Major general general chief of staff,


For copy certified:

The Adjutant general,


Alex. Berthier, general-in-chief of the Army of the Reserve, with the First Consul.

Dijon, 3 floréal year 8 (April 23, 1800).

A particular letter, from Nice, marks that General Masséna was highly attacked at the same time when we fight in Mount Cenis. This letter announces that it obtained great successes; it is dated of the 24th (70).

I do not have any news of Mont Blanc; I await the return of a courier which I sent to General Turreau; its silence proves to me that all goes well in this part.

I restarted on Geneva the Watrin's division, composed of the 6th light demi-brigade, the 22nd and the of line 40th.

The weapons, which I bought like Ministre, do not arrive. Transport is paralyzed fault of funds. Order with the Minister to give money to this service and that of the stages. I would wish that the Minister does for this army what I did for those of the Rhine and Italy. I had put the offices on the foot of a staff; they return in the paralytic march which they had.

I await news of General Moreau; but I would be very embarrassed to make a movement at the moment: not cartridges, not of lead; nothing arrives at Auxonne, because one does not feed from funds the department of transport.

The artillery come from the West east without horses; it was led by requisition. Not only one means of transport, neither for the corps, nor for the services of the army. I had intended 80 wagons of Sampigny (71), the Minister intended for the Rhine, where they will not be useful; in the same way for the horses, which were with us.

Our subsistence is not ensured, out the 18th division; null measure capture in Geneva. The Minister wrote with director Dubreton that it left it the master buy; nothing easier with necessary funds made in advance.

I send an order to the Châlons-on-Marne to make come in all diligence the 6,000 muskets which are there. There are also six campaign forges which I ask; order with the Minister to confirm these emergency orders.

5,000 conscripts arrived here; all were incorporated, except for approximately 1,000 which deserted. It arrives from there daily from 2 to 300.

There is here 4 assembled volunteer, 81 reformed or withdrawn officers, come under the terms of your call. There are also 579 men, the majority veterans, and the other incompetents to be useful actively (72), except for a hundred men in very whom one can use.

Click one the image to open it full-sized in its own window.

Berthier Letter

Marmont arrived; it has zeal, but it awaits the objects which it must use.

The troops are well laid out; they mark satisfaction and the desire to fight; I successively review them.

I go badly; I am worn for the war (73); but I will employ the remainder of my means for the good of my country and to give you new evidence of my attachment. If I deserve some reward, I will ask you that which I wish for a long time, rest and the lapse of memory (74); it is what would have been appropriate to me when you considered to be more me useful for the ministry only I had not solicited.

Attachment and respect.


I request from Besancon two howitzers which are there, ten mountings of howitzers and six of 8, which General Moreau does not use.

I receive at the moment a letter of the director Lambert (75). The extraordinary provisioning will be made entirely, if the treasury makes him pass the ordinary funds which are intended to him. I join the account here that it returns to me.


Alex. Berthier, general-in-chief of the Army of the Reserve, with the chief of staff.

Dijon, 3 floréal year 8 (April 23, 1800).

You will give orders so that the depot of the 500 men, which is in Auxonne, recruits the companies of horsemen of the Army of the Reserve. You will order that they receive the food of campaign.

The 2nd on horse artillery regiment, which is in Auxonne, fact part of the Army of the Reserve. Consequently, it will receive the food of campaign. It would be necessary to find a good cantonment in the vicinity to him, so that Auxonne is encumbered less.

Write with the Minister for the war and to the artillery director in Besancon, to place at my disposal two howitzers of 8 inches and twelve mountings of howitzers, and ten of 8, which are useless in the position. By placing them at the disposal of General Marmont, they would decrease the needs for our park.

I ask you to send the package included here to Châlons by a courier, which, from there, will carry on its road to go to Paris, where it will carry my dispatches and yours. When it is ready to leave, give him the order to pass at home to take my packages.

You with General Marmont concert on the means of making give the cartridges with powder necessary to make draw the conscripts.

I greet you.


P.S. – Read my letter with the Buchet citizen, seal and consequently write it with the Minister.

I write (76) to the principal of artillery in the Châlons-on-Marne to at once dispatch in Dijon the 6,000 muskets which are in Châlons, and six campaign forges.

Lauriston, aide-de-camp of the First Consul, with the First Consul.

Dijon, 3 floréal year evening, year 8 (April 23, 1800).

Citizen Consul,

He reigns a very good spirit in the Army of the Reserve, union between the generals and great confidence towards the general-in-chief. This same spirit exists in the soldier; it gave yesterday of it a proof well striking. The 22nd demi-brigade, included in those which must leave with General Watrin, lacked weapons; it was necessary 400 of them for him to be supplemented; the 96th was let remove the 400 to give them to the 22nd, not without regret, but without murmur. That had not occurred thus in all times.

General Berthier will dispatch for the Châlons-on-Marne the orders about which I had the honor to speak to you in my letter about yesterday. It is quite essential that the Minister for the war sends to Châlons orders in conformity so that the artillery commander does not have any fear of responsibility. It is about the 6,000 muskets and of six supplied campaign forges.

In the number of pieces of ordnance intended for the Army of the Reserve, it must about it come from the Army of the Rhine, twenty pieces of 8 and twelve howitzers of 6 inches. General Marmont dispatched the letters with the Éblé General to press the sending of it; but from army with army, these kinds of measures suffer sometimes from the delay; a new order of the Minister to the Éblé General would be urgent.

We await the 1200 draft horses coming from Paris. It entered today to the depot 235 conscripts. One wrote at all the departments which have deserters.

Salute and respect.



Marmont, General commander-in-chief the artillery of the Army of the Reserve, with the First Consul.

Dijon, 4 floréal year 8 (April 24, 1800).

Citizen First Consul,

I arrived here the 1st floréal. I was in Auxonne; I found all work in a great activity; however, the artillery is not still in measure. The arsenal of Auxonne was so cruelly wasted, that it was no species of provisioning there. Thus, it was necessary all to create; this work is necessarily long.

One ordered a provisioning of 5 million cartridges of infantry; there are only 300,000, and let us not do we. You see that we are far from account.

As we are unaware of from where us come and at which time these 5 million cartridges arrive; like, moreover, the administration of military transport frequently suspends its service, fault of funds, I believed to have to establish a workshop of cartridges.

Consequently, I sent in post an officer in Metz, to take ball moulds there. It will be back the 6 or the 7.

I made buy here a certain quantity of lead to begin work at once that the moulds will have arrived.

And I sent an intelligent officer to the meeting of 250 thousands of lead, which come us from Tours, to press, by all the possible means, their arrival.

It arrived here only 1700 muskets out of the 300,000 which were bought by General Saint-Remy. Those of Saint-Etienne were not even on the way, for lack of money. I sent, the 2, an officer with franc clamp, which will make them leave and which will lead them itself until Châlons.

There has existed in Châlons 6,000 muskets, repaired and boxed for six months, without destination. I requested the general-in-chief to give the order to the artillery commander of this town of make them come promptly, like six campaign forges, which are there also and which are not used for nothing. An artillery officer which is in Châlons, which received Minister the order to join the Army of the Reserve, will accompany this convoy.

I took measures also to accelerate the arrival of the muskets which to us are sent cork and of Charleville.

I hope, from here at ten days, to have at my disposal 12 to 13,000 muskets, and, in fifteen, 18 to 20,000.

Run irons miss absolutely. I make manufacture shells, balls of 8 and balls for cartridges with grapeshots. I will have in few days a provisioning from 9 to 10,000 rounds of gun.

Here which is the artillery on which we can count:

12 pieces of ordnance from the Vendée;
12 arrivals of Paris;
6 guard;
5 pieces of 8, which I make take in the arsenal of Auxonne;
2 howitzers, which I make take in Besancon.

More eight pieces of ordnance of mountain and the number of pieces of 4. that we can harness, the arsenal of Auxonne by having a rather great number.

The personnel is strong incomplete; we do not miss (77) still only 7 companies of foot artillery. This number is insufficient, and I wish strong that the 8 others which to us are announced arrive.

Our means of transport are weak; it is urgent that the 1200 horses which are in Paris leave for Dijon with the objects artillery which are intended to us. Their arrival alone will give consistency to our park and the means of driving artillery of our division.

It appears to to me that the delay of the departure of these horses comes from the defect of the harnesses and clothing for the drivers. If the Minister for the war wanted to devote 30,000 francs to these various objects, all these obstacles would be raised at once.

One refuses in Paris to pay to the soldiers of the artillery train the pay which is due for them. The decree of the 13th nivôse is however precise. The Minister for finances claims that this pay should be capture only on the affected million, per month, with the payment of postponed crews, while it is known as formally in the decree of the 13th nivôse: “The pay of the soldiers of the artillery train will be paid, like that of the other troops, by the payer of the army and on the same funds. ” If this refusal continues to take place, these new corps will have soon ceased existing, and then more crews and more artillery.

Work of the artillery park takes each day a new degree of activity, but the expenditure always goes growing. It would be necessary to affect funds of 50,000 francs to him.

Here is, my General, an outline of the situation of artillery of the Army of the Reserve . I hope, from here at some time, to return accounts to you which will satisfy you more.

We will have, in eight days, 30 sledges with guns and 10 with caissons.

Respect and attachment.


Lauriston, aide-de-camp of the First Consul, with the First Consul.

Dijon, 4 floréal at the evening, year 8 (April 24, 1800).

Citizen Consul,

General Berthier passed today the review of the 40th demi-brigade, belonging to Watrin's division; it is very beautiful corps, operating extremely well and with precision.

This division is composed, until now, of the 6th light, the 22nd and 40th of line, a squadron of the 11th hussars and an artillery division, is composed of six pieces of ordnance with their caissons necessary and three caissons of infantry. This artillery is commanded by the captain of Anthouard. When the remainder of the infantry, that of the 11th hussars and the pieces of ordnance arrive, one supplements this division. and one will give a commander of batallion to command artillery of it.

The generals of cavalry are lieutenant general Murat, the major general Harville and the brigadier general Duvignau.

The prefect of this department takes all the possible measures to ensure the service of the stages, to activate the levy of the horses. But as for this last article, in this department and that of Yonne, where the culture is done with oxen, where, moreover, the principal culture is in vine, the horses are rare, and especially of the size required.

The contributions are paid rather well. The spirit of this department is good; the inhabitants of Dijon are tired a little by the stay and the continual passage of the troops; but the hope to see you, which is very large among them, encourages them and supports them.

It arrived today only 97 conscripts, of which 83 of two departments and the remainder is composed deserters of several departments.

Salute and respect.



Alex. Berthier, general-in-chief of the Army of the Reserve, with the First Consul.

Dijon, 5 floréal year 8 (April 25, 1800).

Your courier arrived yesterday, at nine hours (78), and I hasten to answer your dispatch.

I do not have yet a news of General Moreau; I then to count, only subordinately with its successes, on the 30,000 men whom it must give me to begin my movement.

General Masséna, according to the news, is attacked; it is announced, of successes, but its position remains always very bad, if the enemy has his forces on him. Thus a moment ago to lose to make a movement which relieves it.

I would be in Geneva if the formation of this army and all that is most essential with its organization me allowed it; but, in the circumstances of the moment, it is in delay of twenty days.

I think that it is essential to take a party independent of the events of the Rhine, and even of those of the right wing of the Army of Italy.

I propose:

Imperative order with General Moreau to join together, 15th of this month, in Lucerne, corps of 15,000 men, under command of General Lecourbe, with the provisioning and all that is necessary to pass Gothard;

Imperative order with the General Lecourbe, which is indispensably necessary by its knowledge of the country.

You will see, by the financial statement attached (79), that I do not have, in this moment, that 22,000 men of infantry available, 6,000 who are moving and 3,000 which is announced and not moving.

The Italian Legion can train 4,000 men without weapons and clothes, in this moment; observe, in the number above, a quarter of conscripts from which the desertion is day laborer.

I then thus not to intend to pass the Alps with more than 25,000 men carrying the bayonets, nonincluded cavalry nor the artillery; add 3,000 men of General Turreau, and we will find, at most, 30,000 men of infantry; calculation of general-in-chief and not that of offices; what you can better appreciate that nobody. I do not count the batallions of the Army of the Orient, intended to keep Switzerland.

It is thus essential that the Army of the Rhine, something which arrives, gives me General Lecourbe with 15,000 men organized to pass Gothard, and General Moreau will still remain with more world than one should not any to him.

The mounting-sledges arrive 9th; they will carry on their road for Geneva, where they will have arrived 18th. I made all my provisions so that the army is also joined together there at that time.

I sent ahead of of the muskets; I await the cartridges, the horses and much of other objects, from here to the 9th. Geneva and Switzerland is countries ruined for the subsistence; I then thus only to cross them and domestic our scanty means for my passage.

The extraordinary provisioning in Geneva is rather well and will be soon complete, if the treasury sends to the Lambert director, in Lyon, the funds placed at its disposal by the Minister of the war.

The levy of the 2,000 mules tests delays. Send money to Boinod. I made pass a market to rent some; I test many difficulties.

I hope, 18th or 19th, to have at Geneva the principal objects necessary to my movement, and, according to the circumstances, I will start myself to penetrate in Italy, either by the Saint-Bernard, or by the Simplon, or by Gothard. I will decide, according to the circumstances, at the moment even.

The Simplon is impracticable for the sledges; the Saint-Bernard and Gothard are preferable outlets.

Watrin's division is moving on Geneva. The head must be arrival (80) and make a good effect for General Masséna.

Mark me if I must make march with me the Consular Guard and artillery.

I make known to you my true position, not To complain, but to put to you capable to take the suitable measures.

I will march with what I will have, without counting the number of the enemies; the troops have heat; we will overcome the difficulties; we will have much of it and, consequently, more glory.

The plan of the enemy appears discovered to me. Melas wants to seize Genoa and to go then in Switzerland, to attack us in.liaison.with General Kray.

Devotion and respect.


Alex. Berthier, general-in-chief of the Army of the Reserve, with the Minister for the war.

Dijon, 5 floréal year 8 (April 25, 1800).

You will find herewith, citizen Minister, the copy of the letter which I write with the First Consul. You will see there that transport and the stages are the objects which deserve all your solicitude, because your provisions cannot have effect without transport. It is the nullity of this service which paralyzes all.

It is quite disadvantageous that the organization of this army is, according to the circumstances, twenty late days too.

Think of our transport, cartridges, horses, etc; I did not receive any opinion of you on the funds sent to the army. General Murat in brought, without opinion, with the director as a commander and me.

It would be useful, so that I do not oppose your provisions, that I would be informed of those which you do, and then, if I were in the case of to change them by particular circumstances, I would inform you.

I ask you to send the order to my brother, who is with the Army of the Rhine as adjutant general, to pass to that which I command (81).

General Dupont sends to you, by the same courier, a letter concerted with me.

Salute and fraternity.

P.S. – It is important that you renew with General Moreau the imperative order that I gave him by my letter (82) of the 4th germinal, to make join together in Lucerne 100,000 bushels of oats, 500,000 rations of biscuit, 1 million cartridges, and even a greater quantity. We miss some with the Army of the Reserve.


Dupont, major general, general chief of staff of the Army of the Reserve, with the Minister for the war.

Dijon, 5 floréal year 8 (April 25, 1800).

Citizen Minister,

Uncertainty where we are here is quite painful; us know that Masséna is with the captures with the enemy and we do not receive the confirmation of the news of his successes, which had come to us indirectly, a few days ago.

The passage of the Rhine was to take place 1st, according to what had been agreed in Basle, and we did not learn anything.

The plan of operations stopped in Basle by the generals as a commander Berthier and Moreau is disturbed a little. The Army of Italy is attacked by an enemy higher with it, which wants to fold up it on the Alps and to seize Genoa. If it fulfills this goal, it will leave corps of observation in Piedmont and will come, with its principal forces, to act against Switzerland and to oppose, by a diversion, the operations of our Army of the Rhine.

It is to be feared that General Masséna, abandoned with itself, does not test reverses. The Army of the Reserve should not remain spectator of what occurs in the river from Genoa; it must even benefit from the moment when the enemy, engaged in this part, leaves us an easier access by the Mount-Gothard.

If we wait until Moreau makes twelve or fifteen marches on the line of the Rhine, after having beaten its enemy, the corps of Lecourbe, that it must detach to join us, cannot be returned to the foot of Gothard before one month, and, in this interval, the enemy General Melas can have seized what remains us in Italy, and, after having put General Masséna out of state to meet in us with corps of 30,000 men, as the plan of campaign carries it.

Either that Masséna resists and preserves its positions, or which it deals with higher enemy, it appears necessary to to me that the Army of the Reserve acts of the 20th to the 25th of this month (83) and that it crosses, at that time, the passages of Italy. In its current situation, it cannot anything. In addition to its force available is only of 27,000 men, nonincluded the batallions of the East and the Italian Legion, it has only one incomplete artillery and not ammunition of war. One could not give yesterday, in Auxonne, more than 20 cartridges by men with the 22nd demi-brigade, which marches on Geneva.

The announced provisioning does not arrive; one is unaware of progress of their march and transport in the interior appears to some extent suspended.

If, as one cannot about it doubt, the Army of the Reserve must prevent the total evacuation of Italy and attack the enemy in fifteen or twenty days, it is necessary that the Army of the Rhine at once gives him 15,000 men and all the provisioning of war which it needs. These ammunition would conduct from Basle on Lucerne, and the 15,000 men, who commanded by Lecourbe, would go directly from Zurich to the Mount-Gothard. The Army of the Reserve, which, with the awaited corps, would be carried in fifteen days with 35,000 men, would march by the road of Lucerne and that of the Valais Alps. There is much hope that this army, then made up of 50,000 men, would operate the invasion for which it is intended, and which the plan of campaign would be restored in its integrity.

Moreau can, I believe, without danger, to dismantle itself in this moment of 15,000 men; the others 15,000 men whom it must give us would be detached only when it would have penetrated in high Swabia or Bavaria.

To carry out these provisions, it is necessary still that the march of the mounting-sledges is accelerated, that the workshop of Auxonne redoubles activity with the favor of new funds, and that, as it exists only 4 to 500 mules instead of 2,000, there are funds to take some with rent everywhere where one will find some.

The food, which are not ensured out of the 18th military division, deserve all our attention.

I did not speak about the Italians and the batallions of the East, because they do not have muskets.

I invite you, citizen Minister, to confer continuation with the First Consul on the object of the observations that I subject to you here. Every moment is greater price.

I greet you.


P.S. – what I write to you is, like reason, known of the general-in-chief.


Click one the image to open it full-sized in its own window.

Murat Letter

Alex. Berthier, general-in-chief of the Army of the Reserve, with General Moncey.

Dijon, 5 floréal year 8 (April 25, 1800).

I know that the intention of General Moreau, citizen General, was to leave you as Switzerland with eleven batallions to keep Switzerland and its outlets by the Grisons and Italy. The division of General Watrin is moving to go to Geneva; it will occupy Lausanne, Vevey and the position of Saint-Maurice, to observe what the enemy could try on the Valais Alps.

The object to which you must pay all your attention is to preserve us the passage of Gothard, at the same time as you must cover the outlets by the Grisons. Furthermore, you must have a very detailed instruction of General Moreau.

Often give me your news and inform me of what you will learn from the movements from the enemy.

Have care which one supplements and which one preserves the extraordinary provisioning of biscuit, oats and ammunition, which the First Consul ordered to form in Lucerne.


Joachim Murat (84), lieutenant general of the general-in-chief, with the First Consul.

Dijon, 5 floréol year 8 (April 25, 1800).

I arrive at the moment, my General, of Pontarlier, where I passed the 21st regiment of chasseurs à cheval in review; its force is of 502 assembled men. These corps are superb, its behavior is finer, its horses are excellent; it very well is armed and equipped; its complete and made clothing is unfortunately in Versailles, where it remained, for lack of means of transport. I have just written with the Minister for the war, by inviting it to give the promptest orders so that these crews at once are embarked on the Seine and are re-installed in Auxerre, where is the depot of these corps.

I go tomorrow to Dôle, where I will see the 11th and 12th regiments of hussars. I will go, from there, with Saint-Jean-of-Losne, Seurre and Verdun, where is confined the remainder of the cavalry. It is badly assembled, in general.

Everyone is, here, in cruel waiting, and, though your arrival in Dijon is still looked like a problem, you ardently there are wished. The public spirit is excellent here; you are adored of everyone, and I then to say frankly that, if you give peace, your rights to the national reconnaissance are indestructibles.

The army definitively has been just organized. General Berthier created two lieutenant generals, Victor and Duhesme; they will have each one two divisions under their orders; that of the cavalry is under mine, commanded by General Harville, General Rivaud and Duvignau. I await Kellermann impatiently.

We wait here, with an impatience difficult to paint, the result of the first businesses of the Rhine.

One announces a victory by Masséna to us. It is easy to see today that the attack of Mount Cenis was made only to mask the movement of the enemy carried out on Genoa.

Why aren't we ready? It would be, this seems to me, the moment to operate in Italy. This movement, by forcing the enemy with a retrograde movement, would relieve Masséna and successes would facilitate to him.

But, I must say it to you, we are not yet in measure. We do not have a cartridge, not a mounting of mountain; in a word, the artillery is not organized; we miss muskets absolutely. We must however hope that, soon, we will be able to approach the line of the military operations.

Berthier gives itself all the possible movements. It acquired kindness since it is with the army.

The army is very quite made up as general officers. We live here in the greatest union. I then, in my private individual, that to rent me in the truly friendly way with which they all received me. The commanders of corps, especially, testified the pleasure to me which they had to be under my orders. All the major generals required of me and required of the general-in-chief to belong to divisions which I was to command. I know that I owe this flattering reception only with happiness to belong to you (85).

Again receive the insurance of my reconnaissance and my entirety devotion.

Salute and respect.


If somebody had said to you or writes that my promotion of lieutenant general had displeased here with somebody, I say it frankly to you, it would have imposed you.

One awaits tomorrow your crews, your housing is ready.

Marmont, General commander-in-chief the artillery of the Army of the Reserve, with the general-in-chief.

Dijon, 5 floréal year 8 (April 25, 1800).

Allow me, my General, to draw all your attention to the situation of artillery of the army. I believed until this moment in prompt and fortunate change, because I counted on the resources which Paris was to provide us; but the arrival of an officer left yesterday moves away my hopes.

The 1200 horses intended for the Army of the Reserve have been ready to leave for eight days and however aucuns is not yet on the way. The Minister for the war did not give the order to deliver the harnesses necessary to them, and, fault of that, the horses remain in Paris and the objects of artillery which they must bring us do not arrive us.

We miss caissons; we must be useful ourselves, with their position, of carts with cases, which are preferable; but they all are still with the arsenal of Paris, though in a position to leave.

One made 400 limonières for the army; none is yet on the way there to arrive.

Instead of us to make pass these helps, one ensures that one directed towards the Army of Italy part of the horses which were intended to us.

I repeat it again, my General, the artillery of the Army of the Reserve will have consistency only as much as these 1,200 horses and the provisioning which they must bring will have arrived. The shortage of the means of transport is so large that the artillery of Chambarlhac's division is incomplete in horses, though the division of General Watrin has only half of it, that the two others do not have a whole of it and that the park does not gather any more than 75.

However, we have pressing transport to operate, muskets and lead to be transported, etc the moment will come where the army will make a movement; the artillery will be unable to follow it. The execution alone of the first intentions of the Government can draw us from embarrassment; but never it will not take place if the First Consul is not made any return account itself. There exists in the offices a slowness and an unconcern which would become to us disastrous; but will make known them to you with the Government, and then our position will undoubtedly change.

Salute and respect.


P.S. – You know the little of success which the efforts of citizen Boinod in the purchase of the mules obtained; we are far from being able to count on their helps, since there is of it yet only one very small number of gathered.

Alex. Berthier, general-in-chief of the Army of the Reserve, with the First Consul.

Dijon, 5 floréal year 8 (April 25, 1800), at 9 o'clock in the evening.

I made known to you this morning, citizen Consul, that I had 22,000 men available, but whom I could not employ them by the lack of artillery, ammunition and horses.

I counted on the nearest arrival of the announced objects; but a letter that I receive from General Marmont and that I make you pass, gives me greatest concerns.

Would it be possible that the operations of this army were paralyzed by some negligence to carry out your orders?

We have only 300,000 cartridges, brought by Chambarlhac's division; no letter of the Minister makes known me the time of the arrival of the 5 million cartridges which are intended to me.

The eighteen artillery pieces, arrivals of the Army of the West, were led by requisition and are without horses. I was obliged to take artillery horses of Chambarlhac's division to harness six pieces and three caissons of infantry which I gave to Watrin's division, that I direct on Geneva.

No lead, not of ball moulds; I sent some to seek in Metz.

Not only one caisson to make follow the cartridges of infantry when they arrive to us!

Not a caisson for transport of the effects of the corps nor for the administrative services.

The mounting-sledges will arrive and there are no horses to carry the ammunition.

The Boinod commissioner did not raise 400 mules yet. The subsistence of the army is not ensured in Geneva; I have just sent 100,000 francs.

It is of my duty to feel sorry for me of the position in which an army is to which you carry so precisely so much of interest, and which is paralyzed, since it could act only with its bayonets, of ammunition and means to transport its artillery.

I send to you this letter by my aide-de-camp, the citizen Of the Coppice (86), which will make known to you the situation of the things, and which will give you all the intelligence which you will be able to wish.

None the bought muskets arrived. I borrowed 400 of them day before yesterday from the 96th demi-brigade to supplement what missed with the 22nd, which marches on Geneva.

General Lechi writes that the Minister had changed the organization which made you approve for the Italian Legion; these corps, already unhappy, are anxious, and any change would harm the good of the service primarily and would move back the moment to use it. I ask you to order that the things remain such as they are.

I do not have any news of the General Moreau nor of Masséna.

The spirit of the army is very good. I ask you to say to the Minister to more to send generals me; the every day it announces two or three of them to me that I will not be able to use. Devotion and respect.


The First Consul with General Berthier.

Paris, 5 floréal year 8 (April 25, 1800).

I receive, citizen General, your letter of the 3rd floréal. You must have received from Murat 1,500,000 francs.

You will herewith find what I granted to the Army of the Reserve in the last two boards of directors (87). I will hold the hand so that one sends to you at once what would not have reached you yet.

Write in Lambert and Boinod that they activate, as much as possible, all the supplies; that they will not miss the money.

At the hour that it is, six artillery pieces of the guard, with 500 artillery horses, must be arrivals.

I receive in this moment a telegram which announces to me that, for this morning, the cannonade has been very strong on the Rhine; thus Moreau is in full campaign.

I wish well a financial statement of your army and the way in which organized it to you.

Today, tomorrow and the day after tomorrow, successively 600 horses will leave, with ammunition which are necessary for you for your army.

By a state which Andréossy gives me, it appears that all is moving.

Employ part of the mules which exist in Bourg for the service of your artillery.

The news of Nice, of the Army of Italy, is of the 23rd.

Make pass to me, by special couriers, all the letters, even particular, which one would receive in Dijon on this army.

All goes perfectly here, and the day when, either because of the events of Italy, or because of those of the Rhine, you would think my presence necessary, I would leave one hour after the reception your letter.

I (88) see with difficulty that the stay of Dijon gives you melancholy. Be merry.


The account that you sent to me, of Lambert, is not clear (89). I would have wished that he positively told you the quantity of biscuit, oats and brandy which will be in Geneva to the 20th floréal (90).

  1. Extract of the “Table of the new organization of the Army of Italy under command of the general-in-chief Masséna”, on 20 ventôse, year 8.
  2. According to the situations of 1st and February 15.
  3. According to the situations of 1st and February 15.
  4. The department of Mont Blanc, Chambéry chief town, corresponded about to the current department of Savoy, but comprehended Annecy.

    The department of Léman included the current territory of Haute-Savoie with Annecy in less, Geneva and Gex moreover; its chief town was Geneva.

  5. This letter arrives at the Minister for the war 9th April.
  6. This letter arrives at the Minister 12th April.
  7. April 1.
  8. April 8.
  9. An illegible word.
  10. The same fact is announced in a letter of the 22nd April of Dupont to the Minister, – One did not find any detail on this business.
  11. Valette (Antoine-Joseph-Marie), born 26th January 1748, second lieutenant with the regiment of Bourbonnais 19th August 1766, lieutenant on August 1, 1770, under-assistance-major 19th June 1771, captain in 2nd 17th May 1783, captain who command 8th June 1789, adjutant general colonel in 1793, brigadier general 23rd September 1793, confirmed in this rank on November 6, 1794,

    It commanded territorial divisions, under the empire, was retired 21st December 1814 and died 21st July 1823.

  12. These figures differ little from the strength indicated by the commander of Caffe batallion. commanding in Mount Cenis, in a letter of the 2nd April, published by Mr. Auriol. (The defense of the Var and the passage of the Alps. – Bets, Pion, 1890.)
  13. OEstreichische militärische Zeitschrift, volume II (1812), p. 698-710.
  14. It is not the first time that one thought of surprising the French post of Mount Cenis. In 1795 the Piedmontese General Thaon de Revel had prepared a plan of attack in 5 columns for September 7, plan which had not been put at execution. (Memoires on the war of the Alps drawn from papers from the count Ignace Thaon de Revel, p. 259-261.)
  15. This Army of the Reserve was so much frightened capture of the Mount Cenis, which it detached from continuation corps from 6 to 8,000 men towards Chambéry and Grenoble. (Note of the text.)
  16. Sauret with the Minister for the war, April 9. – It thus seems that the national guard of Geneva marched. One could believe the opposite, if one referred some to the account of an inhabitant of Geneva:

    “The Austrians passed Mount Cenis and went down in Savoy…. The French who were in our walls returned there with some pieces of campaign. One beat the general one in Plainpalais and all these suburbs; all hastened to go out of weapons in this district; but when one proposed with this batallion to provide volunteer to push back the enemy, nobody presented himself, none left the row, and one did not have of other (thing) to make only on their premises return them….” (Handwritten Journal of Bourdillon, April 9. Library of Geneva.)

  17. Klingler with the Minister for the war, April 9.
  18. Gilly with Gaultier, inspector with the reviews, April 9.
  19. Chabran year First Consul, April 10. – These troops. therefore 10th, arrive to Lyon 13th or 14th April. They are returned to Chalon a little later.
  20. General Victor had taken the command on April 5.

    Victor Perrin (Claude), born on 6 December 1765, entered to the service the 4th artillery regiment 16th October 1781, left these corps by leave on 1 March 1791, voluntary in the 3rd batallion of Drome 12th October 1791, adjudant warrant officer 15th February 1792, executive officer with the 5th batallion of the Rhone delta on August 4, 1792, 2nd commander of this batallion 15th September, 1792, provisional on 2 October 1793, provisional brigadier general adjutant general colonel 20th December 1793, confirmed in this rank 13th June 1795, major general 10th March 1797.

    He became marshal of the Empire 13th July 1807, duke of Bellune in July 1808, general major of the royal guard 8th September 1815, minister for the war 14th December 1821 and died on l841 March 1.

  21. Letters of the General Turreau and the prefect of Mont Blanc.
  22. The stages fixed at the 6th light were: April 12, Arnay-on-Arroux; 13, Chagny; 14, Tournus; 15, Mâcon; 16, Villefranche; 17, Lyon; 18, Bourgoin; 19, Bridge-of-Beauvoisin; 20, Scales; 21, Chambéry.
  23. It seems that the Minister knew since the day before the events to Mount Cenis; its order with General Chabran is dated of the 12th April.
  24. The First Consul had recommended “to prevent carefully to take in the other corps”, attaching “much importance so that they neither are parcelled out nor dismembered”.
  25. The response of Berthier is in the preceding chapter, p. 116.
  26. To contribute to form Chabran's division, General Vignolle directs on Châlon-sur-Saône 15th April 500 conscripts made to Beaune and originally intended for the 17th light.
  27. Chabran with the Minister, April 17. – In the same letter, this General returns account “that the batallion of the 88th has a 15 decades arrear in the pay, both for the officers the soldiers”.
  28. Probable stages, according to the map of the stages of 1801: Châlon-sur-Saône, Romenay, Bourg, Nantua, Chatillon-of-Michaille, Colonge, Geneva.
  29. In margin: Extract of this letter was given to the offices of the artillery material, clothing and the pay. 14th floréal year 8. Simonin.
  30. This piece, dated of the 21st April, appeared, without title and signature, in the Monitor of the 22nd April. Bourienne, in its Memoires, entitled “Note left the cabinet of the First Consul”. It was published in the Correspondence of Napoleon, under the title: “Proclamation with the young French”. It finishes, indeed, by a call to the weapons.
  31. This version was in a letter of the 15th April, of General Gilly with General Vignolle. It did not have any serious base and was not based that on particular letters. One saw, p. 125, in the report of General Turreau, that this one could not reach Suze, not valley of Oulx from where share the road of Mount Cenis.
  32. Correspondence of Napoleon, 4722.
  33. See situation of the 16th April, additional no. 8.
  34. Dupont (Pierre), born in Chabanais (Charente), July 4, 1765, officer of artillery to the service of Holland of 1787 to 1790, second lieutenant with the 12th regiment of infantry 21st July 1791, captain 12th January 1792, lieutenant-colonelle September 18, 1792, adjutant general colonel 16th April 1793, brigadier general provisional 26th August 1793, confirmed in this rank 31st October 1795, major general on May 2, 1797.

    It signed the capitulation of Baylen 19th July 1808, was relieved on March 1, 1812, became minister for the war 13th May 1814, was retired 13th August 1832 and died on March 7, 1840.

  35. Watrin's division, Chambarlhac, Boudet, Loison. (V. p. 146.)
  36. This version is not exact, the enemy had evacuated Mount Cenis as of 9th, three days before the offensive movement of General Turreau.
  37. Annotation of the hand of Carnot:

    To make pass the state attached to General Daboville, with invitation to make the main efforts to supplement the artillery and the provisioning of war which miss with the Army of the Reserve. To invite, moreover, to make me share, without delay, of the measures which it will have captures.

    To return the letter to the office of the movement.


    Then, of another writing:

    Copy this letter, with the state which accompanied it, was sent, the 1st floréal running, with General Daboville, with a pressing letter of the Minister.

  38. Watrin (François), born in Beauvais 30th January 1772, chasseur in the Belgian legion, become 17th regiment of chasseurs à cheval, 27th September 1792; sergeant furrier 11th November 1792, sergeant as a commander 17th January 1793, second lieutenant on March 3, 1793, lieutenant on June 6, 1793, captain on August 7, 1793, adjutant general commander of batallion 18th March 1794, adjutant general 13th June 1795, brigadier general on 1 January 1796, major general colonel 30th June 1799.

    It died 22nd November 1802, with the army of Santo Domingo.

  39. 23rd April, General Marescot divided the 8 officers of the engineers in four divisions of the Army of the Reserve:

    BERTHOIS, BARAILON, with the division which commanded by the Loison General.

    DELARD, LAFAILLE, with the division which commanded by the Chambarlhac General.

    HUARD, BERNARD, with that which commanded by General Watrin.

    CAFIN, TARDIVI, with that which commanded by General Boudet.

    (Book of orders of General Marescot. – Arch. of the engineers.)

  40. Read Rivaud (Jean).
  41. It is to be noticed that Chabran's division and the Italian Legion do not appear in this order. This lapse of memory was raised by General Chabran. (Letter with Dupont on May 2.)
  42. The day before, April 19, Berthier had already made start the 6th light, by the following order, addressed to Dupont:

    “You will send, by a special courier, the order with 1st and 2nd batallions of the 6th demi-brigade of light infantry which is in Lyon, to leave there to go to Geneva, where they will remain until new order.

    “The 3rd batallion will be held ready to leave Lyon with the first order which it will receive. ”

    1st and 2nd batallions were put moving 21st April (Gilly with the Minister, April 29) and accepted in Geneva the opinion of their destinations of Saint-Maurice and Vevey.

    The 6th light, by leaving Saulieu, 12th April, had received the order “to bring with it all the armed conscripts and to leave all those which are not it”.

    The latter left Saulieu 25th April and were directed on Geneva, where they arrived on May 2, according to the route Arnay-on-Arroux, Chagny, Chalon, Romenay, Bourg, Nantua, Châtillon.

    The depot remained in Saulieu.

  43. Order with 1st and 2nd batallions of the 6th light.

    30 germinal (April 20).

    Consequently provisions of the general-in-chief, it is ordered with 1st and 2nd batallions of the 6th demi-brigade of light infantry which had order to go to Geneva, to leave it the following day their arrival to go, the 1st batallion with Saint-Maurice and 2nd in Vevey, where they will confine until new order.


    This order was addressed in Geneva with General Sauret, was charged transmitting it and ensuring the execution with it.

  44. Order with the 3rd batallion of the 6th light.

    30 germinal (April 20).

    Consequently provisions of the general-in-chief, it is ordered with the 3rd batallion of the 6th demi-brigade of light infantry, maintaining in Lyon, to leave there with weapons and baggage, the 4 floréal next, to go to Lausanne, while following the road attached:

    4 floréal with Trévoux, 5 in Châtillon, 6 in Bourg, 7 in Thoirette, 8th with Saint-Claude, 9th with Nyon and 10th in Lausanne.


    This order, addressed to General Gilly, commanding in Lyon, arrived in this city only 27th April, that is to say seven days to go from Dijon to Lyon, while the order sent 19th, by special courier, arrived in the course of the day of the 20th.

    The 3rd batallion of the 6th light could start only 28th.

    It had neither pay nor equipment, and one could not “even make him distribute shoes, for which it had the most extreme need….” (Gilly with the Minister, April 29.)

    This batallion thus arrived to Lausanne only on May 4.

  45. This indication must be a lapse. It is 3rd batallion of the 9th light which it acts; no batallion of the 59th could be in Lausanne.

    Order with the batallion of the 9th light.

    30 germinal (April 20).

    Consequently provisions of the general-in-chief, it is ordered with the batallion of the 9th light demi-brigade, which is in Lausanne, to leave there with weapons and baggage to the receipt this order, to go to Poligny. The Commissioner of War, of residence in Lausanne, will dispatch an order of road to him of which it will send a double to the general staff. This batallion will meet, in Poligny, the two other batallions of the same demi-brigade.


  46. Read: 2 floréal (April 22).
  47. With the commander of the 22nd demi-brigade of line.

    In accordance with the provisions adopted by the general-in-chief, it is ordered with the 22nd demi-brigade of line, currently in Chanceaux, to leave the 2 them floréal to go to Geneva, while following the road attached:

    2 floréal in Dijon, 3 stay, 4 in Auxonne, 5 in Dôle, 6 in Scellières, 7 with Lons-the-Salt maker, 8th with Saint-Claude, 9th with Gex, 10th in Geneva.


    According to the table of march of the 26th April, the 22nd did not make stay in Dijon, was the 3 floréal (April 23) with Auxonne and 9th floréal in Geneva.

    The fact is confirmed in a letter, written 23rd April by the adjutant general Hulin with, director Dubreton, requiring two transports of him to transport “of continuation of the weapons in Auxonne to the conscripts who were built-in this morning in the 22nd demi-brigade of line”.

  48. With the commander of the 40th demi-brigade of line.

    Consequently provisions adopted by the general-in-chief, it is ordered with the 40th demi-brigade of line, currently to Semur, to leave there the day after tomorrow, 2 floréal, to go to Geneva, while following the road attached:

    2 floréal with Vitteaux, 3 in Dijon, 4 stay, 5 in Auxonne, 6 in Dôle, 7 in Scellières, 8th with Lons-the-Salt maker, 9th with Saint-Claude, 10th with Gex, 11th in Geneva.


    These two starting orders for the 22nd and 40th were sent by Dupont to General Watrin, by requesting it “to recommend to the commanders of corps to at once send in Dijon officers with the state of their needs, so that with their passage in this position, one makes them deliver all the effects necessary”.

  49. The reviews passed 22nd April for the 22nd and 24th for the 40th.
  50. Dupont warned the director as a commander of the departure of the 22nd and 40th, requested it to make all the provisions necessary to make them deliver in Dijon “all the objects which they can need”, and added:

    “…. It is also essential that you occupy yourselves to organize the administrations which must be attachés with the division which commanded by the General Watrin, which

  51. Comprehended Boudet's division then:

    The 59th, whose two batallions arrived at Mirebeau 21st April, and whose batallion confined, since April 2, in this city;

    The 30th, not yet arrival, coming from Paris and Spray;

    The 9th light, whose two batallions arrived at Poligny 24th April, and whose 3rd batallion was in Lausanne.

  52. It is the General Gobert which commanded division before the arrival of the Loison General, which joined its troops with Nyon, May 7.
  53. One could give only 20 rounds per man. (Letter of Dupont to the Minister, v. p. 170.)
  54. See further in a letter of Watrin with Dupont, importance of this word: to support.
  55. The General Watrin, which was in Dijon, received the starting orders the same day and showed of it reception with General Dupont to 10 h. 1/2 of the evening.

    “I receive at the moment, citizen General, your orders starting for the 22nd and 40th of line. I transmit them to them continuation.

    “The intentions of the general-in-chief and yours on the new location of my division will be followed exactly. I will have care to often inform you of the provisions which I will have captures.

    “Salute and fraternity.

    “WATRIN. ”

  56. 23rd April, the commander of staff of Watrin's division directed on Geneva the ambulance of division.

    “The director of the ambulance of the hospitals attaché to the division which commanded by General Watrin will make direct his caissons on Geneva, where it will await new orders. – HULIN. ”

    26th April, to 8 hours of the morning, also left Dijon the detachment of the 11th of hussars and the detachment of gendarmerie. (Register of orders of Watrin's division, April 25)

  57. The Gassendi General, director of the artillery park, with General Berthier.

    Dijon, 30 germinal year 8 (April 20, 1800).

    Citizen General,

    One needs four batallions of the train of artillery, for the service of this weapon, with the Army of the Reserve; each one of these batallions with 601 horses.

    The decree of the Consuls of the 14th pluviôse prescribes that the mass of maintenance, for the door-fittings, drugs, harness, is, by each horse, of 5 francs per month; , per month, for the four batallions, 12,020 francs are thus needed.

    This mass supposes the first made expenditure, and they are not it. One can evaluate this first advance with a sum of 10,000 francs.

    Numbers these horses, which one makes the resumption, being naked, or the harnesses not being likely to pass from Germany to France, which is absolutely essential, it are still necessary to count, 15 francs per horse, which will make, for the four batallions, 36,060 francs.

    Thus, I ask for the sum of 48,080 francs to you for the moment present. Its employment having to be under the monitoring of the board of directors of the large park, to which those of the batallions of the train are subjected. One must be without concern on this subject.

    You ordered to the directing commissioner to pay the mass and the pay of the men.

    Salute and respect.


  58. The following day, April 21. Lauriston wrote with the First Consul:

    “It is the provisioning of the caissons of infantry which we miss; with that, the army could be on a rather sizeable foot. ”

  59. Lauriston rectified this error in its letter with the First Consul, the following day, April 21:

    “It is General Malher and not the General Duvignau which is brigadier general with General Gency in Watrin's division. ”

  60. Duhesme (Philibert-Guillaume), born in Bourgneuf on July 7, 1766, had been a captain of the volunteer of the batallion of Saone-et-Loire 29th September 1701, commander of the frank batallion of Hainaut 26th October 1792, provisional brigadier general on 7 October 1793, maintained in this rank 12th April 1794, major general 8th November 1794.

    It died 20th June 1815, of the continuations of a wound received on the of line field of Waterloo.

  61. This grouping of divisions was modified in the continuation, before the opening of the hostilities. 9th May, Duhesme accepted the command of Boudet's division and Loison. Victor, that of Chambarlhac's division and Chabran, and Watrin's division was put under the orders of Lannes.
  62. See Appendix no. 9, the situation established pursuant to this order.
  63. Said Marmont, in its Memoires, T. 2, P. 111, that it would have preferred the command of a brigade of infantry, but that the First Consul, to which it exposed its desire, did not leave him the choice and made a point of keeping it with the head of artillery of the Army of the Reserve.

    Marmont (Auguste-Frederic-Louis Viesse), born 20th July 1774, had been a second lieutenant with the batallions of garrison of Chartres on July 6, 1790, raises artillery second lieutenant on March 1, 1792, lieutenant on September 1, 1792, captain 15th December 1793, commander of batallion 8th February 1796, colonel 13th October 1796, brigadier general 10th June 1798.

    It became major general 9th September 1800, first general artillery inspector 16th September 1802, general colonel of the chasseurs à cheval on February 1, 1805, marshal of Empire 12th July 1809, and duke of Raguse in March 1809.

    It died on March 3, 1852.

  64. On the situation of the 16th April, the 22nd has only 1770 present under arms and the 40th, that 1815.
  65. One had much difficulty to find enough muskets for the conscripts incorporated in the 22nd and 40th. Berthier writes in Dupont 23rd April:

    “I ask you to make leave tomorrow, with the point of the day, a staff officer, to join, where it will be able it, 600 muskets started from Auxonne the 2 to go to Bourg and which are intended for the Italian Legion. It will make retrogress these weapons and itself will lead them to Geneva, where it will place them at the disposal of General Watrin. You will give him any authority for the execution of this kind. You will prevent the Italian Legion that without delay it will receive the weapons which are necessary for him.

    “Alex. BERTHIER. ”

  66. See p. 213, the mission given on this subject by the First Consul with Lefebvre Desnoëttes.
  67. This state was not found.
  68. Law of the 23rd floréal year 5 (May 12, 1797), relating to the pay.
  69. The system of the masses had been just restored by the law of the 26th fructidor year 7 (September 12, 1799). It extended to all the expenditure other than the pay.

    The annual rate of the masses was as follows:

    Mass of bakery. 51 francs by man (750 grams of bread per day).
    fodder. 300 francs by horse.
    stages 8 francs by man.
    of heating. 10 francs
    of housing. 20 francs
    hospitals, 24 francs
    Mass of clothing, varying from 25 francs per man (infantry of line) with 50 francs (hussars).
    of maintenance, varying from 8 francs per man (infantry of line) with 12 FR. 20 (chasseurs, hussars, horse artillerymen).
    of linen and shoe, reserve of 8 cents per man in the assembled weapons and of 5 cents in the infantry.
    of goes up, variable by man assembled 90 francs (carabiniers) to 60 francs (chasseurs, hussars, horse artillerymen).

    This law, amended for certain figures by the law of the 23rd fructidor year 8 (September 10, 1800), governs the army during all the first Empire.

  70. April 14.
  71. “Note on the park of Sampigny. – The park of Sampigny is intended for the construction of the caissons, campaign forges, old crocks and, generally, all the transports necessary to the various services and weapons.

    “One also manufactures there the harnesses necessary to the attachments of these various transports.

    “This establishment bordering on the departments of the Meuse and the Moselle, located in the middle of the forests and is surrounded forges. One gets for it with advantage and facility wood, irons and coals.

    “The creation of the park of Sampigny dates from the war of 1740. This park was, in the origin, with the general munitionnaires….”

    (National Archives, paperboard AF, IV, 1183).

  72. It is the presence in Dijon of these reformed officers, of these veterans and invalids, at the same time as of these conscripts, who was undoubtedly used as topic with a caricature of the time, representing a child giving the hand to an invalid, with the legend: “Army of the Reserve of Bonaparte”, and who contributed â to create the legend of the non-existence of the Army of the Reserve. For any serious observer, the presence of whole demi-brigades in Dijon and in all the close cities, could not leave any doubt about the reality of the concentration.
  73. Berthier (Louis-Alexandre), born in Versailles 20th November 1753, engineer-topographer of the camps and armies on January 1, 1766, lieutenant it It March 1770, captain attaché with the dragoons on January 2, 1777, assistance-marshal-General-of-home on December 2, 1787, the rank of major and knight of Saint-Louis on July 1, 1788, the rank of lieutenant-colonel 11th July 1789, adjutant general colonel on April 1, 1791, brigadier 22nd May 1792. suspended 20th September 1792, reinstated on 5 March 1795, major general 13th June 1795, general-in-chief of the Army of Italy 9th December 1797, minister for the war 11th November 1799.

    It had made the war in America of 1780 to 1783.

  74. What a ironic denial were to give him the events! It was going to still make the war during fourteen years, to become marshal, prince, vice-constable and to marry a princess of Bavaria!

    He was a marshal of Empire 19th May 1804, large-cord and commander of the first troop of the Legion of honor on February 2, 1805, large huntsman of France, sovereign prince of Neuchâtel and Valangin 31st March 1806, vice-constable of the Empire 9th August 1807 and prince de Wagram 15th August 1809. He died of a fall which he made of a balcony, in Bamberg (Bavaria), June 1, 1815.

  75. Letter of the 22nd April. See chapt. XII.
  76. This last sentence is hand of Berthier.
  77. Undoubtedly for: it arrived yet only seven companies, etc
  78. It is undoubtedly about the letter of the First Consul of the 22nd April. V. p. 118.
  79. V. Appendix no. 9.
  80. This assertion seems exaggerated a little. The first elements of Watrin's division arriving on Lake Geneva were the two batallions of the 6th light, which, left 21st April Lyon, arrived 26th to Geneva.

    The 22nd, part of Dijon 23rd April, could reach Geneva only 29th; the 40th, that on May 1.

  81. Opposite this subparagraph, Carnot put with the pencil: approval.

    Berthier (César – Gabriel – Berluy), third brother of Alexandre Berthier, born on November 4, 1765, second lieutenant with artillery the provincial regiment of Fère 17th October 1782, had the rank of captain of infantry on January 1, 1786, was assistant of the corps of the staff 16th November 1788, adjutant general lieutenant-colonel 8th February 1792, resigner on June 1, 1792, adjutant general colonel 18th November 1796.

    It became brigadier general on 4 September 1802 and major general on January 3, 1806.

    The younger brother by Berthier, Léopold Berthier, had also been a second lieutenant with the artillery regiment of Fère; he had been useful in the engineer-topographers and had been just made brigadier general, in 1799, on the of line field of Trebbia. He became major general in 1805.

  82. Whereas Berthier was minister. (See p. 110.)
  83. 10 to the 15th May.
  84. Murat (Joachim), born in Labatide-Fortonière 25th March 1767, had been chasseur with the 12th regiment 23rd February 1787, sergeant 29th April 1792, sergeant 15th May 1792, second lieutenant 15th October 1792, lieutenant 31st October 1792, captain 14th April 1793, commander of squadron to the 21st of chasseurs à cheval 14th August 1793, had row of colonel 11th November 1793, became aide-de-camp of the General Bonaparte 29th February 1796, brigadier general 10th May 1796, major general provisional 25th July 1799, was confirmed in her rank 19th October 1799 and was a lieutenant of the general-in-chief on April 1, 1800.

    He became governor of Paris 15th January 1804, member of the legislative Corps 17th August 1804, marshal of the Empire 19th May 1804, Lord High Admiral and prince of the Empire on February 1, 1805, large-duke of Berg and Clèves 15th March 1806, lieutenant general of the kingdom of Spain on May 2, 1808 and king de Naples on August 1, 1808.

    He died, shot, in Pizzo (Calabria), 13th October 1815.

  85. He had married civilly Caroline Bonaparte 20th January 1800; its church wedding was celebrated on January 7, 1802.
  86. Coppice (Ramond Adrien-Jean-Baptist-Amable of the Bump), born 12th November 1760, had been junior in the corps by Nassau-Siegen on February 1, 1779, had become captain of national guards on September 1, 1789, aide-de-camp of General Berthier in March 1795, commander of batallion 16th April 1795, colonel 13th November 1797.

    It became brigadier general 29th August 1803, major general 29th June 1807 and even of France 11th October 1832. It died on February 4, 1851.

  87. Distribution of the 23rd germinal (April 13):
    Pay. 800.000 1.200.000
    Subsistence. 400.000

    Distribution of the 3rd floréal (April 23):

    Pay. 500.000 1.500.000
    Expenditure for extraordinary provisioning and purchases of mules 300.000
    Organization of the attachments to activate transport. 400.000
    Subsistence 300.000
  88. These two last lines are written hand of the First Consul.
  89. Situation of the provisioning of Geneva, 31st April. y. Appendix no. 11.
  90. Correspondence of Napoleon, no. 4731.