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 Research | Napoleonic Cugnac Campaign of the Army of the Reserve in 1800 English Part 1 Chapter 5

IN 1800


Intelligence on the operations in the river of Genoa. – Necessity to support the Army of Italy. – March of the Army of the Reserve towards Geneva and Lausanne. – Continuation of the organization. – Complaints of Berthier.

Towards the end of April arrive, little by little, of the intelligence on the offensive capture by the Austrian army against the Army of Italy in the river of Genoa. This news decides the First Consul to carry the Army of the Reserve of the surroundings of Dijon on the edges of Lake Geneva, while activating the measures relating to its organization.

The First Consul with the Minister of the war.

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

The Army of Italy is with the hands with the Austrian army (1). Either that it overcomes, or that it is overcome, it is essential that the Army of the Reserve does not lose an hour.

If we are victorious, the Austrian army will be weakened considerably and out of state to resist the Army of the Reserve.

If our Army of Italy is overcome, and that it is obliged to take the line of Borghetto or very other to defend the Alpes-Maritimes, it is still essential that the Army of the Reserve attacks Piedmont or the Milanese, in order to make a diversion and to oblige the Austrian army to return to the defense of Lombardy and its magazines.

I ask you, consequently, to give order to the general-in-chief Berthier:

1. to carry, in all diligence, the Army of the Reserve in Geneva (2);

2. to make pass to Villeneuve, by the lake, all the provisioning of war and mouth which were gathered in Geneva;.

3. to go, as soon as possible, to Piedmont and Lombardy (2), either while passing the Great Saint Bernard, or while passing the Simplon.

Whatever the exit of the events of Italy, the Austrian army, which was charged on Genoa and Savona, is all the more far away from the passages of the mountains, and in a state of decay such, which it is absolutely out of state to hold the campaign against the 40,000 men that General Berthier can easily join together.

I also request from you, citizen Minister, to activate the departure, of Paris, of the horses and the artillery pieces intended for the Army of the Reserve.

Before this army did not cross the Saint-Bernard and the Simplon, we will have positive news of the situation where our Army of Italy will be.

The telegraph of today, from Basle and Strasbourg, teaches me that there is nothing again. Reiterate the order with General Moreau to attack the enemy. Make feel to him that its delays compromise primarily the safety of the Republic (3).

Send a special courier to General Saint-Hilaire, commanding the 8th military division, so that it gather all the forces in infantry, cavalry, etc, which could be in its division, in order to be able to reinforce the Army of Italy; and that it takes measures to ensure the provisioning of war and mouth of the town of Antibes. The same courier will carry the order, with the commanding general in Nice, to take care of the provisioning of Monaco and the fortification of Nice, and that to frequently dispatch special couriers to inform you of the events which would take place in Italy.

Also write to the general-in-chief Masséna whom we do not have yet official news from what occurs to Italy; that the Armies of the Rhine and of reserve are started; that we impatiently await the exit of the events which we let us know yet only imperfectly (4).


The Minister for the war, with General Berthier, commanding as a commander the Army of the Reserve (5).

Paris, 24th floréal year 8 (April 24, 1800).

For more than fifteen days, citizen General, the campaign has been open in Italy. The destitution of this army, which is known for you, and the superiority of the enemy inspire to the Consuls of right alarms. Nothing official still arrived to us of this army; we know only that the enemy attacked us on all the line, from the Mount Cenis, which it temporarily seized, to the river of Genoa, where it took the strength of Vado. It appears nevertheless certain that Masséna has recaptured the advantage and that it made 2,500 prisoners. You will judge his position by the copy that I send to you letter of the aide-de-camp Ricard to his comrade Suchet (6), whose contents are confirmed, as for the essential points, by other particular letters.

At all events, it is obvious that the position of Masséna is very critical, and that it is urgent to operate in its favor a powerful diversion. I write for this object with General Moreau, to order to him, in the name of the Consuls, to pass the Rhine without delay and to attack the enemy with impetuosity.

On your side, citizen General, you will make march of continuation the Army of the Reserve to Switzerland, and will make you enter it to Italy at once that you will have supported the first operations of General Moreau and will have provided for safety with the country on the side with the Grisons, in accordance with arrangements of which you are agreed with him in Basle.

It is useless to say to you which is, in these circumstances, price the one moment. You are accustomed to calculate it and to benefit from it (7).

Salute and fraternity.


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Carnot Letter

The Minister for the war, with General Dupont, chief of staff of the Army of the Reserve (8).

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

I send, my dear Général, a special courier with the general-in-chief Berthier, to prevent it that the Consuls formally ordered the opening of the campaign on the Rhine, without any time. I made pass this order by the telegraph to General Moreau, and I have just reiterated it by a special courier.

On its side, General Berthier must hasten to penetrate in Italy, where Masséna has been with the captures with the enemy for more than fifteen days. If Masséna were beaten, the enemy would warn you while entering to Switzerland the first; we would be reduced to sad and painful defensive for all the remainder of the campaign, and you feel the disastrous continuations of a similar state of affairs. I know, with the remainder, that General Berthier does not need to be stimulated and he knows the intentions of the First Consul well.

I had treated with the Vanderberg Company for the subsistence of the Army of the Reserve in enemy country, when a dispatch of director Dubreton informed me that it had just taken local measures for the maintenance of the army. This mode appeared preferable to me with the first and I adopted it continuation. I, consequently, cancelled the conventions made with Vanderberg, which could not remain with the measures of the director as a commander. And it is with this one, which is active and dedicated, that I will address the exiguous resources of which I will be able to lay out. I think that they will be, in the course of this decade, of approximately 400,000 francs for all the services, independently of the pay, which will be of a similar sum of 400,000 francs. I will deal with the means of carrying out these funds and of making them hold directly with the payer of the army.

I greet you cordially.


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

Dijon, 6 floréal year 8 (April 26, 1800).

I receive, citizen Minister, your letter that you send to me by special courier. I feel how much the position of General Masséna can be critical, I will do all that the circumstances will be able to allow me. General Dupont writes to you and gives you details in this respect (9). I write with the First Consul (10).

Salute and fraternity.


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

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

A letter of Nice arrived here, my dear Général, announce to us that you were attacked on all the points by superior forces, that you beat and pushed back the enemy and makes a very great quantity of prisoners. I feel how much it would be important that I was able to enter to Italy; but the Army of the Reserve is not gathered yet. I press his organization and I hope to be in measure towards the end of the month (11), I however made conduct on Lausanne, Vevey, Saint-Maurice, like on Geneva, a division of 7,000 men, which will give concern to the enemy.

I await news of the General Moreau, which must have passed the Rhine.

I dispatch you this courier to know your position, I await his return impatiently. You feel that it is important that I often have your news.

P.S. – I receive at the moment a letter of the First Consul (12), It orders in Moreau to attack the enemy with impetuosity; me, I go with what I have available of reserve to operate a diversion in your favor. I will write to you more in detail.


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

Dijon, 5 floréal year 8 (April 25, 1800), at 11 o'clock in the evening.

I receive at the moment a letter of the Minister, on 4, which orders to me to make march of continuation the Army of the Reserve to Switzerland to make it enter to Italy at once that I will have supported the operations of General Moreau and will have provided for safety with the country on the side with the Grisons. These provisions make even more essential, if it is possible, the observations contained in the letter that I wrote to you two hours ago (13).

In spite of the position where I am, I feel the necessity to march. I will carry Chambarlhac's division, Boudet and Loison on Lucerne. The Watrin's division, which is moving on Geneva, will go in the valley of Aoste, to make believe in the enemy which I emerge in this part and to make an advantageous diversion with General Masséna.

I will take artillery of your guard which arrives tomorrow, and I will get cartridges everywhere where I will be able to collect some. I march with the confidence which you what I will appreciate misses and that you will provide me the means for which the army has so great need to continue the military operations.

Instead of you to send my aide-de-camp Of the Coppice, which I will need, I dispatch you a courier (14).

Do not lose sight of the fact, citizen Consul, that in this moment I have only 22,000 men available and that it is essential that General Lecourbe is detached from the Army of the Rhine with 15,000 men.

You see by these provisions that I propose to enter to Italy by Gothard.

Devotion and respect.


After having written this letter in response to the order which it received from the Minister, Berthier undoubtedly takes note of the other order of Carnot received by Dupont.

The regulations of the two letters of the Minister are not concordant (15). It is ordered, by the first, to enter to Switzerland, to support the first operations of Moreau and to ensure the safety of the country on the side of the Grisons before entering to Italy; by the second, to hasten to penetrate in Italy.

Berthier hesitates between the march through Switzerland towards Saint-Gothard and the direct march towards the Saint-Bernard.

This last plan would save several days and would give more chances to help Masséna.

But the other is more careful and in conformity besides under command Minister. Berthier thus decides to make march three divisions out of four towards Lucerne and Saint-Gothard.

A new letter with the First Consul lets bore its indecision, while Dupont exposes to the Minister the reasons which make adopt the passage by Saint-Gothard.

Alex. Berthier, general-in-chief of the Army of the Reserve, with the First Consul (16).

In the current position of the things, citizen Consul, it does not remain of other party to be taken: the first, in conformity with the provisions that I propose to you to carry out, as I said it to you by my 11 hour old letter, the purpose of which is to enter to Italy by Gothard with 15,000 men of General Moreau. This passage cannot be carried out before 18 to 20 days.

The second would be to send a division, in Lucerne to support the movements of General Moreau and to cover the outlets by the Grisons, and to carry the remainder of the army on Lake Geneva to emerge by the Saint-Bernard, which can be carried out in fifteen days. But then I to be maintained in Piedmont and to march successfully on the lakes, having only 18,000 to 20,000 men and not being sure that General Lecourbe would be detached from the Army of the Rhine to go at the same time on Bellinzona?

It thus appears surer to to me to pass through Saint-Gothard with the 15,000 men whom General Lecourbe must give me. I would then order with the Watrin's division, which is moving on Geneva, to make an incursion into the valley of Aoste and to make believe in the enemy whom the army must emerge by the Simplon, and, by there, to make an advantageous diversion with General Masséna.

Furthermore, citizen Consul, it is extremely important that I know in an unquestionable way if I must count on a help of General Moreau.


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

Dijon, 6 floréal year 8 (April 26, 1800), at 2 o'clock in the morning.

Citizen Minister,

You will have seen, by the courier which to you was dispatched this morning (17), that we admitted here the necessity not to give up General Masséna with itself, at once that we learned the attack from the enemy in the river of Genoa.

Watrin's division will of the 12th pass the Saint-Bernard to the 15th of this month (18), will go in the valley of Aoste and will threaten the enemy, without engaging too much before and so as to compromise itself. It is probable that this diversion, made in.liaison.with the troops which are in this moment on the Alps, will relieve General Masséna partly, General Watrin will make all the demonstrations necessary to persuade with the enemy whom the whole army of reserve will penetrate by this outlet.

Three other divisions of the army will march on Lucerne, to meet in the corps which General Lecourbe will bring of the Army of the Rhine, and which must be at least of 15,000 men. We will go then quickly in Gothard, and we will throw ourselves with impetuosity in Lombardy, Watrin's division will then join us by the Valais Alps or Piedmont, according to circumstances'.

This movement can be carried out of the 20th to the 25th, and it is to be hoped that Masséna will be supported until this time in its principal positions, By calculating the distances and the nature from the ground which we have to cross, you will be convinced that our march cannot be fast any more.

This provision fills the object of the Government. We make by there a diversion in favor of Masséna, we are held able to cover Switzerland and to support General Moreau, and we go at the same time towards the outlet which must open Italy to us.

If the corps, that we await, had arrived, and if our operations were not subordinated to those of the Army of the Rhine, we could have marched on Piedmont with all the army and have sought the enemy for fighting there; but in our current situation, the party which takes the general-in-chief is in conformity with your instructions and the least prone to the disadvantages which we have to avoid.

It is essential, as you see it, that General Moreau gives us 15,000 men at once, with artillery necessary to these corps. It is not it less than it provides us ammunition of war which we miss; and your orders, in this respect, must be precise, so that we can act according to unquestionable data, If General Lecourbe arrives in time, whatever the fate of the Genoa river, we will cross with confidence the Alps and we will be able to be maintained in Lombardy.

Our transport is almost null, the levy of the mules being hardly started. Our food are very dubious, since we engage in a sterile country and that we are reduced to administrative operations that the defect of funds makes precarious. This state will urge you, undoubtedly, to carry on this army the promptest means and most real. The success of the campaign depends on it.

I still point out incomplete our artillery and provisioning of war and the defect of muskets to you. Renew, I request from you, your orders to hasten the transport of these various objects.

The general-in-chief insists on the necessity to order with General Lecourbe to meet in him. Without this help, we will be able nothing to try successfully. Moreau will rank still above his enemy. If this help were refused to us, we would be forced to emerge by the valley of Aoste to try to help Masséna; but we would be lower with the enemy, who would go with all his forces on us, and the fate of a battle in Piedmont would be very doubtful. The operation by Gothard, with the corps of Lecourbe, is largest and surest.

I greet you, citizen Minister, with the sharpest attachment.


The orders for the march on Lucerne are not sent.

Berthier decides (19) to modify its provisions (20), and, not obeying more the regulations of the Minister, directs the large one of its army on Lausanne and a division only towards central Switzerland.

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Geneva March

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

Dijon, 6 floréal year 8 (April 26, 1800).

You will give the orders hereafter (21):

Order with the 9th demi-brigade of light infantry to leave tomorrow 7 Poligny to go to Nyon, on Lake Geneva, where it will await new orders.

Order with the 59th of line demi-brigade to leave tomorrow 7 Mirebeau to go to Nyon. She will receive her artillery with her arrival in this city.

Order with the 43rd of line demi-brigade (22) to leave 7 tomorrow to go to Geneva. With it, all the artillery.

Order with the 24th of line demi-brigade (23) to leave tomorrow 7 Is-sur-Tille, to go to Geneva; while passing by Dijon (24) it will take 8 artillery pieces of Chambarlhac's division.

Order with the 96th of line demi-brigade to leave Dijon 9th, to go to Geneva, artillery of the Consular Guard and grenadiers on foot and on horse will march with this last brigade.

Order with General Watrin to carry its headquarters to Lausanne and to occupy with its division Lausanne, Vevey, Villeneuve and Saint-Maurice,

Order with the 17th demi-brigade of light infantry to go to Dijon, where it will be returned 8th to make the service in this position.

Order with the 58th of line demi-brigade to start from Langres 8th to go to Pontarlier where it will receive new orders.

Order with the 60th demi-brigade to leave 9th Langres to also go to Pontarlier; this demi-brigade will find with her arrival with Pontarlier 4 artillery pieces and 3 caissons of cartridges of Chambarlhac's division (25).

Give all the subsequent orders to the various generals and the director as a commander (26) for all that looks at the administration, food, hospital, etc (27).


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

Dijon, 6 floréal year 8 (April 26, 1800).

It is necessary, citizen General, whom you send an adjutant general in Geneva to mark there the headquarters (28). You will also charge it with indicating the various locations where the troops, which are moving on Geneva, must be baraquées. The army being then supposed in campaign will not confine any more (29). Prevent the corps that, considering the defect of transport, they must leave their baggage either to Dijon, or in the other cities which you will indicate.


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

Dijon, 7 floréal year 8 (April 27, 1800).

The imperative order contained in the letter of the Minister of the 4th floréal, to carry the Army of the Reserve to Switzerland, to support the movements of General Moreau and to keep the outlet by the Grisons to then throw me in Italy (30) had carried me to write to you that I directed three divisions on Lausanne [sic. Read: Lucerne] (31).

I felt by the news of General Masséna that its position required that I make very for him; I thus directed all the infantry of the army on Geneva, Lausanne and Vevey, except for the 58th and of the 60th, which Langres had just awaited orders with Pontarlier, if the circumstances had required that I carry reinforcements on Lucerne.

My intention is to act by the Saint-Bernard or the Simplon. I must all sacrifice for Masséna; already I would be in the mountains, if I had cartridges and mounting-sledges; I have behind me my subsistence and my provisioning by the lake.

The plan of Gothard would be too long in this moment; moreover, according to the circumstances, I then to carry me from Lausanne on Lucerne.

My movement on Geneva and in the Valais Alps must produce a diversion. You will see that already the head of the army is in Geneva; I however do not have any assured subsistence. Here me is in front of the enemy and I do not have a cartridge, I do not have even any news of the arrival of the 5 million cartridges directed on Auxonne, nor of the arrival of lead.

My mounting-sledges are behind. I will thus have an army on the lake, in the Valais Alps, and I will be in front of the enemy without having what to beat me. I do not have a caisson of infantry, except those come with Chambarlhac's division; I do not have a transport to lead my ammunition of Auxonne on the lake. The soldier marches with confidence, but it needs the means of fighting.

I did all that the circumstances appeared me to require. There is no merit with the easy matters to achieve; we will make the impossible one (32).

I do not have an other news of Masséna only those which you made me pass and who came from Suchet. Its position worries me.

The Minister had said to me that it had treated with the Vanderberg Company for our food in Geneva, that it had broken the treaty on what director Dubreton had said to him that it took care some. But this last did not do anything; it had been let go to the requests of these administrations which want to buy to earn money; but independently of dearness, these men, who are only administrators, cannot only the money with the hand and on the spot, when it is necessary to draw corns from the interior. As much I am satisfied with the activity of Lambert, as much I am it little of Dub…. who does not have great means, though besides it does not miss zeal.

I thus warn you that I march without it is how will live the army; the letter of the prefect is alarming. Dubreton cannot which party take.

Yes, General, which I had made with Ouvrard were useful. It left with 3 million and great means to supply us, and more than all that it wanted to regain your confidence and that of the Government.

Believe that I do not do anything without being carried there, by my devotion to the fatherland, by my attachment for you. Foreign influences are unworthy of me.

Count on the army, count on those which lead it. Order that the caissons of Sampigny are directed on Dijon and Auxonne. Moreau passed the Rhine, they are not more useful for him.

I do not doubt all your care nor of your solicitude; it is in this confidence that I will go ahead. You feel that I dry of the desire of going to the help of the honest Army of Italy.

Devotion and respect.


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

Dijon, 27th floréal year 8 (April 27, 1800).

Citizen Minister,

The intelligence which arrived at the general-in-chief on Italy, after the departure of the special courier which was dispatched to you yesterday, brought some change in the provisions of which I returned account to you.

The most powerful interest is to relieve the General Masséna, whose communication with Nice was cut, in spite of successes which it obtained on its line. The march of Watrin's division on Geneva did not appear sufficient to fulfill this goal, by giving a serious concern to the enemy. It should be forced to dismantle Genoa coast. Consequently, Watrin's division goes on Lausanne, that of General Boudet on Nyon and that of Chambarlhac on Geneva, These troops will march quickly and without stay.

This movement must produce a useful effect, and we have the advantage of holding joined together the major part of our currently available forces.

Loison's division marches on Pontarlier and, from there, goes to Lucerne.

We are able thus to carry us on Gothard, if, as one cannot about it doubt, we receive Army of the Rhine an immediate reinforcement of 15,000 men (33), according to the request that we made some yesterday. While waiting, we can impose some on the enemy who attacks the river of Genoa and make a diversion favorable for Masséna,

The plan of campaign adopted by the Consuls is too skilfully conceived; it is too likely to produce decisive results to give up it. Though the enemy warned us in Italy, which is however a serious disadvantage, we can restore this vast and bold plan of operations.

The object which causes us most painful solicitude, it is the weakness of our artillery and the almost absolute lack of ammunition.

Transport is, as you are not unaware of it, about null. As for the subsistence, the director as a commander could not anything still give me the positive one on the way in which this service will be done out of the territory of the Republic. He returns to you a private account of his situation.

You know too well what constitutes an army and ensures him of successes, so that your orders do not cure the distress at once where we are under several reports.

There is, in the Army of the Reserve, a great desire to approach the enemy and to overcome; and the time is short to make profitable these fortunate provisions, by providing him all the means of action necessary.

Salute and devotion.



The First Consul with General Berthier (34).

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

The Minister for the war sent to you yesterday, citizen General, the copy of a letter on the Army of Italy.

I still do not have an official news; but here what results from all that came to my knowledge:

16th germinal (35), General Melas had its headquarters with Cairo; it had with him a score of thousand men; it forced fear them Assembles-Legino, seized Savona, and, 17th, of Saint-Jacob.

The French division which was on Montenotte made its retirement on Genoa, after having reinforced the garrison of Savona (36).

Two French divisions, which were under command of Suchet, made their retirement on the line of Borghetto.

However, 17th, a division of 15,000 Austrians attacked Bocchetta. Masséna went there in person, beat and their made 2,500 prisoners.

A letter of Nice, dated of the 23rd, carries that General Suchet had just made 1200 prisoners. One is unaware of the operations which General Masséna made, but it appears that 23rd the enemy was still master of Savona.

The day when Masséna will have reopened its communications, we will receive necessarily a courier; and, as I do not have a news today (37), I am founded to think that, 26th, the communications were not restored.

What will thus make Masséna? If it fails in the company to restore the communications, it will remain in Genoa as long as it will have food; or it will go quickly on Acqui, for, from there, to gain the Alps; or it will seek bread in the Parmesan or any other point of Italy.

In this state of affairs, you feel how much it is essential that the Army of the Reserve gives to full effort in Italy, independently of the operations of the Army of the Rhine.

For that to make, you have two outlets: the Saint-Bernard and the Simplon. You can, in this case, to reinforce you troops that Moreau left in the Valais Alps.

By the Saint-Bernard, you will be to act much more close to Lake Geneva, and consequently your subsistence will be much more assured. But it is necessary that you ensure yourselves well of the nature of the ways since Aoste in the Po. You can, in the Italian corps, to have all the intelligence necessary (38).

By the Simplon, you arrive immediately in a more beautiful country.

Nothing in Italy will be able to resist to the 40,000 men whom you have. That the Austrian army left victorious or overcome, it will be able, in no case, to support the shock of a fresh army.

Before your army is not arrival in Geneva and Villeneuve, I will have positive news of the situation of the Army of Italy, which will put to me capable to give you more precise instructions.

Your greater work in all this will be to ensure your subsistence.

My guides must arrive to Dijon the 6. You will be able to have artillery as you will want, and to employ to harness pieces the attachments intended for the double provisioning.

The 30th has left for three days, but there are in this demi-brigade much conscripts.

The 72nd, good and excellent demi-brigade, left Caen and move to great marches on Dijon. You can look at this troop like a species of reserve.

Leave in Dijon Vignolle, as well as the depots of each corps, to reorganize the conscripts as they arrive, and to make you pass them.

Make know to me, by the return of my, situation aide-de-camp of your army.


It would be perhaps essential, by measure of precaution, which you sent an officer or a commisioner of war in Chambéry, in order to prepare in this position handling and of the provisioning to be able to nourish your army, if, when it is arrival in Geneva, the events of the Army of Italy obliged with the hurry on by Mount Cenis (39).


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

In Dijon, 7 floréal year 8 (April 27, 1800).

Citizen Consul,

The aide-de-camp Lebrun, which arrived this morning, me gave your dispatches of the 4 and 5 floréal (40). You saw that I had fixed myself at the same provisions that you prescribe me.

I do not have any news of Masséna. I join here, under the no. 1, the copy of the only letters arrived here (41). They contain only the news of which you are already informed.

I feel with you the importance to go with speed to Italy; but instead of 40,000 men of which you judge that the army with my orders is composed, I have 25,000 at most of them. You have the financial statements, and the desertion can further decrease the number of men related to these states.

I join here, no. 2, the reconnaissance that one gives me on the way of the Great Saint Bernard in the Po; you will see that this road presents some difficulties (42).

The Simplon is not practicable for artillery. With the remainder, in the position where I will be in Geneva and Lausanne, I will be able to carry out such provision that you will judge suitable according to the results of the attack against General Masséna.

I put myself in measure to carry out the instructions more precise than you announce to me.

Your guard is arrival; we will have artillery.

Vignolle remains in Dijon to fill there the intentions which you expressed.

I stimulated the zeal of the Lambert director and Boinod. The extraordinary provisioning will be supplemented, but I then to count only on 1000 mules at most, of the 15th to the 20th floréal. Boinod takes measures to rent some.

I commanded shoes in the surroundings of Geneva.

We miss many cartidge boxes and carry-cartidge boxes. We await the 600 horses impatiently that you announce.

Your presence here would not have any utility for the moment; it would be essential if General Moreau had reverses.

You must, according to the position of Masséna and the nature of successes of Moreau, to calculate the movement which I must make and establish your calculations on 25,000 men instead of 40,000, if I acted with my only means. I repeat you that the army is in good provisions, that the spirit in is excellent. The generals and the troops are very plain, though different armies.

I intend to leave from here 11th or 12th to go in post to Geneva.

I call your solicitude on our supplies bread rations in this commune.

Devotion and respect.


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

Dijon, 7 floréal year 8 (April 27, 1800).

I send my aide-de-camp Laborde to you to warn you that the army is put moving, of Dijon, to approach Lake Geneva.

I learn that all the forces of General Melas attack General Masséna. I accelerate all my movements to make a diversion in his favor, and to even help it, while entering to Italy as soon as possible.

It is such circumstances where the position of General Masséna will decide the Government to make me pass by Mount Cenis, instead of entering by the Valais Alps or Saint-Gothard;

I dispatched you, eight days ago, one of my couriers to know your military situation; I am anxious not to see it returning.

Frequently communicate with me by Geneva and give me the intelligence which you could it is on the enemy and General Masséna; do not spare the special couriers.

I greet you.


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

Dijon, 7 floréal year 8 (April 27, 1800).

I address my aide-de-camp Dalton to you to warn you which I carry the Army of the Reserve on Lake Geneva, and to take intelligence on your position and the news that you can have of the enemy since the attack of General Moreau.

It appears that all the forces available of General Melas attack General Masséna, which obliges me to act to make a diversion in its favor, and to even help it, It is important that with the forces which General Moreau left you, you keep Switzerland and the passages of Gothard and the Grisons. It appears difficult to me to send helps to you, since myself I am weak for what I have to undertake,

Correspond with me as often as possible, I have the confidence which your known talents must inspire. Be of course that I will agree with you for the objects relating to your operations.

The Consuls ordered with General Moreau a provisioning of 500,000 rations of biscuit, of 100,000 bushels of oats and a million cartridges for Lucerne.


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

Dijon, 7 floréal year 8 (April 27, 1800).

I received yesterday, my dear Général, the dispatch (43) that you dispatched me by your special courier. I see with pleasure that you opened the campaign. Your talents and the heat of the brave men who you command ensure the victory, and, in this moment, you already obtained successes; the circumstance where the right wing of the Army of Italy is gives him a great price.

General Melas joined together its principal forces and attacked General Masséna on all the points of its line with infinitely superior forces.

Masséna beat the enemy in the river of the Levant and pushed back, with a great loss, with the attack of Bochetta. It made approximately 3,000 prisoners, among whom it is a General.

General Masséna was not so fortunate on its left; the enemy managed to seize Saint-Jacob and Vado; General Suchet was folded up on the heights of Finale. It is announced that it has re-attack the enemy and did many prisoners to him; but I take place to think that the communication is not restored.

You will judge as me how much the position of Masséna is critical, and how much it is important that I would be able to make a diversion in its favor, and to even support it, while penetrating in Italy. The Government prescribes me to carry the Army of the Reserve on Geneva and Lausanne, from where it will act according to the position where General Masséna will be at that time. The army could be joined together 15th or 18th. I have orders to hold it gathered, and I write with General Moncey to make his provisions so as to be maintained with the troops which you left with his orders. As for the Valais Alps, you see that I cover it by the position which I occupy,

I wrote with General Moncey to maintain a correspondence followed with me to Lausanne, where, in a few days, I will establish my headquarters. I thank you for having sent the double of the instruction to me which you gave to General Moncey.

I invite you, my dear Général, to often give your news; I will be exact to teach you all that I will know of Italy. Beat so much Mr. Kray whom you can send to us 30,000 men to beat Mr. de Mélas; it will be with you that we will owe glory of it,


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

Dijon, 7 floréal year 8 (April 27, 1800).

The chief of staff warned you, my dear Général, of the movement which the army made. My intention is to join together it both in Geneva and along the lake to Lausanne; Watrin's division will occupy Villeneuve and hold the Valais Alps. It is of this position that I will decide my movement to enter to Italy, that is to say by the Saint-Bernard, the Simplon, or Gothard while passing by Lucerne.

It is in Lucerne (sic) that we will organize our artillery for each division, You know the critical position where General Masséna is; I must thus all accelerate to carry prompt helps to him; the most pressing objects are the cartridges, the mountings and the sledges; since these objects will be returned to Geneva, I begin the hostilities.

Auxonne must be your principal position of provisioning and Geneva the second, from where, by the lake, we could all transport to Villeneuve, either which I march on Lucerne, or which I enter the valley of the Rhone.

You know enough the localities to feel that all that holds with the crews of mountain is of first necessity,

The First Consul prevents me that I can have artillery of the guard and employ to harness the pieces the attachments intended for the double provisioning.

By a letter of the 5th floréal, the First Consul prevents me that, the 5 and 6, will leave successively 600 horses, with the ammunition which are necessary.

I know, my dear Général, that things you miss many; but your zeal and your talents will compensate for all. Activate the arrival of our weapons and make make many cartridges.


Dupont, major general, chief of staff of the Army of the Reserve, with General Clarke (44).

Dijon, 7 floréal year 8 (April 27, 1800).

I receive, my dear Clarke, your letter of the 5th. It is the first; it was desired.

Hardly our courier of the night of the 6th (45) was party which we modified our first provisions. The letter, of which you will find copy herewith, awoke our concerns on Masséna. At once, the army received the order to go on Geneva. Two demi-brigades go to Pontarlier and will meet in us or will march on Lucerne, according to circumstances'.

If the 15,000 men of the Army of the Rhine, that we ask, are granted to us, we will pass by Gothard, and we will know, I hope for it, us to maintain in Lombardy.

If these 15,000 men do not arrive, and that Masséna is always in a critical position, we will join together all our limited resources, we will pass by the Saint-Bernard or the Simplon, and we will enter to Piedmont. The enemy will be forced to come to us and to let breathe Masséna. We will act then according to whether the moment inspires to us.

If the sixteen demi-brigades, which must compose the army, were today in Geneva, we would be tomorrow on the reverse of the Alps, and we would carry a violent shock to the enemy everywhere where it would gather to fight battle. But in this moment, we have only eleven demi-brigades present. It is only at the end of the month that the five others will join the army completely, except for the 39th, that Masséna keeps with him, and who, moreover is very weak.

Another major disadvantage: we do not have who 24 harnessed artillery pieces; we will be forced to take light artillery of the Consular Guard to attach it to divisions. One starts today only to make cartridges, and the means of transport are to be created.

However time presses, it is necessary at all costs to help the Army of Italy.

Watrin's division will be able, towards 15th, to make its passage of the Mount-Bernard, and, 20th, we will have approximately 25,000 men ready to act. The demi-brigades, which are to be arrived, will form our reserve.

The news of Paris, those of the Rhine and Italy will determine the general-in-chief then. Count that the party that we will take will not be most timid, and that we will follow with heat the operation in which we will be committed.

You see that, since our arrival, a moment ago of lost. The army was formed divided some and started at once, as if it had had its very ready means of action.

What a difference in our position! Instead of an army of 65,000 well provided men, which was intended to us to operate into large, and with which we would have, to some extent, reconquered Italy by our only presence, we are reduced to a small army and limited resources. But the large things which we have to try and the great interests attachés with our operations will inspire to us by main efforts.

Not news of Moreau, and it has been two days that it bldg.

Good-bye, I kiss you.


P.S. – I always hope that the enemy will not force us, though it warned us in Italy, to give up our plan of campaign: peace is on the edges of Adige. The First Consul will surely be due to its fine ideas on the goal and the means of this campaign.

If Moreau leaves victorious the Black Forest, it will be able to give us 25,000 men without, so to speak, realizing of their absence. If it is not very fortunate, it will be necessary that it is held on the defensive, and, in this assumption impossible to envisage, he will be able, without danger, to give us 15,000 men.

There are nine more demi-brigades in the West, one could give us three of them. The disorders of this country will reappear only by our external reverses. Let us employ all our forces at the same time. It is the secrecy of the victory.

Dubreton, director as a commander of the Army of the Reserve, with the general-in-chief Berthier.

Dijon, 7 floréal year 8 (April 27, 1800).

Your orders of the 6th floréal (46), Général, rather did not reach me that I took all the measures necessary to ensure the execution of it.

The subsistence of the troops moving will be assured. All the orders are dispatched, all the measures captures, and the activity of the agents guarantees the prompt execution of it.

I make leave for Geneva a commisioner of war, who is charged to ensure all the provisioning on the points that you indicated to me.

The Swiss Government, the French ambassador are warned. I invited them to lend to the employees, charged to carry out my orders, all the helps which are to be able to them. I request citizen Reinhard to support of his credit and his capacity all the provisions which will require the administrative service.

The commisioners of war, as Switzerland, have order to ensure the provisioning and to act in concert, to this end, with the civil authorities. I hope that all the obstacles will disappear in front of the zeal and the goodwill, of which the administrators charged are filled to ensure the subsistence, and the activities which must come to their help.

If the provisioning of the 500,000 rations of biscuit and the 100,000 bushels of oats would not be supplemented, as ordered it the Consuls, I charged the commisioner of war of Lucerne there working without slackening, and with giving to this operation an activity such, than the payment of these food products is made in eight days,

Active transport will be established of Châlons, in Geneva and Lausanne. My orders are positive in this respect.

The commisioner of war, who goes to Geneva, must deal with the boats of transport.

The paymaster general is also prevented of your intentions.

All the precautions are captures for the ambulance, the personnel is organized. Of the material we miss part; but the measures are captures for the purpose of supplementing, as soon as possible, this essential part of the administration.

Lastly, General, count on all my activity. I will save neither penalties, neither days before, nor care. Always jealous to fill my duties, I wish to prove, by a constant activity and a zeal with any test, that it is not in vain that one agreed to grant some confidence to me.

I would answer you of the literal execution of the orders that you transmitted to me, if there were some pecuniary means.

Salute and respect.



The First Consul with General Berthier (47), commanding as a commander the Army of the Reserve, in Dijon.

Paris, 6 floréal year 8 (April 26, 1800).

I receive, citizen General, your letter of the 5th floréal (48).

Since the 19th light arrives only 26th floréal, I believe that you would make well set up in Loison's division the 13th light, which arrives 10th floréal. You would put the 19th light with the 70th and the 72nd, which will be able to leave Dijon at the end of floréal.

Thus, here how I see your army:

Loison's division, made up of the 13th light, 58th, 60th of line: 6 to 7,000 men;

Chambarlhac's division, made up of the 24th light, 43rd, 96th of line: 9,000 men;

Boudet's division, made up of the 9th light, 30th, 59th of line: 7 to 8,000 men;

Watrin's division, made up of the 6th light, 22nd, 40th of line: 6 to 7,000 men.

These four divisions available and ready to march floréal to the 10th;

The 5th division of General Chabran, made up of 9 batallions of the 15 of the Army of the Orient, which you will form in brigades as I had projected: that would train you a division of 6,000 men, which could march after the first four divisions;

The 6th division which could of the 25th leave Dijon to the 30th floréal, would be made up of the 19th light, 70th, 72nd of line: 6 to 7,000 men;

The 7th division would be made up of the 17th light and the 6 batallions remaining of the 15 of the Army of the Orient;

And, finally, your 4,000 Italians, by leaving a depot which can form the 3 or 4,000 Italians who are still in the various parts of France, and who will go to Dijon when the movement is uncovered.

Thus, it seems to to me that, 15th floréal, you will be able to have in Geneva, ready to go where it will be necessary:

1. the first four divisions. 28 to 30,000 40,000 men.
2. the 5th Chabran's division 5 to 6,000.
3. A few days after, Italians 4,000.

To the 30th floréal, you could have in Geneva:

The 6th division 6 to 7,000 men.
And towards 15th prairial, the 7th division. 6,000
General Turreau could assist you, with. 3,000
The troops of the Army of the Rhine which are in the Valais Alps 3,000

Thus you could have arrived at Aoste and Suze of the 20th to the 30th floréal, with 44,000 men of infantry, and you would be followed, ten away days, by a complete division of 8,000 men, and, at twenty days, of six others thousand men; independently of the detachment of the Army of the Rhine proportioned to the circumstances where it will be, and which will be able to go from 30 to 10,000 men; according to the events, But I see you assure, pertaining to you, from 50,000 to 60,000 men of infantry.

As for the cavalry, you have:

11th, 12th of hussars. 800 4,000 men.
2nd, 7th, 15th, 21st of chasseurs. 1,400
8th, 9th of dragoons. 800
2, 3rd, 20th of cavalry. 1,000

It is a cavalry sufficient for your ten or the first fifteen days of operations.

The 11th of hussars, 15th from chasseurs, 9th from dragoons, 3rd from cavalry, will make leave at the beginning the decade, them four, a thousand of men who will arrive to you in time.

1st hussars, 1st and 5th cavalry and 5th of dragoons will leave in the current the month; they will have with them 6 artillery pieces, and will make with them four l800 well assembled and well harnessed men.

Thus you will be to have continuation 4,000 men, and 3,000 men who will be with you in time.

Put with divisions only chasseurs and hussars and hold all your joined together dragoons.

I made give the order to the 19th light, 70th, 72nd demi-brigades and with 20th of cavalry to burn the stages (49).


Infantry available immediately. 44,000 50,000
Cavalry. 4,000
Artillery. 2,000
Behind you:
Infantry. 8,000 11,000
Cavalry. 3,000
the 7th division, for memory.
Total. 61,000 men.

Here are 60,000 men who, after the stupidities which have just made the Austrians while charging themselves in the river of Genoa, put to you capable to act without needing anybody.

As for artillery, you have 48 pieces of ordnance; that made 8 pieces of ordnance by each one of your the first five divisions and a small park.

Decrease the number of your howitzers and increase the number of your pieces of 4, since you have some in Auxonne. That will be to you of a very good service, and much easier for transport.

The column of General Turreau will be able to bring 5 or 6 pieces of Briançon.

There will be time to prepare in Auxonne the pieces necessary for your sixth division.

Six hundred horses left yesterday, leave today and tomorrow Versailles.

The 6 pieces of the guard are very well harnessed. You can leave them with the cavalry and have its double provisioning for other divisions.

As for the cartridges, Briançon will be able to provide some to you. Make conduct on Geneva all those which are in Grenoble and Besancon. Make establish a workshop in Geneva; by giving oneself a little movement and with a little money, one must find in a city like Geneva of lead for a million cartridges.

Leave all the depots to Dijon and on the Saone, so that the conscripts, as they arrive, have a first formation, and, from there, can feed the army.

Leave the cadres of the six batallions of the Army of the Reserve (50); they will be supplemented by the conscripts who will arrive, so that, in the current of prairial, the 17th light and the two trained demi-brigades of these six batallions can train you one the 7th division.

I will be in Geneva, where I will make all substitutions of troops according to events' who will have taken place with the Army of the Rhine, by leaving Chabran's division on the defensive in Switzerland, and making march of the better organized demi-brigades.

Divisions are rather strong with three demi-brigades. It is necessary that you have in the hand at least five or six divisions.

Two pieces of 4, three of 8, an howitzer, appear to me with the rigor capacity to form artillery of a division, and, if you do not have enough attachments in a division, put three pieces of 4 and two of 8.

That General Marmont sends a senior officer in Briançon and in Grenoble, for hurry on all that it is possible; that these officers are provided with an order of you, by putting the responsibility on the artillery officers and the commanders for the cantonments. It is necessary that General Marmont has the state of the cartridges and artillery provisioning which are in Briançon and in the positions of the Dauphine one.

I make tomorrow leave 200 men my guard.

Send General Marescot to the Saint-Bernard, so that it is back in Geneva 15th floréal, with exact sketches of the road. If it has pioneers, that it carries out them with him.

I hope to be, 10th or 11th, in Dijon, if nothing is opposed to it (51).

Salute, friendship (52).


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Bonaparte Letter

Alex. Berthier, general-in-chief of the Army of the Reserve, with the First Consul (53).

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

It is 5 hours of the morning, I receive a special courier of Lambert with the letter included here (54). Masséna everywhere is victorious. I kiss you of all my heart (55).

I dispatch the Brown one, who will carry you this good news, Masséna deserves all that can admiration and the reconnaissance.

Friendship and respect.


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

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

I ask you to give orders to make stop and remain in Gray the 58th and 60th demi-brigades. You will change their road and will direct them on Nyon, passing by Dôle (56); one will distribute the objects to them which they could need and that they will have care to send to seek in Dijon (57),

I greet you,


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

Dijon, 8th floréal year 8 (April 18, 1800).

You will give the orders, citizen General, to form divisions of the army as it follows:

Loison's division, made up of the 13th light, 58th and 60th of line;

Chambarlhac's division, made up of the 24th light, 43rd and 96th of line;

Boudet's division, made up of the 9th light, 30th and 59th of line;

Watrin's division, made up of the 6th light, 22nd and 40th of line.

These four divisions will be the first four ready to march.

You will give orders so that the division of General Chabran, made up of nine batallions of the fifteen of the Army of the Orient, which had to train three demi-brigades, like had ordered it the First Consul, that is to say lends to march, as soon as possible, to follow the movement of the first four divisions.

The 6th division, which could of the 25th leave Dijon to the 30th floréal, will be made up of the 19th light, 70th and 72nd of line.

The 7th division will be made up of the 17th light and the six batallions remaining of the fifteen of the Army of the Orient, which will train two demi-brigades.

The 4,000 Italians will be ready to leave as soon as possible; you will give the order to leave a depot to the moment of their departure, which can form second corps of all the other Italians who are still in the other parts of France, and which will have orders to go to Dijon, when the movement is uncovered.

You will leave with each of the four first divided a regiment of chasseurs or hussars, but not of dragoons.

As for the cavalry, the 11th and 12th of hussars, 2nd, 7th, 15th and 21st of chasseurs, 2nd, 3rd and 20th of cavalry, are intended to follow the movement of the first divisions of the army; this first division will have the pieces of the Consular Guard,

The First Consul prevents me that the 11th of hussars, 15th from chasseurs, 9th from dragoons, 3rd from cavalry will leave at the beginning the decade, them four, approximately 1000 men, who will have time to arrive before the movement which I will be in the case of to order with the cavalry.

The 2nd division of cavalry will be made up of 2nd of hussars, of 1st and 5th of cavalry, of 5th of dragoons; they must leave the interior in the current it month and to have with them six pieces of light artillery.

Give all the orders consequently new provisions above and form the financial statement which you must give me according to this formation.

Give orders to the General Vignolle, which remains in Dijon, to follow the execution of these provisions.

As for artillery, we must have forty-eight pieces of ordnance, which makes eight eight pounders for each of the first five divisions and a small park of eight pieces.

General Marmont will decrease the number of the howitzers and will increase the number of the pieces of 4, since we have some in Auxonne.

If we do not have enough attachments, one could put, with each division, two pieces of 4, three of 8 and one howitzer.

As for the 6th division, one will prepare in Auxonne the pieces necessary.

As for the cartridges, Briançon will be able to provide some. General Marmont must most promptly give orders for hurry on on Geneva all the cartridges which are in Grenoble and Briançon, It must activate the workshop established in Geneva and order that one buys there lead for a million cartridges.

Present to me a plan of cantonment to leave the depots, as well of infantry as from cavalry, both in Dijon and on the Saone, so that the conscripts, as they arrive, have a first formation and, from there, can feed the army.

The cadres of the six batallions of the Army of the Orient, which do not form part of the nine which must form the 5th division, which commanded by General Chabran, will be supplemented by the conscripts who will arrive, so that, in the current of prairial, the 17th light and the two trained demi-brigades of these six batallions can form the 7th division, It is necessary, consequently, to carry in the three trained demi-brigades of the nine batallions of the Army of the Orient, composing the 5th division of General Chabran, the conscripts that the six batallions of the Army of the Orient intended will be able to have received to form the 7th division with the 17th light.

Order with General Marmont to send a senior officer in Briançon and Grenoble for hurry on on Geneva all that is possible. Prevent it that this officer will be provided with an order of me to put on the responsibility for the officers for artillery and all others the delay which one would put at the execution these provisions. General Marmont must take all the measures required to have the state of the cartridges and the artillery provisioning which are in Briançon and in the positions of the Dauphine one.

Give the order to General Marescot to go to the Saint-Bernard to make the reconnaissance in conformity of the instruction there that I will give to him; it must be of return in Geneva 16th floréal (58), If it has pioneers, it must promptly direct them on Geneva.

All the provisions which announce the plan to pass through Saint-Gothard (sic) must be held secret; it is to better do to believe that we go on Lucerne.


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

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

The intention of the First Consul, citizen General, is to join together the Army of the Reserve in Geneva for, from there, to enter with impetuosity to Italy, by such outlet that the military circumstances will make preferable. Already, the head of the first columns is in Geneva.

The intention of the First Consul is also that you contribute to this operation with part of the troops to your orders and five to six artillery pieces. II would wish that you can form a column of approximately 3,000 men, who would emerge either by the Little Saint Bernard, or by any other point which would be indicated to you.

In this assumption, make know the points of defense to me which you have to keep, the number of troops which you would believe necessary to employ there and finally which are the troops which you would indicate to form the column, which you could receive the order to reduce to Italy. You can, as of this moment, to make prepare five or six pieces of artillery and the sledges necessary. You will also make the provisions necessary for the food, biscuit and for transport. Hold these secret provisions.

The cartridges necessary to the first operations of this army are still behind. The intention of the First Consul is that one draws some from them from Briançon, that one will make conduct on Geneva, It also orders that one makes there conduct most of all that can be in Grenoble.

I warn you that, according to the orders of the First Consul, General Marmont, commanding artillery of the Army of the Reserve, sends a senior officer in Briançon and Grenoble for hurry on all that is possible on Geneva.

This senior officer is carrying an order of me which puts the responsibility on the artillery officers and on the commanders of the cantonments who would not assist, of all their efforts, the provisions of the General Marmont with which the senior officer with artillery is charged, and who, by there, would compromise the operations of the Army of the Reserve.

General Marmont has orders to be made the most promptly give possible state of the cartridges and artillery provisioning which are in Briançon and in all the positions of the Dauphine one.

You will want well, citizen General, to give all the orders necessary so that one punctually carries out all the provisions relating to artillery ordered by General Marmont. You will give the order to your artillery commander to make make the most cartridges possible, is to replace the provisioning which is necessary for you, that is to say for the hurry on in Geneva, where we have the greatest need for it.

I await your news impatiently.


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

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

I ask you to give orders to make leave tomorrow half of your crews and mines, to go possible most promptly to Geneva. You will make also leave the adjutant generals, assistant and other employees of the staff which you would not absolutely need until the moment for our departure.

You can also prevent the commanding general the artillery, the engineers, etc, which they can make leave part of their administrations.

I greet you,


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

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

The First Consul intends to leave Paris 10th to go to Dijon and, from there, in Geneva, Donnez orders so that its housing is prepared in this last city, Pensez in my financial statement, in states of office and small paperbacks. Make prepare for the First Consul. Did you give the orders relating to all the provisions contained in my order of yesterday?

I greet you.


General Victor returns account to me that the 58th has 1200 recruits without weapons and clothes. It misses some also much with the 60th. Take shearings the possible measures so that these conscripts are armed and equipped before arriving to Geneva.

Will know of Marmont if it has news of the arrival of the muskets with Auxonne; one could make leave detachments to take them.



Report of General Clarke on the artillery convoys intended for Dijon.

Paris. 7 floréal year 8 (April 27, 1800).

1st Convoy. – The 1st convoy intended for Dijon was dispatched by General Saint-Remy, It left approximately twelve days ago.

It of 80 transports, was approximately composed of a division of 12, of one of 8, howitzers and cartridges of infantry.

These are there the only intelligence that one could give me to the arsenal on this 1st convoy; one would have some more precise either near the Andréossy General, or near the Riverot citizen at the Military academy.

2nd Convoy. – The 2nd convoy left the 6 floréal; it was composed of 54 transports, having 200 horses, including those of the warrant officers and those of replacement. There was:

9 transports which had remained 1st convoy, consistent out of caissons of howitzers, caissons of infantry, and 2 wagons of ammunition;

A division of eight pieces of 4;

A mounting of replacement of the same gauge;

Sixteen caissons of 4 charged;

6 ammunition wagons carrying of large hautures of muskets, 2 large trunks of provisioning of tools, 200 pioneer tools, the same quantity of sharp tools, various species of replacement for artillery;

A forge of campaign with a set of tools;

15 caisson-carts charged with 2 thousands of paper with cartridges of infantry;

120 pairs of boxes of wheels for mounting-sledges, and a certain quantity of small hautures of muskets;

On the ammunition wagons, there were 400 more poles of flue brushes.

3rd Convoy. – The 3rd convoy will leave 10th with 200 horses; it will be composed as it follows:

30 cart-caissons with 3 horses, which will carry together 25 thousands of lead bullets; Ci. 90 horses.
6 caissons of 4 charged 24
3 pieces of 4 12
Mountings of replacement. from 12 1 4
from 8 1 4
from 4 1 2
shell. 1 4
8 caissons charged with cartridges of infantry 32
4 caissons whose Andréossy General must indicate the objects of the loading 16
TOTAL 188 horses.

The 12 horses remaining to supplement the 200 will be useful for the warrant officers and the horses of replacement.

There are in this moment 2 boats on the Seine, which are intended to charge a hundred of caisson-carts, 200 limonières who have been just built with the arsenal: and quantity of lead in balls to supplement their loading. Each boat will carry 90 thousands weighing, They will leave towards 10th this month.

After the departure of the 3 convoys, there will remain 400 artillery horses in the depots around Paris.

The difficulty to make them leave comes from the defect harnessing. The suppliers of this object deliver only slowly.

The service of the military troops received 40,000 francs to make transport to Dijon a certain quantity of objects of artillery. These objects had been deposited in houses of rolling, and had remained there for more than fifteen days. One made of them complaints and it left yesterday by this way 60 thousands lead in balls.

Aide-de-camp of General Clarke,

TOURNÉ (59).

The First Consul with the Merlin citizen, aide-de-camp of the First Consul.

Dijon, 7 floréal year 8 (April 27, 1800).

It must leave 1 tomorrow silver million for Dijon; you will want to see well leaving this money. You will have care to make it escort by the gendarmerie, and you will go to the chief town of the prefectures and all the stages where this convoy must pass, so that there are ready attachments, so that, travelling day and night, this money arrives in five or six days to Dijon.

If you test the least obstacle, address you to the prefect of the department by where you will pass.

You will await me in Dijon. You will make pay this money in the case of the payer of the army.

He left today 100 thousands lead. You inform of the road that they held and how they left; catch up with and make them march them day and night, if not the 100 thousands, at least 25. You address to the prefects and to the communes and made feel to them that they is emergency (60).

You will catch up with also on the way a convoy of 250 horses which left the 6. You will order with the drivers not to make any stay and to double the stages when they can do it (61).


The First Consul, with the Lauriston citizen, aide-de-camp

Paris, 7 floréal year 8 (April 27, 1800).

Appointment in post in Lyon (62). You will see the Lambert director; you will make known to him that it will not miss money. That it activates the departure of biscuit, brandy, oats for Geneva, where I will be returned 12th floréal.

See the commander of the position and city, so that one makes leave all the cartridges, lead and the muskets which would be in Lyon, and which one makes them conduct to marches forced on Geneva.

Take the number of all the troops which would be in Lyon and in the 19th division.

From there, go to Grenoble and make leave for Geneva, with forced marches, lead, the cartridges and muskets who could be there.

From there, go in the General who commands the left of the Army of Italy, which must be in Briançon, so that it gives you a state of all the troops which are with its orders.

You will make known to him that I will be 14th or 15th in Geneva. where you will join me, by bringing back to me an exact state of all the troops which are in 7th and the 19th military divisions: infantry, cavalry, artillery, material and attachments.

To your return, you will pass by Chambéry (63).


The First Consul, with the Lefebvre General, aide-de-camp (64).

Paris, 7 floréal year 8 (April 27, 1800).

You will want to return to you at once well, with franc clamp, the Châlons-on-Marne. You will make leave the 6,000 muskets and the 6 campaign forges which are in it for Dijon (65). You will remain until it left.

From there, you will go to the chief town of all the departments where must pass these convoys, so that the prefects give order which these muskets travel night and day, and without stopping. You will write to me chief town of each department by which the muskets must pass. You will raise all the obstacles which could meet, and you will await me in Dijon, where I must go without delay (66).



The received letters of Italy carry the First Consul to seek the fastest way to make penetrate the Army of the Reserve in Italy.

Oudinot (67), general chief of staff of the Army of Italy, with the Bonaparte General.

Germinal Piétra, 27th year 8 (April 17, 1800).

My General,

The situation in which the general-in-chief is since 16th, time to which it was attacked on all the line and especially on the points of Savona and Genoa, not having allowed him to give you the detail of his operations, I believe duty to benefit from the circumstance where I am for, in.liaison.with Lieutenant General Suchet, to establish you a precis from what occurred to the right-hand side from the army, and that, without regard to the exclusive right that the general-in-chief usually reserves himself some.

16th of the current, while the enemy directed columns on Genoa by all the roads which end in it and which it advanced so as to not leave no doubt about his plans of investment, Melas went down on Savona with the large one from his army. After having seized the heights which command it, it is established in Montenotte and Saint-Justiniani. The astonishing superiority of its forces in this part did not reject the General Masséna, which, in.liaison.with General Soult, forced it, by its operations, to go down in plain. All that engaged there was a prisoner or found death. The capture of 6 pieces of artillery and 7 flags, 6,000 prisoners, including 2 colonels, several majors and approximately 200 officers, were the fruit of our work in this part.

General Suchet, on its side, also obtained successes; but our communications with him having been stopped, since 16th, by ground and sea, I leave it to of you to him to submit his particular report of it.

I should not however dissimulate you, citizen Consul, that these advantages will not be able to have a fortunate result, that as much as General Suchet will manage to relieve three divisions of right-hand side, which, moreover are reduced to 10 or 11,000 combatants, including still the troops under the orders of the General Miollis, who is in charge of the defense of Genoa, with which city the center has communications neither by ground nor by sea. The English, who have in these trimmings a vessel of 74, two frigates, several brigs and a cloud of corsairs, absolutely prohibit the hope to carry there to us helps, impossibility of reaching that point is such as it is by a phenomenon that, left Varaggio yesterday, I could approach in Loano. I owe my arrival only with the darkness of the night, which supported my passage.

The general-in-chief did not doubt the danger; but the importance of the mission, which was to intimate to General Suchet to attack again, not having allowed him to compose, I engaged with this step. We hope for the most fortunate effect of it, if, like there is not to doubt it, our troops give with the courage which is familiar for them.

The strength of Savona, whose garrison is of 750 men, still has food for ten days. General Suchet employs all the means for him of making some pass; but it only reaches that point very seldom and with great sacrifices. The corsairs who infest this part of the river prevent any arrival.

The enemy does not occupy yet any the forts in front of Genoa. He was satisfied to crown the surrounding mountains, by stopping his line with Bochetta and his left with Albaro.

The detached corps of General Soult, strength of 7,000 men, including the 1500 pennies the immediate orders of General Masséna, have its line with Sasello, by prolonging its left until Varaggio. These two corps, although they constantly fought, more suffered from the hunger than of the actions than they delivered and supported.

If, counters my waiting, General Suchet did not give an account directly of the attack to you which it proposes to make tomorrow, I will undertake some all the more readily as I will be close to him until the moment of his meeting with the general-in-chief.

I have the honor, citizen Consul, to greet you very respectfully.


The First Consul, with General Berthier, commanding as a commander. the Army of the Reserve in Dijon (68).

Paris, 7 floréal year 8 (April 27, 1800), 4 hours of the evening.

Your aide-de-camp arrives at the moment (69), citizen General. I wish that you join together all the army in Geneva, and that you give orders so that one transports to Villeneuve, by the lake, of biscuit, corn and brandy.

On the 2 million which gave you General Murat, you will see that there are 300,000 francs for Lambert; make pass to the-him at once.

It left 200 horses with one yesterday, convoy for Dijon. I sent aide-de-camps to the Châlons-on-Marne, Tours, etc, to make pass most promptly possible from the cartridges to Geneva and Dijon.

It leaves 1 tomorrow million for your army. It leaves today 100 thousands lead for Auxonne.

I will take measures to make leave, in the decade and without stay, all the horses which are in Versailles.

My plan would not be any more to pass through Saint-Gothard; I look at this possible operation and in the ordinary rules of prudence only when General Moreau would have obtained a great advantage on the enemy.

Moreover it is possible that it is not any more in Milan where it is necessary to go, but that we are obliged to carry us in all diligence on Tortone, to relieve Masséna which, if it were beaten, will have been locked up in Genoa, where he has for thirty days of food.

It is thus by the Saint-Bernard who I wish that one passes (70). Arrived at Aoste, one will be capable to go on the Lake Maggiore and on Milan in few marches and in an abundant country and such as it us is necessary it, if it became useless to go immediately on the river of Genoa. Moreover, the operation to pass through the Saint-Bernard appears to me more proportioned much with your current means, since you will have to nourish you only from Villeneuve with Aoste, being able to transport your food by the lake to Villeneuve. You have only four days of Villeneuve with Aoste.

You see that in one or the other of these operations, you will always have, or outlets of Dauphine by your right side, or outlets of Switzerland, occupied by the Army of the Rhine, by your left side. Thus, in all the cases, you have a line of ensured operation, and you remain in contact with the Republic.

If you go on Milan, all that will be on Saint-Gothard or the Simplon will join to you successively. I will leave from here 10th for Geneva; I will pass by Dijon.


That of Lyon, Chambéry and Grenoble, all the biscuit, etc…. that is to say started without delay for Geneva (71).

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

Dijon, 8th floréal (72) year 8 (April 28, 1800), at 11 o'clock in the evening.

I receive at the moment your dispatch of the 7th, gone back to 4 hours of the evening.

I had thought like you; all the army is moving on Geneva; I dispatched officers, couriers on all the points, in order to activate the provisioning of mouth and war.

I sent yesterday 150,000 francs to Lambert, 50,000 in Boinod; these two men deserve the greatest praises for their zeal.

Marescot left for the Saint-Bernard.

Lastly, citizen Consul, the summary of my reflections had so much made me judge as you that I prevented all the provisions contained in your letter of the 7th.

I see that Masséna is still in a worrying position, but it is daring, persevering and fortunate.

Your arrival in Geneva puts to you in a good position to order the movements, according to the events which will have taken place on the Rhine.

The citizen Lauriston, your aide-de-camp, communicates your letter (73) to me; I sent this morning of the officers in post for the same provisions; it starts from its coast to carry out your orders.

I will return you tomorrow evening your second courier.

Devotion and respect.



The First Consul, with General Marmont.

Paris, 7 floréal year 8 (April 27, 1800).

I make seek at the moment some ball moulds in Paris, that I will send to you during the night by a courier.

Establish a room of artifices in Geneva. There must be powder for the defense of the position; convert it into cartridges.

Besancon must have powder and cartridges, would be this only for its provisioning.

Grenoble must have cartridges; make conduct them on Geneva.

250 horses left this decade, I charged Duroc with making leave this decade all that remains to be left. All will march without rest: as I look at as all that will arrive in time.

Write to me by the return of the courier which one dispatches with General Berthier, and make know your needs to me.

You must have powder with Auxonne, since you are close to a factory.

It will be easy for you to get to you 50 thousands of lead in Geneva.

It leaves 1 tomorrow million for Dijon, on which there are 100,000 francs for the artillery (74).


The First Consul, with General Berthier.

Paris, 7 floréal year 8 (April 27, 1800), at midnight (75).

I send to you, by a special courier, two moulds with balls (76).

Make establish a workshop of cartridges in Geneva.

1. You must have received 100,000 pounds of lead, from Lyon in Geneva;

2. It left 100,000 there yesterday Paris for Dijon;

3. It left 250,000 there Tours;

4. You must find some in Dijon, in Geneva, to begin your manufacture enough;

5. It left yesterday 200 harnessed horses to several pieces and a weaponry which will be returned 12th with Auxonne;

6. It leaves 1 tomorrow million for your army;

7. It leaves 4,000 muskets tomorrow;

8. It arrives tomorrow here 5 million cartridges, which will conduct on Auxonne;

9. I sent an aide-de-camp to Châlons to make activate the departure of 6,000 muskets, which are in Châlons;

10. Three companies of pontonniers will receive the order to start from Constancy for Geneva;

11. Besancon and Grenoble have order to provide to your army;

12. From here to the 10th, it will leave 200 horses per day until competition 800, harnessed with any species of artillery ammunition; they will be returned before 20th floréal in Auxonne;

13. 9th, it will leave from here 6 pieces with a detachment the guard (77).


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Bonaparte Letter

The First Consul, with General Marmont.

Paris, 7 floréal year 8 (April 27, 1800), at midnight (78).

You will see by the letter of General Berthier (79), citizen General, the various details that I give him on your artillery.

Think of your harnesses, door-fittings, etc Établissez to this end workshops in Geneva.

I imagine that you currently have as much lead than you need, and than you will have at the same time a workshop with Auxonne and in Geneva.

You must have received 10 mounting-sledges. Following each one you carry out a mounting of plain, so that once passed to the mountains your crew of campaign is made up of a similar number of pieces.

Organize your repair shop in Geneva; that it can go, like that of Auxonne, without employing the company of workmen whom you must have and who must be available to your park.

Send to me a state of the material, the personnel and attachments, so that I see positively where you are (80).


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

Dijon, 9th floréal year 8 (April 29, 1800), at 6 o'clock in the evening.

I receive at the moment, citizen Consul, the courier which brings the two moulds to me to balls.

All is in the greatest activity. If you arrive here 12th, I will receive you; I will be able to leave only 13th to go to Geneva.

Your wise precaution will give to this army all the means of entering to campaign.

It appears that General Moreau did not still have any important military event; it is quite necessary that it pushes the enemy vigorously and that he attacks it without him to leave time to choose the position of his of line field.

All the provisions captures by the director as a commander, to ensure our subsistence in Geneva, were without effect; I send funds in post to ensure all the services with ecus.

Be without concern, everywhere one makes the impossible one; you know my zeal and my devotion which increases by the difficulties.


P.S. – Your presence in Geneva appears greater utility to me. It is the point from where must leave the direction the movement of the various armies according to the circumstances.

One needs an authority higher with the generals as a commander of the three armies.

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

Dijon, 9th floréal year 8 (April 29, 1800).

I have the honor to return account, my General to you, of the state where the artillery of the army and the progress of our work is.

The 24 harnessed and supplied pieces of artillery of campaign left for Geneva.

I will make leave 12th, twelve pieces of 4, with most of their provisioning; I will send in addition a rather great quantity of cast irons.

12th will also leave all the manufactured sledges, the caissons with ammunition, part of the limonières, 14 caissons charged and the muskets which will be able to have arrived at this time.

Horse lack for the various objects, they will be led by the way of the trade.

The mounting-sledges arrived this morning and will leave tomorrow.

I sent my aide-de-camp in Besancon; it will remain there until the 400,000 cartridges which are there, the 6,000 balls of various gauges or shells, the mountings and the 2 howitzers, which I asked, are all on the way for Geneva.

These run irons will be replaced in Besancon in fifteen days by those which I ordered to run with the forges which are close.

I sent an officer in Geneva to activate the formation of the establishments and workshops which I ordered to make there.

This officer will go then to Chambéry, at the height Barraux, in Grenoble. He will make conduct from there on Geneva, in the promptest manner and most expeditious, the cartridges, the ammunition of war and the effects of artillery which we need.

This officer will go then to Embrun, Mount-Lion (81) and Briançon, where it will take the states of all that exists there.

The ball moulds which I sent to seek in Metz and Besancon arrived; also the workshop of cartridges of Auxonne starts it to enter in activity. I made buy a few thousands of lead here, while waiting for that which come us by the Loire and that which you send to us of Paris.

I sent in post 10 moulds in balls in Geneva, so that the workshop of cartridges, which is there necessary, is established at once. I am unaware of what exist in Geneva; I wrote there, the general-in-chief wrote there, the director of the park wrote there; nobody received answer.

I sent gunners for work of the depot of Geneva.

We will not miss powder, I hope; however time has opposed us, for eight days it rains constantly.

I directed on Geneva directly the 7,000 muskets which come me from Saint-Etienne; I count that they must be there in four or five days.

I wait each day of the muskets of Maubeuge, Charleville and Liege; but up to now nothing arrived.

Here is, my General, where are we. That many the horses which come from Paris joined to us before the beginning of the hostilities and artillery will not be behind.

Respect and attachment.



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

Dijon, 9th floréal year 8 (April 29, 1800).

I request from you, citizen General, to see yourself the director as a Dubreton commander. By the four letters attached of the prefect of the Jura (7 floréal), four pieces (82), you will see that what I provided arrive. No measure, no unquestionable provision are captures to ensure the subsistence of the troops during the road. This object is one of the most essential duties of the director and the particular monitoring staff. I have much concern on the need for the troops and the disorders which could result from it.

That the director as a commander sends somebody of the administration to Lons-le-Saulnier, with money, to act in concert with the prefect. You could also send a staff officer to it. You see that a moment ago to lose.

Do you know if, at every day, there are means of subsistence, and if there are no places where it would have been necessary to make them take for two days?

To ensure the housing and the subsistence of the troops is one of the parts most essential staff and, in the position where we are, one of most painful.


F. Watrin, major general, with General Dupont, chief of staff of the army.

Geneva, 9th floréal year 8 (April 29, 1800).

According to your letter (83) of the 6th floréal that I have just received, my dear Général, I will occupy with my division Vevey, Villeneuve, Saint-Maurice, etc, and Lausanne, where I will be established.

We will have many difficulties for our food. We will have well difficulty to have, here, something without money. Request, I request from you, the director as a Dubreton commander to provide without delay for our subsistence. I did not see yet appearing the Trousset commisioner of war, that it announced to me.

In order not to repeat me, and in a hurry by time, I address to you, my dear Général, copies of the two letters which I write to the general-in-chief. They will make known to you of my position and all that I could make and learn.

Especially make join, I request from you, the remainder of the 6th light. I have here only 800 men of these corps.

Good-bye, my dear Général, I kiss you.


F. Watrin, major general, with the general-in-chief Berthier.

Geneva, 9th floréal (April 29, 1800).

My General,

At once my arrival downtown this, I hastened to prevent General Moncey of it. Nobody not having been able to indicate to me where it was and several people claiming that it had not arrived yet as Switzerland, I have continuation dispatched an officer of my staff with the Major General Montchoisy, which is in Bern, and whose brigade, under the orders of General Mainoni, occupies Saint-Maurice, Sion, Serre and extends to the foot from Saint-Gothard.

I sent to General Montchoisy the not sealed letter which I write with General Moncey, by which I prevent it that I will occupy Villeneuve, Vevey, Saint-Maurice and Lausanne, to keep the Valais Alps. I joined in the same package the letter that you address to General Moncey, and I requested General Montchoisy to take note, if General Moncey would not have arrived yet at its destination, and to make it of it him pass from continuation in the contrary case.

I also prevented my arrival the General Moreau, which one does not have nothing news here.

I also made share with General Turreau of it, by informing it that General Chabran went to Annecy with corps of 1500 men.

Everyone is well prevented, until General Mainoni. Thus, my General, do not have any concern in this respect.

6th light, I have for the moment only two batallions, which form in all 800 men, is on the way for Vevey and Saint-Maurice. 32 of the culprits of the insurrection, which took place in Lyon, are in the prisons of this city and will be judged by a council of war. I hope that General Dupont will have already directed towards Geneva the 3rd batallion and the depot of these corps, which can, says one, to go up to 1200 men.

I could not yet get to me positive intelligence on the force and the position of the enemy. However, I collected of a man worthy of faith that the corps of troops which the enemy can have in this part are 12 to 16,000 men, commanded by the General Landon, whose headquarters are in Borgomanero, at the edge of the Lake Maggiore. The corps, composed of many Croats and chasseurs du Loup, extend, say one, from Ivrée to Bellinzona, where are 4 to 5,000 men. There are some light fear in front of Aoste; but they can be easily turned by the heights. who dominate this town of all coasts.

The passages of Saint-Gothard by the valley of the Rhone, the Simplon and the Saint-Bernard are very practicable, in this season, for the infantry and the mules; all those which I consulted to me it ensured in a very positive way.

Such are, my General, the only intelligence which I can give you for the moment. When the report of the reconnaissance which I will make make and of the spies that I will send will have reached me, I will hasten to communicate them to you.

At once that the of line 22nd and 40th will be arrivals (84), I will direct them on Vevey, Lausanne, where I will be established, according to the letter which I have just received from General Dupont.

Salute and respect.


I said to Dalton to see, in Bern, General Montchoisy, who will give him intelligence on the arrival and the location of General Moncey. It will give the whole to General Montchoisy, in case which General Moncey did not appear yet with the army.

I do not speak to you about the difficulties for the cartridges and the food; your aide-de-camp informs you.

F. Watrin, major general, with the general-in-chief Alexandre Berthier.

Geneva, 9th floréal year 8 (April 29, 1800).

My General,

I hasten to make you pass copy of the letter which General Chabran receives at the moment of General Turreau (85). It will make leave for Maurienne its corps 1500 men.

The 6th light and the 22nd of line will continuous their march on Lausanne, Vevey and Saint-Maurice; I hope that, when the 40th arrives to Geneva, it will not be long in being followed by another corps of your army. Then I will direct it on Lausanne and I will inform the General who will come here from the movement on the right that General Turreau makes, so that it observes Savoy.

If the courier which General Turreau dispatches with the 6th light, would meet its 3rd batallion and his depot, which would move on Briançon, I request from you, my General, to make contremander this movement. What will we become, if the generals of the other armies have your troops thus?

Be quiet, my General, while keeping the Valais Alps, I well will observe Mont Blanc, until the other troops of the army arrive to Geneva.

If there is something again, I will inform you by special courier, because the courier of the trunk puts four to six days to go from here to Dijon.

Salute and respect.


Chabran, major general, with the Minister for the war (86).

Geneva, 9th floréal year 8 (April 29, 1800).

Citizen Minister,

I have the honor to warn you that, in accordance with the intentions of the general-in-chief Berthier, I will direct on Annecy the column of 1500 men and the 100 men of cavalry. I gave the provisional command of it to the citizen Miquel, colonel of the 88th. All being quiet in Mont Blanc, I did not believe to have to follow this detachment and I decided to wait here, of you or General Berthier, the later orders which recall me with the headquarters of division that I command or who fix me any other destination.

Wanting to ensure me if the artillery, which, according to your instructions, was to be attaché with the column, would be available in Grenoble, I wrote some to the director and even sent an officer on the spot. I join copy of the answer here that it made me (87).

Salute and respect.



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

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

I receive, citizen General, your letter of the 7th (88).

The 30th demi-brigade must, per hour that it is, being arrival as well as the 13th light.

What embarrasses you, they are the artillery attachments and the ammunition of war.

1. 400 (89) horses left with division Chambarlhac;

2. 460 (89) left with the guard;

3. 200 (89) left with the various corps arrived the west;

4. 60 left with the mounting-sledges;

5. 230 left the 6 floréal and must arrive 13th;

6. 130 leave Versailles today;

7. 400 will leave 10th;

8. 300 will leave 11th;

9. 400 will leave 11th with the second detachment the guard;

100.420 mules of Boinod which you must have;

Total, 3,000 horses.

The numbered attachments 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th carry you cartridges, muskets and other ammunition of war.

Call near one named you Colombini, which is in Vienna into Dauphine, contractor of the roads, and which knows the Large one perfectly and the Little Saint Bernard and all its outlets.

Also call the citizen Pavetti, commander of batallion of the Italian Legion, which is with the depot, which knows all this part perfectly.

I impatiently await news of the Rhine and Italy.

Give orders so that as the horses arrive at Auxonne, one makes them conduct to reinforce your attachments and to trail the complement of provisioning which you would need.

It will not be made any change with the organization of the Italian Legion.

Establish in Geneva a workshop for repairs of artillery, a workshop of harness-makers to make you artillery harnesses, which one always needs. Take measures to have in reserve in Geneva, a thousand of harness and irons. Also make establish in Geneva a good room of artifices.

I wish to leave Paris only when all is ready and when you announce it to me.

By the state (90) that you sent to me, I see that you will have sizeable corps in Geneva only towards 15th of the month.


at 5 o'clock in the evening.

The telegraph teaches me at the moment that the General Holy-Suzanne who led to Kinzig the 5, is always in the positions of Willstett and Urloffen (91).

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

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

I received yesterday at the evening, citizen Consul, at 11 a.m., your letter of the 8th.

All is in the greatest activity. I will leave 12th for Geneva.

I ordered that the 12th of hussars and the 21st of chasseurs leave their cantonments 12th to march on Lausanne; they will be able to emerge with the advance guard; I will put all the cavalry marches from there so as to follow the movement of the infantry.

I have any news neither of Moreau, nor of General Masséna. That Masséna victorious, or is withdrawn in Genoa, it is necessary that Moreau carries 12,000 to 15,000 men by Gothard. This diversion would be terrible for the enemy. Peace is in Italy, it is necessary to undoubtedly enter there and for this reason to take great measures.

Your presence in Geneva towards 15th appears quite important to me. I join here the financial statement which General Turreau sends to me; it asks for half of my army to me, it had even taken on him to send orders to some corps; I cancelled them and I made known to him your intentions. I join a letter of the payer here; you will see that three departments do not carry out the provisions of the decree of the 22nd (92).

I do not speak to you about our needs; you know them as well as me; I do not ask you anything, I know that you make the impossible one.

Devotion and respect.


I join here two letters (93) which will show to you how much I am embarrassed to ensure our subsistence in Geneva.

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

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

I ask you to give orders to the 12th (94) and 21st of chasseurs to leave with weapons and baggage their cantonments to go to Orbe and surroundings (95). You ensure however means of subsistence on this road.


Marmont, adviser of State and General commander-in-chief the artillery of the Army of the Reserve, with the Bonaparte General.

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

My General,

I had the honor to return account yesterday to you, with detail, of the situation of the artillery (96); I send today the state (97) to you that you asked me.

I ordered that one manufactured 12,000 horseshoes in Lyon, 200 harnesses, the forges and the transports necessary for the train; that promptly will be finished and sent following Geneva. We would require for a sum of 100,000 francs for the first expenditure of the train, and then that the masses of maintenance are regularly paid every month.

I ordered to establish in Geneva of the workshops of any species.

We organize with the park a company of workmen of the train.

All is moving and goes as well as possible. When the first two convoys of Paris arrive, we will be well in measure. The only worrying thing, it is the not-arrival of the muskets and the slowness of military transport; we did not still receive anything of weapons for a long time.

The 6,000 muskets that we believe to exist in Châlons did not leave for Paris it does not exist any more but 2,000 about it which will be sent to us (98).

Respect and attachment.


The general-in-chief communicates the letter to me which it has just received from you. I observe you, my General, that it slipped the following errors there:

Chambarlhac's division, instead of 400 horses, 350;

Artillery of the guard, instead of 460 arrived, 320;

Artillery of the west, instead of 200, it did not arrive from there; it was led by horses of requisition.

Error: 410 horses.

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

Dijon, 30th floréal year 8 (April 30, 1800).

I ask you, citizen General, a financial statement correct of all the personnel of the army, arrived or announced, with a column of the locations or destinations (99).

In the last financial statement that you gave me, there are errors. One omitted there the generals of brigade and the adjutant generals. The 6. light demi-brigade is carried in Boudet's division while it is in Watrin's division.

I make a point of having financial statements well done and each day the note of the movement.

Warn the director as a commander whom it must be returned to Geneva 13th, as well as the payer of the army and the other commanders of the administration.

He will leave in Geneva (100) a director and the agents of the administrations necessary for the important service of this position which is our first-depot. You will prevent it that General Vignolle remains temporarily in Dijon with a staff.

It is essential that the post is organized from here in Geneva so that our correspondence is prompt. A courier of the army will have to leave the every day Geneva for Dijon and another of Dijon for Geneva. The first will have to leave Dijon 12th.

I greet you.


Order of the day of the 10th.

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

At once that divisions of the army will be arrivals in the new cantonments which they must occupy, the generals which command them will pass the review at once from there, and will make known some the result with the general chief of staff.

Several corps did not still fill the provisions of about a day of the 30th germinal which enjoignait to them to make pass at once to the general staff, the state of their situation under the reports of the pay. The boards of directors of these corps will have to occupy themselves without delay to fill this important measure, the intention of the general-in-chief being to make pay the arrear of the pay successively.

For copy certified:

The Major general
general chief of staff.
Signed DUPONT.
The Adjutant general,
employee with the general staff.


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

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

The military operations that you will undertake, citizen General, will require the displacement of your headquarters, successively to carry it to the places which you will determine, but the intention of the First Consul is that the general headquarters of the Army of the Reserve are always supposed being in Dijon, so that the muskets, the provisioning, the recruits and the officers intended for this army, will be initially directed on this point, and, from there, will receive their destination, according to the orders that you will make there pass.

The First Consul decided that the depots of the demi-brigades of the Army of the Reserve, would remain until new order in the district of the 18th division and in Dijon, by observing in this distribution that the depots of the corps, which make the same division, were joined together in the same city and under the orders of a senior officer of division. These commanders will correspond with the assistant manager of the staff which will remain in Dijon and with the inspector which will make them pass the orders of the commander of general staff, for the departure of the conscripts intended to supplement the corps.

You will have care, citizen General, to place to Dijon a directing commissioner who will be especially charged to take care of food, the maintenance and the clothing of the depots (101).

Salute and fraternity.


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

Dijon, 11th floréal year 8 (May 1, 1800).

I dispatch you a courier to warn you which I leave tomorrow 12 in the night (102) to return to me to Geneva while passing by Chalon and Bourg; I will arrive 14th in the morning.

My presence, quite necessary here to put all moving, is even more in Geneva where, in spite of so much of reiterated natures, nothing is planned neither for the food nor for fodder. The director Dubreton commissioner was misled in the twelve days of provisioning which it had announced to be assured; you will judge state of the things by the copy of the letter of the prefect, and it is still less alarming.

Why the Minister didn't take the precautions necessary? Why to have broken the measures which I had signed? Not, they are not animated like me will all to envisage, to ensure all the services.

Dubreton charged its commanders of administration with buying, but they finish anything, they cannot nothing make but the money with the hand, excessive prices and by exhausting the little of resources of the country without another precaution. We will put the famine in Geneva if measures are not taken.

Why didn't you have enough confidence in me? I can envisage; my ideas are sometimes good, at least they are pure (103).

It is necessary that I employ my funds to live, when one could have made us advances.

I make leave for Geneva the mules gathered to Bourg. I will be ready towards 20th, if I have the cartridges and artillery of mountain.

I will not make any movement without your order, I await your news; I wish especially your presence so necessary to the central point between the Armies of the Rhine and of Italy.

Devotion and respect.


P.S. – the service of the stages lacks all coasts; I am obliged to give the funds of the army. The Minister, which knew the troop movement from Dijon in Geneva, was at least to give funds to the administration to ensure the service on this part. Your aide-de-camp Merlin arrives at the moment and announces 600,000 francs (104) to me.

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

Dijon, 11th floréal year 8 (May 1, 1800).

Citizen Minister,

I address to you the table of the new formation of the army (105).

The headquarters leave tomorrow for Geneva; the administrations leave today to go there. General Vignolle will remain here to complete the work of the incorporation of the conscripts and to provide for the needs for the troops whose march is announced.

The service of the stages, in 18th and the 6th military divisions (106), being almost entirely stopped, it results the most serious disadvantages from them and the troops march without having their assured subsistence. The inhabitants were, on several points, obliged to nourish them.

When all the army is joined together in Geneva and in the surroundings, the food will test many difficulties, and this consideration determined the departure of the general-in-chief, as I wrote it to you in another letter. We can rest with confidence only on the measures which you will take. The money which was intended for the pay finds devoted, by the empire of the needs, with the subsistence, for which it is necessary to provide above all.

Orders were given to make gather in Geneva all the cartridges and ammunition of war which one will be able to draw from the positions of 7th and the 19th military divisions (107). These resources will be extremely weak, and it is to be feared that the operations of the army are not delayed by the defect of its means of action. I would wish that we were in a position to act of the 18th to the 20th. We are impatient of going to the help of the Army of Italy.

The movement that we make on Geneva was already useful for General Masséna, because General Watrin announces that the enemy has corps from 12 to 15,000 men who observes the passages of the Valais Alps in Italy.

It becomes each day more important than the Army of the Rhine provides us the 15,000 men than we asked.

For several days, we have not had a news of General Moreau; it appears that the enemy yielded all the passages of the Black Forest to him.

Salute and inviolable attachment.


Joachim Murat, lieutenant general, with the General Bonaparte, First Consul of the Republic (108).

Dijon, 11th floréal year 8 (May 1, 1800).

I passed yesterday, my General, the 7th regiment of chasseurs à cheval in review; I found it in a pitiful state. It is without weapons, without horses; its magazines are empty; its best chasseurs, 250, are used with the levy of the 40,000 horses; it has only conscripts; it can strictly put only 140 men in campaign; still will be nude and badly armed.

I was not astonished to find this regiment in this state; the colonel is on leave with Aire, department of Pas-de-Calais, and both commander of squadron have returned for fifteen days to the corps; they were also employed with the levy of the horses. I requested intelligence from the officers of the corps on the account of the colonel; they to me have had all answered that if I found the corps in such a bad condition, it was the fault of the commander, which had not given itself any movement to reorganize this regiment, for eleven months that it was in the interior.

This colonel is in the case of to have his retirement; he stated not to want more to make the war.

I ask you, my General, if you want to still benefit from this regiment, to name another colonel there; both commander of squadrons and the corps of officers required it of me. I gave an account of it to the general-in-chief Berthier; but, fearing that its great occupations do not make him forget what is only detail, I have a duty to put to you under the eyes the state of these corps. I designate you the commander of Cavaignac squadron, at which you promised the first vacant regiment. I answers you that, by its bravery, its zeal and its authority, it will answer the opinion that I give you of him.

The magazines are, here, empty; I from of then nothing to draw for the cavalry. It is feared that the army does not suffer in Geneva, no service y being assured. It is not the fault of the General Berthier, which gives itself for that all the possible movements; but there is bad faith on behalf of the suppliers.

Come quickly, my General, your presence will make disappear all the difficulties; it is a need for the army to see you; your presence will bring us the gaiety, confidence, the victory and peace.

Count on my inviolable attachment.


I have in this moment on horse, clean to make the war, 2,900 men. The 12th regiment of hussars leaves 12th Dôle, to go to Orbe, where it will arrive 17th.

The 21st of chasseurs à cheval also leaves Pontaillier and will arrive 18th at Orbe. General Rivaud commands this brigade, which will remain in Orbe until new order. This road is taken, because it is it which will provide us the most means in fodder.

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

Dijon, 12th floréal year 8 (May 2, 1800).

I send to you the extract of two letters (109) which I receive from the Minister for the war; I underlined several sentences: better than me, you will be able to judge them.

I join here the answer (110) which I relative make with the Minister with the article food; as I want nothing to make which can displease to you, I address it to you.

I make the impossible one and I hope that in the middle of the difficulties of which I decreased the number, so much by the authority of which I used than by the funds than me made pass you, I will be ready of the 20th to the 25th.

I join here a letter of General Dessolle (111); you will see that General Moreau wants already to call with him General Moncey with all the troops which are with its orders and to make Army of the Reserve an army intended to keep Switzerland. You will find copy of the letter of your aide-de-camp (112); I make conduct 6,000 muskets on Geneva, where there is more than 5,000 men to arm who could not receive some in Chalon. The demi-brigades coming from the west are armed with muskets with Chouans of which the greatest part is out of state to be useful.

I leave in the night for Geneva; I will pass by Chalon and Bourg where I will see the Italian Legion and the depots of the East. I will be 14th at the evening in Geneva.

To haul, to which I had written, writes me that it does not have any credit and that it has hardly what is necessary to its own needs.


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

Dijon, 12th floréal year 8 (May 2, 1800).

I had envisaged it, citizen consul, it does not have there no provisioning made in Geneva for the subsistence of the army (113).

One did nothing to ensure the stages on the road from Dijon in Geneva. I decrease the evil by employing part of the money which it would be so invaluable to preserve for the other expenditure necessary to the movements of the army.

The Minister did not envisage anything of what was to assist your provisions. I make my own means very.

I send to you:

1. the table of the march of the horsemen (114).

2. a letter of the General Dessolle, which will prove to you that not only General Moreau is not in the intention to send reinforcements to us, but that he would like that I keep Switzerland to call with him General Moncey and his troops (115).

3. a letter of your aide-de-camp Lauriston (116).

I leave this night for Chalon, Bourg and Geneva, where I will be 14th in the morning (117).

Devotion and respect.


  1. The First Consul learned officially the offensive from Melas only 25th or 26th April, by receiving the letters written by Suchet 16th April and Oudinot 17 and 19. V. p. 214.
  2. To compare this text of the First Consul with the order given by the Minister to Berthier. V. p. 180.
  3. The First Consul wrote itself a pressing letter with General Moreau:

    “…. Have an advantage as soon as possible, in order to be able, by an unspecified diversion, to support the Operations of Italy. The every day of delay would be extremely disastrous for us. ” (Corr. of Napoleon, no. 4730.)

  4. Correspondence of Napoleon, no. 4728.
  5. The minute is hand of Carnot.
  6. Letter of the 19th germinal (April 9).
  7. These two letters of Carnot, addressed to Berthier and Dupont, arrive to Dijon 25th April, towards 10 hours of the evening.
  8. The minute is hand of Carnot,
  9. See p. 184.
  10. See p. 182.
  11. Middle of May.
  12. It is undoubtedly about the letter of the Minister of the 24th April, whose Berthier reproduces the terms. V. p, 179.
  13. See this letter at the end of the preceding chapter, p. 174.
  14. It seems that it is however the aide-de-camp Of the Coppice which carried the letter of Berthier, to judge some by the response of the First Consul, 27th April. V. p. 216.
  15. V. p. 180.
  16. This letter is not dated; it seems obvious that it is written in the morning of the 26th April.
  17. When Dupont writes “this morning”, for 2 o'clock in the night, it is necessary to think that, almost certainly, it should not have lain down, since the order of the Minister arrived between 9 and 11 hours of the evening, that one had to dispatch the answers to the Minister and the First Consul and to urgently send the orders to the troops.

    “This morning” wants to thus say 25th in the morning, and the context proves that the letters concerned are well those sent in the morning of the 25th. V. p, 165 to 170.

  18. 2 to the 5th May – Watrin's division, indeed, could have reached the Great Saint Bernard of the 2nd to the 5th May, since it arrived to Geneva on April 29 and May 1 (228 and 408), and in Lausanne April the 28 and 30 (6th light).
  19. Berthier had not received the letter of the First Consul yet of the 24th April.
  20. See the letters of Dupont with Clarke, p. 199 and of Dupont to the Minister, p. 191.
  21. The orders of Dupont were not found.
  22. The 43rd was confined in Gevrey, with 11 kilometers of Dijon.

    Berthier wrote in Dupont, 25th April:

    “I ask you to prevent that, considering the bad weather, I will not pass today the review of the 43rd demi-brigade. This review is given at tomorrow. ”

    One read in the order of the day of the 27th:

    “The general-in-chief reviewed the 43rd demi-brigade and saw operating in the plain of Perrigny; it was very satisfied with its military behavior and its instruction. ”

    Perrigny is with 6 kilometers of Dijon, on the road of Gevrey.

  23. Read 24th light.
  24. Indeed, the 7 floréal (April 27), the 24th light made stage in Dijon. Berthier wrote in Dupont:

    “As it rains today and that the 24th will be in a hurry to enter its lodgments, I will tomorrow morning see it with his departure. ”

  25. See with the Appendix n°12, the table of march which was followed in all points, except for the 58th and 60th, which accepted counter-order on the way. V. p. 206.
  26. See p. 200, the letter of Dubreton answering Berthier, 27th April.
  27. According to a payment of account of the military subsistence of the 28th November 1800 (national Archives, AF, IV, 1174), the 96th demi-brigade, leaving Dijon 30th April, touches there, before leaving, of the food until May 3 included, and the 24th light, on the basis of Issur-Bast, 27th April, takes food until the 30 included there.

    These two demi-brigades thus put themselves on the way with 4 days of food.

    One can admit that this measure was general.

  28. By the order of the day of the 27th April, Colonel Rigaud is named commanding headquarters, “to replace the adjutant general Hulin, who is employed with Watrin's division”.
  29. The following day, April 27, Berthier returned to the idea of the cantonment and wrote in Dupont:

    “If there is average to confine our troops in the positions where they have order to go on Lake Geneva, I wish it, my dear Général.

    “Charge an adjutant general with taking the initiative to ensure itself some; we could extend our cantonments to a march of distance per corps. ”

    And the same day, in another letter with Dupont, it gave the reason for this change:

    “…. I would wish to confine the army on Lake Geneva; our soldiers will have to suffer enough in the mountain. ”

  30. Phrases underlined by Berthier. The terms of the letter of the Minister are not reproduced textually. (V. p. 180.)
  31. See p. 182, the letter of Berthier to the First Consul of the 25th April, 11 hours of the evening.
  32. The following orders, given by Berthier to its commander of staff, 27th April, make it possible to have an idea of the destitution in which were the troops which were started towards Geneva:

    Dijon, 7 floréal year 8 (April 27, 1800).

    “I learn at the moment that the 59th, which is on the way for Nyon, marches without clothes for the conscripts and whom it misses 800 muskets, It is essential that it awaits the muskets with Dôle and that you make him give muskets of Auxonne. These provisions are very pressing.

    It is useless to send to the army troops without muskets and clothes. These details look at primarily the staff and the major generals. I like good than it remains with Dôle two days, if that is necessary, and that it has all that it misses, “

    (The 59th left this day, April 27, of Mirebeau, and made stage 27th in Gray, 28th with Pesmes, 29th with Dôle.)

    “I ask you to give orders to General Marmont so that, on the 1000 muskets which are in Auxonne, it makes some give 500 to the 96th demi-brigade and what can be necessary to the 58th, which in request.

    “These muskets are without bayonets; you will prevent of them the corps and you will say to them that one will make of it them pass at once that it will have arrived from there. ”

    “If the 58th and the 60th demi-brigades, citizen General, have conscripts who neither are armed nor equipped, it is necessary that with the depot of the corps, they come to Dijon, where, after having received what is necessary for them, they will join their demi-brigade. ”

    (The 400 conscripts of the 58th joined their demi-brigade, with one day only of delay, and arrived at Nyon 8th May with the 60th.)

    “…. Write with the director so that it makes us make the most shoes than it will be able, either in Geneva, or with surrounding Lausanne and other countries. You feel how much this object is important, because our troops, while arriving to Geneva, will need a great number of shoes.

    “I greet you.

    “Alex. BERTHIER. ”

  33. In margin of this sentence, Carnot written with the pencil: “The First Consul did not approve this distraction of 15,000 men,”

    And 30th April, it gives the following order: “To write General Berthier and to Dupont, that the Army of the Rhine having begun its operations, one should not any compromise success by withdrawing 15,000 men at once; that General Lecourbe must pass, today 10, the Rhine; that it would be to expose it to being beaten everywhere to change its destination before to have ensured the position of the Army of the Rhine; that it is necessary to stick to the arrangements made between General Berthier and Moreau, to accelerate as much as possible the march of the columns of the Army of the Reserve…. ”

  34. This letter, carried by Lebrun, as well as the letter of the First Consul with Berthier of the 25th (V. p. 175), left Paris 25th at the evening only, and is arrival in the morning of the 27th in Dijon, while the letters of the same day, written by Carnot with Berthier and in Dupont, had to leave 24th in the morning and are arrivals 25th April at 10 o'clock in the evening,
  35. April 6.
  36. It is the garrison of the citadel of which the First Consul wants to speak. See Corr. of Napoleon, no. 4730.
  37. The First Consul received, undoubtedly the following day, the letter of Oudinot of the 27th germinal. See p. 214.
  38. A service of intelligence was organized with the Army of the Reserve; 20th April, Berthier wrote in Dupont:

    “I ask you to make dispatch with the Celentony citizen a commission of agent employed close to me for the secret part in Italy. It will enjoy a treatment of four hundred books per month, that I will make him pay on the funds assigned to the secret expenditure of the army,”

  39. Correspondence of Napoleon, no. 4729.
  40. See letter of the 4th above, p. 192, and letter of the 5th in the preceding chapter, p. 175. The simultaneous arrival of the two letters of the First Consul proves that Berthier had not received anything from the First Consul 26th and that it prescribed the movement on Lausanne, having like guides only the two contradictory letters of Carnot.
  41. These letters are:

    Letter of General Suchet with General Franceschi, assistant manager of the general staff in Marseilles, written of Loano 8th April;

    Extract of a letter of the Lavite commisioner of war with Brigadier General Vignolle, written of Nice 13th April;

    Extract of a letter of the commander of batallion Cart-tracks with Brigadier General Vignolle, written of Marseilles 16th April;

    Extract of a letter of the brigadier general Franceschi with Brigadier General Vignolle, written of Marseilles 19th April.

    They are accounts of the actions of April the 6 and 7 with Saint-Jacob and Savona.

  42. This reconnaissance neither is signed, nor dated. The most interesting passage is relative at the height of Bard; to see chap. X.
  43. Undoubtedly a letter of the 24th April, published in Mathieu Dumas, T. IV, p. 217.
  44. Clarke (Henry-Jacques-Guillaume), born in Landrecies 17th October 1765, had been junior 17th September 1781, second lieutenant with the 88th regiment above Berwick 11th November 1782, lieutenant cornet white in the 5th regiment of hussars with the rank of captain on September 5, 1784, captain of replacement to the 16th regiment of dragoons 11th July 1790, commander of squadron above lieutenant-colonel to the 2nd regiment of cavalry on 5 February 1792, brigadier general provisional 19th May 1793, had confirmed in this rank on 1 March 1795, and had major general on December 7, 1795.

    He was in 1800 commander of the topographic cabinet of the First Consul.

    He was a count d' Hunebourg 24th April 1808, duke of Feltre 15th August 1809, Ministre for the war of 1807 to 1814, again Ministre 11th March 1815, then third once of 1815 to 1817 and Marshal of France on July 3, 1816.

  45. To the 6th floréal harms of the 5th (25 to the 26th April). See p. 184 the letter of Dupont to the Minister 26th April at 2 o'clock in the morning.
  46. These orders were not found. They were obviously the paraphrase of the last part of the order given by Berthier in Dupont 26th April for the starting of the army towards Geneva; to see page 186.
  47. This letter arrives to Dijon in the morning of the 28th.
  48. The first letter of the 25th April, written in the morning; to see p. 165.
  49. A similar order was given the same day to the 13th light, a detachment of the guard, two squadrons of 5th of dragoons, to a squadron of 1st of hussars, 1st cavalry and 5th of cavalry, and to “all transport of artillery which leaves for the Army of the Reserve, even to those which left this morning. ” (The First Consul with the Minister, April 26.)
  50. Read: Army of the Orient.
  51. These two last lines are hand of the First Consul.
  52. Correspondence of Napoleon, no. 4732,
  53. This letter is written hand of Berthier. Beside the address: “To Consul Bonaparte” it adds: “for a good news”.
  54. This letter, addressed to Lambert, was written 23rd April of Marseilles by one of his/her friends (illegible signature). The news, which it gave, dated April of the 17th; they were strong Masséna optimists has recaptured the offensive, made 8,000 prisoners; Suchet in took 2,000 and occupied Saint-Jacob; Melas, encircled in Savene, will be forced to evacuate the river of Ponent.

    Dupont wrote with the Minister to announce the same news and said “Masséna restored his communications in the river of Ponent”.

    Actually, in spite of a series of fortunate actions, Masséna had not been able to join Suchet and was definitively blockaded in Genoa.

  55. This so tender expression naked is found in any other letter of Berthier.
  56. These two demi-brigades, composing Leison division, were to go in Pontarlier. Their destination is modified with the receipt of the letter of the First Consul of the 26th April, which prescribes to have 15th floréal in Geneva E the first four divisions “.
  57. 8 floréal (April 28).

    Order with the 58th demi-brigade.

    It is ordered with the 58th of line demi-brigade, which must arrive 9th floréal at Gray, to remain 10th in this commune and to leave 11th them to go the same day to Pesme; 12th, in Dôle; 13th, in Scellières; 14th, with Lons-le-Saulnier; 15th, in Clairvaux; 16th, in Saint-Lupiein; and 17th, in Nyon, where it will remain until new order.

    Order with the 60th demi-brigade.

    It is ordered with the 60th of line demi-brigade which must arrive it It floréal at Gray, to start from this common 12th to go the same day to Pesme; 13th, in Dôle; 14th, in Scellières; 15th, with Lons-le-Saulnier; 16th, in Clairvaux; 17th, in Saint-Lupicin; 18th, in Nyon, where it will remain until new order.


  58. The First Consul had required the return for 15th floréal (May 5), Marescot was exact and arrived on May 6 to Geneva, having made its reconnaissance with a very great speed.
  59. Tourné, which one saw the important reconnaissance of the Valais Alps, p. 99 to 108, had been born in 1772. Volunteer with the 11th batallion of Paris August 1793, reformed due to disease in November 1795, sunken quartermaster-sergeant in July 1799, he was a second lieutenant one month after and became aide-de-camp of General Clarke.

    Become captain with the 6th regiment of hussars, he died on May 3, 1802.

  60. The million could not have been supplemented, the lead convoy was tiny room of one hundred thousand books with thirty thousand.

    Merlin wrote Direction with the First Consul, 29th April (9 floréal)


    I then to give you the most positive insurance, that, 15th of this month, in the current of the day, the 692,000 and a few hundred francs which I made leave the national Treasury will arrive to Dijon.

    I conferred with all the prefects and sub-prefects whom I found from Paris, to make provide a sufficient escort to put this sum safe from any danger. I obtained until now the most satisfactory results.

    I do not believe that the 30 thousands of lead, can be in Dijon before 18th or 19th. The difficulty in finding horses in rather great number to trail such a strong mass will be the cause of this delay. Nevertheless the prefects and sub-prefects promised to me to also bring the greatest zeal to this object, of which I made them feel the importance.

    I count, my General, to arrive tomorrow evening to Dijon,

    Salute and respect,


  61. Correspondence of Napoleon, no. 4736.
  62. Lauriston was in Dijon; it accepted this order 28th April in the evening and started from continuation (V, Lettre of Berthier to the First Consul, April 28, 11 hours of the evening, p. 217).

    May 1 it gave an account of its mission.

    Lauriston, with General Berthier, commanding as a commander of the Army of the Reserve.

    Lyon, 11th floréal year 8 (May 1, 1800),

    Citizen General,

    I have just seen the directing commissioner Lambert, who singularly activates the part with which he is charged. You had to see by the financial statements, that it sent to you or with the director Dubreton commissioner, at which point it is. According to his manner of working, one zeal, his knowledge, and the great resources which one can find in any kind in Lyon, it is quite essential, general, of not letting it miss money; it can do everything here.

    The departure of the courier presses me too much to be able to give you many details today. I will say to you only that I stopped here 3,600 to 4,000 muskets which were intended for Auxonne; I make them leave to forced march Geneva fear. They hundred addressed to citizen Guériot, commanding artillery in Geneva, who will await your orders for the distribution of these muskets.

    It already left 5,000 there which must be in Chalon.

    The 6th light demi-brigade left for Lausanne and Geneva; a remainder of 378 men passes here today. These men are shoeless as well as the batallions of these corps already parties. I believe, general, absolutely necessary that you give orders to make them find in Geneva of the shoes and shirts, more especially as these corps expressed in Lyon a spirit of dissatisfaction.

    It passes much from troops to Lyon; I believe necessary to draw up there a magazine of shoes of 20,000 pairs to provide to the corps which have a pressing need for it. The pair will total 3 FR. 60. There are in the case of the receiver funds considerable coming from the repurchase of the conscripts; if you could obtain from the Consul some funds for these particular objects, very would activate itself promptly.

    I write with General Marmont, by another courier, of the details on artillery; it will communicate my letter to you.

    Salute and respect.

    Alex. LAURISTON.

  63. Correspondence of Napoleon, no. 4737.
  64. Lefebvre Desnoëttes (Charles), born 14th September 1773, chasseur in the Parisian national guard, December 1, 1789, second lieutenant with the 5th regiment of dragoons, 15th February 1792, captain it It July 1798, aide-de-camp of the First Consul on February 1, 1800.

    He became commander of squadron to the Consular Guard 28th July 1800, brigadier general 19th September 1806, major general 28th April 1808 and count of the Empire 19th March 1808.

    Colonel of the royal corps of the chasseurs à cheval of France and knight of Saint-Louis under the first Restoration, par of France during the Hundred Days, it was condemned to died by contumacy in 1816.

    He died in a shipwreck on the coasts of Ireland 22nd April 1822.

  65. Lefebvre was the following day April 28 in the Châlons-on-Marne, from where he wrote with the First Consul:

    “One was mistaken when it was announced to you that there were 6,000 muskets here, It y one is only 1733 in a state of service and 705 to repair…. ”.

    All and sundry were sent in Dijon with the 6 forges. The employee of transport committed himself leading the convoy in three days to Dijon (Lefebvre with the First Consul, April 28).

  66. Correspondence of Napoleon, no. 4735,
  67. This letter, which undoubtedly arrives to Paris 25th, April 26 or 27, brings to the First Consul the first official news of the offensive of Melas, To the same time, it of the 16th receives two letters one of Suchet April, one of Oudinot of the 19th, which, more or less, report the same events as that of Oudinot of the 17th; these two letters are published in the Monitor of the 7th floréal year 8 (April 27, 1800).

  68. Letter received in Dijon 28th, 3 o'clock in the evening.
  69. Bringing the two letters of Berthier of the 25th April, written at 9 o'clock in the evening and 11 hours of the evening. (V. p. l74, and p. 182)
  70. 24th April, the First Consul hesitated between the Simplon and the Great Saint Bernard. (V. p. 193.)
  71. Correspondence of Napoleon, no. 4738,
  72. This letter of Berthier is dated of the 7th; the only bringing together of the hours, 4 hours and 11 hours of the evening, shows that there was lapse and that the letter is of the 8th floréal (April 28).
  73. V. p. 212.
  74. Correspondence of Napoleon, no. 4739.
  75. The date of this letter and following, April 27, midnight, must get along night of the 27th to the 28th, according to the first sentence of the preceding letter of the First Consul with Marmont.
  76. The First Consul has just received them from its aide-de-camp Duroc, with the following note:

    “I have just brought two moulds to balls, the only ones which are in Paris.

    “Commissaries of transport me slow statement that the cartridges, about which I spoke to you, does not feel arrivals, but that they will not delay.

    “DUROC. ”

    It is on the letter even of Duroc that the First Consul writes the minute of this letter with Berthier. This letter exists with the national Archives, and is all the more invaluable, the First Consul almost never wrote itself.

  77. Correspondence of Napoleon, no. 4740.
  78. Midnight, night of the 27th to the 28th.
  79. Preceding letter.
  80. Correspondence of Napoleon, no. 4741.
  81. Mount Dauphin.
  82. These four piece-were: letter of the prefect of the Jura with Berthier; decree of the prefect of the Jura requisitioning 6,000 francs with the general receiver for the food of the 22nd and 40th of line; decree of the prefect of the Jura assigning 303 francs, on the preceding sum, to the supply of the meat to the 9th light, Clairvaux and Morez; official report of the seizure by force of 6,000 francs in the case of the general receiver of the Jura.

    The prefect especially complained not to be warned in advance of the passage of the troops:

    “I learned the arrival from the 6,000 men only at the time when they came in the department from the Jura; they, at least, should have been advertisements when I would have resources to nourish them, I could not have made use of it, not being prevented in advance. ”

  83. This letter was not found. It was obviously the reproduction of the orders of Berthier with Dupont of the 26th April. (v. p. 186.)

    At this time, two batallions of the 6th light, parties of Lyon 21st April (V. p. 148, note 2, the order of Berthier with Dupont), had had to arrive in six stages in Geneva, that is to say 26th, and, on an order of the 20th April, 27th for Vevey and Saint-Maurice had set out again about it.

    The 3rd batallion of the 6th light only left Lyon 28th April (V. p. 149, note 11, and joined its division later.

    The of line 22nd and 40th, which passed April the 28 and 30 to Gex, were to arrive to on Geneva April 29 and May 1.

    General Watrin found in Geneva General Chabran with four batallions of the Army of the Orient.

  84. The 22nd even arrived this day, April 29, in Geneva. This letter of Watrin seems written the morning, before the arrival of this demi-brigade. The second letter of Watrin with Berthier, which follows, was written in the course of the day, whereas the 22nd was arrival in Geneva.
  85. The Commanding general the left wing of the Army of Italy, with the General of Chabran's division.

    6 floréal year 8 (April 26, 1800).

    “A general movement having to take place on all the line of the army to open the communication of three divisions of right-hand side with the center, which is intercepted since 16th of the month spent, I invite you, Général, to make arrive at forced marches, in Maurienne, the column extracted the Army of the Reserve and whose control is entrusted to you. 1500 men, in the position where we are, can be to us of a great help. I warn you that I gave the order to the 6th demi-brigade of light infantry, maintaining in Lyon, to go at once to Briançon.

    “Salute and friendship,

    “TURREAU. ”

    This column of 1500 men did not go in Maurienne; it moved, by Tarentaise, towards the Little Saint Bernard, and was the advance guard of the Chabran's division, which penetrated in Italy by this pass.

  86. This letter arrives at the Minister on May 5.
  87. This answer was not found.
  88. V. p. 188.
  89. These figures are rectified two days later by Marmont. V. p. 230.
  90. I.e. the route of the troops. V. Appendix no. 12.
  91. Correspondence of Napoleon, no. 4742.
  92. The letter of the payer was not found.
  93. One of these letters was not found; the other is of the prefect of Léman, of Eymard, which writes of Geneva, 29th April:

    “The public cases are empty and, were they full, the most imperative orders make me a sacred duty of: not to violate them. My credit, as prefect of the department, is null in a country ruined by the stagnation of its trade and the ruin of its manufactures, in a country where we lost any confidence, because it is unfortunately true that we missed there upon almost all our engagements….

    “…. I request from you, citizen General, to give orders so that the return of the courier is paid; I made the advances go it to Dijon, and I did them of my pocket, not having any bottom for this object. ”

  94. Insinuation: hussars. See the preceding letter.
  95. Dupont fixed the stages thus:
    12th of hussars (confined in Dôle). 21st of chasseurs (confined in Pontaillier).
    May 2. Mount-under-Vaudrey. Dôle.
    May 3. Saline. Mount-under-Vaudrey.
    May 4. Lever. Saline.
    May 5. Pontarlier. Lever.
    May 6. Jougne. Pontarlier.
    May 7. Sphere. Jougne.
    May 8. Sphere.
  96. See p. 221.
  97. This state was not found.
  98. Information which agrees with that sent 28th April, of the Châlons-on-Marne, by Lefebvre-Desnoëttes. V. p. 214, note 1.
  99. See this situation with appendix no. 13.
  100. Geneva seems a lapse; read Dijon.
  101. May 2, the general-in-chief prescribed with the commander of staff the execution of the provisions contained in this letter.

    A similar measure was capture for the cavalry by Berthier, which, 30th April, fixed the location of the depots of the regiments of cavalry and sent it to Murat, by requesting it “to give orders so that the depots of the regiments currently employed with the Army of the Reserve, are transferred from continuation on the points indicated for their establishment, if they are not already placed there, and so that those which will arrive successively to Dijon also go to their destination”.

    Table of the location assigned with each depot of the regiments of horsemen, employees to the army.

    Hussars. 11th in Dôle. The funds of this regiment and the depot will arrive 24th floréal to Dijon.
    12th in Dôle.
    Chasseurs. 2nd in Talmay.
    7th in Gray. The regiment is in Plombières.
    15th in the Verdun-on-Saone. The funds of this regiment and the depot will arrive 23rd floréal to Dijon.
    21st in Auxerre.
    Dragoons. 8th in Châlon-sur-Saône. The depot is currently in Verdun (Meuse).
    9th with Saint-Jean-of-Losne. The funds of this regiment and the depot will arrive 22nd floréal to Dijon.
    Cavalry. 2nd in Favernay.
    20th in Seurre.
    Hussars. 1st in Dôle.
    Dragoons. 5th in Châlon-sur-Saône.
    Cavalry. 1st in Pontarlier.
    3rd in Pontarlier. This regiment will arrive 24th floréal has Dijon.
  102. Harms of the 12th to the 13th. See the other letters on the same subject.
  103. The feather of the general-in-chief is sometimes a little corrosive!

    In the Memoires of Carnot, made by his son, one claims, on the contrary, without giving evidence of them besides, that Berthier “…. had left much make in its administration…. ”, and one speaks about “the state of disorganization where the Ministry was”. According to this work, it is with the talent of Carnot that the organization of the Army of the Reserve would be due. (Memoires of Carnot, T. It, p. 205 and 208.)

  104. 692,000 francs, which arrived on May 5. V. letter of Merlin, p. 212, note L;
  105. See with the Appendices, no. 13 or 14.
  106. The 18th military division comprehended: the Paddle, Haute-Marne, Yonne, Côte-d'Or, Saone-et-Loire; 6th: the Haute-Saône, Doubs, the Jura and Ain.
  107. The 7th military division comprehended: Léman, Mont Blanc, Isere, Drome, Hautes-Alpes; 19th, the Rhone, the Loire, Haute-Loire, Puy-de-Dome, Cantal.
  108. The letter being written, not by a secretary, but by Murat himself, one respected the orthography.
  109. Undoubtedly, one of both is that of the 30th April.
  110. This answer was not found.
  111. See note 1 following page.
  112. Letter of Lauriston, May 1. v. p. 212, note 3.
  113. A letter of the 2nd May, of the directing commissioner Lambert, affirms the opposite.

    “…. You will find in Geneva the sharpest activity. One directs there each day, of Lyon and Grenoble, the quantities of biscuit. ” See chap. XII.

  114. The table of the march of the horsemen, announced by Berthier, was not found; but the situation of the 9th May (V. appendix no. 16) and some other intelligence, makes it possible to reconstitute it with very great probabilities of exactitude.

    An order of the 30th April had already directed on Orbe the 12th of hussars, which was in Dôle, and the 21st of chasseurs, confined in Pontaillier; and one saw, p. 229, the stages of these two regiments which, d'Orbe, went later to Lausanne.

    Of the nine other regiments established in the area of the Saone, one, 7th of chasseurs, was considered it unable to make campaign and envoy in Batavia.

    The others moved on Lake Geneva by two roads, that of Bourg and that of Lons-the-Salt maker.

    15th of chasseurs, 8th and 9th of dragoons and 20th of cavalry spread out, one away day, on the road of Bourg, outcome with Carouge, close to Geneva.

    The 11th of hussars, 3rd of cavalry, chasseurs and 2nd of cavalry took the road of driving Lons-the-Salt maker with Gex, on which they followed, with a stage of distance, the guard, last fraction of the infantry.

    One will find, with appendix no. 15, a table which indicates, with a margin of one day, their routes and for which one admitted like probable that as well as the infantry, the cavalry had marched, of Dijon towards Lake Geneva, without making stay.

  115. The letter of General Dessolle, written in Lehingen 30th April, required, indeed, in Berthier “to raise most quickly that you will be able the troops of General Moncey in the Valais Alps”, to be able to carry Lecourbe on Feldkirch and Moncey on Mayenfeld, and “to thus gain a communication moreover with Italy” (pass of Splugen).
  116. See p. 212, note 3.
  117. The preceding letter said in the evening. Actually, it arrived in the night of the 14th to the 15th (4 to the 5th May).