Today in History - May 29th.1847 - Emmanuel de Grouchy

Emmanuel de Grouchy was born on October 23rd. 1766 in Paris. His parents were
François-Jacques de Grouchy, 1st Marquis de Grouchy and Gilberte Fréteau de Pény.

Grouchy married twice

1/ Cécile le Doulcet de Pontécoulant (1767-1827) they would have 4 children
2/ Fanny Hua (1802-1889) they would have one daughter.

Despite his aristocratic birth, Grouchy always was a convinced supporter of the
principles of the Revolution.

Source picture: Wikipedia


1779: Emmanuel de Grouchy entered the French artillery.
1782: he was transferred to the cavalry.
1786: he entered the Gardes du Corps.
1792: Grouchy became colonel of the Régiment de Condé-Dragons &
Maréchal du camp.
In that function he was sent to serve on the south-eastern frontier. 

1793: Grouchy distinguished himself in La Vendée and he was promoted as
Général de division.

1799: he distinguished himself as a divisional commander in the
campaign against the Austrians and the Russians. After the defeat of Novi,
Grouchy was wounded and taken prisoner, but he was released
and Grouchy returned to France.

From 1801: Grouchy was employed by Napoleon Bonaparte himself
and he served in many military and political positions of importance.

Grouchy took part in the battles of inter alia:

* 1805: Austria
* 1806: Prussia
* 1807: Poland
* 1808: Spain

1812: Grouchy was made commander of the III Cavalry Corps.
He led this corps to Smolensk and Borodino. During the retreat of Moscow
Napoleon appointed him to command the escort squadron.

1814: Grouchy was seriously wounded at Craonne.

1815: Grouchy joined Napoleon on his return from Elba, therefore he was
made Marshal and peer of France.

Source picture: Wikipedia

At the Campaign of Waterloo Grouchy commanded the reserve cavalry of the
army and after Ligny he was appointed to command the right wing to put
pressure on the Prussians.

Napoleon sent Grouchy after the retreating Prussian army. This part was
under the command of General Johann von Thielmann, but on June 17th. 
1815 Grouchy was unable to close with the Prussians. 

He won a smart victory on the III Prussian Corps at the Battle of Wavre on
June 18-19th. 1815 but then it was too late and at that time the Battle was
over and Napoleon lost Waterloo.

1815: Grouchy returned to Paris where he resigned his command into the
hands of Marshal Louis Nicolas Davout.

He survived Waterloo, however the rest of his life was spent in defending
himself. First Grouchy exiled to America till 1821. By his return to France
he was reinstated as general but not as marshal nor as peer of France.

In 1830 King Louis Philippe gave him back the Marshal's baton and restored
him to the Chamber of Peers.

Grouchy died at Saint-Étienne on May 29th. 1847.

Today in History - May 28th. 1760 - Alexandre de Beauharnais

May 28th. 1760 marks the birth of Alexandre de Beauharnais.
His birth took place in Fort-de-France, Martinique.

Alexandre's parents had been François de Beauharnais, marquess and
Marie Henriette Pyvart de Chasstullé.

On December 13th. 1779 Alexandre de Beauharnais married
Joséphine Tascher de la Pagerie (later Empress of the French Empire).
The couple would have 2 children.

Alexandre de Beauharnais - Source picture: Wikipedia

During the American Revolutionary War, Alexandre fought in the army
of King Louis XVI.

He had rather an interesting professional career:

* Deputy of the noblesse in the Estates-General
* president of the National Constituent Assembly (1791)
* Minister of war (1794)
* General-in-chief of the Army of the Rhine (1793)

But on March 2nd. 1794, the Committee of General Security ordered
Alexandre's arrest.

He was accused of having poorly defended Mainz during the
Siege of Mainz (1793). Besides that he was considered as an
aristocratic 'suspect'.

Source picture: Wikipedia

Alexandre sat in the Carmes prison. His wife Joséphine was jailed
in the same prison too, but due to Robespierre she was freed after
three months.

On July 23rd. 1794 Alexandre de Beauharnais was guillotined at the
Place de la Révolution in Paris.

Due to his son he became an ancestor of the Royal Houses of
Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and the Grand Ducal House of
Luxembourg too.   

Books about Napoleon (1)

Napoleon has fascinated a lot of people and of course writers too.

A very interesting book, really well written by Adam Zamoyski is
'Rites of Peace, The Fall of Napoleon & The Congress of Vienna'.

I read the book translated in Dutch, as you can see on the picture.

own picture

The book is written very well and not boring (which I find important with a
good history book) from the beginning till the end.

1815 -2015: Remembrance of the Battle of Waterloo - opponents of Napoleon: 'Marshall Vorwärts' - von Blücher

Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher was born on December 16th. 1742 in Rostock
in the Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin in northern Germany. His family had
been landowners in northern Germany since the 13th. century.

At the age of 16 he joined the Swedish Army as Husar. During that time Sweden
was at war with Prussia in the Seven Years' War. As Husar he gained much
experience of light cavalry work.

von Blücher - Source picture: Wikipedia

In 1772, his spirit led him into excesses of all kinds such as an execution
of a priest, suspected of supporting the Polish uprisings in 1772.

Due to this action von Blücher was passed over for promotion to Major,
but he sent a rude letter to King Frederick the Great and the King replied:
'Cavalry Captain von Blücher can go to the devil'.

von Blücher settled down to farming. He was married twice. The first time
was in 1773 to Karoline Amalie von Mehling (1756-1791) and in 1795 to
Amalie von Colomb, sister of General Peter von Colomb. He had 7 children
from his first marriage, 3 of them survived childhood.

von Blücher - Source picture: Wikipedia

During the lifetime of Frederick the Great, von Blücher was unable to return
to the army. In 1786 the King died and he was reinstated as major in his old
regiment: the Red Hussars (1787). von Blücher took part in the expedition
to the Netherlands in 1787. The next year he was promoted to
lieutenant colonel. In 1789 he received the highest military order of Prussia:
'Pour le Mérite' and in 1794 von Blücher became colonel of the Red Hussars.

von Blücher took part inter alia in  @

Battle of Jena-Auerstedt
Battle of Prenzlau
Battle of Lübeck
War of Liberation (1813)
Battle of Brienne

In 1814, King Frederick William III of Prussia created Blücher
Prince of Wahlstatt.

By the return of Napoleon from Elba, von Blücher was put in command of
the Army of the Lower Rhine.

In 1815, the Prussians sustained a serious defeat at the outset at Ligny. This
took place on June 16th. After batting his wounds in brandy, Blücher rejoined
his army.

Then von Blücher led his army on a hard march along muddy paths and they
arrived on the field of Waterloo in the late afternoon.

The Battle was hanging in balance and the army of von Blücher intervened
with a crushing effect.

von Blucher died on September 12th. 1819. After his death an imposing
mausoleum was built for his remains.

Blücher was nicknamed 'Marshall Vorwärts' by his soldiers, due to his
aggressive approach in warfare.