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Napoleonic Almanac

Important events of the Napoleonic era.

Act of Union

Thursday 01 January 1801

On the 1st of January 1801 the 'Act of Union' came into force. The United Kingdom of Great Britian and Ireland is established and the Union Flag has the Cross of Saint Patrick added to it.

Marshal Louis Gabriel Suchet died.

Tuesday 03 January 1826

On the 3rd of January 1826 Marshal Louis Gabriel Suchet died.

Princess Charlotte born.

Thursday 07 January 1796

At a quarter to ten in the morning, on the 7th of January 1796 Princess Charlotte was born at Carlton House London. Her father was George Prince of Wales, her mother Caroline of Brunswick.
Prince George wrote..''The Princess, after a terrible hard labour for about twelve hours, is this instant brought to bed of an immense girl, and I assure you notwithstanding we might have wish'd for a boy, I recieve her with all the affection possible...''

Edward Pakenham died.

Saturday 08 January 1814

At he battle of New Orleans in America Sir Edward Pakenham commanded the British forces against the Americians under Andrew Jackson. The Americian casulties were estimated at a little over 20, the British over 2000, including its commander. 

Battle of New Orleans

Sunday 08 January 1815

General Andrew Jackson's American forces faced Sir Edward Pakenham troops at Chalmette just outside New Orleans. The Americans built a defensive parapet between the Mississippi River on their right and a swamp on their left.

Pakenham launched two frontal assaults against the enemies entrenched positions. After half an hour there were 21 casualties amongst the Americans, the British lost 2036 including their Commander.

Income Tax.

Wednesday 09 January 1799

The British Prime Minister William Pitt 'The Younger' , introduced an income tax of 10% on all incomes of more than  £200.00 p.a. The tax is to finance war with France and was not seen as long term. [This was on the ninth of January 1799 !!].

Marshal Michel Ney born.

Tuesday 10 January 1769

At Sarrelouis in Alsace on the 10th of January 1769 Pierre the Barrel Coopers son Michel was born.
In 1787 he joined a hussar regiment. 19th of May 1804 saw him created Marshal of the Empire. In 1812 he was [according to legend] the last man to cross the brige at Kovno and leave Russia. While in 1814 he was supporting calls for the Emporers abdication. At the start of 1815 the Marshall was offering to bring Napoleon to Louis XVIII in an iron cage, by the middle of the year he was fighting the Allies at Waterloo.

Sir William Hamilton born.

Friday 12 January 1731

Somewhere in the Home Counties on the 12th of Januaray 1731 Sir William Hamilton was born. The son of Lord Archibald Hamilton Govonor of Jamica and Lady Jane Hamilton, daughter of the Earl of Abercorn William first joined the Footguards before starting a career as a famous diplomat, Classical Scholar, Volcanologist and Antiquary.
He married Catherine Barlow on 25 of January 1758. The couple had no children.

Duchess of Wellington born.

Thursday 14 January 1773

 On the 14th of January 1773 in Dublin Catherine Sarah Dorothea was born to Edward and Catherine Pakenham. She was always to be known as Kitty.
An engagement with a party loving, fiddle playing staff officer at Dublin castle was discouraged by her family as the young man had few prospects and little money. Even his mother called him 'Ugly Arthur'. When the couple married some 10 years later there were no objections to Sir Arthur Wellesley.

Battle of Corunna.

Monday 16 January 1809

On the 16th of January 1809 the Battle of Corunna was fought between forces commanded by Sir John Moore and Marshal Soult. The battle came at the end of the famous 'Retreat to Corunna' and it was while rallying his rearguard that Moore was severly wounded,[dying the following day].

His army of 27,000 men were rescued by the Royal Navy and taken back to England.

The Storming of Ciudad Rodrigo

Sunday 19 January 1812

On the evening of 19th of January 1812 Wellington gave the order to 'Storm the breaches of Ciudad Rodrigo' . In a very fierce fight the town fell, as did 568 of the attackers including General 'Black Bob' Crawford, [Mortally wounded]. The town was given over to plunder and lawlessness until order was restored the following day. General Picton was seen to be laying about unruly troops with a broken musket butt.

Louis XVI died.

Monday 21 January 1793

On the twenty first of January 1793 after his arrest for treason and a trial, at which he refused to plead, Louis XVI of France was guillotined.

Lord George Gordon Byron born.

Tuesday 22 January 1788

On the 22nd of January 1788 Lord George Gordon Byron was born in Holles Street London. His father was 'Mad Jack' Byron, his mother Catherine Gordon. Although he was born club-footed, little would be able to stand in the way of the future leader of romantisism. He played at Lords in the first Eton V Harrow cricket match. As a young man at Trinity College Cambridge he kept a bear in his rooms. He was as famous for his debts and affairs as he was for his poetery. Lady Caroline Lamb described him as 'Mad, Bad and Dangerous to know.' 

Charles James Fox born.

Friday 24 January 1749

At number 9 Conduit Street London, [Holland House was being decorated at the time], Charles James Fox was born on the twenty-fifth of January 1749.  His father was Lord Holland his mother Lady Caroline. Charles was the third son, Stephen, the eldest, Henry, who died when still a child, Charles James, who became the most famous of Whig polititions and Henry Edward.

The Rum Rebellion.

Tuesday 26 January 1808

Lead by Major Johnston and John Macarthur 'The New South Wales Corps, [known as the Rum Corps] arrested the Governor of  New South Wales William Bligh, [yes, that one] and took control of the colony .

His Majesties troops involved in extortion, blackmail, racketeering....and now treason !?

Battle of Brienne

Saturday 29 January 1814

On the 29th of January 1814 Napoleon with numerical Superior, but a mostly young conscript army attacked the Prussians under Blucher. Despite narrowly escaping capture by Cossack troops Napoleons forces were victorious.

The Corsair published.

Tuesday 01 February 1814

On the 1st of Feburary 1814 Lord Byrons semi-autobiographal poem 'The Corsair' was published. It sold 10.000 copies on its first day.
This work introduced Conrad the pirate Captain as the first 'Byronic Hero'. He is willing to risk anything to rescue a Turkish slave, but will not stoop to dishonour.

Talleyrand born.

Saturday 02 February 1754

Charles Maurice De Talleyrand-Perigord was born on Febuary the second 1754. The man who would become a powerful politician throughout all of Frances regime changes  started his life at No 4 Rue Garanciere Paris.
Napoleon was to say of him  that, 'Tallyerand is a philosopher, but one who knows when to bring his philosophy to an end oppertunely.'

King Charles XIV of Sweden crowned.

Thursday 05 February 1818

On the 5th of Feburary 1818 King Charles XIV of Sweden was crowned. Previously one of Napoleons Marshalls, Jean-Baptiste Jules Bernadotte now know as Charles-Jean became a king.
After being 'elected' Crown Prince 8 years before and 'adopted by Charles XIII the Frenchman ascended the Swedish throne...and his descendants still occupy it.

Marshal Edouard Adolphe Casimir Joseph Mortier born.

Saturday 13 February 1768

On the 13th of Feburary 1768 Marshall Edouard Adolphe Casimir Joseph Mortier was born.
A loyal Bonapartist, it was only sciatica that kept him from active command at Waterloo.

Arc de Triomphe.

Tuesday 18 February 1806

On the 18th of Febuary 1806 Napoleon chose a site in Paris to build a monument to French Military Glory.
Its inauguration was held some 30 years later on the twenty sixth of July 1836.

Thomas Pitt.[Second Lord Camleford] born.

Sunday 19 February 1775

At their Boconnoc home in Cornwall at quarter past five in the morning of the 19th of Feburary 1775 Lord Thomas Camleford and his wife Annes first son, [also Thomas] was born.
In his lifetime he would sail to Tahhiti, be shipwrecked on the Guardian, shoot L't Peterson R.N. in an argument over seniority, support the prize fighter Bill Richmond. attack Captain Vancouver R.N. in a public street, plot to assinate Napoleon. and finally get himself killed in a duel, [seemingly involving Harriette Wilson and set up by the French Secret Service].

Marshal Louis Alexandre Berthier born.

Tuesday 20 February 1753

On the 20th of Feburary 1753 Colonel Jean Baptist Berthier an officer in the Topographical Engineers and his wife Francoise L'Hullier de La Serre celebrated the birth of their first child. They would have 4 more, but Louis Alexandre would enter his fathers unit in 1766 then rise to be a Marshal of France and Napoleons famous Chief of Staff.

The Last Invasion of Britian

Wednesday 22 February 1797

On the 22nd of Feburary 1797 a French invasion force of 600 regular troops and 800 convicts landed at Carregwasted near Fishguard in Wales. The uniforms they wore had been English, captured at Quiberon in 1795 but were now died black. They were led by a mixture of French and Irish officers and commanded by an elderly American. Casulties were put at 4 Frenchmen 2 Welchmen.
The Invasion was not successful and could almost have been measured in hours.

Infantry Rifle

Saturday 22 February 1800

A trial was held at Woolwich on the 22nd 0f Feburary 1800 to find a suitable standard pattern rifle for use in the army.
The model produced by Master gunsmith Ezekiel Baker of 24 Whitechapel Rd London was chosen. Baker had been apprenticed to the famous Henry Nock.
It was only in Victorian times that 'The Infantry Rifle' became known as 'A Baker Rifle.'

Napoleon escapes from Elba.

Sunday 26 February 1815

On the 26th of Feburary 1815 Napoleon escaped from his 'Kingdom' of Elba.

Napoleon invades France.

Wednesday 01 March 1815

On the 1st of March 1815 Napoleon Bonaparte landed on French soil with an 'army' of about 1000 men. The 100 days had begun.

Marshal Claude Victor-Perrin died.

Monday 01 March 1841

On the 1st of March 1841 Marshal Claude Victor-Perrin died in Paris.

Marshal Louis Gabriel Suchet born.

Friday 02 March 1770

On the 2nd of March in Lyons Louis Gabriel Suchet was born. His father was a silk merchant.

Napoleon said of Suchet that..'If I had Suchet in Grouchys place I wouldn't have lost Waterloo.'

Marshal Guillaume Marie Ann Brune born.

Thursday 03 March 1763

On the 3rd of March 1763 Marshal Guillaume Marie Ann Brune was born. His father was a lawyer and young Brune should have followed that trade, but he wanted to be a writer. In 1802 he went to Constantinople for 2 years as Frances ambassador to the Ottoman Empire. 1804 saw him created Marshal.
In Avignon he died at the hands of a mob during 'The White Terror'.

Battle of Sabugal

Monday 04 March 1811

On the 4th of March 1811 the battle of Sabugal was fought between the troops of Wellington advancing from Torres Vedras and those of Massena, who was retreating. Fog and torrential rain caused confusion, and despite loosing almost 1000 men to the Allies 200 the French were able to use to carry on with their withdrawal.

Battle of Barossa.

Tuesday 05 March 1811

On the 5th of March 1811 the Battle of Barossa was fought between the forces of Sir Thomas Graham and those of Marshal Soult. This Allied victory resulted in Sgt Masterman [87th Reg't] being the first soldier to capture a French Eagle standard.

Marshal Jean Baptiste Bernadotte died.

Friday 08 March 1844

See the death of King Charles XIV of Sweden.

Charles XIV of Sweden died.

Friday 08 March 1844

On the 8th of March 1844. The King of Sweeden died of an apoplexy in Stockholm. The King was once better known as the French soldier Marshall Bernadotte.

The Marriage of Napoleon and Josephine

Wednesday 09 March 1796

A civil ceremony was preformed on the ninth of March 1796 at which General Bonaparte and Mme Josephine de Beauharnais wer married. The bride was the widow of the excecuted General Vicomte Alexandre de Beauharnais.

Thomas Pitt.[second Lord Camleford] died.

Saturday 10 March 1804

In consequence of a wound received in a duel with Captain Thomas Best, Lord Camleford died.
They had been friends, and their last exchange went thus. T.B."Camleford, I hope you are not seriously hurt ?" L'd C."I suspect I am, but I forgive you." T.B."I again declare I am innocent of the charge you made against me." L'd C."I believe you are right, but you had better provide for your safety."
The flint-lock pistols used were Tatham and Egg, saw handled and with octagonal barrels belonging to His Lordship.

Lady Hester Lucy Stanhope born

Tuesday 12 March 1776

On the 12th of March 1776 Charles 3rd Earl Stanhope and his wife Lady Hester Pitts' daughter was born.
By August 1803 she was running the houshold of her uncle William Pitt 'The Younger'. Two men very close to her were her cousin Tom Camleford and General Sir John Moore.

King William II of the Netherlands died.

Saturday 17 March 1849

In Tilburg on the 17th of March 1849 King William II of the Netherlands died. As a young man he was known as the Prince of Orange and served with Wellington in the Penninsular and at Waterloo.

Prince of Orange died

Saturday 17 March 1849

See the death of King William II of the Netherlands.

King of Rome born.

Wednesday 20 March 1811

Napoleon II, Francois Charles Joseph Bonaparte, King of Rome was born to Emperor and Empress Napoleon and Maria Louise on the 20th of March 1811.

Marshal Auguste Frederic Louis Marmont died.

Wednesday 22 March 1752

On the 22nd of March 1852 in Venice Marshal Auguste Frederic Louis Marmont died.

Marshal Joachim Murat born.

Wednesday 25 March 1767

On the 25th of March 1767 in La Bastide France the 12th child of an inn-keeper was born. Young Joachim enlisted in the cavalry at the age of 20, became a sargent and was dismissed by the age of 22. Returning home he set up a grocery shop. As an officer of the revolution he brought up the cannon for Napoleons whiff of grape-shot. He married Napoleons sister Caroline on 20th of January 1800. Became a Marshal in May 1804 and King of Naples from 1808 until 1815. He was excuted by firing squad.

Marshal Jean de Dieu Soult born.

Wednesday 29 March 1769

On the 29th of March 1769 Marshal Jean de Dieu Soult was born. His parents Jean and Brigitte were living in Saint Arnans la Bastide. After his fathers death in 1785 Soult joined the French army as a private of infantry. 1804 saw him created Marshal. Between 3-12-1814 and 11-3-1815 he served as Minister of War to King Louis XVIII. During the 100 days he acted as Napoleons Chief of Staff.

In later life hae was to be Prime Minister of France.

Battle of Medellin

Wednesday 29 March 1809

On the 29th of March 1809 the battle of Medellin was fought on the Portuguese frontier, French troops under Victor were attacked by Spanish troops under Cuesta. Although outnumbering the French by about one third the Spanish army had less guns and cavalry. A charge by French hussars routed the Spanish cavalry, Dragoons took care of the Spanish Infantry and Cuestas army colapsed and fled in panic.

Beau Brummell died.

Monday 30 March 1840

When George Bryan Brummell died on the thirtieth of March 1840 he had been living at Bon Sauveur, Calais.
Bon Sauveur was part hospital, part asylum, where more than 350 men and women were cared for by 'The Sisters of Charity'. Brummell was buried in the Protestant cemetery where his brother and sister put up a headstone for him.

Marshal Jean Andre Messena died.

Friday 04 April 1817

On the 4th of April 1817 Marshal Jean Andre Messena died.

Sir William Hamilton died.

Wednesday 06 April 1803

In London at no 23 Piccadilly on the 6th of April 1803, due to age and illness, brought on by the bad weather Sir William Hamilton died.

Marshal Jean Lannes born.

Monday 10 April 1769

It was on the 10th of April 1769 that Marshal Jean Lannes was born in Lectaure. He started life as an apprentice dyer, became a Marshal in 1804 and died of his wounds at Aspern Essling.
Some of his more famous quotes were.
Saragossa....."This damned Bonaparte will get us all killed."
Leading an assult at Ratisbon...."Before I was a Marshal I was a Grenadier - I still am one !"
Wounded at Aspern Essling....."It's nothing much, give me your hand to help me up."

The Marriage of Sir Arthur Wellesly and Miss Kitty Pakenham.

Thursday 10 April 1806

On the 10th of April 1806 Sir Arthur Wellesley and Kitty Pakenham were married.

Battle of Sacile

Sunday 16 April 1809

In Northern Italy whilst at the head of 37,000 French and Italian troops Eugene de Beauharnais attacked an Austrian army of over 40,000.
After some confused fighting which cost each side around 2,000 men Eugene admitted defeat and fell back.

Battle of Abensberg

Wednesday 19 April 1809

Napoleon attacked Arch Duke Charles splitting the Austrian Army.
The right wing of the Austrian Army under Charles fell back to Eckmuhl while the left wing under Hiller retreated to Landshut.

113000 Frenchman defeated 161000 Austrians causing 2700 casualties and taking 4000 prisnors.

Battle of Tengen

Wednesday 19 April 1809

The Austrian III Corps under Hohenzollern attacked Davouts Corps. However  Archduke Charles failed to reinforce III Corps despite many requests. It was a French victory with around 4,000 men becoming casualties on both sides.

Lord George Gordon Byron dies.

Monday 19 April 1824

Whilst serving with the Greek forces in Messolonghi Lord George Gordon Byron died of Marsh fever on the 19th of April 1824.

Marshal Bon Adrien Moncey died.

Wednesday 20 April 1842

On the 20th of April 1842 Marshal Bon Adrien Moncey died.

Battle of Landeshut

Friday 21 April 1809

The Battle of Landeshut was fought when Lannes, with most of the Grand Army  attacked Hillers rearguard as it prepared to fall back from the town. Napoleon arrived some time later. General Mouton and his troops entered the town by storming the burning bridge over the Isar.

The Austrian army retreated leaving 10,000 casualties, 30 guns and more than 7000 vechicles.

Admiral Pierre-Charles-Jean-Baptiste-Silvestre de Villeneuve died.

Tuesday 22 April 1806

On the 22nd of April 1806 Admiral Villeneuve was found dead in his room at the Hotel de la Patrie Rennes. The man that Napoleon blamed for the loss of both French and Spanish Fleets had been in a 'poor and disturbed state of mind'. The six stab wounds in his chest clearly indicated suicide.

Battle of Eckmuhl

Saturday 22 April 1809

Marshall Davouts III Corp with 20,000 men faced Arch Duke Charles and an Austrian army of around 75,000 at the Battle of Eckmuhl,[Eggmuhl].
Charles opened hostilities and sheer weight of numbers pushed Davout back. By the afternoon Lannes Corp had come to Davouts aid and the troops of Wurttemberg and Bavaria had taken several key points.
Charles retreated leaving 7,000 dead and 5,000 prisoners.

Book dedication

Thursday 23 April 1795

At London on 23/April/95 Valentine Green a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries dedicated his two volume work
" The History and Antiquires of the City and Suburbs of Worcester" to The King.
It was printed for the author by W.Bulmer and Co and sold by G.Nicol. Bookseller to his Majesty. Edwards, White, Cadell, Payne, Robinson, Stockdale, Leigh,and Southerby, Egerton, Hookham and Carpenter, Sheperson and Reynolds; and in Worcester by Smart, Tybms, Holi, Andrews and Gamidge Booksellers.

Published 1795.

Battle of Ratisbon

Sunday 23 April 1809

6,000 men of the Austrian rearguard fought against Napoleons Grand Army at the Battle of [for] Ratisbon.
There was to be no siege. The French assulted the city and at first were beaten back. Napoleon was hit in the ancle by a spent musket ball. Two more assults were attempted which also failed.  A final assult in early evening, led by Lannes himself succeded.
1000 men of the Austrian rearguard died in the defence of Ratisbon.

Duchess of Wellington died.

Sunday 24 April 1831

After a short illness, and on the 24th of April 1831 Catherine Sarah Dorothea the Duchess of Wellington died.

Marshal Nicolas Charles Oudinot born.

Saturday 25 April 1767

On the 25th of April 1767 in Bar le Duc Nicolas Charles Oudinot was born, the son a wealthy brewer. At 17 he ran away to join the army. Became a Marshal in 1809. Recieved 22 wounds. Retired as Govenor of Les Invilides.

At a review before Ulm the horse he was riding became uncontrolable, [in front of his men and the Emporer]. It would no longer walk forward and it tried to buck him off. Oudinot dismounted, drew his sword and killed the beast on the spot. Later when Napoleon questioned him on his actions. The Marshal replied simply,'That is my way when I am not obeyed'.

Emma Hamilton born.

Friday 26 April 1765

The future Emma Hamilton was born Emy Lyon on the twenty-sixth of April 1765. Her father Henry is listed as 'Smith of Ness' on her baptismal certificate, her mother was Mary. The family lived in the hamlet of Denhall in the Parish of Neston near Ness and overlooking the  Dee estuary on the Wirral Peninsula,

Marshal Francois Christophe de Kellermann born.

Thursday 28 April 1735

On the 28th of May 1735 in Saxony Francois Christophe de Kellermann was born. At a young age he joined the French army, becomming a General in 1791 and a Marshall on the 19th of May 1804.

Marshal Jean Baptiste Jourdan born.

Thursday 29 April 1762

On the 29th of April 1762 in Limoges France Jean Baptiste Jourdan was born. Although first apprentised to a silk merchant he soon joined the army and went to fight in the Americian War of Independance. 1804 he was created Marshal. He was later to be Military advisor to Joseph Bonaparte King of Spain.

At Vitoria his Marshals baton was captured and used by the Prince Regent as a 'template' for Wellingtons own Field Marshals Baton.

Lieutenant General Henry Paget Earl of Uxbridge died.

Saturday 29 April 1854
Lieutenant General Henry Paget

On the 29th of April 1854 Henry Paget died.

Lousiana sold.

Saturday 30 April 1803

On the 30th of April 1803 for the sum of $27,267,622 France sold Louisanna and New Orleans to the United States.

Duke of Wellington born.

Monday 01 May 1769

Arthur Wesley was born on May Day 1769, at No5 Merrion Street, Dublin. His father was Garret Wesley, Lord Mornington, his mother Anne Hill, the eldest daughter of Lord Dungannon.

Marshal Jean Baptiste Bessiers died.

Saturday 01 May 1813

On the 1st of May 1813 a cannon ball ricocheted off a wall and struck the Marshal in the chest. He died instantly.

Battle of Ebersburg

Wednesday 03 May 1809

Fought between Napoleons Grande Armee and the Austrian Army of General Hiller.
Massena launched a frontal attack on the bridge across the River Traun and then on to the Castle. It cost the Austrians around 2000 casualties and 4000 prisoners. Although a French victory Massena had lost 2800 and was severly criticized by the Emperor for such a rash and risky attack.

Battle of Tolentino [first day].

Wednesday 03 May 1815

Leading the Neapolitan Army King Joachim Murat attacked an Austrian army. Both sides used artillery to open the battle, which on the first day saw the Austrian General Bianchi captured . Almost immediatly he was rescued by Hungarian Hussars.
The first day ended with gains for Naples, but with Austria in a good defensive position.

Battle of Tolentino.[second day]

Wednesday 03 May 1815

After a late start due to heavy fog several Neapolitan divisions, including the Guards made a fine attack against the Austrian line. Fearing cavalry they formed square and continued their advance. Unfortunatly no cavalry appeared, but instead the squares had to face a devastating fire from musket and cannon.
With troops falling back and several ruours of massive troop movements Murat ordered the retreat.

Frances Herbert Nelson died.

Wednesday 04 May 1831

Frances Herbert Nelson [nee Nisbet] Vicountess Nelson died on the 4th of May 1831. She died in Harley Street London and was buried in the churchyard of St Margaret and St Andrew ,Littleham.

Battle of Fuentes d'Onoro

Sunday 05 May 1811

The Duke of Wellington and Marshal Messenas battle of Fuentes d'Onoro ended with a French withdrawel on the 5th of May 1811.
The most memorable action was that of Ramsays Troop RHA escaping back to the Allied line 'through' Junots corps.

Napoleon died.

Saturday 05 May 1821

On the 5th of May 1821 Napoleon died.  The Emporer passed away at Longwood House on the Island of Saint Helena.

Jean Andre Massena born.

Saturday 06 May 1758

On the 6th of May 1758 Jules and Marguerite Messenas son Jean Andre was born in Nice. At 13 he went to sea as a cabin boy. In 1804 he was created Marshal. He Commanded the Army of Portugal and once told Wellington that ''The sight of those lines [Torres Vedras] turned every hair on my body white.'' The Battle of Fuentes d'Onoro was to be Massenas last. In victory an Englishman exclaimed,'It made us proud to think we had just beaten such splendid fellows.' Defeat, however the Marshal found himself disgraced and replaced by the 'junior' Marshal Marmont.

Marshal Prince Jozef Antoni Poniatowski born.

Saturday 07 May 1763

IOn the 7th of May 1763 Prince Jozef Antoni Poniatowski was born in Vienna. His uncle was King of Poland. His military career began as an Lieutenant  in the Austrian army and ended as a Marshal in that of France.

Marshal Louis Nicolas Davout born.

Thursday 10 May 1770

On the 10th of May in the town of Annoux, Louis Nicolas Davout was born to a minor noble family. Before the Revelution he studied at the Paris Military School. A methodical officer and keen on disipline he led the famous 3rd Corps of the Grand Army. Known as the Iron Marshal he once posted the death penalty for looting. He was the only one of Napoleons Marshals never to have been defeated in the field.

Spencer Perceval died.

Monday 11 May 1812

At a quarter past five in the evening on the eleventh of May 1812 the British Prime MInister, Mr Spencer Perceval was shot dead in the lobby of the House of Commons, London. The assassin, Mr Bellingham made no attempt to escape and was acting alone.

Battle of Oporto

Friday 12 May 1809

The Battle of Oporto was fought on the 12th of May 1809 between Marshal Soult and General Wellesley. British troops managed a surprize crossing of The Douro and in a four hour battle caused over 2000 Frenchmen and 58 guns to become either casualties or prisoners, [more than 1000 were already sick and wounded]. Soult was forced to retreat, while Wellesley at the cost of 123 men had crossed a river in daylight, captured a city and defeated a Marshal.

Marshal Laurent Gouvion St Cyr born.

Sunday 13 May 1764

On the 13th of May 1764 Laurent Gouvion St Cyr was born. As a young man he went to Rome to study painting.
In 1815 St Cyr appealed to King Louis XVIII to have Ney deported rather than executed.

Battle of Albuera

Thursday 16 May 1811

Fought between the French under Marshal Soult and the Allies under Marshal Beresford the Battle of Albuera took place on the 16th of May 1811.
The battle was hard fought with 8000 French and 6000 Allied casualties. A charge by Beresfords Fusilier brigade, [7th, 23rd Regt's] was celebrated with, 'Nothing could stop that astonishing infantry !'

It was an Allied victory, but only just.

Lieutenant General Henry Paget Earl of Uxbridge born.

Tuesday 17 May 1768
Lieutenant General Henry Paget

On the 17th of May 1768 Henry Paget was born. He commanded cavalry under Sir John Moore, was Wellingtons second in command at Waterloo and made Lord High Steward of England by George IV. He married Lady Caroline Villiers, by whom he had 8 children, then elpoed with Lady Charlotte Wellesley [nee Cadogan].That they were then married and had 10 children did not indeer him to Henrys brother. The Duke of Wellington.

John Bellingham died.

Monday 18 May 1812

On Monday the 18th of May at 8'o'clock in the morning John Bellingham was executed at Newgate for the murder of Mr Spencer Percival the Prime Minister.
Watched by a crowd of about 2000 and dressed in a round hat, brown greatcoat, blue and buff striped waistcoat, clay coloured pantaloons, white stockings and Hessian boots Bellingham seemed calm and composed. As the clock began striking 8 some of the crowd began to cry, 'God bless you.' On the 7th strike, the trap opened and Bellingham dropped through. The crowd fell sillent.

Battle of Aspern-Essling [Day One]

Sunday 21 May 1809

The French numbering around 24,000 men with 60 guns were attacked by a vastly superior Austrian army. Messena held Aspern, while Lannes held Essling.

Battle of Aspern-Essling [Day Two].

Monday 22 May 1809

The French army was forced back with some 21,000 casualties, including Marshall Lannes. Although the Young Guard acquitted itself well it was an Austrian victory.

Battle of Usagre

Saturday 25 May 1811

The battle of Usagre was fought on the 25th of May 1811. So as to stall the Allied advance after Albuera General Latour-Maubourg was sent back towards the enemy with a force of around 3000 men. They were met by cavalry under General Lumley.
The French divided their Army. Lumley handled his troops with skill. The result was that around 2000 cavalrymen, [Dragoons, Dragoon Guards, Spanish and Portugese] gained a victory with the loss about 20 men, French losses were in excess of 300.

Admiral Sir Sidney Smith dies

Tuesday 26 May 1840

On the 21st of June 1764 in Westminster a son was born to a Guards Officer. Christened Sidney he joined the Royal Navy in 1777 and fought at Cape St Vincent, Chesapeake Bay and Belle Saintes. In the 1780s Smith spent two years living in Caen studying French. In 1790 he joined the Swedish Navy to fight against the Russians and was awarded the Order Of The Sword for the battle of Svenskund. This award confered upon him the title of Knight.

Marshal Emanual De Grouchy died.

Saturday 29 May 1847

On the 29th of May Marshal Emanual De Grouchy died in Saint-Etienne.

Marshal Catherine Dominique de Perignon born.

Friday 31 May 1754

On the 31st of May 1754 the future Marshal Catherine Dominique de Perignon was born to a minor nole family in Grenade-sur-Garonne, France. In 1799 he was captured by the Russians, 1804 saw him created Marshal, 1814, and he was supporting the Bourbon restoration of Louis XVIII and in 1815 he voted for the execution of Ney.

Marshal Jean Lannes died.

Wednesday 31 May 1809

On the 31st of May 1809, and after being wounded by a cannon shot at the Battle of Aspern Essling on the 22nd of May Marshal Jean Lannes died.

Marshal Louis Alexandre Berthier died.

Thursday 01 June 1815

On June the 1st 1815 Marshal Louis-Alexandre Prince Neuchatel et de Wagram died. Napoleons Chief of Staff for almost 20 years, Berthier refused to serve again during the 100 days. He died 'falling' from a window in Bamberg whilst watching Allied troops march towards the invasion of France.

Marshal Louis Nicolas Davout died.

Sunday 01 June 1823

On the 1st of June 1823 Marshal Louis Nicolas Davout dird.

General Francois Etienne de Kellermann died.

Tuesday 02 June 1835

On the 2nd of June 1835 General Kellermann died. He was the son of Marshall Kellerman.

King George III born.

Wednesday 04 June 1738

George William Fredrick the eldest son of Fredrick Prince of Wales and Augusta of Sax-Gotha was born at Norfolk House, Saint James Square London at half-past seven in the morning on the 4th of June 1738. He was a premature baby who appeared weak and unlikely to survive.

Marshal Pierre Augerau died.

Wednesday 12 June 1816

On the 12th of June 1816 Marshal Pierre Augerau died.

Battle of Marengo.

Saturday 14 June 1800

The battle of Marengo was fought in Northern Italy on the 14th of June 1800. France v Austria. France wins.

Battle of Rab

Wednesday 14 June 1809

The battle of Rab was fought about 70 miles form Vienna between the Austrian Army of Arch-Duke John and a French Army commanded by Prince Eugene. Casualties of 3,000 French and 5,000 Austrians were not high as in many battles, yet Bounaparte refered to this engagement as ,'A grand-daughter of Marengo and Friedland.'

Battle of Ligny.

Friday 16 June 1815

On Friday June the 16th 1815 in Belgium the battle of Ligney was fought between forces commanded by Napoleon and the Prussian army commanded my Marshall Blucher. By the end of the battle Blucher was missing, his troops in full retreat and Napoleon in position of the field.

Duke of Brunswick died.

Friday 16 June 1815
Duke of Brunswick

Frederick William, Duke of Brunswick-Luneburg, Oels and Bernstadt was killed on the 16th of June 1815 at the Battle of Quatre Bras. The Duke had sustained several wounds that day but had only left the action once. He died leading a charge at the head of his troops. A musket ball passed through his bridle-hand into his breast causing death in a few moments.

Battle of Quatre Bras.

Friday 16 June 1815

On Friday the 16th of June 1815 at the crossroads of Quatre Bras in Belgium a battle was fought between the Ango-Allied Army of the Duke of Wellington and the left wing of Napoleons Armee d'Nord. The Allies lost around 5000 casualties, the French around 4000. Tacticly it was an Allied victory, but a costly one.

Battle of Wavre

Sunday 18 June 1815

Grouchy with Gerard and Vandamme attacked Thielmann Prussian 'rearguard' of around 17.000 men and 48 guns.

The fighting was bitter and desperate especially around the bridge at Limale, but despite their greater numbers 33.000 men and 80 guns the French failed to break the Prussian defences.

Both sides held their ground overnight.

Lieutenant General Sir Thomas Picton died.

Sunday 18 June 1815
Sir Thomas Picton

Whilst in the act of leading his men Lieutenant General Sir Thomas Picton was killed. D'Erlons attack at Waterloo was thrown back by Pictons men, but in his very moment of victory Sir Thomas was shot throught the temple and was dead before he hit the ground.

Battle of Waterloo.

Sunday 18 June 1815

On Sunday June the 18th 1815 the battle of Waterloo was fought between the Anglo-Allied army of the Duke of Wellington and that of Napoleon. The battlefield was fought some 18miles south of Brussells in Belgium. The French army was utterly defeated.

Battle of Wavre [second day]

Monday 19 June 1815

There was some fighting early on the morning but when the news of Waterloo became clear Grouchy ordered his troops to begin a retreat.

The battle had cost around 5.000 lives.

Colonel Sir Henry Walton Ellis died.

Tuesday 20 June 1815

On the 20th of June 1815 aged 32 Colonel Sir Henry Walton Ellis of the 23rd Regt, [Royal Welsh Fusiliers] died.

The Colonel had been shot in the chest on the 18th and left the field severly wounded. On the 19th the hovel that he was recovering in caught fire. Although Assistant Surgeon Munro rescued him from the flames the Colonel sadly died. He was buried on 'the mound of the only windmill in Braine l'Alleud.'

Admiral Sir Sidney Smith born.

Thursday 21 June 1764

Sir Sidney Smith 1764-1840 

The names of Nelson, Trafalgar and HMS Victory are all very familiar and have to a certain extent eclipsed other great men, battles and ships of the great Naval War with Napoleonic Europe. In the next ten articles I want to write about these lesser known aspects.  

Lady Hester Lucy Stanhope died.

Sunday 23 June 1839

On the 23rd of June 1839 at the abandoned monastery of Joun, 8 miles from Sidon in Lebanon Lady Hester Lucy Stanhope died.

Marshal Jean Baptiste Bernadotte born.

Sunday 26 June 1763

On the 26th of June 1763 in Pau, France the future Marshal Jean Baptiste Bernadotte was born, he later became King of Sweden.

Sir William De Lancey died.

Monday 26 June 1815

Born in New York and tracing his ancestry back to French Huguenots Colonel Sir William Howe De Lancey was a career soldier. His middle name was given him as a mark of his parents respect to the British General Howe of American War of Independence fame. In 1814 De Lancey became Knight Commander of the Bath


Saturday 27 June 1795

On the 27th of June 1795 at Quiberon on the French coast 3500 Emigre troops were landed by the Royal Navy.They were to support a Bourbon rising in Brittany. Despite facing the Revolutionary General Hoche and ultimately sustaining 50% losses the Emigre forces remained active for almost a year.

Battle of Wagram [First Day].

Wednesday 05 July 1809

Battle of Wagram.[Second Day].

Thursday 06 July 1809

Battle of Medina Del Rio Seco

Thursday 14 July 1808

On the 14th of July 1808 the battle of Medina Del Rio Seco was fought. The Spanish Army of 24,000 Castilians and Galicians under Generals Cuestas and Blake, in entrenchments and up hill of their enemy faced 12,000 Frenchmen under Generals Merle and Mouton. The victory went to France.

Jane Austin died.

Friday 18 July 1817

On the 18th of July 1817 the novelist Jane Austin died at Winchester in the county of Hampshire. She was buried in Winchester Cathedral.

Marshal Auguste Frederic Louis Marmont born.

Wednesday 20 July 1774

On the 20th of July 1774 in Chatillon-sur-Seine Marshal Auguste Frederic Louis Marmont was born. Once A.D.C to Napoleon he commanded the Army at Salamanca, but was badly wounded very early in the action. In 1814 he concluded a secret treaty with the Allies and surrendered his troops.
Napoleon gave him the title 'Duke of Ragusa' but after his conduct 'Raguser' became slang for 'To betray.'


Battle of the Pyramids.

Saturday 21 July 1798

General Napoleon Bonaparte defeats the Mamelukes at the Battle of the Pyramids on the twenty-first of June 1798.

Battle of Bailen

Thursday 21 July 1808

On the 21st of July 1808 the battle of Bailen was fought between the French forces of General Dupont and a much larger Spanish Army under Reding and Castanos.
Dupont surrendered.

Battle of Salamanca

Wednesday 22 July 1812

On the 22nd of July in Spain the battle of Salamanca was fought. Marshal Marmont wrongly belived that Wellingtons Army was in retreat and so launched his troops in a march that would 'cut off' the route to Portugal. Unfortunatly the Allied Army was concealed on the reverse  slopes of Las Torres. and waiting for just such a move.

In a short battle fought on a Summers afternoon Wellingtonn was victorious causing 14000 French casualties, wounding both Marshal Marmont and his second in command General Bonet and taking 20 guns.
Allied casualties were a little over 5000.

Maximillion Robespierre died.

Monday 28 July 1794

On the 28th of July 1794 in Paris. Maximillion Francois Isdore Robespierre was executed by guillotine. A lawyer from Arras, he rose to become the most important member of the 'Committee of Public Saftey'. Although seen as a ruthless revolutionary his manner of dress and person was that of the Ancien regime.
After a coup d'etat which resulted in his being shot in the jaw, Robespierre and many of his close supporters were sent to that same guillotine that they themselves had kept so busy.

Battle of Talavera

Friday 28 July 1809

On the 28th of July 1809 the battle fo Talavera was fought in Spain between the combined British and Spanish forces of Sir Arthur Wellesley and General Cuesta and those of  Joseph Bonaparte and Marshal Jourdan. Although victory over the French was achieved almost 1 in 4 British soldiers were casualties.

Marshal Edouard Adolphe Casimir Joseph Mortier died.

Friday 28 July 1815

On the 28th of July 1815 an attempt was made on the life of King Louis Phillip. A bomb was thrown in a Paris street which, slightly wounded the King and his horse. Marshal Mortier, 8 officers and men, 2 civilians, 1 woman and a child were unfortunatly killed in the explosion.

The Grenadier Guards

Saturday 29 July 1815

By general order on the 29th of July 1815.
The First Regiment of Footguards are granted the title 'Grenadier'.
This honour was awarded to the regiment for its gallant service at Waterloo.

Marshal Bon Adrien Moncey born.

Wednesday 31 July 1754

On the 31st of July 1754 the future Marshal Bon Adrien Moncey was born. His father was a lawyer.
Although he refused to take part in the Russian campain of 1812 he fought at the gates of Paris in 1814. At the fall of Bonaparte he supported Louis XVIII, was neutral during the 100 days and refused to be involved in the trial of Ney.

Battle of the Nile.

Wednesday 01 August 1798

On the 1st of August 1798, leading 13 ships of the line Admiral Nelson attacked the French Toulon Fleet. This fleet, which was at anchor in Aboukir Bay Egypt comprized,13 ships of the line and 4 frigates commanded by Admiral Brueys.

Marshal Guillaume Marie Ann Brune died.

Wednesday 02 August 1815

On the 2nd of August 1815 during 'The White Terror', Marshal Guillaume Marie Ann Brune was murdered by a Royalist Mob and his body was thrown into the River Rhone.

General Francois Etienne de Kellermann born.

Saturday 04 August 1770

On August the 4th 1770 Francois Etienne de Kellerman was born. His father was the famous General Christophe de Kellermann.
As a General is was Francois who led the French cavalry at Quartre Bras and Waterloo.

Marshal Jean Baptiste Bessieres born.

Saturday 06 August 1768

On the 6th of August 1768 in Prayssac, Jean Baptiste Bessiers was born. His father was a doctor and expected his son to follow his proffesion.
Created Marshal in 1804 Bessiers is rembered mainly as commander of the Guard Cavalry.
He died on the Battlefield.

George Prince Regent born.

Thursday 12 August 1762

George was born at twenty-four minutes past seven in the evening of August 12th 1762. He was born in Saint James Palace London. His father was King George III and his mother Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. At birth he was described as, 'a, strong, large, pretty boy.'

Napoleon Bonaparte born

Tuesday 15 August 1769
Napoleon Bonaparte was born on 15 August 1769 in Ajaccio, Corsica - which had only just been sold to France by the Italian state of Genoa.

Battle of Rolica

Wednesday 17 August 1808

On the 17th of August 1808 at the village of Rolica in Portugal the battle of Rolica was fought between Arthur Wellesley [later Duke of Wellington] and General Delaborde. It was a victory for Wellesley.

Battle of Vimiero

Sunday 21 August 1808

On he 21st of August 1808 the battle of Vimiero was fought in Portugal between the forces of Arthur Wellesley, [later Duke of Wellington] and those of General Juno. French columns faced a British line until after almost three hours, 2000 French casualties and 700 British the victory went to Wellesley.

Convention of Cintra.

Monday 22 August 1808

On the 22nd of August 1808 and after the battles of Rolica and Vimiero British commanders Burrard and Dalrymple signed the Convention of Cintra. This agreement rid Portugal of the French by putting them all,[Arms, Colours, and Loot] on to Royal Navy ships and sailing them back to France.

Lieutenant General Sir Thomas Picton born.

Thursday 24 August 1758
Sir Thomas Picton

On the 24th of August 1758 at Poyston, Pembrokeshire in Wales Thomas Pictons son was born. The baby, also named Thomas was to become one of The Duke of Wellingtons famous commanders. 
Commisioned in 1771 as an Ensign in the 12th Foot.  A.D.C. to Sir John Vaughan in the West Indies.A Major in 1795. Brigadier General in 1801. Major General in 1808. Lieutenant General in 1813. Died at Waterloo 1815.

Fall of Almeida

Friday 28 August 1812

On the 28th of August 1812 the Portuguese fortress town of Almeida surrendered to Marshal Neys troops. On the 27th, after a siege lasting less than a fortnight the main magazine blew up .  So many casualties and such extensive damage was caused that the position was untenable and fell to the French

Storming of San Sebastian

Tuesday 31 August 1813

On the 31st of August 1813 the Spanish town of San Sebastian was succesfully stormed by the troops of Sir Thomas Graham. The French commander General Rey. During the assult which cost the lives of 3500 Allied soldiers, Major Edward Somers-Cox  was killed.

Battle of Dennewitz

Monday 06 September 1813

After their victory at Dresden Ney led a French force towards Berlin. Unfortunatly they were surprized by the Allies led by Bernadotte and Von Bulow. Ney was forced to fall back after suffering around 10,000 casualties to the Allies 3,000.

Battle of Borodino

Monday 07 September 1812

The largest battle of Napoleons 1812 campaign was fought 115k from Moscow at Borodino on the 7th of September 1812. French numbers were 133,000 and 587 guns, Russian numbers 120,000 and 640 guns.
The battle opened at around 06.00hrs with 100 French guns fireing at Bagrations positions. Unfortunatly the distance had been poorly estimated and the guns then had to be moved forward.General Auguste de Caulaincourt led the 5th Cuirassiers into the Raevski redoubt and died at the moment of his victory.

Marshal Etienne Jacques Alexandre Macdonald died.

Monday 07 September 1840

On the 7th of September 1840 Marshal Etienne Jacques Alexandre Macdonald died.

William Bligh born.

Monday 09 September 1754

At Tinten Manor Saint Tudy in the county of Cornwall England. Francis and Jane Bligh had a son, William.
He rose to the rank of Vice Admiral but history always remembers him as 'Captain Bligh of The Bounty'.

Battle of Plattsburg

Friday 11 September 1812

In this action victory went to the Americian forces.

Field Marshal Gebhard Leberecht Von Blucher died.

Sunday 12 September 1819

On the 12th of September 1819 Field Marshal Gebhard Leberecht Von Blucher died of natural causes in Krobielowice. He had been a soldier since the age of 14. During the occupation of Paris in 1814 he wanted to blow up the Jena Bridge and in 1815 was in Command of the Army of the Lower Rhine.

Charles James Fox died.

Saturday 13 September 1806

On the 13th of September 1806 at Chiswick House London Charles James Fox died.
It is estimated that he was £10.000 in debt, and had lost more than £200.000 in gambling.

Battle of Baltimore

Sunday 13 September 1812

In this battle victory went to the Americian forces.

Marshal Nicolas Charles Oudinot died.

Monday 13 September 1847

On the 13th of September 1847 in Paris, Marshal Nicolas Charles Oudinot died.

Marshal Francois Joseph Lefebvre died.

Thursday 14 September 1820

On the 14th of September 1820 Marshal Francois Jiseph Lefebvre died. He was buried at the cemetery of Pere Lachaise, Paris.

Duke of Wellington died.

Tuesday 14 September 1852

On the 14th of September 1852 at 7.00 'o'clock in the evening and at the age of 83 The Duke of Wellington died.

Battle of Assaye

Friday 23 September 1803

On the 23rd of September 1803 Major-General Wellesley,[later Duke of Welington] with 13,500 British and Indian troops took on a Maharatta army of approaching 100,000. Wellesley was victorius, but had taken over 10% casualties.

Marshal Francois Christophe de Kellermann died.

Saturday 23 September 1820

0n the 23rd of September 1820 at Paris. Marshall Kellermann died. He is most remembered for his victory over the Prussians at Valmy.

Battle of El Bodon

Wednesday 25 September 1811

On the 25th of September 1811 the battle of El Bodon was fought between the Allied forces commanded by General Picton and a cavalry force of 2,500 led by General Montbrun.
When Montbruns cavalry attacked Pictons few squadrons were overwhelmed, his Portuguese artillery battery was over run and things were quite desperate until the 5th Foot attacked up hill. Led by Major Ridge the 5th pushed up hill, dispersed a French dragoon reg't and re-captured the Portuguese guns.
Picton was able to withdraw his men in good order. Victory was claimed by the Allies.

Battle of Bussaco

Thursday 27 September 1810

On the morning of the 27th of September 1810 the battle of Bussaco was fought between Marshal Messena and Wellington.
It could be seen as a 'classic' battle of the period. French columns attacking British lines.
This 'classic' battle cost the Allies a little over 1000 casualties, compared to the French losses of 5 Generals and almost 5000 troops.
Wellington held his ground, Messena was forced into retreat.

Aldea de Ponte

Friday 27 September 1811

This was a rear guard action was fought by Lowrey-Coles Fusilier Brigade against a French force consisting of an infantry division, a cavalry brigade and artillery support commanded by General Thiebault.
?A French attack on the rear-guard of the British 4th Division, which was falling back towards the Coa was beaten off and itself retreated to Ciudad Rodrigo.

Horatio Nelson born.

Friday 29 September 1758
Horatio Nelson

Horatio, son of Edmund and Catherine Nelson, was born September 29, 1758, in the parsonage house of Burnham Thorpe, a village in the county of Norfolk, of which his father was rector.
When Emma Hamilton and Nelson were together the day was known and celebrated as 'Horatio-mas Day'.

Battle of the Bridge of Vera

Friday 01 October 1813

Early in the afternoon of the 1st of October 1813. Captain Daniel Cadoux and 70 riflemen of the 95th held the northern end of the bridge of Vera against an attack by around 10,000 French troops.
The French killed both sentries and rushed the bridge. Cadouxs men held their position fighting of repeated attacks and killing the French General Vandermaisen. Throught the afternoon and into the night requests for aid were sent to Skeretts brigade of the Light Division. None came.

Duke of Brunswick born.

Sunday 06 October 1771
Duke of Brunswick

On the 6th of October 1771 Fredrick William the 4th son of Charles William Ferdinand Duke of Brunswick-Luneburg was born. At the age of 19 Fredrick was inveted with the Grand Order of The Black Eagle. In 1792 whilst serving with the Prussian Army he recieved two wounds in a skirmish at Etch near Wurbel, in consequence of his buoyant sense of youthful energy, which banished every idea of personal danger.

Marshal Joachim Murat died.

Friday 13 October 1815

After trying to invade Naples with 600 men Murat was arrested by troops loyal to King Ferdinand IV of Naples.
Put in front of a firing squad, Murat refused both a chair and a blindfold. Calmly standing in front of his executioners he gave the order. "Soldiers! Do your duty! Straight to the heart, but avoid the face. Fire!"

Battle of Fuengirola

Monday 15 October 1810

On the 15th of October 1810 Lord Blayney fought an action with about 1500 men, [a third of which were assorted deserters from the French Army] at Fuengirola.
The fortress he attacked refused to surrender and instead launched a sortee which captured his guns. The local popular uprising wasn't. General Sebastini and a French force of 5000 was mistaken for the Spanish. Heavily outnumbered, Blayney and many of his troops were obliged to surrender, the rest were rescued by the Royal Navy. 

Battle of Vinkovo

Sunday 18 October 1812

On the 18th of October 1812 Napoleon took the decision to 'Retreat from Moscow'.

Murats cavalry were caught un-prepared. General Denisov and a strong force of Russian cavalry attacked the French Corps of General Sebastiani. The Russians were victorious pushing back their opponants and capturing 6 guns. The French cuirassiers and carabinieers only just ecsaped being totally surrounded.
Murat fell back to Voronovo,

Marshal Prince Jozef Antoni Poniatowski died.

Tuesday 19 October 1813

On the 19th of October 1813 Marshal Prince Jozef Antoni Poniatowski died whilst attempting to cross the River Elster.

Marshal Pierre Augerau born.

Friday 21 October 1757

Born the son of a fruit seller in Paris on the 21st of June 1757 Pierre Augerau joined the Carabiniers at the age of 17.
After killing an officer in a duel he joined the Russian army serving against the Ottoman Empire, later he also saw service in the Prussian and Neapolitian Armies.
He was created Marshal in 1804, supported Napoleon during the 100 days and at Neys trial refused to find him guilty.

Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson died

Monday 21 October 1805
Horatio Nelson

When a French marksman  positioned in the mizen-top of 'Redoubtable' fired at a Royal Navy Officer below  on the deck of HMS Victory. The ball struck his left epaulette and Nelson fell. Three men raised him. "They have done for me at last Hardy," he said. "I hope not !" replied Hardy. "Yes. My backbone is shot through.", and with that Nelson was carried down to the Cockpit. He used a handkerchief to cover his face and stars so that the crew might not see thier Admiral wounded and so take alarm.

Battle of Trafalgar

Monday 21 October 1805

On the morning of the 21st of October Admiral Lord Nelson fought and died at his great victory of Trafalgar.

Marshal Emanual De Grouchy born.

Thursday 23 October 1766

On the 23rd of October 1766 in Paris Emanual De Grouchy was born. His father was the 1st Marquis De Grouchy.
Despite being an able soldier he is always remembered as the man who lost Waterloo for Napoleon.

Marshal Francois Joseph Lefebvre born.

Saturday 25 October 1755

On the 25th of October 1755 in Rouffach Alcase Marshal Francois Joseph Lefebvre was born. It was troops under his command that entered the Council of 500 during the Coup of 18 Brumaire in support of Bounaparte.
Created a Marshal on the 19th of May 1804,he was the Garde Commander at Jena.

Battle of Arroyo dos Molinos

Monday 28 October 1811

The Battle of Arroyo dos Molinos was fought between the Allied troops under General Hill and the division of the French General Girard.
Hill had about 10,000 horse, foot and guns under his command, Girards division, although also containing all arms was under strength, with only about 4,000 men.

The Office of the Secretary at War

Thursday 31 October 1799

Sir Thomas Cochrane died

Wednesday 31 October 1860

At his eldest sons home in Kensington and in his 85th year Thomas Cochrane died peacefully.

The Congress of Vienna

Tuesday 01 November 1814

On November the first 1814 the Congress of Vienna was begun. The most important nations of Europe were represented,[including post-Napoleonic France. Represented by Tallyrand !]. The Duke of Wellington was also there for Great Britian with Castlereagh the senior representitive.

Battle of Fiodoroivskoy

Tuesday 03 November 1812

On the 3rd of November 1812 during the Retreat from Moscow the battle of Fiodoroivskoy was fought between the Russian forces of General Miloradovitch and the French 1st Division under Marshall Davout. Although initially having superior numbers the Russians lost the battle after troops sent back by Prince Eugene and Marshall Ney joined the fight.

Marshal Etienne Jacques Alexandre Macdonald born.

Sunday 17 November 1765

On the 17th of November 1765 in the Ardennes Marshal Etinne Jacques Alexandre Macdonald was born. In 1785 he joined the Irish Legion. For his victory at Wagram he was created Marshal, the only Marshal to be 'created on the field.' At Leipzig he blew the bridge and was forsed to swim the River Elster. In 1815 he supported the Bourbons.

Battle of Ocana

Sunday 19 November 1809

On the 19th of November 1809 the Spanish Army of Juan Carlos Areizaga was beaten by Marshal Soult at the battle of Ocana. After advancing the Spaniards halted for 3 days which allowed the French to gather all their available forces in the area.

Battle of Tudela

Wednesday 23 November 1808

On the 23rd of November 1808 the battle of Tudela in Northern Spain was fought between the French forces of Marshal Lannes and the Army of Aragon. Due to the confusion in the Spanish formations Lannes was able to attack with speed  and achieve victory at the cost of over 4000 Spanish casualities.

Marshal Jean Baptiste Jourdan dies.

Saturday 23 November 1833

On the 23rd of November 1833 Marshal Jean Baptiste Jourdan died.

Marshal Jean de Dieu Soult died.

Wednesday 26 November 1851

On the 26th of Novemeber 1851 Marshal Jean de Dieu Soult died in the Castle of Soultsberg.

Colonel Sir Henry Walton Ellis. Born

Friday 29 November 1782

Born this day in 1782 Henry Walton Ellis was born to Major-General John Joyner-Ellis and his wife Sarah [nee Walton].
Henry was the first of their children and was christened at Saint Nicholas Church Worcester. The babies christening took place almost a year after his birth on the 6th of October 1783. His actual place of birth is given variously as Kempsey nr Worcester, Cambrai in Northern France and Cambray in Cheltenham.

Battle of Somosierra

Wednesday 30 November 1808

The battle of Somosierra was fought in a pass on the road to Madrid on the 30th of November 1808 it was a French victory over the Spanish with a tragic waste of life.

Coronation of the Emperor Napoleon

Sunday 02 December 1804

At Notre Dame Paris on the 2nd of December 1804 Napoleon Bonapart took the title Emperor. Although the Pope had been brought to the Capital to preform the ceremony, it was Bonaparte who took the crown and 'crowned himself'. In Davids painting Madame Mere is shown quite clearly even though she refused to attend. 

Battle of Austerlitz

Monday 02 December 1805

On the 2nd of December 1805 in Moldavia Napoleon fought one of his most decisive battles. Austerlitz.
The Army opposing the French was led by the Russian General Kutusov, with him, Czar Alexander I of Russia and Emperor Francis I of Austria. They mustered over 85,000 men and 278 guns. The French numbered 74,000 men with 139 guns.
The 'Battle of the Three Emperors' ended in a French victory and the capture of 45 colours and 180 cannon.

Prince William of Orange born.

Thursday 06 December 1792

On the 6th of December 1792 William Prince of Orange was born in The Hague. His father was William I of the Netherlands, his mother Wilhelmine of Prussia. William was to be the eldest of six children and would go on to become William II of the Netherlands.
Schooled in England, studied at Oxford and served in the Prussian and British armies. William was a brave and impetuous man.

Marshal Claude Victor-Perron born.

Friday 07 December 1764

On the 7th of December 1764 Marshal Claude Victor-Perrin was born in Vosges. An artillery officer with Bonaparte at Toulon, governor of Louisiana and Marshal in 1804. During the 100 days he fled to Ghent with Louis XVIII. Afterwards he voted for the execution of Ney.

Marshal Michel Ney died.

Thursday 07 December 1815

On the 7th of December 1815 Marshal Michel Ney Prince of Moscowa Duke of Elchingen was executed by Royalist firing squad in Paris. His crime was treason.The  last order he gave to French troops was the signal to fire. " I have fought 100 battles for France and not 1 against her....Fire !"

William Bligh died.

Sunday 07 December 1817

At Bond Street London England, Vice Admiral William Bligh died at the age of 64. He is buried in Lambeth Churchyard.

Marshal Jean Mathieu Philibert Serurier born.

Saturday 08 December 1742

On the 8th of December 1742 to a middle class family in Laon, France Jean Mathieu Philibert Serurier was born. As a young man he joined the Laon Militia and rose to the rank of Lieutenant. He surendered to Field Marshal Suvorov, but was later paroled and returned to France. Becoming a Marshal in 1804 and Govoner of Les Invalides. In 1814 he destroyed over 1000 captured enemy standards, including the sword and sash of Fredrick the Great rather than let the Allies re-claim them. He rallied to Napoleon for the 100 days, yet afterwards voted for the execution of Ney.

Sir Thomas Cochrane born.

Thursday 14 December 1775

On this Day Admiral Sir Thomas Cochrane 10th Earl of DunDonald was born. As an English naval officer he was sparing of his mens lives and, at one point in his career  sending home a prize a week.

He also rose to be a Chillian,Brazillian, Peruvian and Greek Admiral.

The Divorce of Napoleon and Josephine

Friday 15 December 1809

She took lovers and spent a fortune while he was away conquering Europe, and on the 15th of December 1809 it all ended in divorce. She got to keep the house,[Malmaison].

Field Marshal Gebhard Leberecht Von Blucher born.

Sunday 16 December 1742

On the 16th of December 1742 in Mecklenburg the future Field Marshal Gebhard Leberecht Von Blucher was born. His family had been landowners in the area for centuries. At 14 the young Blucher joined the Swedish army as a hussar. After being captured by Prussian hussars he agreed to join them and enter Prussian service, he would remain there until he died with the rank of Field Marshal.

Jane Austin born.

Saturday 16 December 1775

On the 16th of December 1775 at the Rectory at Steventon Hampshire Jane Austin was born. Her parents Rev George Austin and Cassandra had been married in Bath in 1764 and already had 7 children James[1765-1819], George[1766-1838], Edward[1767-1852], Henry[1771-1850], Frank[1774-1865], Cassandra[1773-1845] and Charles[1779-1852].
Jane the novelist never married and died at the age of 41. Her novels were set in the time and social class that she knew well. George Prince of Wales was a great fan of hers and 'Emma', her 4th novel was dedicated to him. 

Battle of Sahagun

Wednesday 21 December 1808

On the 21st of December 1808 in Northern Spain the battle of Sahagun was fought between the Cavalry of General Debelle and that of Lord Paget.
Paget initially set out with the 10th and 15th Hussars, but 'lost' the 10th en route. In a very sharp action the French lost more than 300 killed, woudned and prisnors, the 15th, 2 dead 20 wounded. The 10th arrived at the battles end, but took no part. General Moore and the rest of the army arrived at the end of the day. The victory went to Paget and the 15th Hussars.

Marshal Jean Mathieu Philibert Serurier died.

Tuesday 21 December 1819

On the 21st of December 1819 Marshal Jean Mathieu Philibert Serurier died.

Czar Alexander I born.

Tuesday 23 December 1777

On the 23rd of December 1777 Alexander was born. As an adult he was described as '...tall, lusty, and well proportioned; his face is full and fair; his eyes are blue, and expressive of that beneficient mildness which is one of his prominant features of his charactor.'

Battle of Savenay

Monday 23 December 1793

On the 23rd of December 1793 Republican forces under General Kleber ended Royalist resistance in the Vendee with their victory at the battle of Savenay.

Treaty of Ghent

Saturday 24 December 1814

On the 24th of December 1814 diplomats from Great Britian and The United States of America signed the Treaty of Ghent in The Netherlands.
Although this treaty 'officially' ended the war it was some time before the information reached the troops in the field. The Americian victory at New Orleans and the British capture of Fort Bowyer both happened after the peace had been signed.

Marshal Catherine Dominique de Perignon died.

Friday 25 December 1818

On Christmas Day 1818 Marshal Catherine Dominique de Perignon died.

Treaty of Pressburg

Thursday 26 December 1805

On the 26th of December 1805 representatives from Austria, [The Holy Roman Empire] and France, [M' Tallyrand] signed the Treaty of Pressburg.
After the defeats of Ulm and Austerlitz Austria agreed to terms that saw her leave the 3rd Coalition, cede territory to France and her Allies, pay an indemnity of 40 million francs to France. The Holy Roman Empire had effectively ceased to exist.

Battle of Benevente

Thursday 29 December 1808

On the 29th of December a cavalry action was fought at Benevente. General Lefebvre-Desnouettes led his Chasseur a cheval in pursuit of General Moores retreating army. Despite a river bridge being destroyed by the British, a ford was found and the French troops pushed onwards. They were met by Lord Paget and the Hussars of the Kings German Legion along with the 7th,10th and 18th Hussars. Pagets casualties were less than 20, those of the French around 150, most of whom,[including Lefebvre-Desnouettes] were taken prisnor.

Admiral Pierre-Charles-Jean-Baptiste-Silvestre de Villeneuve born.

Saturday 31 December 1763

Born in Valensole Provence France on the 31st of December 1763 Pierre-Charles-Jean-Baptiste-Silvestre de Villeneuve would join the Navy in 1778 and rise to become the Admiral commanding both French and Spanish Fleets at Trafalgar.
A Post Captain in 1793, Rear Admiral in 1796, Villeneuve commanded the Rear Division at the Battle of the Nile, his ship The Guilliaumme Tell was one of only two ships to escape the destruction of of the Fleet. He was later captured off Malta, but released by the British.