Browse Items (65 total)

November 1812

Ségur gave a terrifying description of the effect of the Russian winter that started in November 1812.


Adrien-Jean-Baptiste-François Bourgogne (1785–1867) was the son of a cloth merchant from northern France. He fought in Poland in 1806; in Austria, Spain, and Portugal in 1809–11; and in Russia in 1812–13. His memoirs were first published in 1857. In…


Fighting under the name Alexander Durov, Nadezhda Durova was the daughter of a Russian officer who dressed as a man to join the Russian army in 1806. Although it became known that she was a woman, she was allowed to serve until 1816 when she retired…

December 3, 1812

The French government used its Bulletins of the Grand Army to report official versions of the course of military campaigns. In a rare admission of problems, Bulletin no. 29 reported the French losses in Russia.

June 1815

Jardin Ainé (the elder) was responsible for Napoleon’s horse and had a firsthand view of the momentous events that definitively ended Napoleon’s career.

June 15, 1815

At the Battle of Waterloo, Dickson (1789–1880) was a corporal in a Scottish cavalry troop. He had enlisted in 1807. His reminiscences of the battle were written down by relatives years later.

October 12, 1791

The magnitude of the insurrection quickly became clear as alarmed observers related that considerable armies were being raised to fight the rebels. It is noteworthy that such reports even to northern U.S. newspapers expressed little sympathy for the…

May 16, 1792

Blame now falls, at least according to the author of this letter, on the "blood–thirsty aristocracy," which has created dissensions among the French. The author also expresses alarm at the thought of the revolt spreading to other islands in the…

July 17, 1793

Many American cities met the emergency needs of an influx of white refugees who fled the uprising.

December 4, 1793

Free blacks and mulattos also fled the uprising. Mulattos could own slaves and plantations, and many of them did. Free blacks often manned the militias used to hunt down runaway slaves. Like the white settlers, both groups therefore had reason to…
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