Twenty-five years after the campaign he wrote a vivid and engrossing account of his involvement in this setback for the French empire. A century later, on the anniversary of Napoleon’s defeat, his story was published in a Rotterdam newspaper. Now, two hundred years after 1812, it has been translated into English and is published here for the first time.
“These notes about my life were to be expanded at the end of my military career, with the many memories I still have. Unfortunately, a nerve-related illness makes this task so difficult for me that I have failed to do much. In rereading this material, and the many official documents I still have, I can imagine that my son, or one of my grandchildren, might find a pen to write up my history one day. I give my blessing from my resting place for this, as I assume this will not happen until after my death.”