Friday, October 21, 2011

Marshal Pierre Augereau


‘…It is said that Arena, a native of Corsica like himself, aimed a dagger at his [Napoleon’s] breast, which was only averted by the interposition of one of the grenadiers. The fact seems extremely doubtful, though it is certain that Bonaparte was seized by two or three members, while others exclaimed, "Was it for this you gained so many victories?" and loaded him with reproaches. At this crisis a party of grenadiers rushed into the hall with drawn swords, and extricating Bonaparte from the deputies, bore him off in their arms breathless with the scuffle.

It was probably at this crisis that Augereau's faith in his ancient general's fortune began to totter, and his revolutionary principles to gain an ascendence over his military devotion. "A fine situation you have brought yourself into," he said to Bonaparte, who answered sternly, "Augereau, things were worse at Areola—Take my advice—remain quiet, in a short time all this will change."  Augereau, whose active assistance and cooperation might have been at this critical period of the greatest consequence to the Council, took the hint, and continued passive…’

Marshal Pierre Augereau was born this day, October 21st, in 1757, and his military career with Napoleon merits several entries in Sir Walter Scott’s “The Life of Napoleon Buonaparte”.  But, as the text above alludes to, Augereau didn’t side with Napoleon permanently, and the relationship between the two was not stable.  In 1814, Augereau joined the restored Louis XVIII.  When Napoleon returned from exile on Elba in March of 1815, Augereau tried to rejoin him, but Napoleon refused his service.

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