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The Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte


The Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte


      “I intend to write the history of the great achievements we have performed together. Adieu, my friends. Would I could press you all to my heart…”

After his failed invasion of Russia and the fall of Paris to the Allies, Napoleon Bonaparte bid farewell to his faithful officers. Napoleon had built a 500,000 man Army that used modern tactics and improvisation in battle to sweep across Europe and acquire an Empire for France.

       “Soldiers of my Old Guard: I bid you farewell. For twenty years I have constantly accompanied you on the road to honor and glory. In these latter times, as in the days of our prosperity, you have invariably been models of courage and fidelity…

       “I go, but you, my friends, will continue to serve France. Her happiness was my only thought. It will still be the object of my wishes. Do not regret my fate; if I have consented to survive, it is to serve your glory…

By that time, Napoleon had ruled France and surrounding countries for twenty years, but in 1812, the seemingly invincible Napoleon made the fateful decision to invade Russia.

He soon discovered that Moscow had been burned by the Russians and could not support the starving French Army over the long winter.

Napoleon was forced to retreat, and saw his army decimated to a mere 20,000 men by the severe Russian winter and chaos in the ranks.

Napoleon then lost the support of most of his generals and was forced to abdicate on April 6, 1814.

LOUIS ANTOINE FAUVELET de BOURRIENNE (1769–1834) was a French diplomat famous for his Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte, a four-volume edition based on years of close friendship with his subject as his private secretary. Described as the best account extant of the important events of the Hundred Days, of Napoleon's surrender to the English, and of his residence and death at St. Helena, with anecdotes and illustrative extracts from all the most authentic sources.

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