BERTHIER Louis Alexandre - Letter Signed 1803 interceding for a soldier
Louis Alexandre BERTHIER, Prince of Wagram and Neuchatel (1753-1815)
Letter Signed (“Alex. Berthier”) to the Prefect of the Deux-Sèvres Department, interceding for Citizen Louis Foucher, a volunteer accused of desertion and who should have benefited from an amnesty, with a reply at the end of the letter explaining that the amnesty had been overturned a few days later.
2 pages folio in French on letterhead with a vignette of the Ministry of War, Paris, 5 pluviose an 11 [25 January 1803].
Trans: “Citizen Louis Foucher, volunteer in the 89th brigade, appeals, Citizen Prefect, against the order to return which has been made by the Captain of the Gendarmerie of your Department claiming that he is a deserter. Soldiers who were on furlough . . . and who were officially deserters on the 1st floreal had a right to amnesty under the law of the 24th of this month, and to be dispensed from re-joining . . . Citizen Foucher is free to return home. I would ask you to communicate the contents of this letter to the Captain of the Gendarmerie and to issue the orders required for its execution. Citizen Foucher is domiciled at Saint Cyr . . .”
It would appear that the acting Captain of the Gendarmerie was not to be so easily over-ruled, for his reply explains that “Louis Foucher . . . was arrested . . . on 12 frimaire in accordance with an order stating that the law of 24 floreal did not apply to this class of deserter; he was brought here where . . . he was given leave to freely rejoin his corps in Brussels. . . I do not know whether he has rejoined . . . but I will find out.”
This letter was written at a brief period of relative peace in Europe. The Treaty of Amiens, signed in March 1802, brought a truce between France and England, but when the two countries were at war again a year later, troops would, once again, have to be found.
The top right hand corner of this letter has been cut away, not affecting the text.
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