CLARKE Henri Duc de Feltre - Letter Signed 1812
Henri Jacques Guillaume CLARKE, Duc de Feltre (1765-1818)
Letter Signed (“Duc de Feltre”) as Minister of War, ordering General Seroux to go to Magdeburg to take command of the artillery.
1 page folio in French with integral blank leaf, Paris, 22 August 1812.
Trans: “General, you will depart upon receipt of this order, and go to Magdeburg. There you will take command of the artillery and you will adhere to the instructions which had been given to General Bourgeat whom you will replace and who has received a new posting.
You will inform me of your arrival at Magdeburg and of the hand-over of the command which has been entrusted to you.”
A note below, in another hand, rather confusingly states that payment for the expenses was made in 1813.
The appointment of the 70-year-old General Seroux de Fay to this post is a reminder of the very over-stretched resources of the Grande Armée at the time. Napoleon himself was in Smolensk, together with many of his most experienced generals and marshals, including Ney and Murat as well as Eugene de Beauharnais, also embarked on the Russian campaign. Meanwhile, Soult, Jourdan and Marmont were occupied in Spain, Lannes was dead and Massena had been relegated to a command in Marseille. The situation with the officers and the troops was not dissimilar, and we therefore find an experienced, but ageing, commander placed in charge of an important site.
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