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NEY Michel - Letter Signed 1811 from Portugal

  • £950.00

Michel NEY, Duc d’Elchingen and Prince de la Moskova (1769-1815)

Letter Signed (“Mal duc d’Elchingen”) to General Count Loison, informing him that he is sending him supplies of grain for his troops.

1 page 4to in French, Thomar [Tomar, Portugal], 2 February 1811.

A letter from the end of Ney’s time in the Peninsula. The war in Spain was undoubtedly one of Napoleon’s greatest mistakes, as he later acknowledged himself. A difficult situation, fighting on a terrain which did not lend itself to the French army’s usual modus operandi was made considerably worse by the squabbling of several marshals, notably Ney, Massena and Soult.

Ney, having quarrelled with Soult, briefly returned to France, but was sent back to Spain, under Massena’s command. The two men were temperamentally unsuited to working together, despite Ney’s remarkable support to Massena, during the latter’s retreat from Portugal in March 1811. Ney was finally recalled to France at the end of that month.

Trans: “I am letting you know . . . that the 6th regiment of light infantry yesterday sent . . . twenty quintains of corn for the troops of your division. I am enclosing with my letter a bond for thirty nine quintains of corn flour which the 76th regiment is also putting at your disposal; I would ask you to give orders that these should be delivered to you, and to notify me when you have received them. The 39th and 69th will not delay to let us know what they can do for your troops.

Ney’s correspondent, General Loison, was already a veteran of the conflict in the Peninsula, having been among those repatriated to France after the Convention of Cintra. He subsequently returned to Spain where he took part in the sieges of Ciudad Rodrigo and Almeida.

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