This Day In History: 04/11/1814 - Napoleon Exiled to Elba

This Day In History: 04/11/1814 - Napoleon Exiled to Elba

After Napoleon Bonaparte failed to unite all of Europe under his rule, he was thrown off his throne by the neighboring nations during the War of Liberation on April 11th. This event along with others on April 11, is recapped in this video clip. The video clip, narrated by Russ Mitchell from This Day In History also includes the crowning of William III and Mary II as King and Queen of England, and the launch of Apollo 13. Also on April 11, Chinese officials agreed to release the crew of the plane that was involved in the US-China Spy Plane Incident, which killed a Chinese pilot.


This Day in History – April 11 – Hijinx, Humor, and Insight

You can read the original at Gary’s THIS DAY IN HISTORY blog — or scroll down to enjoy Gary’s unique look at life’s comings and goings.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY… APRIL 11

1814 – Treaty of Fontainebleau.

Napoleon abdicated his role as Emperor and was exiled to the island of Elba in the Mediterranean. Napoleon’s rule was supreme in Europe until he decided to invade Russia. The invasion stalled at Moscow and then the French forces were decimated in a devastating retreat. This began the decline of Napoleon’s empire. Emboldened, European forces rallied against him, and Paris was captured. Discord and his loss of popularity in France forced him to accept the terms of the treaty. While undeniable that Napoleon was power hungry and intent on world domination, he also had a positive impact on France and the rest of Europe and according to History.com he is “credited with enacting a series of important political and social reforms that had a lasting impact on European society, including judiciary systems, constitutions, voting rights for all men and the end of feudalism. Additionally, he supported education, science and literature.”

Both then and now demigods seem to run to power. One difference however: instead of supporting education, science and literature, a different approach is now in vogue. Education is being increasingly squeezed financially, science is discredited, and literature, well, that would involve reading a book.

1856 – Battle of Rivas.

This one gets complicated, so pay attention. The battle took place between the army of Costa Rica and Nicaraguan forces led by American adventurer William Walker. Walker, rigging an election, had managed to become president of Nicaragua. The genesis of the dispute was the inland trade route between New York and San Francisco that ran through Nicaragua. This was before the Panama Canal was built. Using a subsidiary company, Cornelius Vanderbilt controlled the route. Two men, Morgan and Garrison, supported Walker and together they wrested control of the route from Vanderbilt. Cornelius fought back. Politically he convinced the U.S. to end diplomatic recognition of Walker’s government, and militarily he armed and trained a Costa Rican force to face Walker. He did this by alarming both the global business world and other governments with rumors that Walker intended to lay claims to other Central America countries. Countering, Walker rescinded Nicaragua’s emancipation on slavery, and curried the favor of the southern U.S. states by saying what he was really trying to do was expand the institution of slavery.

Backed by Vanderbilt and led by Juan Mora, the Costa Rican militia invaded Nicaragua and defeated Walker’s army. It was a hollow victory, however, for cholera spread throughout Mora’s men and they brought it back to Costa Rica where it ravaged the population. Mora, in a struggle for political power in Costa Rica, lost, and was executed. Walker was also executed in 1860, by a firing squad in Honduras. Cornelius Vanderbilt remained safe and rich in New York, his trade route secure.

The financial giants of that era were not called “Robber Barons” for nothing.

1924 – WLS begins broadcasting.

An AM station, WLS was created by Sears, Roebuck and Company to advertise its wares. The letters stood for world’s largest store. It had a significant claim to fame when it broadcast the crash of the Hindenburg. Debuting with “Alley-Oop” by the Hollywood Argyles, WLS went full-time Rock and Roll in 1960. One of their DJs at the time was Dick Biondi, who was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 1998. WLS is currently a talk radio station.

What a sad decline, from rock and roll to talk radio. As a teenager, driving around at night, we could pick up WLS on our car radios at 870 on the dial. Driving dark, lonely, gravel, country roads, Dick Biondi was our link to a more exciting world. To us he had panache, was a step above the DJs from the Twin Cities. In a rural imitation of “American Graffiti,” he was our Wolfman Jack. WLS and Dick Biondi brought hope to those bleak country roads.

1866 – Carla Ford.

Carla Bryant married the man who would revolutionize America with his Model T car on her 22nd birthday. During their courtship they enjoyed such activities as going to corn-husking parties.

Corn-husking parties? Makes those bleak country roads look a little better.

1869 – Kasturba Gandhi.

At age 13 Kasturba Kapadia married Mohandas Gandhi. A political activist, despite being in poor health most of her life, she fought against British rule in India. She carried on the civil rights struggle whenever her husband was thrown into jail. She herself was jailed on occasion and once put into solitary confinement for a month. Kasturba Gandhi died in 1944.

A less-heralded but equal personage as her husband.

1890 – Rachele Mussolini.

On December 17th, 1915 Rachele Guidi married Benito Mussolini. It would be inaccurate to describe it as a perfect union. Benito had multiple mistresses and Rachele also had a side love affair. She hated politics and refused to move to Rome when he became dictator. She said if she lived in Rome she would become a communist. Once, upset with her husband, she made him eat dinner outside on the steps. It was said Benito was more afraid of her than the Germans. She survived his death and the war but was left impoverished. She made a living operating a small restaurant, tending a garden, keeping chickens, and capitalizing on Mussolini’s name when she could. In 1910 Mussolini was offered a job in America. Rachele regretted their having turned down the offer. Her comment was: “I think my husband might have been very successful in America.”

He did have all the attributes necessary for an unscrupulous, and successful, real estate developer.

1928 – Ethel Kennedy.

Widow of Senator Robert F. Kennedy. After his assassination, she refused to remarry and raised their eleven children on her own. To honor his memory she founded the RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights. The mission of the nonprofit was to foster a more just and peaceful world.

Noble effort and brave woman.

ABOUT GARY JENNEKE

At various junctures of his life, Gary has been an indifferent grade school student, poor high school student, good Navy radioman, one-time hippie, passable college student, inveterate traveler, dedicated writer, miscast accountant (except for one interesting stint at a Communist café), part-time screenwriting teacher, semi-proud veteran, unsuccessful retiree and new blogger.

The above information was sourced from the following sites and newspapers:

We’d also like to thank the following photographers and videographers for the use of their images:


Sekcastillohistory20

On this day in 1814, Napoleon Bonaparte, emperor of France and one of the greatest military leaders in history, abdicates the throne, and, in the Treaty of Fontainebleau, is banished to the Mediterranean island of Elba.

The future emperor was born in Ajaccio, Corsica, on August 15, 1769. After attending military school, he fought during the French Revolution of 1789 and rapidly rose through the military ranks, leading French troops in a number of successful campaigns throughout Europe in the late 1700s. By 1799, he had established himself at the top of a military dictatorship. In 1804, he became emperor of France and continued to consolidate power through his military campaigns, so that by 1810 much of Europe came under his rule. Although Napoleon developed a reputation for being power-hungry and insecure, he is also credited with enacting a series of important political and social reforms that had a lasting impact on European society, including judiciary systems, constitutions, voting rights for all men and the end of feudalism. Additionally, he supported education, science and literature. His Code Napoleon, which codified key freedoms gained during the French Revolution, such as religious tolerance, remains the foundation of French civil law.

In 1812, thinking that Russia was plotting an alliance with England, Napoleon launched an invasion against the Russians that eventually ended with his troops retreating from Moscow and much of Europe uniting against him. In 1814, Napoleon’s broken forces gave up and Napoleon offered to step down in favor of his son. When this offer was rejected, he abdicated and was sent to Elba. In March 1815, he escaped his island exile and returned to Paris, where he regained supporters and reclaimed his emperor title, Napoleon I, in a period known as the Hundred Days. However, in June 1815, he was defeated at the bloody Battle of Waterloo. Napoleon’s defeat ultimately signaled the end of France’s domination of Europe. He abdicated for a second time and was exiled to the remote island of Saint Helena, in the southern Atlantic Ocean, where he lived out the rest of his days. He died at age 52 on May 5, 1821, possibly from stomach cancer, although some theories contend he was poisoned.


April 11, 1814: Napoleon exiled to Elba

On this day in 1814, Napoleon Bonaparte, emperor of France and one of the greatest military leaders in history, abdicates the throne, and, in the Treaty of Fontainebleau, is banished to the Mediterranean island of Elba.

The future emperor was born in Ajaccio, Corsica, on August 15, 1769. After attending military school, he fought during the French Revolution of 1789 and rapidly rose through the military ranks, leading French troops in a number of successful campaigns throughout Europe in the late 1700s. By 1799, he had established himself at the top of a military dictatorship. In 1804, he became emperor of France and continued to consolidate power through his military campaigns, so that by 1810 much of Europe came under his rule. Although Napoleon developed a reputation for being power-hungry and insecure, he is also credited with enacting a series of important political and social reforms that had a lasting impact on European society, including judiciary systems, constitutions, voting rights for all men and the end of feudalism. Additionally, he supported education, science and literature. His Code Napoleon, which codified key freedoms gained during the French Revolution, such as religious tolerance, remains the foundation of French civil law.

In 1812, thinking that Russia was plotting an alliance with England, Napoleon launched an invasion against the Russians that eventually ended with his troops retreating from Moscow and much of Europe uniting against him. In 1814, Napoleon’s broken forces gave up and Napoleon offered to step down in favor of his son. When this offer was rejected, he abdicated and was sent to Elba. In March 1815, he escaped his island exile and returned to Paris, where he regained supporters and reclaimed his emperor title, Napoleon I, in a period known as the Hundred Days. However, in June 1815, he was defeated at the bloody Battle of Waterloo. Napoleon’s defeat ultimately signaled the end of France’s domination of Europe. He abdicated for a second time and was exiled to the remote island of Saint Helena, in the southern Atlantic Ocean, where he lived out the rest of his days. He died at age 52 on May 5, 1821, possibly from stomach cancer, although some theories contend he was poisoned.


This Day In History: 04/11/1814 - Napoleon Exiled to Elba - HISTORY

Elba (Italian: isola d'Elba, pronounced [ˈiːzola ˈdelba] Latin: Ilva Ancient Greek: Αἰθαλία, Aithalia) is a Mediterranean island in Tuscany, Italy, 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) from the coastal town of Piombino on the Italian mainland, and the largest island of the Tuscan Archipelago. It is also part of the Arcipelago Toscano National Park, [2] and the third largest island in Italy, after Sicily and Sardinia. It is located in the Tyrrhenian Sea about 50 kilometres (30 mi) east of the French island of Corsica.

The island is part of the province of Livorno and is divided into seven municipalities, with a total population of about 30,000 inhabitants which increases considerably during the summer. The municipalities are Portoferraio (which is also the island's principal town), Campo nell'Elba, Capoliveri, Marciana, Marciana Marina, Porto Azzurro, and Rio.

Elba is famous as the site of Napoleon's first exile, in 1814–15.


This Day In History: 04/11/1814 - Napoleon Exiled to Elba - HISTORY

On 15th August 1769, Napoleon Bonaparte was born in the town of Ajaccio, on Corsica, a year after the island became a French territory. The wealth and political influence of his family enabled him to be schooled in mainland France. Initially he attended a religious school in Autun, then the military academy at Brienne-le-Château and finally the prestigious École Militaire in Paris where he trained to be a artillery officer.

In September 1785, Bonaparte became a second lieutenant in La Fère artillery regiment. During the early stages of the French Revolution, he returned to Corsica on an extended leave of absence, where he commanded a volunteer battalion in support of the radical revolutionaries. In 1793 Bonaparte published a pamphlet in favour of the republican cause which secured for him the support of Augustin Robespierre, the younger brother of the Revolutionary leader.

This patronage resulted in him being given the command of the artillery during the seige of Toulon, which British troops occupied. In recognition of Bonaparte's role in the successful assault on the city, the Republican authorities promoted him to Brigadier-General and gave him command of the artillery in the French army on the Italian border. Nevertheless, he spent a short time in prison in August 1794 following the fall of Robespierre due to his relationship with his brother.

After being released, Napoleon returned to military service but remained out of favour, losing his position as a general. Fortune smiled on Bonaparte again in 1795 when he took command of the forces defending the Republican government during a royalist uprising. In gratitude the new government, called the Directory, promoted him to Commander of the Interior and gave him command of the Army of Italy.

Successful campaigning in Italy brought Napoleon both fame and political influence. He then undertook a colonial expedition to seize Egypt and disrupt British access to India. The campaign proved to be a failure and Napoleon left an army ravaged by disease to return to France, where in 1799 he took part in a coup and became one of a number of provisional Consuls that ruled France.

Napoleon outmanoeuvred his fellow consuls and secured his election as First Consul for Life, effective becoming dictator. During a period of peace following the Treaty of Amiens, Bonaparte set about reforming the administration of France and repairing the infrastructure. During this period both Jacobins and Royalists plotted his overthrow, which gave him the excuse to revive the hereditary monarchy with himself as Emperor of the French. Bonaparte also placed his family and friends on the thrones of European states conquered by the French during the Revolutionary Words, including having himself crowned as King of Italy.

In 1805 the British persuaded the Austrians and Russia to join a coalition against the French. Napoleon gathered an army at Boulogne to invade Britain, but after failing to achieve naval dominance in the Channel he sent this Grande Armée to march into Germany. While the British dominated the seas, Bonaparte's army enjoyed a string of successes across Europe forcing the Austrians to sign a peace treaty. The British then formed a new coalition including Prussia but the dominance of Bonaparte's armies again resulted in the defeat of the continental powers, which he forced to join his Continental System to boycott British goods in a form of economic warfare. When Portuguese would not join the boycott Napoleon sent an army to invade Portugal with the support of the Spanish in 1807.

The Peninsular War marked the turning point in his fortunes as the English and Portuguese armies commanded by Arthur Wellesley, later the Duke of Wellington, drove the French back. In 1809, Austria broke its alliance with France opening a second front and further weakening the French. When the Russians failed to comply with the Continental System, Napoleon led the Grande Armée to invade Russia.

The disastrous campaign and humiliating retreat undermined Napoleon's rule. Following a series of further defeats and the capture of Paris by the Coalition, the Marshals of the French army confronted Bonaparte and forced him to abdicate. While peace negotiations took place between the French and the Coalition countries, Napoleon travelled into exile on the Mediterranean island of Elba. Napoleon retained the title of Emperor but his empire only comprised the island and its twelve-thousand inhabitants. After a failed suicide attempt Napoleon took charge of Elba creating a small military force and modernising the island.

After hearing that the Coalition were about to send him into exile on a remote Atlantic island, on 26th February 1815 Napoleon escaped captivity on Elba with around six-hundred men, arriving in France two days later. The 5th Infantry Regiment intercepted him at Grenoble, but rather than taking him into custody they acclaimed his as their Emperor. The return of Napoleon was similarly welcomed across much of France and he soon wrested the reigns of power away from the restored Bourbon monarchy.

With the loyalty of the senior army officers re-established, Napoleon marched in triumph into Paris on 19th March. After another series of constitutional reforms and mobilisation of the armed forces, he again took France to war against a new Coalition in a pre-emptive strike. His defeat at the Battle of Waterloo and his consequent surrender finally ended his reign. This time he was exiled on a remote island in the South Atlantic called Saint Helena, where he died in May 1821.


April 11 1814 Napoleon Bonaparte Exiled To Elba

On April 11th 1814, Napoleon Bonaparte was banished to the Mediterranean island of Elba after abdicating his throne in the Treaty of Fontainebleau. Napoleon was the emperor of France and one of the greatest military leaders in history.

The future emperor was born as Napoleone di Buonaparte in Ajaccio, Corsica, on August 15th 1769, the second of eight children. He was born one year after Corsica was ceded to France by the Republic of Genoa. He changed his name to the more French sounding Napoleon Bonaparte when he was in his twenties.

He attended military school at Brienne-le-Chateau, where he was teased by other students for his Corsican accent and never learned to spell properly, though he applied himself to reading. An examiner at the school observed his prowess for mathematics, history and geography, and considered that he would make an excellent sailor. For a while, he considered applying to the British navy.

Instead, he was admitted to the elite Ecole Militaire in Paris, to study as a French artillery officer, and completed the two year course in one year. He became the first Corsican to graduate from the famous military school.

During the French Revolution of 1789 he rapidly rose rapidly through the military ranks, leading French troops in a number of successful campaigns throughout Europe in the late 1700s. By 1799, he had established himself at the top of a military dictatorship. In 1804, he became emperor of France and continued to consolidate power through his military campaigns, so that by 1810 much of Europe came under his rule.

Although Napoleon developed a reputation for being power-hungry and insecure, he is also credited with enacting a series of important political and social reforms that had a lasting impact on European society, including judiciary systems, constitutions, voting rights for all men and the end of feudalism. Additionally, he supported education, science and literature. His Code Napoleon, which codified key freedoms gained during the French Revolution, such as religious tolerance, remains the foundation of French civil law.

In 1812, thinking that Russia was plotting an alliance with England, Napoleon launched an invasion against the Russians that eventually ended with his troops retreating from Moscow and much of Europe uniting against him. In 1814, Napoleon’s broken forces gave up and Napoleon offered to step down in favor of his son. When this offer was rejected, he abdicated and was sent to Elba.

In March 1815, he escaped his island exile and returned to Paris, where he regained supporters and reclaimed his emperor title, Napoleon I, in a period known as the Hundred Days. However, in June 1815, he was defeated at the bloody Battle of Waterloo. Napoleon’s defeat ultimately signaled the end of France’s domination of Europe. He abdicated for a second time and was exiled to the remote island of Saint Helena, in the southern Atlantic Ocean, where he lived out the rest of his days. He died at age 52 on May 5th 1821, possibly from stomach cancer, although some theories contend he was poisoned.


Napoleon Bonaparte Abdicates His Crown At Fontainebleau

Today on April 11, 1814, Napoleon abdicated his throne by signing the Treaty of Fontainebleau and was subsequently exiled to Elba.

The Treaty of Fontainebleau was established and signed by Napoleon Bonaparte and delegates from Austria, Prussia, and Russia. The once seemingly invincible emperor of France was forced to abdicate the crown and leave his beloved country. It was only four years earlier that Napoleon was riding high at the pinnacle of power — living his 19th century best life. By 1810, the emperor had conquered most of continental Europe and cemented himself as one of the greatest military commanders of all time. After winning countless victories against his rivals — Austerlitz, Wagram, and Friedland, just to name a few — he had created a new continental system in Europe. At its peak, the French empire stretched from the Iberian peninsula to Poland, with Napoleon ruling over seventy million people.

However, like many other generals in history, Napoleon made the mistake of invading Russia. His ambition simply got the best of him. The emperor suddenly broke the Treaty of Tilsit and launched an attack on Tsar Alexander I. But the Russian Campaign of 1812 would cost him dearly. The Grande Armee's long eastward march saw them eventually reach Moscow after winning Borodino. But Alexander stubbornly refused to capitulate and forced the French army to abandon the city. Their slow retreat from Moscow under the brutal winter conditions turned into a complete disaster. It's estimated that three out of four soldiers never returned home.

Sensing weakness and vulnerability, the leading superpowers of Prussia, Austria, Russia, Britain, and Sweden allied against him — a period known as the War of the Sixth Coalition. Over the next two years, Napoleon ceded would lose most of his newly acquired territories. In October 1813, the emperor's vastly outnumbered army was beaten in the Battle of Leipzig, becoming a watershed moment of the Napoleonic Wars. The Allies then marched directly to Paris. Despite overwhelming odds, Napoleon put on an impressive show of resistance during his final Six Days' Campaign but ran out of manpower and resources to continue.

His enemies initially sought to negotiate a peace settlement with the French government sans Napoleon. The emperor wished to continue fighting, but his generals refused. On April 11, 1814, he reluctantly signed the Treaty of Fontainebleau at a palace outside of Paris. Napoleon's abdication and terms of unconditional surrender were now locked in. As punishment, the Allies exiled him to Elba, a small island located off the coast of Italy. British negotiators protested the terms and wanted to label Napoleon as a usurper. Furthermore, they believed the island's close proximity to France was far too dangerous — and they were right.

The Treaty of Fontainebleau permitted Napoleon to retain the title of emperor yet only over the island's 12,000 inhabitants. His mother and sister moved with him to Elba, and the royal family was put up in a lavish mansion. Even his Polish mistress was permitted to visit him on occasion. The emperor was also given command over a small division of soldiers and a few vessels. Some might have called this exile in luxury. But for a great man like Napoleon, this was certainly a prison.

Within a few months, the military mastermind began plotting his escape. On February 26, 1815, Napoleon daringly escaped from Elba, marking the beginning of the Hundred Days' Campaign. In a matter of weeks, he returned to Paris at the head of a loyal army and reclaimed control of the government. The emperor hastily assembled a group of veteran soldiers but was decisively beaten at the Battle of Waterloo. The Allies once again exiled Napoleon, but this time to the remote island of Saint Helena. Interestingly, a French court charged two American history professors, John Rooney and Marshall Pierce, for stealing a copy of the Treaty of Fontainebleau from the French National Archives.


Birthdays in History

    Hong Xiuquan, Chinese rebel (d. 1864) Aubrey de Vere, Irish poet & critic (Victorian Observer), born in Toreen, Republic of Ireland (d. 1902) James Paget, English surgeon (disease of Paget) Richard Griffith, Brigadier General (Confederate Army), (d. 1862) Jones Mitchell Withers, Mjr General (Confederate Army), (d. 1890) Ellen Wood, English author (East Lynne, Pomeroy Abbey) Abraham Czn van Stolk, Dutch art collector Francis Harrison Pierpont, American lawyer & politician (Union), born in Morgantown, West Virginia (d. 1899) Rufus King, American newspaper editor, politician and Brigadier General (Union Army), born in NYC, New York (d. 1876) Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, French architect (d. 1879) Jean-Baptist Capronnier, French-Belgian glass painter, born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1891) Gardner Quincy Colton, American lecturer who was the first to use nitrous oxide as an anesthetic in dentistry, born in Georgia, Vermont Samuel Jones Tilden, philanthropist for NY Public Library Samuel Fenton Cary, U. S. Congressman (d. 1900) Taras Shevchenko, Ukrainian national poet and painter, born in Moryntsi, Ukraine (d. 1861) [OS] Charles Joseph Sainte-Claire Deville, French geologist (d. 1876) Wilhelm von Giesebrecht, German historian (d. 1889) Ede Szigligeti [József Szathmáry], Hungarian dramatist, born in Nagyvárad-Olaszi (d. 1878) Taras Shevchenko, Ukrainian national poet and painter, born in Moryntsi, Ukraine (d. 1861) [NS] Thomas Crawford, US sculptor (Babes in the Wood) Galen Clark, American naturalist/discovered Mariposa Grove Henry L. Benning, American Brigadier General (Confederate Army), born in Columbia County, Georgia (d. 1875) Erastus Brigham Bigelow, American inventor of weaving machine, born in West Boylston, Massachusetts (d. 1879) Lorenzo Snow, 5th president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, born in Mantua, Ohio (d. 1901) John Blair Smith Todd, American politician and Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Lexington, Kentucky (d. 1872) John Lothrop Motley, American historian and author (The Rise of the Dutch Republic), born in Dorchester, Boston (d. 1877) Louis Amédée Achard, French novelist (The Cloak and Dagger), born in Marseille, France (d. 1875) Angela Burdett-Coutts, English philanthropist extrordinaire and "the richest heiress in England", born in London (d. 1906) Vicente Fidel López, Argentine historian (La Novia del Hereje), born in Buenos Aires, Argentina (d. 1903) Thomas Green, American soldier & lawyer (Confederate Army), born in Buckingham County, Virginia (d. 1864) Mikhail Bakunin, Russian revolutionary anarchist, born in Pryamukhino, Tver Governorate of the Russian Empire (d. 1876) Charles Beyer, German-British locomotive engineer (d. 1876) Eugène Charles Catalan, French-Belgian mathematician (worked on continued fractions, descriptive geometry, number theory and combinatorics), born in Bruges, Belgium (d. 1894) Charles Reade, English novelist (Cloister & Hearth), born in Ipsden, Oxfordshire (d. 1884) Jan Hendrik Weissenbruch, Dutch landscape painter, born in The Hague, Netherlands (d. 1903) James Henry Lane, US General during Civil War (Union) and Senator (Kansas), born in Lawrenceburg, Indiana (d. 1866) Gabriel Auguste Daubrée, French geologist, born in Metz, France (d. 1896) Justus McKinstry, American Brigadier General (Union Army), born in NYC, New York (d. 1897)

Samuel Colt

Jul 19 Samuel Colt, American inventor and industrialist (Colt 6 shot revolver), born in Hartford, Connecticut (d. 1862)

    Ivan Gagarin, Russian Jesuit and founding editor of Études, born in Moscow (d. 1882) Maxcy Gregg, American Brigadier General (Confederate Army), born in Columbia, South Carolina (d. 1862) Esther Morris [Esther Hobart McQuigg], American suffragist, anti-slavery activist, and 1st female justice of the peace in the US, born in Tioga County, New York (d. 1902) John Clifford Pemberton, Lt Gen (Confederate Army), (d. 1881) William Lowndes Yancey, MC (Confederacy), (d. 1863)

Henri Nestlé

Aug 10 Henri Nestlé, German-Swiss industrialist (founder of Nestlé), born in Frankfurt, Germany (d. 1890)

    Anders Jonas Ångström, Swedish physicist (Spectroscopy), born in Lögdö, Medelpad, Sweden (d. 1874) Henry Hayes Lockwood, American Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Kent County, Delaware (d. 1899) James Roosevelt Bayley, first Bishop of Newark, New Jersey, and the eighth Archbishop of Baltimore, born in NYC, New York (d. 1877) Sheridan Le Fanu, Irish writer (The House by the Churchyard), born in Dublin, Ireland (d. 1873) Ernst Curtius, German archaeologist/historian George Cartier, Canadian co-PM (1858-62), born in Saint-Antoine-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, Canada (d. 1873) Charles-Étienne Brasseur de Bourbourg, French writer and historian, born in Bourbourg, France (d. 1874) Nicolas Beets [Hildebrand], Dutch writer (Camera Obscura) and theologian, born in Haarlem, Netherlands (d. 1903) Mikhail Lermontov, Russian poet and writer (Demon & other poems), born in Moscow (d. 1841) Jean Baptiste Lamy, 1st Archbishop of Santa Fe (1853-85), born in Lempdes, Puy-de-Dôme, France (d. 1888) Prince Louis, French Duke of Nemours, born in Palais Royal, Paris (d. 1896) Daniel H. Wells, Mormon leader and 3rd Mayor of Salt Lake City, born in Trenton, New York (d. 1891) Girolamo de Rada, Albanian poet (Skanderbeku), born in Macchia Albanese, Kingdom of Sicily (d. 1903) Joseph Hooker, American Major General (Union Army), born in Hadley, Massachusetts (d. 1879) Michael Kelly Lawler, Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in County Kildare, Ireland (d. 1882) Pleasant Adam Hackleman, American lawyer, politician and Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Franklin County, Indiana (d. 1862) Joseph Finegan, Brigadier General (Confederate Army), (d. 1885) Serranus Clinton Hastings, American politician and lawyer (3rd Attorney General of California), born in Watertown, Jefferson County, New York (d. 1893) Julius Robert von Mayer, German physician and physicist (first law of thermodynamics), born in Heilbronn, Württemberg (d. 1878) Edwin Stanton, US Secretary of War during most of the American Civil War (1861-65) and US Attorney General (1860-61), born in Steubenville, Ohio (d. 1869) Jan de Liefde II, Dutch vicar/founder (Coop of Welfare of the People) James Henry Carleton, American Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Lubec, Maine (d. 1873)

Napoleon’s comeback: from exile on Elba to the Hundred Days

The former master of Europe was now the nominal monarch of an obscure island. In exile on Elba, he was surrounded by the faded trappings of court ceremony, while the pension promised to him did not materialise. Napoleon wrote again and again to his wife Marie Louise, the daughter of the Austrian emperor, asking her to come to him. Even if she could not or would not, he begged her to send their infant son. Neither request was granted as, although he did not know it, the letters were intercepted by his wife’s family and never reached her.

Napoleon’s exile on Elba

A Napoleon who longs for his wife and child may cut a very human figure, but he remained the ambitious, supremely self-confident gambler who had made himself emperor. As the months passed, he received regular reports on events in Europe and sensed a shift. The Bourbon King Louis XVIII, younger brother of the man beheaded in 1793, returned to rule France. Ageing, overweight and lacking charisma, he had spent the last decades as an exile in Britain. He did not know his subjects and they did not know him. The same was true of all the royalist exiles who returned with him and received plum posts in government and the army.

This was no longer the France of before the Revolution. Napoleon’s soldiers resented the drastic reduction in size of the army and being made to serve under exiles who had never smelled powder. Tens of thousands of prisoners of war returned home and were left unemployed and resentful of their former captors. Civilians saw the royal court as corrupt, incompetent and arrogant. At the same time, the great powers met at the Congress of Vienna to decide the shape of Europe, where memories of their recent alliance quickly faded as old rivalries reappeared. Disputes over territory became so bitter that there were fears of war. Napoleon watched and waited, sensing the game was not yet over, and that even from defeat he could somehow turn everything around. He could not delay too long. Given time, the new king might establish himself, the allies might settle their differences, and the outrage of his old soldiers might fade.

At the end of February 1815, he slipped away from Elba, landing on the Côte d’Azure on 1 March. He had just 600 soldiers and Paris was almost as many miles away, but the march that followed became epic. Near Grenoble, a battalion of the 5th Line Infantry blocked their path. Not wanting civil war, Napoleon walked alone towards them – the soldiers tore off the white cockades of the Bourbon king and rallied to their emperor. His old commander, Marshal Ney, boasted that he would bring Napoleon back in an iron cage, but his troops also defected.

Napoleon regains his army

The closer he got to Paris, and the more soldiers joined him, the more respect he commanded, as shown in the way the story was told in the newspaper Le Moniteur. At first he was the “Corsican Ogre”, a “monster”, a “tyrant” and the “usurper”. Then he became “Bonaparte”, next “Napoleon”, until, on 22 March, the paper announced that “yesterday His Majesty” arrived in Paris. Louis XVIII had already fled to the Netherlands. Napoleon claimed that he wanted only to restore pride and prosperity to France, and wished for peace with his neighbours.

The year when fear of Napoleon stalked the land

As Britain’s military fortunes ebbed and flowed in the run-up to Waterloo, the public mood routinely swung from joy to horror and back again, writes Jenny Uglow…

For all their differences, the powers at Vienna would not accept the return of Napoleon, and none believed that he would keep the peace in the long run. Yet no one was ready to fight a war. Their armies had mainly returned home. The Russians and Austrians were not capable of taking the field before late summer at the earliest. A Prussian army could be mustered quicker than that, but it would not include many of their best troops. Even so, the army was sent to the Netherlands to act alongside a mixed force of Dutch, Belgian, German and British troops.

Time was against Napoleon, and once again he worked miracles as he assembled an army, organising and equipping new units, but he could not afford to wait. If he remained on the defensive then, eventually, the allies would attack France in overwhelming numbers. Napoleon had to strike, and the only place he could do this was to hit the armies gathering in the Netherlands. Win a great victory there, and it might just make some of the allies waver and be willing to negotiate with him. At the very least, he could hope to inflict heavy losses and so start to even the odds against him. In the early hours of 15 June, the first French soldiers crossed the border into Belgium.

The Hundred Days heat up

Napoleon had 123,000 men and 358 cannon. Facing him were some 130,000 Prussians under Field Marshal Blücher and 100,000 men in the Anglo-Dutch army under the Duke of Wellington. Both armies included large numbers of inexperienced soldiers, and others who, until only recently, had fought as allies of the French. They were also widely dispersed to cover the border and to make it easier to billet and feed them. Napoleon’s troops were largely veterans, and he also had the even greater advantage that his opponents did not know when or where he would strike. He needed to hit the enemy hard before they could concentrate and, most of all, to prevent Wellington and Blücher joining together.

The Prussians guarded the frontier where the French invaded. Napoleon knew from experience that the old warrior was instinctively aggressive. On the other hand, Wellington was known to be cautious, and in the event misread the situation, for he was convinced that the French would swing around his right flank and try to cut him off from the shore – and his communications with Britain. It was not until late on 15 June that he realised his mistake, declaring “Napoleon has humbugged us, by God.” The realisation came at the Duchess of Richmond’s ball, held in Brussels – much of London society had come to watch the war from a safe distance.

Ligny and Quatre Bras

The next day was hot and humid. Blücher had some two thirds of his army concentrated at Ligny. Wellington rode over to meet him, and promised to march to join him, but his army took too long to muster and part of it was attacked at the crossroads of Quatre Bras. Claims that Wellington duped his ally into fighting have often been made, but are unlikely to be true. Blücher was determined to fight and Napoleon readily obliged him. The battle of Ligny was an attritional pounding match, and the Prussians were ground down by the French artillery and driven from their positions by evening.

At Quatre Bras, the other wing of the French army was led by Marshal Ney. He had only arrived the afternoon before, after Napoleon’s original choice of general had fallen ill. Ney inflicted heavy losses on Wellington’s men, but was repulsed. Due to confusion over their orders, some 20,000 French infantry spent the day marching between the two battlefields and failed to intervene in either.

On 17 June, Napoleon believed the Prussians were too badly damaged to pose an immediate threat, and detached some 35,000 men under Marshal Grouchy to follow Blücher and ensure that he did not join Wellington. Napoleon and Ney took the rest of the army, and followed Wellington. It took time for the French to marshal their forces, and so Wellington got his army away and retreated along the main road north to Brussels. During a day of downpours and thunderstorms, the British cavalry fought a series of delaying actions to keep the pursuers at bay. The rain continued through the night as the Anglo-Dutch army deployed along the ridge at Mont St Jean. Wellington had his headquarters in the village of Waterloo a little to the north, and kept his tradition of naming the battle after the place where he had slept the night before.

What if Napoleon had won the Battle of Waterloo?

Professor Alan Forrest considers whether Napoleon’s victory at Waterloo would have been enough to secure a remarkable return to power – or if it would only have delayed the inevitable…

The Sun came up in a clear sky on Sunday 18 June, with some of the French still marching to join the rest of the army facing the ridge.

Napoleon expected the Anglo-Dutch to retreat again, and was pleased when they did not. Wellington was determined to fight, having received Blücher’s promise to aid him with at least one of the four corps in his army. Napoleon trusted Grouchy to keep him away. He had never before faced the British in battle but, at least publicly, was dismissive. “Just because you have been beaten by Wellington,” he told his chief of staff, “you think he’s a good general. I tell you, Wellington is a bad general, the English are bad troops and this affair is nothing more than eating breakfast!

The bitter end of the Hundred Days

What followed was the battle of Waterloo. As his army collapsed into retreat, Napoleon took shelter in a solid square of Imperial Guardsmen before making his escape. The Prussians chased after the French. Wellington’s men sank down for an exhausted rest on the battlefield, surrounded by some 43,000 dead and wounded men and 12,000 fallen horses.

The war was not quite over. Grouchy fought a skilful delaying action on 19 June, and there was resistance to the allied advance in several fortified towns. Yet it was soon obvious that Napoleon could not recover from this defeat. The allies were at Paris by the beginning of July, and Napoleon surrendered to the British. This time, he was exiled to St Helena, a far-less accessible South Atlantic island. He died six years later.

Dr Adrian Goldsworthy is an historian and novelist, and the author of several works of Napoleonic fiction


Watch the video: Jak Žijí Cikánští Baroni?