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"Conscripts for the Guard Grenadiers?" Topic

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873 hits since 18 Jul 2017
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Comments or corrections?

stoneman1810 Inactive Member18 Jul 2017 5:55 p.m. PST

So I'm reading "Fighting for Napoleon" by Bernard and Rene Wilkin. The book is based on 1500 letters written by ordinary French soldiers. Pretty good book. But I was somewhat taken aback by a little biography on page 98 – footnote 116: "Jean-Pierre-Joseph Bebronne was born in Battice on 9 March 1788. He was conscripted into the Grenadiers of the Imperial Guard in 1808 but deserted."
I always thought that to get into the Guard Grenadiers a soldier had to have been in several campaigns, perhaps had been wounded or decorated, have a sterling service record, etc.
So what to make of this??


robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP18 Jul 2017 6:24 p.m. PST

I hate to go on no more than that, but that's about the right date for the "Conscript Grenadiers" sometimes called "Middle Guard."

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Always worth remembering though that once the Imperial Army had you, it was pretty much a life sentence--or maybe a death sentence would be a better description. The conscripts of 1803 who aren't crippled or killed in Germany, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain or Russia will still be in ranks for the 1814 Campaign. I expect that most of the Old Guard began their careers by being drafted.

stoneman1810 Inactive Member18 Jul 2017 7:52 p.m. PST

Ah! Of course I should have thought of that! Thanks!

Widowson28 Jul 2017 4:58 p.m. PST

Conscript Grenadiers = Young Guard.

Brechtel19829 Jul 2017 4:33 a.m. PST

There were two regiments of Conscript-Grenadiers, the 1st Regiment was formed on 29 March 1809 and the 2d Regiment on 31 March 1809. They became the 3d and 4th Tirailleurs on 10 February 1811.

There were also two regiments of Conscript-Chasseurs, both regiments being created on 31 March 1809. They became the 3d and 4th Voltigeurs on 10 February 1811.

All four regiments were Young Guard.

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