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"French Imperial Guard parade states 16 June 1815" Topic


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Allan F Mountford22 May 2020 1:37 a.m. PST

I have two sources for the parade states of the French Imperial Guard on 16 June 1815:
1. Mauduit, Hipplolyte de, Les Derniers Jours de la Grand Armee v1, Paris, 1847.
2. Oman, Charles, French Losses At Waterloo, English Historical Review volume 19, 1904 and volume 21, 1906.

Mauduit does not cite a source. Oman says his friend Commandant Balagny searched for a copy of the return in the French War Archives and provided him with a copy of the 16 June 1815 return signed by Deriot. The figures in Mauduit and Oman differ for some of the units.

Given that both returns purport to have been taken on the same day, I have some questions:
1. Does anyone know the source used by Mauduit?
2. Who was Deriot?

Any ideas?

GurKhan22 May 2020 1:52 a.m. PST

This Deriot – link ?

von Winterfeldt22 May 2020 2:28 a.m. PST

From another discussion on another forum – I wrote this about Mauduit

Mauduit
Mauduit, Hippolyte de, Capitaine : Les Dernier Jours de la Grande Armée ou Souvenirs, Documents et Correspondance Inédite de Napoléon en 1814 et 1815, tome 1er Paris 1847, tome 2nd Paris 1848
Both volumes can be downloaded on the internet, for example google books.
Mauduit was in 1815 sergent in the 2nd battalion of the 1st grenadiers and by such must have had a limited experience what went on in the battle. In 1835 he founded the periodical "La Sentinelle de l'Armée" and did consult a lot of published works – including Prussian ones, like that of Wagner to make his write up. It includes without any doubt his own experience but also a lot he learned from personal correspondence, using other sources and hearsay. In my view a very bad book which is seemingly intended to glorify Napoléon and his Guard and blaming the marshals and generals for the loss of the 1815 campaign, so it has to be used very critically.
"Notre bataillon, ainsi que le 1er de notre régiment, les seuls qui fussent en état de soutenir un choc, ne tardèrent pas à se ressentir de l'affreuse confusion de champ de bataille. Chacun de nos faces était masquée par des centaines de militaires de tous grades et de toutes armes. »2nd tome, p. 459 / 460
Then his battalion itself comes under cavalry attacks.
« Les tambours de nos deux bataillons reçurent l'ordre de battre « la grenadiere », afin d'offrir à l'armée un point de ralliement. A ce signal ami et protecteur, surgirent de tous côtés, nos malheureux camarades, soit de Plancenois, soit de la Belle – Alliance, presque tous tombaient haletants de fatigue, devant notre premier rang, ils étaient suivis de si près par les innombrables escadrons anglais et prussien, qu'un grand nombre ne purent même arriver jusqu'à nous et furent massacres à quelques toises de notre carré !! p. 560
« Arrêtés court par un feu de plus nourris, ces escadrons bientôt tourbillonnent et, en moins de dix minutes, tout fut balayé devant nous. Ainsi dégagées, nous pûmes, au milieu de désordre général, et bien que mitraillés à portée de pistolet sur trois de nos faces, commencer notre retraite avec autant de calme (…) » p. 462
« Notre retraite s'opéra à travers champs, en passant sous le feu de plusieurs bataillons prussiens, embusqués derrière des haies qu'il nous fallut franchir, là, ils tueront ou blessèrent un grande nombre d'entre nous, mais sans qu'il fut possible de leur riposter, car on ne les voyait pas, et l'on tombait sans savoir d'où les coups étaient partis. Ils ne purent néanmoins arrêter notre mouvement, (….) Ce ne fut que plus tard que notre carré se trouva désorganisé par l'encombrement général de notre base de d'opération. »P. 462/ 463
Il en fut ainsi de notre 1er bataillon, marchant parallèlement à nous, sur l'autre côté de la chaussée. Nous sauvâmes aussi l'aigle des grenadiers. »p. 463
« Pendant que nous étions assailles par la cavalerie anglaise, le carré de notre 1er bataillon, placé à peu de distance de nous, et près de la ferme de Rossome, soutenait également le choc d'une cavalerie nombreuse. »p. 463
Quelques minutes après l'Empereur appela le général Petit, notre colonel, et lui dit « BATTEZ EN RETRAITE ».p.464
« A, Voici d'après la situation officielles de quatre régiments de grenadiers au 30 juin, leur pertes, en en tues ou mutilés restés sur les champs de bataille de Ligny et de Waterloo, non compris les blessés qui avaient pu arriver jusqu' à Paris.
1er Rég. 11 Officiers, 469 s-off. ou grenadiers » p. 492
For the 16th of June Mauduit offers following numbers :
1er grenad. À pied général Petit – 2 bataillons 32 officiers 1006 troupe, p. 478 – 1st volume
« Ce tableau est le plus exacte que nous puissions joindre à cette ouvrage, encore avons-nous en mille peines à arriver à ce résultat à peu près officiel, car il n'existe nulle part, ni même au ministère de la guerre, de situation générale de l'armée établi au 15 juin (…) P. 475 – 1st volume

Allan F Mountford22 May 2020 4:20 a.m. PST

@GurKhan
Thanks – that might be our man.

@vW
Thanks for the posting – I think we agree Mauduit has an agenda or sorts and his eye witness testimony is only good when tracking his location.

SHaT198422 May 2020 4:55 p.m. PST

Doesn't Bowden cite his SHAT sources?
I haven't looked, but I saw his/ Charlie Tarbox fingerprints when I was researching 1813/14, but not '15.
regards
davew

Delort22 May 2020 11:28 p.m. PST

In his account, Petit gives the following strengths at the beginning of the campaign (each regiment of two battalions of course);

1st Chasseurs – 1,400
1st Grenadiers – 1,500
2nd and 3rd Regiments – 1,200 to 1,300 each
4th Regiment: 1st Battalion 1,000, 2nd Battalion 800.

This is interesting as it is widely accepted that the 4th Grenadiers went on campaign as a single battalion. However, it is hard to believe that they left 1,800 strong. Perhaps some were left at the depot to complete a second battalion and others deployed with the 1st Battalion to bring them up to full strength. Dawson's book shows that casualties from the 2nd Battalion were recorded at Waterloo.

Allan F Mountford22 May 2020 11:55 p.m. PST

@SHaT1984
Do you mean Bowden's 'Armies at Waterloo'? I will dig out my copy. I seem to recall he employed researchers at Vincennes rather than visiting personally.

Allan F Mountford23 May 2020 1:54 a.m. PST

@Delort
Petit's strengths are plainly estimates, as I am sure you realise and I agree with your note on the 4th Grenadiers having a single battalion.
Dawson's book, despite being an editing disaster, contains a mass of useful information. I have not looked into his sourcing for a 2nd battalion 4th Grenadiers being mobilised, but as you say he does record 110 casualties for the 2nd battalion (10 wounded, 93 prisoners, 2 killed and 5 missing).

Oliver Schmidt23 May 2020 2:37 a.m. PST

Here:

TMP link

Scott Bowden wrote:

The returns for the Armee du Nord are preserved in the French archives at chateau de Vicennes and are very exact concerning this subject. Prior to the fighting, the Imperial Guard took parade-states on 1 June 1815 and again on 16 June 1815. The returns preserved in cartons c15/34 and c15/35 […]

SHaT198423 May 2020 5:11 p.m. PST

>>@SHaT1984
Do you mean Bowden's 'Armies at Waterloo'? I will dig out my copy. I seem to recall he employed researchers at Vincennes rather than visiting personally.

Yep that's what I meant- should I have said foot tracks… figuratively both of course… d

Allan F Mountford24 May 2020 1:28 a.m. PST

As Oliver has stated, Bowden is usually a very careful researcher and cites his sources clearly and unambiguously. I am just puzzled why Mauduit has different numbers for the same date, when I assume there was only a single source document.

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