- A letter signed by Napoleon in November 1798
Napoleon is one of history's most iconic figures. As emperor of France, his actions shaped Europe in the early 19th century.
Following a successful coup d'etat in 1799, Napoleon went on to conquer much of Western and North Eastern Europe.
Napoleon was key in establishing a legal framework used across much of Europe, based on meritocracy, and his military strategy is still widely studied across the world.
When the Duke of Wellington was asked to name the greatest general of the day, he answered: "In this age, in past ages, in any age, Napoleon."
A single page letter on a military personnel matter, dated November 19, 1798.
Signed at the close “Bonaparte”.
It reads in French:
Godelier officier de Santé au
Général en chef de l'armée d'Egypte
Dans la pétition que je vous ai presenté ce matin
vous ne vous êtes pas donnez la peine Général
de lire le p.s. ou je vous observais que nous sommes
six chirurgieux a la 85ᵉ 1/2 Brigade, que de puis cinq
ans je suis chirurgien major des 2ᵉ Bᵒᵘ sans être
Commissioné. Puisque vous me Refusez ma demission
ayez la Bonté de m'assurer une place en me faisant
Breveter au même Bᵒᵘ par le Commissaire
ordonateur en chef.
au faire le 29ᵉ Brumaire au J. Rep.
____ en chef
off. de Santé
Godelier officer of Health to the
General in chief of the army of Egypt [Général Berthier]
In the petition that I presented to you this morning
you didn't take the pain, General
to read the P.S. where I pointed out to you that we are
six surgeons of the 85th half Brigade, that for five
years I have been a head surgeon of the 2nd Brigade without being
commissioned. Since you refuse me my resignation
have the Goodness to assure me a place by making me
a Brevet [promoting to a higher rank without a pay rise] to the same Brigade [2nd] by the Chief
To Cairo the 29th of Brumaire [second month of the French Republican Calendar – November 19] to J. Rep.
Forwarded to the chief
___ in chief
Item is in fine condition, with irregular left edge from binding removal, faint scattered foxing, wax seal stain to blank portion, and feathering of paraph to the bold dark signature.
The letter was written three months after Napoleon had suffered a heavy defeat at the Battle of the Nile, during which Horatio Nelson and the British fleet destroyed all but two of his ships.
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