Let me get this right. Macdonald`s eye-witness account of escaping across one improvised footbridge, west of Leipzig does not conform to your - or, apparently, Elting`s opinion of what the terrain that he traversed was like.
You thus at once start to blacken his character.
Had Macdonald actually been `unreliable` as an eye witness on this rather trivial point, I would have expected him to have `remembered big` - as you would say - and to have elaborated his adventures in those deadly swamps (a la Marbot), with chest-high waters, deadly snakes and treacherous Germans firing at him from every tree top.
Or is this just a little too far fetched?