Eylau: Precis Des Travaux de la Grande Armée
Napoleon’s Proclamation to the Troops: October 6, 1806
Paris, this 25 September 1806.
Their Imperial and Royal Majesties started from Saint-Cloud, in the night of Wednesday at Thursday. It is believed that H. M. the Emperor moves on Mainz.
– His Majesty the Emperor and King, arrived at Mainz on September 28, left on October 3, at nine o’clock in the evening, for Würzburg.
– H. M. the Emperor and King, after having spent two days in Würzburg, arrived at Bamberg on October 6; he left there yesterday at three o’clock in the morning, to go to Cronack.
The proclamation attached was sent to the army.
Proclamation of the Emperor and King.
“The order for your re-entry to France had passed; you had already approached it through several marches. Triumphal festivals awaited you, and the preparations to receive to you were started in the capital.
“But, when we given ourselves up to this too trustful safety, new plots warped themselves under the mask of the friendship and alliance. War cries were heard in Berlin; for two months we have been provoked every day.
“The same faction, the same spirit of giddiness which, to the favor of our internal dissentions, led, fourteen years ago, the Prussians to the milieu of the plains of Champagne, dominates their councils. If it is not any more Paris which they just want to burn and reverse to its foundation, these, today, boast to plant their flags in the capitals of our allies; it is Saxony which they want to oblige to give up, by an ashamed transaction, its independence, by adding it to the number of their provinces; these finally are your laurels that they want to tear off from your head. They want that we evacuate Germany in the face of their army! the foolish ones!!! They thus know that it would be thousand times easier to destroy the grand Capital than to fade the honor of the children of the Great-People and its allies. Their projects were confused then; they found in the plains of Champagne–defeat, death and shame: but the lessons of the experiment are erased, and these are men among whom the feeling of hatred and the jealousy never die.
“Soldiers, it is none of you who wants to return to France by another way but by that of the honor. We should return there only with sounds of the triumphal arches.
“Eh what! We would thus have faced the seasons, the seas, the deserts; overcome Europe several time united against us; carried our glory from the East and to the West, to turn over today our fatherland like defectors, after having given up our allies, and to intend to say that French Eagle flees terrified with the aspect of the Prussian Armies….. But already they arrived at our outposts…
“Thus let us go, since moderation could not make them leave this hollow drunkenness. How the Prussian army tests the same fate as it sustained fourteen years ago! If they learned that it is easy to acquire an increase in lands and power with the amity of a Great-People, its enmity (which one can cause only by the abandonment of any spirit of wisdom and reason) is more terrible than the storms of the Ocean.
“Given in our district-imperial to Bamberg, October 6, 1806.”
Certified for copy,
Major-General Prince of Neufchatel and Valengin.
Signed, Marshal BERTHIER.
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