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Napoleon Bonaparte signed document

  • A Napoleon Bonaparte signed document dated May 1812, and signed at the historic Conference of Dresden.
  • Featuring a military order written in Napoleon's own hand.

A large official military report in French.

Folded to a size measuring approx 31cm x 20cm (total size approx 62cm x 40cm), this report from the Ministre de la Guerre de l'Inspection to "His Majesty The Emperor and King" is dated 13 May 1812 and written and signed by the Duke de Feltre.

The Duke writes to Napoleon complaining that the newly formed 2nd battalion of the 113th regiment lacks any suitable candidates for NCO's and requests advice.

His translated report reads in full:

"Report to his Majesty and Emperor the King,

"13th May 1812.

"I have the honour of informing His Majesty that the general whom I had instructed to establish a new 2nd Battalion of the 13th Regiment, in accordance with the imperial decree of the 11th of last month, has written to me that, in the garrison of this troop, there is not a single man in possession of the requisite qualities to be made up to quartermaster-sergeant, sergeant, assistant quartermaster-sergeant and corporal.

"Given this state of affairs, I beg His Majesty to let me know if his wish is that some non-commissioned officers should be taken from the military college at Fontainbleau for this purpose. I would need six quartermaster-sergeants, 24 sergeants, six assistant quartermaster-sergeant and 48 corporals.

"The Minister of War, The Duke of Feltre."

Napoleon has written his reply "en prendre dans le bataillonde velites a Florence" (Translation: Take some from the battalion of light infantry cadets at Florence) and signed the document with his characteristic initials “NP”, which has been dated by a secretary “Dresden 22 May 1812".

The document has a small amount of foxing and the normal archive creases but is otherwise in good condition.

Napoleon signed this document during the Conference of Dresden - a grand meeting of European royalty and military leaders in May 1812.

Napoleon organised the elaborate event as a show of power, and to gain support for his planned invasion of Russia.

Just six days after he signed it, he learned that Tsar Alexander I had refused his ultimatum to concede Russian territory in return for peace. And on May 29 Napoleon left Dresden to commence his fateful invasion of Russia, which would eventually bring about his downfall.

A superb Napoleon piece, with a rare military order in his own handwriting, and signed at a major moment in his history.

Discover more about this document in our blog here. 

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