Kellermann, Francois Etienne de, 2nd Duke de Valmy (ON HOLD)

1800 ALS to First Consul Bonaparte urging a promotion for his aide-de-camp mentioning "Maringo" (Battle of Marengo) , with note by Bonaparte's Chief of Staff future Marshal Berthier

Price: $395.00

Description:
(17701835) French cavalry general noted for daring and skillful exploits in the Napoleonic Wars, son of Francois Christophe de Kellermann, father of diplomat Francois Christophe Edmond de Kellermann. He served briefly in his father's regiment of Hussars before entering diplomatic service in 1791. In 1793 he rejoined the army, serving chiefly under his father in the Alps. In the latter part of Napoleon's 1796-97 Italian campaign, the younger Kellermann attracted the future emperor's notice by his brilliant conduct at the Tagliamento. He was made brigadier general at once and continued in Italy after the Peace of Campo Formio being employed successively in the armies of Rome and Naples under Macdonald and Championnet. At the 1800 Battle of Marengo, he commanded a heavy cavalry brigade under First Consul Bonaparte and initiated and implemented one of the most famous cavalry charges of history, which, with Desaix's infantry attack, decided the battle. Promoted general of division at once, as early as the evening of the battle he resented what he thought was an attempt to belittle his exploit. A heated controversy followed as to the influence of his charge on the course of the battle, and he displayed neither tact nor forbearance. However, his merits were too great for his career to be ruined. Though not the most famous, he was perhaps the ablest of all Napoleon's cavalry leaders, and distinguished himself at Austerlitz commanding a light cavalry division on the left flank. Kellermann led a cavalry division under Junot in the 1807 invasion of Portugal. At the Battle of Vimeiro he led the grenadier reserve and, after the French defeat used his considerable diplomatic skills in negotiating the Convention of Cintra. At the 1809 Battle of Alba de Tormes, he led a brilliant cavalry charge that routed the Duke del Parque's Spanish army. His rapacity was notorious in Spain, yet Napoleon met his excuses with the words, "General, whenever your name is brought before me, I think of nothing but Marengo." On sick leave during the 1812 invasion of Russia, in 1813-14 he led the IV Cavalry Corps with conspicuous skill. Retaining his rank under the 1st Restoration, he joined Napoleon during the Hundred Days and commanded the III Cavalry Corps in the Waterloo campaign. He led his squadrons in a famous cavalry charge at the Battle of Quatre Bras on 16 June 1815. Unhorsed, Kellermann narrowly escaped by holding onto the stirrup of one of his cavalrymen. At Waterloo, he was wounded. Initially, his 2 divisions were deployed in support of the infantry in the left center of the line. The futile and repeated charges against the main Allied line failed to break a single square and used up the magnificent French cavalry. He was disgraced at the 2nd Restoration, and, on succeeding to his father's title and seat in the Chamber of Peers in 1820, maintained an attitude of determined opposition to the Bourbons. His name is inscribed on the south pillar (21st column) of the Arc de Triomphe. 14 x 9 ALS "Kellermann" in French (with English translation), Navarre (northern Spain), 27 Brumaire 9 (Nov. 18, 1800), to General Bonaparte, First Consul of the French Republic. Kellermann requests a promotion for his aide-de-camp, Captain Chouart, to the rank of Chief of Battalion, based on his "gallantry, ardor and intelligence in combat and the promise that you were kind enough to give me concerning his advancement at the first occasion." Kellermann hopes "that in consideration of Maringo [sic]", Bonaparte will grant him the rank Kellerman requests. Napoleon does not respond to Kellermann's request but Chief of Staff Berthier notes at the top left margin: "Make a report to the Consuls. Alex. B." Kellermann had a tense relationship with Bonaparte who never bestowed any additional favors on Kellermann after Marengo, where one of Napoleon's closest friends, General Desaix, was killed. Two nice signatures of General Kellermann. Louis Alexandre Berthier, 1st Prince de Wagram, 1st Duc de Valangin, 1st sovereign Prince of Neuchatel (1753-1815), Marshal and Vice-Constable of France from 1808, Chief of Staff and Major General under Napoleon.

Condition: Very good, folds, uniform color (shadowing is from lighting while item was being photographed)
Type:Letter






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