Lot n° 644
300 - 350
BERTHIER Alexandre (1753-1815) marechal et ministre de la Guerre.
L.S. "Alexandre", Paris 10 June 1811, to General BELLIARD; 2 pages in-4.
Vigorous reprimand to General Belliard who wanted to submit his resignation to the Emperor. [Auguste-Daniel BELLIARD (1769-1832), who had distinguished himself in Egypt, was then in command in Spain]. Berthier did not deliver this letter to the Emperor "because His Majesty certainly ordered me to tell you that you had undoubtedly lost your head [...]; that to offer one's resignation for not having carried out an order is to declare that one does not want to obey; it is to expose oneself to the consequences that disobedience can have: that those 4,000 men and 1,200 horses could have saved the army of the South; that you could have evacuated Cuenca or any other point, but executed the Emperor's order. There are in your letter two or three passages which are not from a soldier, & if I had put them before the eyes of the Emperor, His Majesty would not have been able to do so because of a breach of discipline & perhaps He made a severe example. It was for the sake of his friendship with her and his former service that he did not hand her over to Napoleon; on the contrary, he told her that his orders were being carried out: "She told me that the honour of a General consists in obeying, in keeping the subordinates under his command in the path of probity, in ensuring good discipline, in surrendering exclusively to the interests of the State and the Sovereign and in disregarding entirely his particular interests"...
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