For Momma - Memorial Slide Show (Turn Playlist Music off before watching)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

...Inspiration Continued – 1814 Letter Continued



General William Frederich B├╝low
(This image is in the Public Domain
Because its copyright has expired)


“We bombarded Napoleon's Coach”

Oltman Behrend Onnen's letter to his family in Ostfriesland, Germany appears to have been written over the course of two months, beginning June 15th and ending around July 10, 1814. This is the second part of Oltman's letter and begins on June 19, 1814, somewhere near Beaumont, Belgium.

June 19, 1814
“On the 19th we again pursued the Frenchmen, at one point we bombarded Napoleon's coach which he deserted shortly before. We found a number of treasures in it. We marched the entire day until 11 o'clock and slept again under the sky being pretty hungry. The Frenchmen had everything pretty well consumed. On we went the next day the 20th all day and on through the night. The name of the town where we finally camped was, I think, Beaumont.

“On the 21st we surround the fortified city of Vienne, there was a strong resistance, but a lucky shot from our artillery hit the French powder magazine so that the fortification blew up and we had the fort in our hands.

“On the 22nd we marched on again until late at night. The 23rd was a day of rest, but there was not much rest since it rained all day, so that we were wet to the skin. At 10 in the morning of the 24th we went on and the next days to the 26th, we hardly encountered any enemies. The 27th we got to Compiegne here is where Bonaparte had his castle. When we got to this town the Frenchmen tried hard to throw us back, but they were unsuccessful. On the 28th we got to a town, where the enemy had hidden like snipers, but we pushed them on and our cavalry chased on and captured many of them, also two cannons which were drawn by mules.

“On the 29th we were only three hours away from Paris. On the 30th we rested until 10 o'clock that night, but then followed a 36 hour march to and around Paris. It was so hot we could hardly stand it.


“Early, July 2nd and again we were called to the weapons, and our general told us, “Boys, you had a bad day yesterday, but today we have to be especially brave. We have to take Paris or we are lost.”

Compiegne Castle

Join me tomorrow for the conclusion of Oltman Behrend Onnen's letter of 1814.

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