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Lot #213
Napoleon Letter Signed to Minister of War on Gunboat Patrols

Napoleon directs his troops: "The gunboats shall constantly move, constantly hold the line and never stay in the harbor and patrol the island"

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Estimate: $2500+
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Description

Napoleon directs his troops: "The gunboats shall constantly move, constantly hold the line and never stay in the harbor and patrol the island"

LS in French, signed “Np,” one page, 7.25 x 9, May 21, 1811. Letter to Minister of War general Henri-Jacques-Guillaume Clarke, concerning the formation of the gunboats. In part (translated): "Tell General Gilly and General Rousseau that the gunboats shall constantly move, constantly hold the line and never stay in the harbor and patrol the island." In fine condition.

Henri-Jacques-Guillaume Clarke, 1st Count of Hunebourg, 1st Duke of Feltre (1765-1818) was a French general and politician who made a career in the Revolutionary Army and under Napoleon. In 1793 he was promoted brigade general and commanded the vanguard of the Rhine Army. During the Reign of Terror, he fell under suspicion, was briefly arrested, and discharged. Lazare Carnot restored Clarke to his rank in 1794 and, in December 1795, he was made a general of division, serving under Napoleon in the Army of Italy for several years. During the War of the Third Coalition in 1805, Clarke was appointed governor of Vienna, and during the War of the Fourth Coalition in 1806 he served as governor of Erfurt and of Berlin. Napoleon called Clarke back to Paris in 1807 to serve as Minister of War, a difficult office that he administered with skill, but with a level of personal ambition that raised Napoleon's suspicion from 1812. His opportunism became most evident at Napoleon's fall in 1814, when Clarke voted to depose the emperor and was appointed Peer of France by Louis XVIII in return. Apart from the interruption of the Hundred Days from March to September 1815, Clarke served as Minister of War in the restored Bourbon Government until September 1817. Clarke was made Marshal of France on 3 July 1816 and, following the end of his term as minister, took command of the 15th Military Division until his death in 1818.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autograph and Artifacts
  • Dates: #680 - Ended December 06, 2023





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