Thursday, October 25, 2012

Momentous Decision

No longer confident Napoleon
Whether this disturbing though trivial affair [Cossack charge nearly reaching Napoleon's person] influenced the Emperor's decision, we do not know *, but after holding a discordant council of war with his senior officers, he ordered the planned march toard Kaluga to be discontinued forthwith.  Instead the Grand Armee was to retrace its steps to Oshigovo and then march for Mojaisk -- thus returning to the route used to reach Moscow a month before.

* From this day on, Napoleon habitually carried a bag containing a lethal poison on a string around his neck.  The prospect of captivity continually haunted him.

~ D. Chandler, The Campaigns of Napoleon, p.822

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