Thursday, October 04, 2012


General Lauriston
On October 5, therefore, an official Imperial delegation was sent off from Moscow to reopen direct negotiations with both Kutusov (for immediate armistice) and the Tsar (for a permanent settlement).  Kutusov received Napoleon's representatives with every civility and deliberately encouraged the impression the the Russian soldiers wanted peace, but he wily field-marshal refused to permit Lauriston to proceed to St. Petersburg in person.  Instead, he detained the envoy at Russian headquarters and sent on his letters to the Tsar by courier, together with another missive in which  Kutusov strongly advised the Tsar to avoid negotiation at all costs.  Alexander accepted this advice, and consequently the plenipotentiaries eventually returned to Napoleon empty handed.

~ D. Chandler, The Campaigns of Napoleon, p. 813-814

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