Michel Ney

Birthplace of Michel Ney, now an Italian Resta...

Birthplace of Michel Ney, now an Italian Restaurant (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Michel Ney, Herzog von Elchingen, Fürst von der Moskwa (* 10. Januar 1769 in Saarlouis; † 7. Dezember 1815 in Paris) war Marschall von Frankreich. Napoléon nannte ihn « le brave des braves » (deutsch: „den Tapfersten der Tapferen“).

gemäß dem Zitat aus der jüdisch zensierten „deutschsprachigen“ (Khazarensprache der AshkeNAZIs) Wikipedia wurde…

Ney wurde als Sohn eines armen Böttchers in Saarlouis in der Bierstraße 13 geboren,

was sich an Hand der englischsprachigen Quelle direkt widerlegen läßt. Aber die jüdisch kontrollierte deutschsprachige Wikipedia will eben verschweigen daß Michel Ney als Sohn einer jüdischen Familie auf die Welt kam – durchaus wohlhabend.

trat nach einer Lehrzeit in der Dillinger Hütte 1788 als Gemeiner in ein französisches Husarenregiment ein und war bei Ausbruch der Revolution Unteroffizier. 1792 wurde er Hauptmann, 1796 Brigadegeneral. Während der Koalitionskriege nahm er 1799, inzwischen zum Divisionsgeneral befördert, die Stadt Mannheim ein. Anschließend kämpfte er unter Masséna in der Schweiz sowie unter Moreau in Deutschland. Nach dem Frieden von Lunéville ging Ney als Gesandter in die Schweiz, wo er am 19. Februar 1803 den Frieden und die Mediationsakte zustande brachte.

Anlässlich seiner Kaiserkrönung ernannte Napoleon I. Ney 1804 zum Marschall von Frankreich. Als Befehlshaber eines Korps eröffnete Ney den Feldzug von 1805. Einheiten seines Armeekorps schlugen die Österreicher Erzherzog Ferdinand bei Günzburg am 9. Oktober. Es folgte der Sieg in der Schlacht von Elchingen am 14. Oktober und die Kapitulation und Übergabe der Stadt Ulm durch den österreichischen General Karl Mack von Leiberich. Am 6. Juni 1808 wurde Ney hierfür zum Herzog von Elchingen ernannt. Im Krieg von 1806 und 1807 trug Ney als Führer des VI. Korps außerordentlich zu den Erfolgen bei, besonders durch die Verfolgung der geschlagenen preußischen Armee nach der Schlacht bei Jena. Erfurt und Magdeburg ergaben sich ihm, 1807 kämpfte er bei Eylau und Friedland gegen die Russen und Preußen.

English: General Mack surrenders his army at U...

English: General Mack surrenders his army at Ulm, 20 October 1805. Napoleon’s strategic encirclement of the Austrians, in conjunction with the Battle of Austerlitz six weeks later, sealed the fate of the Third Coalition. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1808 begleitete Ney den Kaiser nach Spanien, wurde aber 1811 mit Masséna uneins über den weiteren Feldzugsplan und zeigte dabei so großen Widerstand, dass ihn dieser von der Armee entfernte. Ney zog sich anschließend zurück, ehe er 1812 den Befehl über das III. Korps erhielt.

Ney bewährte sich nun vor allen anderen im Russlandfeldzug des Jahres 1812, so in der Schlacht bei Smolensk, besonders aber bei der Schlacht an der Moskwa. Am Abend dieser Schlacht verlieh ihm Napoleon den Titel eines „Fürsten von der Moskwa“. Ney war seit der Schlacht bei Wjasma ständiger Nachhutführer während des Rückzuges aus Russland und wäre daher in der Schlacht bei Krasnoje beinahe in russische Gefangenschaft geraten. So ist auch die Episode überliefert, dass er als Allerletzter knapp vor den nachdrängenden Kosaken ins preußische Gumbinnen einmarschierte, man im dortigen Offizierskasino den völlig Verfrorenen und Verwahrlosten nicht erkannte und ihn kurzerhand hinauswerfen wollte. Daraufhin antwortete Ney: „Erkennen Sie mich nicht? Ich bin die Nachhut der Großen Armee – ich bin Marschall Ney.“[1].

Im Feldzug von 1813 hielt Ney bei der Schlacht bei Großgörschen dem ersten Angriff der Verbündeten tapfer stand, befehligte bei Bautzen die Mitte und drang hierauf nach Schlesien vor. Von Blücher angegriffen, wurde Ney gezwungen, aus der Stellung bei Liegnitz zurückzuweichen. Er musste seine Streitkräfte dem französischen Marschall Jacques MacDonald übergeben und mit Napoleon nach Dresden zurückkehren, wo er am 26. und 27. August den Sieg über Schwarzenberg erringen half. Nach der Niederlage Oudinots bei Großbeeren erhielt Ney den Oberbefehl über die zum Vordringen auf Berlin bestimmten Streitkräfte, wurde aber am 6. September von Bülow bei Dennewitz geschlagen.

Caricature of Karl Freiherr Mack von Leiberich...

Caricature of Karl Freiherr Mack von Leiberich (1752-1828), Austrian general as “swift-footed Achilles” and “General San Gennaro”. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Im Jahr 1814 wurde Ney Kommandeur der Kaiserlichen Garde. Er kämpfte bei Brienne, Montmirail, Craonne und Châlons-sur-Marne mit Auszeichnung. Nach der Niederlage der kaiserlichen Armeen und der Einnahme von Paris durch den Kriegsgegner drängte er Napoleon I. zur Abdankung und trat zu den Bourbonen über. König Ludwig XVIII. machte ihn zum Pair von Frankreich und ernannte ihn zum Befehlshaber über die 6. Militärdivision.

Nach Napoleons Rückkehr von Elba trat er jedoch am 17. März 1815 bei Auxerre wieder in dessen Dienste und erhielt den Oberbefehl über den 38.000 Mann starken linken Flügel (1. und 2. Korps) während der Schlacht bei Waterloo. Dabei wurden fünf Pferde unter ihm erschossen und zuletzt stürmte er zu Fuß. Er führte die großen Kavallerieattacken gegen das englische Zentrum und leitete dann persönlich die alten Garden zum entscheidenden Angriff, der jedoch scheiterte.

Ney weigerte sich, aus Frankreich zu fliehen, und wurde am 3. August 1815 verhaftet und am 8. November vor ein Kriegsgericht gestellt, das sich aber als unzuständig erklärte, über ihn als Pair zu verhandeln. Ney wurde am 6. Dezember von der Pairskammer wegen Hochverrats zum Tode verurteilt und am 7. Dezember 1815 im Pariser Jardin du Luxembourg erschossen. Den Feuerbefehl gab er selbst mit den Worten:

„Soldaten, wenn ich den Feuerbefehl gebe, schießt auf mein Herz. Wartet auf den Befehl. Es wird der Letzte sein, den ich euch gebe. Ich protestiere gegen meine Verurteilung. Ich habe in hundert Schlachten für Frankreich gekämpft, aber nicht eine gegen es […] Soldaten schießt!“

Michel Ney as a sous-lieutenant in the Hussard...

Michel Ney as a sous-lieutenant in the Hussards de Saxe in 1792, Adolphe Brune (Paris, 1802 ; Paris, 1875), 1834. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Michel Ney hinterließ drei Söhne, die später seine Memoires veröffentlichten. Sein Name ist wie der aller großen Generäle unter Napoleon am Triumphbogen in Paris in der 13. Spalte verewigt.

Ney war ein Mitglied im Bund der Freimaurer, er wurde am 13. September 1801 in die Feldloge La Candeur aufgenommen [2].

Ein entfernter Verwandter Neys ist der spätere General Jacques Massu, der sich im Zweiten Weltkrieg und im Algerienkrieg einen Namen machte.

2001 wurde in seiner Geburtsstadt Saarlouis eine Straße nach Ney benannt.

Michel Ney, 1st Duc d’Elchingen, 1st Prince de la Moskowa (10 January 1769 – 7 December 1815), popularly known as Marshal Ney, was a French soldier and military commander during the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars. He was one of the original 18 Marshals of France created by Napoleon. He was known as Le Rougeaud („red faced“ or „ruddy“) by his men and nicknamed le Brave des Braves („the bravest of the brave“) by Napoleon.

Widerlegung der Lügipedia, gemäß dem Zitat aus der jüdisch zensierten „deutschsprachigen“ (Khazarensprache der AshkeNAZIs) Wikipedia anhand der bnai-brithischen Quelle…

Michel Ney was born in Saarlouis, the second son of Pierre Ney (1738–1826), a master barrel-cooper and veteran of the Seven Years‘ War, and of his wife Margarethe Grewelinger (1739–1791).

Ney was the paternal grandson of Matthias Ney (1700–1780) and wife Margarethe Becker (d. 1767), and the maternal grandson of Valentin Grewelinger and wife Margaretha Ding.[2] His hometown at the time of his birth comprised a French-speaking enclave in a predominantly German-speaking portion of Lorraine, and Ney grew up bilingual.

Ney was educated at the Collège des Augustins, and subsequently became a notary in Saarlouis, and then overseer of mines and forges.

English: Marshal Michel Ney, duc d'Elchingen, ...

English: Marshal Michel Ney, duc d’Elchingen, prince de la Moskova (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Life as a civil servant did not suit Ney, and he enlisted in the Colonel-General Hussar Regiment in 1787. Ney rapidly rose through the non-commissioned ranks. He served in the Army of the North from 1792 to 1794, with which he saw action at the Cannonade of Valmy, the Battle of Neerwinden, and other engagements. Ney was commissioned in October 1792, transferred to the Sambre-et-Meuse in June 1794, and wounded at the Siege of Mainz. Ney was promoted to général de brigade in August 1796, and commanded cavalry on the German fronts. On 17 April 1797, during the Battle of Neuwied, Ney led a cavalry charge against Austrian lancers trying to seize French cannons. The lancers were beaten back, but Ney’s cavalry were counter-attacked by heavy cavalry. During the mêlée, Ney was thrown from his horse and made a prisoner of war; on 8 May he was exchanged for an Austrian general.[3] Following the capture of Mannheim, Ney was promoted to géneral de division in March 1799. Later in 1799, Ney commanded cavalry in the armies of Switzerland and the Danube. At Winterthur Ney received wounds in the thigh and wrist. After Ney’s recovery he fought at Hohenlinden under General Moreau in December 1800. From September 1802, Ney commanded French troops in Switzerland and performed diplomatic duties.

Further information: Napoleonic Wars

On 19 May 1804, Ney received his Marshal’s baton, emblematic of his status as a Marshal of the Empire, the Napoleonic era’s equivalent of Marshal of France.[4] In the 1805 campaign Ney took command of VI Corps of La Grande Armée, and was praised for his conduct at Elchingen.[4] In November 1805, Ney invaded the Tyrol, capturing Innsbruck from Archduke John. In the 1806 campaign, Ney fought at Jena and then occupied Erfurt. Later in the campaign, Ney successfully besieged Magdeburg. In the 1807 campaign Ney arrived with reinforcements in time to save Napoleon from defeat at Eylau, although the battle ended as a draw. Later in the campaign, Ney fought at Güttstadt, and commanded the right wing at Friedland. On 6 June 1808, Ney was created Duke of Elchingen.[4] In August 1808 Ney was sent to Spain in command of VI Corps, and won a number of minor actions. In 1809 he routed an Anglo-Portuguese force under Sir Robert Wilson at Baños. In 1810 Ney joined Marshal Masséna in the invasion of Portugal, where he took Ciudad Rodrigo from the Spanish and Almeida from the British and Portuguese, brusquely defeated the British on the River Côa, and fought at Buçaco. During the retreat from Torres Vedras, Ney worsted Wellington’s forces in a series of lauded rearguard actions (Pombal, Redinha, Casal Novo, Foz d’Aronce) with which he delayed the pursuing enemy forces enough to allow the main French force to retreat unmolested. He was ultimately removed from command for insubordination.

English: Michel Ney. Known as “The Bravest of ...

English: Michel Ney. Known as “The Bravest of the Brave”, and arguably Napoleon’s greatest marshal, Ney displayed great courage in action, above all during the retreat from Moscow, when he was reputed to have been the last Frenchman to leave Russian soil. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ney was given command of III Corps of La Grande Armée during the 1812 invasion of Russia. At Smolensk, Ney was wounded in the neck, but recovered enough to later fight in the central sector at Borodino. During the retreat from Moscow, Ney commanded the rear-guard and was anecdotally known as „the last Frenchman on Russian soil“. After being cut off from the main army, Ney managed to rejoin it, which delighted Napoleon.[4] For this action Ney was given the nickname „the bravest of the brave“ by Napoleon.[4] Ney fought at Beresina and helped hold the vital bridge at Kovno (modern-day Kaunas), where legend portrays Ney as the last of the invaders to cross the bridge and exit Russia.[4] On 25 March 1813, Ney was given the title of Prince de la Moskowa.[4] During the 1813 campaign Ney fought at Weissenfels, was wounded at Lützen, and commanded the left wing at Bautzen. Ney later fought at Dennewitz and Leipzig, where he was again wounded. In the 1814 campaign in France, Ney fought various battles and commanded various units. At Fontainebleau Ney became the spokesman for the Marshals‘ revolt on 4 April 1814, demanding Napoleon’s abdication. Ney informed Napoleon that the army would not march on Paris; Napoleon responded „the army will obey me!“ to which Ney answered, „the army will obey its chiefs“.[5]

When Paris fell and the Bourbons reclaimed the throne, Ney, who had pressured Napoleon to accept his first abdication and exile, was promoted, lauded, and made a peer by the newly enthroned Louis XVIII. Although Ney had pledged his allegiance to the restored monarchy, the Bourbon court reacted coolly to his common origins.

[edit]The Hundred Days campaign

When he heard of Napoleon’s return to France, Ney, determined to keep France at peace and to show his loyalty to Louis XVIII, organized a force to stop Napoleon’s march on Paris. Ney also pledged to bring Napoleon back alive in an iron cage. Napoleon, aware of Ney’s plans, sent him a letter which said, in part, „I shall receive you as after the Battle of the Moskowa“.[6] Despite Ney’s promise to the King he joined Napoleon at Auxerre on 18 March 1815.

On 15 June 1815, Napoleon appointed Ney commander of the left wing of the Army of the North. On 16 June Napoleon’s forces split up into two wings to fight two separate battles simultaneously. Ney attacked Wellington at Quatre Bras (and received criticism for attacking slowly,[7]) while Napoleon attacked Blücher’s Prussians at Ligny. Although Ney was criticized for not capturing Quatre Bras early, there is still debate as to what time Napoleon actually ordered Ney to capture Quatre Bras.[8] At Ligny, Napoleon ordered General d’Erlon to move his corps (currently on Napoleon’s left and Ney’s right) to the Prussians‘ rear in order to cut off their line of retreat. D’Erlon began to move into position, but suddenly stopped and began moving away, much to the surprise and horror of Napoleon. The reason for the sudden change in movement is that Ney had ordered d’Erlon to come to his aid at Quatre Bras. Without d’Erlon’s corps blocking the Prussians‘ line of retreat, the French victory at Ligny was not complete, and the Prussians were not routed.[9] To be fair, Ney was d’Erlon’s direct superior and Napoleon never informed Ney of his plans.

The Vauban island and the memorial of Michel Ney

The Vauban island and the memorial of Michel Ney (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At Waterloo Ney again commanded the left wing of the army. At around 3:30 p.m., Ney ordered a mass cavalry-charge against the Anglo-Allied line. Ney’s cavalry overran the enemy cannons, but found the infantry formed in cavalry-proof square formations. Ney, without infantry or artillery support, failed to break the squares. The action earned Ney criticism, and some argue that it led to Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo.[7] Debate continues[citation needed] as to the responsibility for the cavalry charge and why it went unsupported. Ney’s cavalry also failed to spike enemy cannon (driving iron spike into the firing holes) while they were under French control (during the cavalry attack, the crews of the cannon retreated into the squares for protection, and then re-manned their pieces as the horsemen receded). Ney’s cavalry carried the equipment needed to spike cannons, and spiking the cannons would likely have made them useless for the rest of the battle. The loss of a large number of cannon would weaken an army and could have caused the Anglo-Allied force to withdraw from the battle.[10] Ney was seen[by whom?] during one of the charges beating his sword against the side of a British cannon in furious frustration. During the battle he had five horses killed under him.[11]

Bataille - Michel Ney, duc d'Elchingen, prince...

Bataille – Michel Ney, duc d’Elchingen, prince de La Moskowa, Maréchal de France (1769-1815) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When Napoleon was defeated, dethroned, and exiled for the second time in the summer of 1815, Ney was arrested (on 3 August 1815), and tried (4 December 1815) for treason by the Chamber of Peers. On 6 December 1815 he was condemned, and executed by firing squad in Paris near the Luxembourg Garden on 7 December 1815 – an event that deeply divided the French public. He refused to wear a blindfold and was allowed the right to give the order to fire, reportedly saying:

„Soldiers, when I give the command to fire, fire straight at my heart. Wait for the order. It will be my last to you. I protest against my condemnation. I have fought a hundred battles for France, and not one against her … Soldiers, Fire!“[12]

Ney’s execution was an example intended for Napoleon’s other marshals and generals, many of whom were eventually exonerated by the Bourbon monarchy. Ney is buried in Paris at Père Lachaise Cemetery.

[edit]Family

[clarification needed See Talk page]

Ney married Aglaé Louise Auguié (Paris, 24 March 1782 – Paris, 1 July 1854) at Grignon[disambiguation needed] on 5 August 1802. Aglaé was the daughter of Pierre César Auguié (1738–1815) and Adélaïde Henriette Genet (1758–1794). Her paternal grandparents were Pierre César Auguié (1708–1776) and Marie Guary (1709–1788); her maternal grandparents were Edmé Jacques Genet (1726–1781) and Marie Anne Louise Cardon who were the parents of Edmond-Charles Genêt and Jeanne-Louise-Henriette Campan

Ney and his wife had four sons:[citation needed]

Joseph Napoléon, 2nd Prince de La Moskowa (Paris, 8 May 1803–Saint-Germain-en-Laye, 25 July 1857). Married Albine Laffitte (Paris, 12 May 1805-Paris, 18 July 1881) in Paris on 26 January 1828, by whom he had issue. The male line of his descendants is now extinct. Joseph also had a bastard son who was married without issue.
Michel Louis Félix, recognized as 2nd Duc d’Elchingen 1826 (Paris, 24 August 1804–Gallipoli, during the Crimean War, 14 July 1854). He married Marie-Joséphine Souham (Luberzac, 20 December 1801–Versailles, 1 July 1889) in Paris on 19 January 1833, by whom he had issue, with the male line becoming extinct in 1969.
Eugène Michel (Paris, 12 July 1806-Paris, 25 October 1845), who died unmarried and without issue.
Edgar Napoléon Henry, recognized as 3rd Prince de La Moskowa 1857 (Paris, 12 April 1812-Paris, 4 October 1882), who married Clotilde de La Rochelambert (Saint-Cloud, 27 July 1829-Paris, 24 July 1867) in Paris on 16 January 1869, but died without issue; the title of Prince de la Moskowa then reverted to Michel’s issue.
[edit]Possible escape

English: Baton of the Napoleonic Marshals of F...

English: Baton of the Napoleonic Marshals of France (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Immediately following Ney’s execution, rumors concerning the nature of the Marshal’s execution and its immediate aftermath began to surface. Among the facts that were presented by the Bourbon government to the public, such as those detailed in Parisian and Coalition military newspapers, several were purposely vague and unclear. Today there are still aspects of what is known about the execution that remain impossible to prove or disprove.

It is common among Napoleonic scholars and period experts to entertain a scenario where Marshal Ney had managed to escape to the United States. Proponents of this theory argue that Ney had Masonic ties, including to the Duke of Wellington, who helped him fake his execution and flee abroad. According to this account, the soldiers in the firing squad put blood packets over his heart and then shot blanks at the Marshal. He was then smuggled to the United States and continued his life as a school teacher.

In January 1816, a man calling himself Peter Stuart Ney arrived in the United States by way of Charleston, South Carolina and disappears from record. In 1821, Ney resurfaces as a school master in Brownsville, South Carolina before relocating to Mocksville, NC. Between 1822 and 1828, Ney would hold semi-permanent teaching positions in several Carolina communities, including Hillsborough, Salisbury and Third Creek. He eventually made his way north into Virginia, spending some time there as the school master of Abbeyville in Mecklenburg County, but Ney would ultimately return to the Mocksville-Third Creek area.[13][14]

Peter Stewart Ney died November 15, 1846 in Mocksville, North Carolina, aged 77-years, reportedly after uttering the final words, „Bessières is dead; the Old Guard is dead; now, please, let me die.“[13] On his gravestone in Cleveland, North Carolina, at Third Creek Presbyterian Church on Third Creek Church Road, one will find the words „A native of France and soldier of the French Revolution under Napoleon Bonaparte“.[15]

The grave was exhumed in 1887 and a plaster cast made of the skull by a local doctor, though it was subsequently lost. In 1936, a letter sent to TIME magazine from a Charles W. Allison from Charlotte, North Carolina, claimed that the skull had been found in the doctor’s family attic by his daughter. This skull, he reported, „shows evidence of having been scarred by bullets and swords“.[16]

Michel Ney, 1st Duc d'Elchingen, 1st Prince de...

Michel Ney, 1st Duc d’Elchingen, 1st Prince de la Moskowa (Photo credit: whirling_dervish)

In contrast to the relative plausibility of P.S. Ney’s story, an early 19th-century folk-tale alleged that Michael Rudolph, a Continental Army officer in the American Revolutionary War, had made his way to France after his forced resignation in 1793 and eventually becoming Ney.[17] _____________________________________________

Shortly after 9 o’clock on the morning of 7th December 1815, Ney was escorted by a contingent of troops he had once commanded in battle to the gardens of the Palais de Luxembourg (also known as the Luxembourg Gardens although some sourced name the place as the ‚Place de L’Observatoire) in Paris. He was placed against a wall, refused to be blindfolded (in keeping with his military code of honour), and was allowed to address those present. Ney was completely calm giving his address. Ney himself gave the order to fire. The soldiers levelled their muskets. Ney put his hand to his chest. A volley rang out and Ney fell, his coat stained with blood**. According to eyewitnesses he was killed instantly. Of the 12 shots fired, 6 hit his chest, 3 his head, and 1 each into his neck and one of his arms (the 12th shot missed). It is important to find confirmation of this from an official autopsy report for reasons that will make themselves evident

Most sources state that Ney’s body lay on the ground for at least 15 minutes until the priest has administered the last rites. On old soldier came forward and dipped his handkerchief into the blood pouring from the body. However, other sources state that immediately after the execution the body was whisked away with suspicious haste**.

English: one of the two marble lions in the Ja...

English: one of the two marble lions in the Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris Français : Un des deux lions de marbre du jardin du Luxembourg à Paris (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And the sequence then continues with one version saying tha ‚Ney was buried immediately’* and another version saying that ‚Ney’s body lay in a hospital overnight and was buried in the cemetery of Pierre la Chaise early the following day’*. Most sources at least agree that the grave was given a plain white headstone with the name ‚Ney‘ etched upon it. Oddly, none of his immediate family attended the funeral. Only one distant relative was present to see the famous general laid to rest.

Some time afterwards (at least several weeks later), across the Atlantic, a Peter/Philip Stuart Ney – who bore a striking resemblance to Marshal Michel Ney – arrived in America.

Three years later (1818) in Florence and one year after that (1819) in Georgetown, both in South Carolina, Peter/Philip Stuart Ney, working as a schoolteacher freely claimed that he and Marshal Ney were the same person. He said that his escape had been engineered by friends – fellow officers in the French military, and with the aid of his former enemy, the Duke of Wellington who had been horrified at the ignoble fate proposed for a fellow general, even if he was an old adversary, to be executed.

The teacher explained that the Paris firing squad had deliberately aimed to miss. When the order had been given to fire, the soldiers simply shot their bullets at the wall behind Ney (other sources mention that the muskets were only loaded with gundpowder). It is unlikely that anybody bothered to find the bullet holes in the wall – perhanps the place had previously been used for other military executions. The necessary blood had been supplied by a sachet or sack of (most probably) animal blood concealed under Ney’s shirt which he had broken when he struck his chest and ordered the soldiers to fire.

English: Phoenix canariensis cultivar, Jardin ...

English: Phoenix canariensis cultivar, Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris Français : Phoenix canariensis en caisse, Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After he was pronounced ‚dead‘ by the doctor (who was also in on the plot) the body was taken away in a carriage to a nearby hospital. There another recent unclaimed corpse was placed in the coffin and buried the next day (which may explain why his immediate family did not attend the funeral). Meanwhile, Ney left the hospital disguised and was smuggled on board a ship at Bordeaux that sailed to Charleston in America.

Although some historians have accepted Peter/Philip Stuart Ney’s story, most biographers of the marshal are unconvinced, rightly pointing out that there is no hard existing evidence whatsoever supporting his claim or even to suggest that the Duke of Wellington was involved in any plot to rescue Ney, but even if he had, then surely Wellington would have possessed the common sense to destroy any evidence of this. Wellington publicly refused to help Ney, either because there was a French Royal Court conspiracy against him *****, or because Wellington saw Ney’s trial as an internal French affair*, or because as effective spokesman for the allies, any intervention could have made Louis XVIII/The French Government appear like a puppet***** thus risking disruption or even dissolution at the re-convened Congress of Vienna. But who is to say that Wellington did not act secretly in the opposite manner/ As a veteran of the Peninsular War, he would have had a lot of experience in dealing with intelligence when carrying out his strategies. An experience that would have become useful when helping Ney to escape.

There is also the discrepancy that ney the schoolmaster could speak Latin, Greek and Hebrew, languages that Ney the Marshal had never studied****. Furthermore, the marshal’s wife was still living in France, yet Peter/Philip Stuart Ney never contacted her****. In addition, the doctors could not agree on wheter the scars and marks on the body of Peter/Philip Stuart Ney corresponded with those known to have been inflicted on Marshal Ney in battle. And, would it have been at all possible, taking into account the number of people involved, to have collectively kept such a plan secret and taken that secret with them to there graves?

However, since Peter/Philip Stuart Ney’s death, a number of strange facts emerged:-

Fact 1:-

The Marshal had been seen alive by a veteran French soldier who had served in his command AFTER the execution. This encounter took place aboard the very same ship that sailed from Bordeaux to Charleston. Incredibly, against all odds, this man was successfully traced and he confirmed the story (no mean feat to achieve in the early 19th century)

English: A closeup of the Fontaine de Medicis,...

English: A closeup of the Fontaine de Medicis, Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fact 2:-

The schoolteacher and the marshal were both expert swordsmen.

Fact 3:-

Peter/Philip Stuart Ney’s knowledge of the life of Marshal Michel Ney and his family, of military tactics, and of the Napoleonic Wars was very extensive. So extensive were they, that he even had intimate knowledge of events which could only have been known to the marshal, or someone who was very close to him.

Fact 4:-

There was also talk of Peter/Philip Ney once receiving an enigmatic mysterious visitor. Ney refused to divulge his visitor’s identity but it was later discovered that one of the marshal’s sons, Count Eugene Ney, had travelled to the United States at this time****. A coincidence?

Fact 5:-

Six years after the Paris ‚execution‘ (1821), one of Peter/Philip Stuart Ney’s pupils brought to the school where he was teaching a newspaper reporting the death of Napoleon Bonaparte at the island of Saint Helena on the 5th May 1821. Ney was so shocked on reading it that he fainted, falling to the floor before his entire class, and had to be carried home. When he recovered, he went into a room were he burned a large number of documents and personal papers. Later that same day he made an unsuccessful attempt to commit suicide by slitting his throat but the knife blade broke in the wound.

Jardin du Luxembourg and the Luxembourg Palace...

Jardin du Luxembourg and the Luxembourg Palace, Paris. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fact 6:-

It is generally assumed that prior to the execution, Ney already had in his possession, two false passports had had several months previously obtained from the French Minister of Police, Joseph Fouche with which to escape from France*****.

Fact 7:-

A century after Peter/Philip Ney’s death, a learned graphologist – the renowned and eminent New York handwriting expert, David Carvalho – was shown authenticated letters of unimpeachable provenance that were written both by the general, Marshal Michel Ney and the teacher, Peter/Philip Stuart Ney. After examining them closely, David Carvalho declared without hesitation that ALL of the letters were written by the SAME person.** ***.

Peter/Philip Ney – or Marshal Ney, if that is indeed who he was – died peacefully in 1846, declaring and maintaining to the last that he really was THE Marshal Ney of France. A strange story that no one has ever been able to prove or disprove.

So the questions remain:-

Marshal Michel Ney, Duke of Elchingen, Prince ...

Marshal Michel Ney, Duke of Elchingen, Prince of Moscow //Engraved by C. Cook. // BLACKIE & SON, GLASGOW, EDINBURGH & LONDON. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What really happened at the Palais de Luxembourg/Luxembourg Gardens/Place de L’Observatoire, Paris on that cold morning at 9:00am of the 7th December 1815? Was an official autopsy ever carried out on the body of Marshal Michel Ney after his execution? Surely the French Government would have insisted upon it and a report made.

Sources/

^ Raymond Horricks ‚Marshal Ney, The Romance And The Real‘ (ISBN 0882546554)
^ a b Chandler 1999, p.360.
^ Atteridge, p.25
^ a b c d e f g h Chandler 1999, p.314
^ Gates., p.259
^ Markham., p.261. „The Battle of the Moskowa“ refers to the Battle of Borodino
^ a b Chandler 1999, p.315
^ Roberts., p.116
^ Markham., p.272
^ Markham., p.276
^ D.H. Parry (c. 1900) Battle of the nineteenth century, Vol 1 Cassell and Company: London. Waterloo
^ Tsouras., p.245.
^ a b http://blackmerlodge.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/PETER-STUART-NEY.pdf
^ http://www.salisburypost.com/2001oct/100601c.htm
^ Gravestone picture
^ Time Letters, Aug. 24, 1936
^ Minor, Benjamin B. (January 1847). „Michael Ney, otherwise Michael Rudolph“. Southern Literary Messenger. XIII. Richmond, Virginia: Macfarlane and Fergusson. pp. 17–23. Retrieved 2009-06-05.

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