December 2022 Online Exclusive Article

Napoleon’s Son

Commissioning and Professional Development

Lt. Col. Tom Vance, U.S. Army Reserve, Retired

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Naissance of Napoleon II

Three-year-old Francis Bonaparte and his mother Marie Louise, empress and acting regent of France, fled Paris in March 1814 as Allied armies swarmed through France. The two traveled with an Imperial Guard cavalry escort 1,200-strong, capable of defending against irregular Russian cavalry units (Cossacks) operating in their path. Unable to link up with Napoleon—who was leading a doomed final defense—the two sought the safety of Marie Louise’s father, Francis I, emperor of Austria, who was traveling with the Austrian forces. He ordered his daughter and grandson to Vienna as the final weeks of the war played out.

Neither would see Napoleon again. Emperor Francis forbade his daughter and grandson to join Napoleon in exile on the island of Elba off the coast of Italy. Napoleon, however, broke the terms of his exile in March 1815 and returned to France, resuming power without a shot fired. Napoleon’s defeat on 18 June 1815 at Waterloo resulted in another exile, this time to the British island of Saint Helena in the south Atlantic. Marie Louise became duchess of Parma, an Austrian province in Italy, and sadly, her father did not allow his grandson to join her. Austria and its allies feared that the boy would become a pawn by those wishing to replace the newly reinstalled Bourbon monarchy with another Bonaparte regime.

Born with the name Napoleon Francis Charles Joseph Bonaparte (Francis, for his maternal grandfather), the child was proclaimed King of Rome by his father, flaunting French control of what Napoleon envisioned as the second capital of the French empire. Following his father’s defeat at Waterloo, the boy was briefly recognized as Napoleon II. In Vienna, however, he became Duke of Reichstadt at age seven and was known as Francis (or Franz in German).

Reichstadt, as we will now call him to avoid confusion with Emperor Francis I, grew up in Vienna with his grandfather, with summer visits by his mother. Francis was, by all accounts, a doting grandfather. New Orleans attorney Chip Wagar, author of the first English-language biography of Francis, says, “The depth of affection between the emperor and the young Napoleon II was something of a surprise to me and very poignant.”1 While Marie Louise monitored Reichstadt’s studies from afar, it was her father who ensured that Reichstadt received a quality education. In addition to being a good guardian, Francis—who became emperor at age twenty-four—was a positive professional role model: “He was an upright and conscientious ruler, strongly conscious of his duty towards his peoples and tireless in his endeavor to fulfill it,” writes an Oxford scholar in his monumental history of the Habsburgs. “Few of his servants spent such long hours as he did over the business of government.”2

The imperial family lived at the Hofburg in the heart of Vienna and spent summers at nearby Schönbrunn Palace. Reichstadt and his mother often wrote each other, but neither were allowed to correspond with Napoleon, whose south Atlantic home was decorated with portraits of wife and child, along with a marble bust of the boy. Reichstadt was just ten when his father died in exile. His mother wrote to comfort her son with this advice, “I know you will try to display in your own life his many virtues while, at the same time, avoiding the rocks upon which he wrecked his life.”3

Reichstadt’s education was typical of his standing in the imperial household, with a governor and staff of tutors. He received early training as an officer-cadet; however, given who his father was—and his enthusiasm for a military career—this would be no ceremonial appointment. He became the exception to the rule and followed a serious regimen of military studies and training. His commissioning program was specifically tailored for him. Meanwhile, coming of age as a member of the imperial household precluded any formal outreach beyond the palace. While one of his tutors came from the University of Vienna, it was out of the question for Reichstadt to enroll as a student or even attend lectures. Nor is there evidence that Reichstadt ever visited the Theresan Military Academy, one of the oldest military academies in the world, established in 1752. The one exception appears to be visits he likely made to the Imperial & Royal Polytechnic Institute, known today as Vienna’s Technical University.4

At age seven, he began wearing a corporal’s uniform to state occasions; at age eleven, he became a cadet-sergeant, sometimes leading the changing of the guard at the imperial residences. At thirteen, he led a detachment on parade attended by his mother and foreign dignitaries. During his teens, he became proficient in fencing, horsemanship, and marksmanship (both musket and pistol). Over time, he developed a respect for military personnel, honoring military rank above imperial titles. Once, while dining with the imperial family and guests, he left his place of honor among the archdukes to sit at the lower end of the table. Questioned why he moved, he replied, “I see generals here; they ought to precede me.”5

Portrait of Napoleon Franz

At age eleven, just one year after his father’s death, Reichstadt met the man who defeated Napoleon at Waterloo. Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, known as the Duke of Wellington, saw the boy while visiting Vienna in 1822. Wellington recalled that “I passed part of the day in his company,” reflecting that Napoleon’s son was “a fine lad,” and was “very civil to me.”6 If he didn’t already know, Reichstadt’s studies would soon inform him that this British general was on record acknowledging that his father’s presence on the battlefield was worth forty thousand men.7

Along with his basic instruction, his extracurricular activities featured hunting with his grandfather, collecting weapons to display in his room, and walking sticks, which his mother found during her travels. As he got older, collecting books about his father became a priority, eventually filling two full bookcases, watched over by a portrait of his father. He added new editions to his collection “whether by his comrades-in-arms or by his detractors.”8 He gained full access to the libraries at the Hofburg and Schönbrunn by his mid-teens. Lucky for him, the first two memoirs dictated by his father were now available: Barry O’Meara’s Napoleon in Exile (1822) and Emmanuel Las Cases’s Memorial of Saint Helena (1823), both of which he mastered.

Commissioning Program

Reichstadt began what we would now consider college-level studies in 1826, when he turned fifteen. During Marie Louise’s visit that year, she proposed to her father that Reichstadt receive his commission as a birthday present on 20 March. While that would have made sense for other dukes his age, his grandfather wisely said no: Reichstadt should earn it properly. (It is worth noting that Napoleon was sixteen when he earned his commission from the Royal Military School at Paris, completing the three-year course in just one year.)

After his mother’s departure, Reichstadt wrote to her, acknowledging his need for further training:

As I possess as yet few of these qualities, it would have been disagreeable for me to be given a commission; being unworthy of it, I should have lagged behind my comrades [read, other young officers]—something I should have found most painful.9

He expanded on these thoughts in a follow-up letter to her:

I am indeed convinced of the need for study and, putting as I do the prospect of the white uniform above everything else; I know that I can only attain it by making good progress. I am therefore trying, as best I can, to make up for lost time, in order to offer you, dear Mamma, on your return, the sight of a morally superior and nobler being and thus show you the foundations of a character which will remind you of my father’s; for a soldier on the threshold of his career, can there be a finer and more admirable model of constancy, endurance, manly gravity, valiance and courage?10

Had Reichstadt grown up with his father, he likely would have received a direct commission, followed by on-the-job training. A portrait of Napoleon’s eighteen-month-old son reached his camp on the eve of the battle of Borodino during his 1812 invasion of Russia. The proud father told his staff, “If my son were fifteen, believe me he would be here in place of that painting.”11

The case of Napoleon’s stepson (whom he adopted), Eugene de Beauharnais, also informs this assumption. Eugene entered the French army as an orderly at age thirteen and served a year on active duty. Upon Napoleon’s 1796 marriage to his mother, Josephine, Eugene received a direct commission, was placed under a captain for training, which included reconnaissance missions and fortresses inspections for the pending Italian campaign. Eugene, whom Napoleon “took pride in educating as a soldier,” became one of his stepfather’s aide-de-camps.12 Eugene served with distinction and rose to general, proving to be the most capable Bonaparte family member in uniform. Stepbrother Eugene, living in Bavaria, visited Reichstadt and his mother in Vienna in 1814, but the Viennese court did not encourage further visits. Eugene’s wife Auguste, wrote in her diary following Napoleon’s death that Reichstadt “will always find in Eugene a zealous defender.”13

Like his father’s military schooling, the great captains of warfare were a part of Reichstadt’s core curriculum. Julius Caesar’s Commentaries was the topic of a yearlong course, enabling him “to finish a complete work, which is always preferable to reading scattered extracts, not only for the beauties of the style but also for the historical content,” as he wrote his mother.14 One assignment, while studying Hannibal’s campaigns, was to write a speech that Hannibal might have given to his troops before crossing the Alps (his father also made that crossing). Reichstadt also studied Alexander the Great, Prince Eugene of Savoy, and Frederick the Great. One of his favorite textbooks was Friedrich Schiller’s classic work published in 1799, The Thirty Years War.

Current-day military leaders were also part of the curriculum. Reichstadt wrote a paper in Italian on Austrian Field Marshal Carl Philipp Schwarzenberg, one of Austria’s top generals who had died just six years earlier. Highly esteemed by Napoleon, Schwarzenberg had soundly defeated Reichstadt’s father while commanding Allied forces at Leipzig in 1813. The cadet and field marshal had another connection: while serving as ambassador to France, Schwarzenberg helped negotiate the marriage of his mother and father and upon his birth, presented him with the insignia of the Order of Saint Stephen. Reichstadt would proudly wear this on his uniform upon commissioning. Reichstadt also studied the campaigns of his great uncle Archduke Charles, Francis’s brother, considered Austria’s best commanding general during the Napoleonic wars. For these studies, Reichstadt referred to Charles’s own writings, including his manual for general staff, Principles of War.

The single most exciting day in his life up to this point (more important than becoming a duke) came in 1828 at age seventeen, toward the end of his mother’s summer visit. His grandfather commissioned Reichstadt as a captain, assigned to a Vienna-based Tyrolean cavalry regiment. His grandfather told him his commission was “a mark of my satisfaction and of the services I expect from you.”15 His mother presented him with a curved sword that his father used in Egypt. This event transformed him, “quite suddenly into one of the happiest of men,” the new captain wrote to his primary military tutor, Capt. Jean-Baptiste Foresti. “Now, we will work seriously at all branches of military science; nothing shall be too difficult for me.”16 This commission, however, did not result in active duty but rather in continued education and professional development.

Professional Development

It was Reischstadt’s governor, former Austrian major Maurice Dietrichstein, who postponed the captain’s start of active service, writing to Marie Louise and Emperor Francis that

the whole army hopes and believes that he has inherited his father’s genius and will lead them to victory. Only in this way can be explained the enthusiasm which—even in childhood—his appearance has created among the troops, officers, and common soldiers alike, a feeling which has steadily increased.17

The captain’s professional development included drill and service regulations for infantry, the science of fortifications, use of artillery, and the military code. Four times a week, he traveled an hour from Vienna to assist in training a grenadier company. Reichstadt participated in a staff ride to the 1809 Wagram battlefield, eleven miles northeast of Vienna. It was not his first time there; at age eight he had accompanied his grandfather on a hunting trip that took them past the field. Accounts of his visit emphasize his having said, “Here we were, there the enemy,” with the French as the enemy, illustrating his continued professional transformation from his nation of birth to the source of his commission. Wagram was the largest European battle up to that point with more than three hundred thousand troops engaged over the two-day battle.18 It was a victory for the French; it is considered one of Napoleon’s greatest victories and was, in fact, his last true large-scale victory. From the Austrian perspective, it was a well-fought battle by Commanding General Archduke Charles who stood his ground for a murderous two days and withdrew in good order.

In 1829, Reichstadt participated in various maneuvers and met Gen. Alois Mazzuchelli, a corps commander at Gratz where the imperial family was vacationing. The general had a distinguished career in Napoleon’s army before his Austrian service, including an assignment as aide-de-camp to Napoleon’s chief of staff. According to one of Reichstadt’s biographers, when he met the young officer “the old soldier of the Grand Army could not hold back his tears.”19 After paying his compliments to Reichstadt, with a reference to possible service to his nation of birth, Reichstadt replied, “I should be glad if God had given me the twentieth part of my father’s talent, but what talent I have I dedicate entirely to Austria, which I am happy to serve with you.”20

Portrait of Napoleon Franz

Reichstadt was nineteen in 1830 when he was promoted to major and four months later to lieutenant colonel, assigned to a Hungarian infantry battalion garrisoned in Vienna. Not yet on active service, he continued his studies but now self-directed. One reason for this delay was concern for his health. Although he looked healthy—he was trim, six feet tall—he had dealt with a variety of symptoms since age sixteen, including coughing, temperature, dizziness, colds, and fevers, all of which were continually misdiagnosed.

At this time Reichstadt met one of his favorite authors, Maj. Anton Prokesch, age thirty-four, who became his friend and mentor. As a captain, Prokesch published a study of the Waterloo campaign, covering the battles of Ligny, Quatre-Bras, and Waterloo. Reichstadt had translated it into French and Italian for an assignment and admired the book because it praised Napoleon’s conduct of the campaign. He had also used Prokesh’s biography of Schwarzenberg in his studies, whom Prokesch had served as an aide-de-camp. Prokesch had a distinguished career serving as an attaché to Emperor Francis’s brother Archduke John and fighting in the campaigns against Napoleon from 1813 to 1815. He also served in diplomatic roles and had experience in officer training as a mathematics instructor at the Military Academy at Olmütz.

When the two first met, Reichstadt told Prokesch, “If fate will not allow me to return to France, it is my ambition to become a Prince Eugene [of Savoy] here,” adding, “I am ready to defend Austria with my sword against any foe—not against France.”21 Prokesch, later publishing his recollections of Reichstadt, recalled how the young lieutenant colonel “made an impression on me that was really extraordinary,” describing the young man’s “air of calmness and self-mastery.”22 Prokesch was impressed by “his bearing, his manners … all impressive and inspiring,” and recalled Reichstadt telling him, “I am no adventurer and I refuse to become the plaything of political parties ... For the moment, my task in life is to render myself capable of commanding an army. I shall neglect nothing which might help me attain that object.”23

Once, Reichstadt, Prokesch, and Dietrichstein were having a detailed discussion about the 1805 battle of Austerlitz, considered Napoleon’s greatest victory. According to one of Reichstadt’s French biographers, “on this subject, the duke was inexhaustible …”

He detailed the movements of the opposing armies as though he had been personally present. The whole lay of the terrain was familiar to him. He knew the names of all the corps commanders and the strength of all the units. He pointed out the mistakes which had been committed, the daring strokes which had succeeded. Usually calm, he became animated [bringing the battle] to life again before the eyes of Prokesch and Dietrichstein.24

Anton von Prokesch-Osten

Prokesch reflected,

I would stake my life on it, that he knows more about the art of war than the cleverest of our generals … I am astonished by the liveliness of his mind and judgement, the clarity of his thought and practical intelligence. There is no doubt whatever that we have in him a potential supporter of social order and our ideas on government and State.25

The final phase of professional development came with a three-month series of lectures, up to three per week, by his father’s oldest army friend, Marshal Auguste Marmont, whom he met in January 1831 at a ball given by the British ambassador. The youngest of Napoleon’s twenty-six marshals (outliving them all), Marmont received his commission from the French Artillery School of Chalons.26

Then fifty-seven years old and temporarily living in Vienna, Marmont was popular at the Austrian court, but had two strikes against him in the Napoleonic camp. By the authority granted him by Joseph Bonaparte, then in command of Paris (with the rank of lieutenant general), Marmont arranged for the surrender of Paris to the Allies in 1814. Meanwhile, Napoleon still hoped to negotiate an abdication in favor of his son when Marmont ordered his corps of twelve thousand to stand down, “to avoid pointless bloodshed,” thereby effectively ending French resistance.27 Although Marmont was considered a traitor by admirers of Napoleon, Reichstadt valued firsthand accounts about his father’s career and knew he could benefit from Marmont’s extensive combat experience. And, from studying memoirs coming out of Saint Helena, Reichstadt also knew that, while Marmont’s “treachery” may have been the tipping point of Napoleon’s collapse, he also knew that his father, in his will, had forgiven the marshal.28

One biographer writes that Marmont “admired the young man’s quick understanding and his thorough military knowledge,” with the marshal saying, “It is impossible to describe the devotion with which he listens to all that I can tell.”29 At the end of the lectures, Reichstadt presented the marshal with a large portrait of himself, seated at a table with two books, showing Eternal Gratitude and Napoleon’s Life on the spines. We are told that Reichstadt’s “military horizon had been considerably widened” by Marmont’s lessons.30 In addition to his memoirs, Marmont wrote books on Caesar and Xenophon, along with The Spirit of Military Institutions (the American edition, translated by Henry Coppee, published in 1862 in time to serve as a textbook during the American Civil War).

During the spring of 1831, Marie Louise was dealing with an uprising against Austrian governance in Parma. Reichstadt asked to accompany the reinforcements his grandfather was sending, but Francis denied the request based on the strong Bonapartist feelings in that region. Reichstadt told Prokesch, “The moment for action has come and I am losing it.”31 Marie Louise found safety with the Austrian garrison at Casal-Maggiore until the threat passed.

Active Service

Reichstadt finally began his active service in June 1831, age twenty, as a battalion commander with the 60th Regiment, Hungarian Infantry, based at Alsler Barracks near Vienna. He wrote to his mother:

I am very happy, very pleased with the battalion which the Emperor has been kind enough to give me. Over half the men are new recruits and there are a good many young officers, but officers and men are actuated by the best will in the world; we shall do our training together and that will be another bond between us.”32

Reichstadt, with two hundred men in his command and living on the post, received this report from his commanding officer, Gen. Gustavus Vasa:

The Duke is enthusiastic and highly intelligent, with agreeable, courteous manners. He is strict and just with his men. He shows eager, praiseworthy zeal for perfect development in every branch of the service. He commands and leads his battalion skillfully and easily. He is an exceptionally rapid and clever horseman.33

Another report from Vasa describes a broader picture of the new battalion commander and (to be fair) reminds us that such an efficiency report—given whom their subject was—may have been intended for a wider audience than just Reichstadt’s personnel file:

He has a fiery temperament and an extremely lively nature. In society his manner is courteous and engaging. He is strict, but just, with his subordinates. He shows the best will and the most praiseworthy zeal in perfecting himself in the various branches of the service to which he has adapted himself in a very short time; he leads and commands his battalion judiciously and with dexterity, is a very good and rapid rider and well-mounted.34

Prokesch observed how Reichstadt’s troops, “accustomed to the strictest discipline,” would be “carried away by their enthusiasm” for this figure with such celebrity status.35

In January 1832, Reichstadt’s battalion was serving as the honor guard during a general officer’s military funeral when his voice gave out and he had to turn his command over to his subordinate. Fever and congested lungs forced him onto sick leave with bedrest. By April, he was struggling with pneumonia. His illness was now determined to be tuberculosis, then known as consumption. At that time, it was a common cause of death, even for younger people, having taken Chancellor Maurice Metternich’s son at age twenty-six and Francis’s third wife at twenty-eight. Never recovering enough to return to his troops, Reichstadt died at Schönbrunn, on 20 July 1832 at age twenty-one—in the suite used by his father during the 1809 occupation of Vienna—with his mother, relatives, and close army comrades at his side (his grandfather and Prokesch were away from Vienna). He had served just eight months on active duty.

Reichstadt, promoted to honorary colonel of his regiment during his illness, was given a funeral with full military honors and laid to rest in the imperial vault. Reichstadt’s grandfather died three years later at age sixty-seven and his mother fifteen years later at fifty-six. The young colonel was reunited with his father in 1940 at the Les Invalides in Paris by order of Adolf Hitler as a goodwill gesture to occupied France.


To Napoleonic scholars, Reichstadt is just a footnote to Napoleon’s legacy, typically receiving only a brief mention about his short life in Vienna. To Napoleon enthusiasts, however—and in popular culture—Reichstadt takes on alternative history status with a celebrity flair. His life represented an innocence in the overall story of his father. Unfortunately, the what-if questions tend to focus on his potential for rising to a throne (if not of France, then of Poland, Greece, or Belgium), rather than celebrating his passion for military service and his potential as an Austrian general.

Reichstadt did not become a transformative historical figure; we have no evidence that he inspired the development of any great soldiers. But if his legacy is to remain an interesting footnote in Napoleonic studies and popular culture, it also seems that Reichstadt can rest peacefully in finding a place as a serious student of the profession of arms. Toward the end of his life, he said, “My birth and my death will be the only point of remembrance.”36 Today, we might want to reconsider our young colonel’s modest self-evaluation. Consider the quote often attributed to Abraham Lincoln, “Whatever it is you want to be, be a good one.” The son of Napoleon Bonaparte and Marie Louise Habsburg was a good army officer.

I thank Tom Coyne, vice president emeritus, Western Michigan University, for reading the draft and suggesting improvements.



  1. Chip Wagar (attorney, Wagar Hickman LLC), in discussion with the author, 22 September 2020; also see Chip Wagar, Double Emperor: The Life and Times of Francis of Austria (Lanham, MD: Hamilton Books, 2018), 249.
  2. Carlile Aylmer Macartney, The Habsburg Empire, 1790–1918 (New York: Macmillan, 1969), 147.
  3. R. McNair Wilson, The King of Rome (New York: Appleton, 1933), 76–77. Napoleon left a variety of belongings to his son, including sharing his last wishes for the boy’s education and future. See Pascale-Anne Brault, ed., Napoleon & Son: The Story of a Lost Legacy (Chicago: DePaul University, 2002), accessed 31 October 2022,
  4. Thanks to these professionals in Vienna for their assistance in understanding the nuances of his education and commissioning process: Erik Gornik and Richard Hufschmied, Austrian Military Museum; Sonja Lessacher, Archives of the University of Vienna; and Paul Ebner, Archives of the Technical University. On the Austrian army during this time, also see Gunther E. Rothenberg, “The Austrian Army in the Age of Metternich”, The Journal of Modern History 40, no. 2 (June 1968) 155-65: and his The Art of Warfare in the Age of Napoleon (London: B. T. Batsford, 1977), 166–73.
  5. Guillaume-Isidore de Montbel, “The Young Napoleon,” The Select Journal of Foreign Periodical Literature 2, no. 2 (October 1833): 120–35, accessed 31 October 2022,
  6. Andrew Roberts, Napoleon & Wellington (London: Phoenix, 2002), 281.
  7. Ibid. This account includes five citations regarding Wellington’s comment, at different points in his career, regarding his opinion that Napoleon’s presence on a battlefield was worth forty thousand troops (pages 142, 307, 315, 332, 346).
  8. Octave Aubry, The King of Rome, Napoleon II, trans. Elizabeth Abbott (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, 1932), 173.
  9. Andre Castelot, King of Rome: A Biography of Napoleon’s Tragic Son, trans. Robert Baldick (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1960), 256.
  10. Ibid., 258.
  11. Andrew Roberts, Napoleon: A Life (New York: Viking, 2014), 601.
  12. Theodore Ayrault Dodge, Napoleon, vol. 4 (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1907), 733.
  13. Carola Oman, Napoleon’s Viceroy: Eugene de Beauharnais (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1966), 454. Eugene Beauharnais died in 1824, and Reichstadt died eight years later. Had they both lived full lives, it would have been interesting to see if they would have formed a friendship; they had so much in common. As a student of his father’s campaigns, Reichstadt was familiar with Eugene’s stellar army career. In addition to fighting with his stepfather in Italy, Eugene was wounded in Egypt, held an independent command in Italy, fought at Wagram, and commanded a corps during the Russian campaign. See also the thirty-two-page account of Eugene in Andrew Uffindell, Great Generals of the Napoleonic Wars and Their Battles (Staplehurst, England: Spellmount, 2003); and Robert Epstein, Prince Eugene at War, 1809: A Study of the Role of Prince Eugene de Beauharnais in the Franco-Austrian War of 1809 (Arlington, Texas: Empire Press, 1984).
  14. Castelot, King of Rome, 257.
  15. Ibid., 263.
  16. Edward de Wertheimer, The Duke of Reichstadt, Napoleon II (New York: John Lane, 1906), 382–83.
  17. Clara Tschudi, Napoleon’s Son, trans. E. M. Cope (London: George Allen, 1912), 210.
  18. Albert Sidney Britt III, The Wars of Napoleon (Garden City Park, NY: Square One Publishers, 2003), 100.
  19. Castelot, King of Rome, 282.
  20. Ibid., 283.
  21. Tschudi, Napoleon’s Son, 220.
  22. Dormer Creston, In Search of Two Characters: Some Intimate Aspects of Napoleon and His Son (New York: Charles Scribner’s, 1946), 363–4.
  23. Castelot, King of Rome, 287.
  24. Pierre Nezelof, Napoleon and His Son, trans. Ware Bradley Wells (New York: Liveright, 1937), 361.
  25. Castelot, King of Rome, 285–6.
  26. Wikipedia, s.v. “Auguste Frederic Viesse de Marmont,” last modified 13 October 2022, accessed 25 January 2022, Also see John L. Pimlott, “Friendship’s Choice” in Napoleon’s Marshals, edited by David G. Chandler (New York: Macmillan, 1987), 256–69.
  27. Correlli Barnett, Bonaparte (New York: Hill and Wang, 1978), 198.
  28. Barry E. O’Meara, Napoleon in Exile: Or, a Voice from St. Helena (London: Jones, 1827), 157.
  29. Tschudi, Napoleon’s Son, 241.
  30. Wertheimer, Duke of Reichstadt, 398.
  31. Aubry, King of Rome, 206.
  32. Castelot, King of Rome, 320.
  33. Tschudi, Napoleon’s Son, 252.
  34. Wertheimer, Duke of Reichstadt, 407.
  35. Ibid.
  36. W. H. Ireland, Authentic Documents Relative to the Duke of Reichstadt (London: Joseph Thomas, 1832), 22. A different version, of “My birth and my death, that is my story,” is referenced in Castelot, King of Rome, 357.


Lt. Col. Tom Vance, U.S. Army Reserve, retired, served on active duty at New York Area Command (Fort Hamilton, Brooklyn), 1st Armored Division (Germany), and Second ROTC Region (Fort Knox, Kentucky). As a reservist, he served as a part-time military science instructor at Western Michigan University and in public affairs assignments in Washington, D.C. He holds a BS and an MA in history from Western Michigan University. He is working on a monograph on the military life of Francis Bonaparte.


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