Napoleon and His Marshals
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End papers dark brown. Nevertheless, the Marshals often chose to wear either variants of the official uniform or costumes of totally different design.
What happened to Napoleon’s Marshals? – General History
The ultimate distinctive sign of a Marshal was his baton. It was cylinder-shaped, 50 centimetres long and 4 centimetres and a half in diameter, made of wood and covered in dark blue velvet, decorated with golden eagles or honey bees, both Imperial symbols. The creation of the new civil dignity allowed Emperor Napoleon I to strengthen his newly created regime by rewarding the most valuable of the generals who had served under his command during his campaigns in Italy and Egypt or soldiers who had held significant commands during the French Revolutionary Wars.
Subsequently, other senior generals were promoted on six different occasions, mainly following major battlefield victories. With hindsight, Napoleon's choices for the Marshalate were not always well inspired.
The first promotion created eighteen new Marshals of the Empire and coincided with the proclamation of the First French Empire and was used as an opportunity for the new Emperor to strengthen the new regime. The list included 14 names of generals who had served in the armies of the Republic during the French Revolutionary Wars : seven of them were generals who had served directly under General Bonaparte during his campaigns in Italy and Egypt during the French Revolutionary Wars.
Moreover, he was also careful to reward several general officers who had acquired considerable fame and political influence while commanding the armies of the Republic, as well as several highly-promising generals who had held significant divisional commands in the Army of the Rhine. The latter were well known for their largely Republican sentiments and had never served under Bonaparte's command.
By rewarding them for their military accomplishments, Napoleon sought to gain their loyalty and make sure that they would be supporters, rather than opponents of the new Imperial regime. Overall, the first promotion included 14 names of generals, seven of whom had served under Bonaparte's command and seven who had served in the Revolutionary armies on the Rhine or on other theatres. Napoleon added in his own handwriting Murat 's name, which was conspicuously absent from Clarke's draft.
This was possibly an omission, but there seems to be no evidence to that effect. The final list included the following names, in an order which to this day remains unclear:. Four additional names were mentioned on the list: these were former senior generals who had held commands of armies and had been elected senators of the Republic.
Their status was honorary in that due to their age, they weren't set to be given field commands.