Monday, 26 November 2012
New French General
Here's the figure for Ferey. Yes, all right, this is a bit fancy for an infantry division commander on campaign in Spain - the casting is Art Miniaturen's 'Colbert', and my intention is that eventually (probably) this chap will be a cavalry general in The Cupboard's establishment, but for the purposes of the present campaign let's just assume that Ferey was kind of flashy.
Footnote to the portrait of the bold Claude-Francois in my previous post - this painting was done in Germany in 1809, when Ferey was still a general de brigade. He had been promoted to general de division by the time he was fatally wounded at Salamanca. Here is a macabre but interesting entry from the journal of Major George Simmons of the 95th Rifles', dated 29th July 1812:
To Olmedo, a curious town with the remains of a Moorish castle. Close to the place was interred the body of General Ferey. He was the officer who ordered the night attack at Barba del Puerco in 1810. How extraordinary are the changes produced by war! Only two years before he had 10,000 veteran soldiers under his command. He was then actively employed against us, and now humbled to the dust, and I standing by his grave gazing at his mutilated corpse. The Spaniards had dug him up directly after the French left the town and just before we entered. He had been buried with great honour, and a canopy of laurels, which had been placed over his grave, was torn down, his body exhumed, and his head severed from it. It was a noble head, with a fine expressive countenance and a pair of large moustaches. I could not help observing, "Well, you must have been a brave soldier, although our deadly foe. You shall be replaced by an enemy where your friends interred you, to rest in peace." The remains were then in a most decent manner returned to the grave, and the Spaniards made acquainted with the horror and disgust we felt at their inhuman conduct towards a dead soldier. The laurel was replaced, and we begged it might be allowed to remain, which I have no reason to doubt was complied with.
Anyway, the model depicts General Ferey in his glory, before Salamanca and, apparently, the moustaches, checking that his men are in fact following on as directed. He was 41 at the time of his death.