A Chasseur's Fate

By: Keith Rocco

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Editions and Sizes

450 Signed and Numbered Canvases - 24" x 30"

Description

The Chasseurs of the Guard at Austerlitz, 1805


Colonel Morland and his two squadrons entered the fray first, fighting alongside three squadrons of the Horse Grenadiers, led by General Ordener. Together they defeated the famed Russian Gardes du Corps before crashing into and sabering the Semonovsky Regiment of the Russian Imperial Guard Infantry. The Russians then committed the Chevalier Garde, which turned the tide back for the Russians. Napoleon turned to his trusted Imperial aide-de-camp, General Rapp, and ordered him to take the duty squadrons of the chasseurs to "set things right." General Rapp took off at the gallop. A spectacular cavalry melee ensued, long remembered by its participants, which only ended with the final squadrons of the Horse Grenadiers finished the defeat of the Chevalier Garde.


This painting depicts when the duty squadrons of chasseurs overturned and captured a Russian battery. General Rapp describes the moment:


"I took off at a gallop...four pieces of their artillery arrived at the gallop and unlimbered in battery. I advanced in good order; on my left was the brave Colonel Morland, and General {Dahlmann} on my right. We charged the artillery and captured it. The cavalry stood firm awaiting our attack, then broke under the shock and fled in disorder. A squadron of {Horse} grenadiers came to my support at the same moment as reserves arrived to support the Russian Guard. The shock was terrific. The infantry did not dare to fire since we were all jumbled together, fighting hand-to-hand.


"At last the intrepidity of our troops carried all obstacles. The Russians fled the field and disbanded. The guns, baggage, and Prince Repnin were all in our hands. With my broken saber and covered with blood, I went to give an account of the affair to the Emperor."


The beloved Colonel Morland would suffer the ultimate chasseur's fate; carried from the battlefield of Austerlitz badly wounded, he died in Brunn the next day.