WAR OF 1870. Eugène CHAPER (1827-1890). 13... - Lot 214 - Ader

Lot 214
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WAR OF 1870. Eugène CHAPER (1827-1890). 13... - Lot 214 - Ader
WAR OF 1870. Eugène CHAPER (1827-1890). 13 L.A.S., Paris 24 September 1870- 20 January 1871, to his wife Valentine (one to their eldest daughter Suzanne, and one incomplete); 51 pages in-8 or in-12. A copy of another letter (25 October 1870) is attached. A fine collection of letters on the siege of Paris. [Eugène Chaper, retired engineering commander and director of the anthracite mines at La Mure, served during the siege as an ordinance officer of General Chabaud-Latour, his uncle by marriage. Elected Isère's representative to the National Assembly in February 1871, Chaper wrote the report on the operations of the siege of Paris. The letters were sent by balloon, but the envelopes were not kept]. September 24th. "We have had some good business outside; our small troops are forming and the mobiles are beginning to go to fire very well. I hope that in a few days time we will try some operations further away and try to get as much fodder and food back into the town as possible. I suppose that the intention of the enemies is to watch Paris to starve it while they go and plunder the province ... The threat of an "internal struggle" by the extremists, the madmen and the Reds seems to have been averted, and he does not believe that the Prussians are entering Paris: "Peace will be made without it. It will be cruel, France will be humiliated, weakened, ruined for a long time; but it will not be dead and the day will come when our sons will avenge us! - What a punishment for the mass of cowards, the tremblers who preferred Napoleon to the interests of France! "...21st October. "We are going to resume the offensive [...] and I expect to be on horseback in 2 or 3 hours to go with your uncle to follow the movements of our troops from the top of Mont Valérien [...]. There is no longer any question of divisions in Paris; the battalions of Belleville etc., which had appointed chiefs Blanqui, Flourens, etc. etc., have been disbanded [...]. - Gal Trochu with his patience and calm has done wonders in Paris from a political point of view "... 12 November. Instructions to correspond with him, with an explanation of the photographic reduction that will enable dispatches of microscopic size to be sent to Paris by pigeon or messenger. There is only alarming news from the Prussian outposts: "that Lyon has once again been dominated by the Communists, that they have guillotined the Prefect; that a revolutionary court has been established in Marseille and has reportedly seized and executed Gambetta, etc.". "17 November. "They begin to eat cats, rats, etc.". A sparrow is sold for 10 cents "... 20 November. "The Prussians continue not to fire on us; but the famine may soon serve them well and if the great battle which is to be fought in a few days' time is not a happy one [...], the resistance in Paris will be close to its end; the fall will be preceded and probably brought about by internal uprisings..." 25-26 November. If a capitulation approaches, "I will manage to hide. If your uncle needs me, I will follow him when it is in Prussia; but if not, I will throw myself and some friends in some direction outside Paris and go back to the war in the provinces. ...] The week which is about to begin will undoubtedly mark a turning point in the history of France; we will once again fight in the vicinity of Paris and around Orleans... 2 December. "Since Sunday the gates of Paris have been closed to everyone except the military, to make espionage more difficult; huge movements of troops and equipment have begun. ...] 5 p.m. in the evening - terrible fighting today: we were attacked by enormous forces; not only did we hold out, but we gained ground. Carnage of the Prussians "... December 8, 1870. They are weaned from all news... "we have no more help to wait for from outside and the days of resistance in Paris are numbered. What will happen after the surrender of the city? Probably the enemy will want to conquer the whole of France"... He makes recommendations, especially to save their valuable possessions... December 13. The Prussians spread false news... January 8, 1871. "We have only one thought left; to do our duty to the end and to fight with cannon fire and frequent attacks until our last biscuit. - We have eaten the elephants in the Jardin des Plantes, the deer, the birds, the rare animals "... The missing wood, we cut down trees, we undo boats, we burn the lumber: " the days are black and the future even blacker "... January 19-20. 120,000 men fought the Germans between Mont-Valérien, Bougival and Saint-Cloud: "General Trochu took command of this army, the right wing was commanded by gal Ducrot, the left wing by gal Vinoy, the centre by gal de Bellemare [...]. All the military chiefs of defence, almost all of them were
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