Life of a Soldier

Noël Lucky Chevalier was a soldier serving in Napoleons arm in the 1800s. This is his journey through several campaigns he fought.
This is my entry for the Historical Fiction Contest


10. June 1st, 1809

It’s the middle of summer, fighting is getting even more tiring. We were fighting around Lobau Island, which is west of Vienna, for a little while. We were outnumbered 2-1, which made it hard to fight. We had managed to push the army out of Essling, which is a village, but even with that small triumph, we had heavy losses. Our army seems to be slowly depleting.

So, after that happened, some Austrians who were located upstream decided they’d be smart. What they did was simple, so they thought; they would push an old flour mill, which was a floating one, down the river. It came crashing down the river, it crashed right through our pontoon bridges, which cut us all of from food and some reinforcements, which, in its own time, would become vital.

Napoleon was a huge support for us all during that time, if we needed encouragement, he would come right up to us, and say: “It’s okay, it’s okay.”

Eventually, Napoleon had commanded us to withdraw, using rowboats. He told us to listen to General Lannes for a little while. Lannes was one of Napoleon’s very good friends and a very good warrior. Sadly, shortly after a cannonball shattered both of General Lannes’ legs. I saw it with my own eyes, it was scary.

Anyway, since General Lannes was one of Napoleon’s good friends, his own private surgeon operated on him, but to no avail. Nine days later General Lannes died. He was highly respected, and we all mourn for him.

Now, today, we shall have a moment of silence and bury him. It’s been three days after his death. Napoleon is going around the camp, openly crying. It scares me; I’ve never seen Napoleon in such a state! He’s sure taking this death hard!

I mourn for General Lannes, as does the whole army. He was very well respected.

Anyway, I need to go now. Napoleon had told us very strictly: “All shall meet at half past noon to commemorate the death of General Lannes; we shall hold a proper burial, one that he deserves.”


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