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


11. October 25th, 1809

It’s been a busy few months to be sure. Let me explain…

                You see, despite being defeated and his best friend dying, Napoleon decided to try again. It was the second time. You know the saying: If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. I guess that is one of Napoleon’s mottos.

                So, he sent us hard to work building up bridges. It was actually a hard task; all of us men had no clue how to use a hammer. We all knew next to nothing about building! But, after some trial and error, we figured it all out.

                On the night of July the 4th, we all traveled across the river through a thunderstorm. Everyone seemed uneasy, not about the thunderstorm, but everyone’s horses were becoming scared and frantic. When a horse becomes scared, it may try to kick you of its back. The last thing anyone needed was to get thrown off their horse and onto the bridge, only to get trampled to death by horses. As far as I know, everyone got off the bridge safely.

                2 days after that, when we finished crossing the bridge, we fought and fought and fought, so did the Austrians. They had absolutely no mercy. I got shot again, but it’s nothing crazy like the last time. I’m still alive, aren’t I?

                I was one of the luckier ones though, since, at the last count they had 32,500 soldiers from the French army, the Grand Armée, was either found dead or wounded. It’s sad, really. One of my friends got shot in the heart, died instantly. Another one, Robert, who is actually an Englishman, got shot in the leg. He’s restricted to crutches, still now, a few months later.

                And then, the best part, the real reason why I came here, was to say that this month Francis I signed a peace treaty! We are all so very happy about that. The terms seemed pretty fair, but I only know of one so far, which states that 3 million of 16 million of Francis’ subjects have to become Napoleon’s subjects. I don’t know how they’d decide who comes and who goes. All I can think about is the turmoil of the families who might have to say goodbye to a son, daughter, aunt, uncle, grandmother or a grandmother, maybe even a mom or a dad.

                I’m tired, so is everyone in the camp. I’m fortunate enough to share a tent though; there are some people who don’t even have a tent. The tent I stay in is small, but hey, a tent is a tent. It keeps the wind and the rain out. I’m even fortunate enough to have good fellow, Christian soldiers as roommates. There are three of us here. Every night we have a Bible study before rolling out our mats and falling asleep. Every morning we all wake up early, roll up our mattresses, get dressed and pray together. It’s so good to have fellow Christians with me.


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