March 2 1815: Napoleon Marches North

“At two o’clock the next morning [ March 2 1815 ] he joined Cambronne’s advance guard, which included unmounted lancers and the two cannon. Instead of going to Aix, the Provençal capital, he took the road through Le Cannet which climbs 15 miles up to Grasse, which – since there were only five working muskets in his town – the mayor surrendered.

After resting till noon, Napoleon abandoned his carriages and cannon, mounted his supplies on mules, and took the mountain road northwards. There was snow and ice on the higher parts, where some mules slipped and fell, and at points the road narrowed to single file. He walked on foot among his grenadiers, who affectionately teased him with nicknames such as ‘Notre petit tondu’ (Our little cropped one) and ‘Jean de l’Epée’ (Jack of the Sword).”

— Napoleon the Great by Andrew Roberts

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