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A History of the Nineteenth Century, Year by Year

Soult was elected to represent France


of Fluress. After this he was

intrusted with the command of a division, and took part in all the campaigns in Germany, and through the Swiss and Italian campaigns waged by Massena. In a sortie from Genoa he was taken prisoner. Set at liberty after the battle of Marengo, he returned to France at the peace of Amiens, and was made one of the four colonels of the guard of the consuls. Napoleon Bonaparte, though by no means fond of Soult, was quick to detect his great talents as a soldier. After this a prominent part was assigned to Soult in all of Napoleon's campaigns. He was one of the first of the generals selected for the new rank of marshal in 1804, and was the first of the marshals to be advanced to the dignity of a peer of France. In 1805, Soult led the main column of the Grand Army, which gained the Austrian rear, and thus brought about the disastrous capitulation of Ulm. On the field of Austerlitz he was charged with the execution of the brilliant manoeuvre which decided the fate of that battle. His share in the battle of Jena was scarcely less distinguished. After this victory, Soult defeated Kalkreuth, captured Magdeburg, and put to flight Bluecher and Lestocq. On the bloody field of Eylau, Soult's ardor helped to secure the semblance of victory for France. In 1808 he was sent to secure the French conquest of Spain. He defeated the Spaniards at Manuessa and fought the battle at Coruna where Sir John Moore lost his life. The English army having fled, Soult overran Galicia and the north of Portugal, where
he stormed Oporto. On the landing of Wellington he retreated before that commander into Spain, but after the battle of Talavera once more drove the Spaniards and English before him into Portugal.

[Sidenote: Last stand at Toulouse]

[Sidenote: Minister of war]

[Sidenote: Marshal-General of France]

After the loss of Badajoz and Ciudad Rodrigo, Soult was recalled to aid Napoleon in Germany after the catastrophe of Moscow. He was the Emperor's chief-of-staff in the battles of Luetzen and Bautzen. On Wellington's invasion of France, Soult was sent against him. Marching through the passes of the Pyrenees, he succeeded in inflicting great losses on the English. His attempts to secure Pampeluna and San Sebastian having failed, Soult was compelled to face Wellington on the soil of France. His dispirited troops were driven back at Toulouse, where he held his ground tenaciously until the allies had lost 5,000 men. At the Peace of Paris he signed a separate suspension of arms, and was rewarded for this by Louis XVIII. with the cross of St. Louis and the portfolio of the Ministry of War, but during the Hundred Days he declared for Napoleon, and once more served as his chief-of-staff at Waterloo. On his return from exile in 1819 his marshal's baton was restored to him. Charles X. also confirmed him in his rank as peer. Louis Philippe twice made him Minister of War. At the coronation of Queen Victoria in 1838, Soult was elected to represent France. When he retired into private life, nearly ten years later, the King revived for him the ancient dignity of Marshal-General of France.

[Sidenote: Louis Napoleon's aspirations]

[Sidenote: Maupas]

[Sidenote: Emphatic disavowals]


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