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Napoleon

The threatening barrier had been surmounted, and on went the march to Wilna, without any possibility of a day's rest, because the miserable remainder of the French army was still followed by light Russian troops.

While the prisoners of Wilna were suffering these nameless cruelties, the unfortunate army marched to reach the border of Russia at Kowno, the same Kowno where the Grand Army six months before had been seen in all its military splendor, crossing the Niemen.

They had now to march 75 miles, a three days' march to arrive there.

The conditions were about the same as those on the march from the Beresina to Wilna. Still the same misery, frost, and hunger, scenes of murder, fire. The description of the details would in general be a repetition, with little variation.

Beaupre was taken prisoner at the passage of the Beresina and remained in captivity for some time. His lot as a prisoner of war was an exceptionally good one. He tells us that prisoners when they were out of such parts of the country as had been ravaged by the armies, received regular rations of a very good quality, and were lodged by eight, ten, and twelve, with the peasants.

Among the old publications referring to the medical history of Napoleon's campaign in Russia I found one of a Prussian army physician, Dr. Krantz, published in the year 1817 with the following title: Bemerkungen ueber den Gang der Krankheiten welche in der koniglich preussischen Armee vom Ausbruch des Krieges im Jahre 1812 bis zu Ende des Waffenstillstandes (im Aug.) 1813 geherrscht haben. (Remarks on the course of the Diseases which have reigned in the Royal Prussian Army from the Beginning of the War in the Year 1812 until the End of the Armistice [in August] 1813).

Out of the enemy's country, on their way home, the soldiers had by no means reached the limit of their sufferings. Instead of being able now to take the much longed for and so much needed rest they were compelled to keep on marching in order to reach the meeting places designated to them, the principal one of which was Koenigsberg.

Before entering Prussia they had to pass through a district which was inhabited by Lithuanians who had suffered very much from the army passing on the march to Moscow, and who now took revenge on the retreating soldiers.

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