Book Review: A Soldier for Napoleon: The Campaigns of Lt. Franz Joseph Hausmann, 7th Bavarian Infantry (edited by John H. Gill) : MH
A Soldier for Napoleon: The Campaigns of Lt. Franz Joseph Hausmann, 7th Bavarian Infantry, edited by John H. Gill, Stackpole Books, Mechanicsburg, Pa., 1999, $24.95.
A Soldier for Napoleon fills a very noticeable gap in the history of the Napoleonic Wars by providing a good description of what it was like to be a member of the Royal Bavarian Army. Bavaria opposed the French Revolution, but after being defeated at Hohenlinden in 1800, it threw in its lot with First Consul Napoleon Bonaparte up through the Russian campaign of 1812. The Bavarians again switched sides to help the Allies drive the French from Germany in 1813 and then to invade France itself in 1814.
Lieutenant Franz Joseph Hausmann, a young staff officer, served under such notable commanders as Field Marshal Carl Philipp Prince von Wrede, General of the Infantry Bernhard Erasmus von Deroy, Marshal Laurent Gouvion Saint Cyr, Marshal Nicholas Charles Oudinot and General Ludwig Adolf Peter von Wittengenstein. Hausmann kept a diary and sent regular letters home to his parents, and by combining those accounts, editor John H. Gill provides a first-person perspective of war at the front that is well worth reading by any scholar of the Napoleonic era.