The first day...
It was eight in the morning when the ordnance officer from the Emperor's headquarters arrived in the village where two companies of the 1st regiment of the imperial guard were stationed.
Every soldier understood what the arrival of such an officer meant; The army will soon be on the move.
When he arrived to the town's center, he immediately identified where the Corps commander was lodged. He stopped his horse and dismounted quickly.
As a corporal got a hold of the reins, the officer had already entered the house.
After a while, the two officers met again. They greeted each other like old acquaintance before separating.
Then the general sounded a proclamation which was followed by a big commotion in the village. The villagers watched in good spirit this spontaneous spectacle.
In the afternoon, the whole regiment was in formation. The general and his high command where standing in the court of the small church:
" Officers, soldiers…The Emperor is asking us to march to battle against a new coalition that threatens the nation…"
He continued for a few more moments his speech before reading the marching orders sent by the imperial headquarter.
When he finished, there was a profound silence… and suddenly…a "Long live the Emperor" resounded in the village.
The general was proud to command this guard regiment and this reaction made him even prouder…
July 31st 1805... Extract from the book of Sergent Bonheur
1st company, 1st battalion, 1st regiment of the grenadiers of the imperial guard.