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Berthier

Berthier, Louis Alexander, Prince of Wagram and Neufchatel, was born in 1753. Like his father he became a soldier, and served in America under Lafayette and Rochambeau. In 1789 he commanded the National Guard at Versailles, and favoured the escape of the royal family. After fighting for the republic in the Vendee, he joined Bonaparte as chief of the staff in the Italian campaign of 1796, and henceforth was the closest and most devoted friend of the future emperor, who made him his secretary of war after the affair of the 18th Brumaire. He played a part at Austerlitz and Wagram, and all the important engagements until the banishment of his master to Elba. He then reconciled himself to the Bourbons, and refused to return to his allegiance during the Hundred Days, retiring to Bamberg, his wife being a daughter of the King of Bavaria. Here he was found dead on the pavement in front of the palace a few days before the battle of Waterloo. Some assert that he killed himself through remorse or madness, others that he was murdered. He left several interesting records of events in which he was mixed up.

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