April 15, 1812
En route in Austria
Mon Cheri Genevieve,
We are on the move now, a tremendous length of soldiers on foot, trudging with their packs and sleek polished weapons. Other plumed in comical hats, proud on horses that seem indifferent to the rank of their riders and more impressed with their importance.
Since my letter last, the camp became a flurry of activity as we readied to move through Austria quickly on into Prussia, Poland, then Russia who continue to allow British ships into port despite N.’s blockade.
Austria, now defeated again will march along with us, with the Italians, Dutch, Polish and more forces from twenty European countries unified under France. I wonder how they feel about their conscription by an enemy. But, such things are not discussed, dis- sent is grounds for persecution and ridicule ~ my aim is to avoid both and thus, consider my thoughts alone.
My hope is N. will not drag this campaign deep into Russia for my own selfish reasons, that of keeping me far away from your slender, giving arms for any longer than absolutely needed for the great of the Republic. It is you that is important to me!