Raab Acquires the Archive of a Napoleonic Marshal

Important Historical Documents Acquired From the Direct Descendants of Napoleon’s General and Never Before Offered for Sale

“The best colonel to have ever commanded a French regiment.”


General Mouton, the Count of Lobau, was a prominent general and later Marshall of the Empire for Napoleon.  Mouton means “lamb” in French, the source of Napoleon’s now famous statement on Mouton: “My lamb is a lion.” Napoleon valued Mouton to the extent that for his great Russia campaign he made him senior aide to camp. In 1806 Mouton was a Brigade General.  He would remain in Napoleon’s service until the end of the Empire, during which time he showed himself to be forthright, direct (“he’s no fawner”, Napoleon is noted to have said) but also disciplined, loyal, meticulous and highly organized. He was at Austerlitz with Napoleon and was charged with the preparation of the campaigns in Spain (1808), Russia (1812), Germany (1813), and Belgium (1815). Napoleon also wrote “Mouton is the best colonel to have ever commanded a French regiment.”  In 1812 Mouton took an active part  in the planning and enacting of the Russian campaign. When Napoleon left the army during the retreat and returned to Paris, Mouton accompanied him.

More than two centuries later, Raab has acquired a selection of letters of Napoleon and a remarkable manuscript from the direct descendants of General Mouton, living in the United States.

Unpublished Manuscript on Napoleon’s Invasion of Russia

Among the papers is a manuscript sent to Mouton by Napoleon’s officers relating to the invasion of Russia, one of the most famous military campaigns in recorded history. This document is apparently unpublished and has never been offered for sale before.

Mouton Russia Manuscript 1812

Letters of Napoleon

There are also five letters of Napoleon, including one, a powerful and emblematic statement, the first we have seen, defining the character of a successful leader: “It is advantageous for the good of the service to be liked.”

The other letters from this archive include:

1805: Napoleon Announces the Establishment of his Headquarters, in the Lead Up to Battles at Uhm and Austerlitz.

1808: Napoleon Writes from Madrid to Reincorporate the Survivors from his First Great Land Defeat and Humiliation: the Battle of Bailen and the Surrender of Nearly 20,000 Men.

1809: Napoleon States What He Looks for In His Commanders: “Intrepid Men.”

1810: Napoleon Worries a Commander of His Parisian Guard Is Unduly Harsh to his Soldiers.

Historical Documents and Autographs of Napoleon

View Raab’s current collection of Napoleon signed documents and letters here.

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