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December 18 1812: I am the Rearguard




Intendant-General Dumas and some friends are just "drinking some excellent coffee when a man in a brown great coat entered.  He had a long beard.  His face was blackened. And he looked as if he'd been burnt. his  His eyes were gleaming.
"At last I'm here,"  he said. ’What, General Dumas! Don’t you recognize me?” 
"Why no. Who are you?’”
"I am the rearguard of the  Grande Armée. I'm Marshal Ney."
—  December  18,  1812, Gumbinnen, Paul Britten Austin, 1812 The Great Retreat, (Stackpole Books, Pennsylvania  1996), page 422. 

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