I read this and found it a very good first hand account from a person in place of authority and responsibility. The recollections of one of Napoleons most dependable commanders Among all Napoleons marshals Macdonald is one of the most intriguing, for he bears a name more likely to found among those highland regiments of Wellingtons infantry who were among his masters most formidable enemies. Jacques Macdonald was born in Sedan in the Ardennes region of France, the son of a Jacobite Scottish exile, and was a close relative of Flora MacDonald who played such a memorable role in the flight of Prince Charles Stewart to the continent after the failure of the rebellion of 1745. Born in 1765, Jacques Macdonald was of an age to ensure he would take part in the momentous events that swept through France in the late 18th century bringing revolution, regicide, the Republic, Consulate and Empire under Napoleon Bonaparte. Perhaps predictably Macdonald experienced campaigns and battles throughout the Napoleonic age in most of the European theatres of the conflict and he graphically describes those events and his part in them in this book. He was a faithful and dependable commander who lacked true military genius but whose qualities made him trustworthy, and it was for these qualities that Napoleon was consistently entrusted him with independent commands. Whilst Macdonalds career cannot fail to be of interest to all students of the Napoleonic Wars what makes this book special is its readability and Macdonalds ability to describe vividly the events he witnessed in an entertaining and informative manner. The value of his book as an historical document is further enhanced by the insights he provides into his own character-that of an obviously decent, honourable and likeable individual.
Recollections of Marshal Macdonald - 2 vols
1892 Richard Bentley & Son London