Ligny presents itself with a great opportunity to highlight one of the lost details of Waterloo, and, that is, with Ligny, the French were on the move and the forces allied against him were in retreat.
Napoleon's Order of the Day before the Battle of Ligny:
Napoleon, by the Grace of God, and the Constitution of the Empire, Emperor of the French, &c. to the Grand Army.
AT THE IMPERIAL HEAD-QUARTERS.
Avesnes, June 14th, 1815
"Soldiers! This day is the anniversary of Marengo and Friedland, which twice decided the destiny of Europe. Then, as after Austerliz, as after Wagram, we were too generous! We believed in the protestations and in the oaths of princes, whom we left on their thrones. Now, however, leagued together, they aim at the independence and most sacred rights of France. They have commenced the most unjust aggressions. Let us, then, march to meet them. Are they and we no longer the same men?
"Soldiers! At Jena, against these same Prussians, now so arrogant, you were one to three, and at Montmirail one to six!
"Let those among you who have been captive to the English, describe the nature of their prison-ships, and the frightful miseries they endured.
"The Saxons, the Belgians, the Hanoverians, the soldiers of the Confederation of the Rhine, lament they are compelled to use their arms in the cause of princes, the enemies of justice and the rights of nations. They know that this coalition is insatiable! After having devoured twelve millions of Poles, twelve millions of Italians, one million Saxons, and six million Belgians, it now wishes to devour the states of the second rank of Germany.
"Madmen! One moment of prosperity has bewildered them. The oppression and the humiliation of the French people are beyond their power. If they enter France they will there find their grave.
"Soldiers! We have forced marches to make, battles to fight, dangers to encounter; but, with firmness victory will be ours. The rights, the honour, and the happiness of the country will be recovered!
"To every Frenchman who has a heart, the moment has now arrived to conquer or to die.
THE MARSHAL DUKE OF DALMATIA,