|Evening of Waterloo, Ernest Crofts|
In the confusion of the end of Waterloo, what happened to the wounded? What happened to the men who could not retreat? What happened to the men who were mortally wounded (or in many cases, unable to walk)?
This aftermath is an interesting area of discussion. The French fled and the forces opposed to them were exhausted. In many cases, the troops had spent days on the march, trying to arrive at the battlefield as quickly as possible to deliver the maximum force necessary to knock each other out.
I love the details, the confusion, and the horror of it all is heartbreaking. What Crofts gets right is the haze and misery.
|The Scots Greys Charging at Waterloo|
The Chasseurs project crawls along at a rather slow pace. But, it does move along, so that's something to be happy about. Each and every element needs to fit together, and finding the pieces has been a long, drawn-out process.
The aftermath of Waterloo has always interested me. After the armies shattered themselves, the French abandoned the field. The chase was on; Napoleon fled before his forces and tried to find somewhere to go. He ended up surrendering himself to a British sea captain.
This excerpt has some great details:
It would make sense to me to depict this aftermath as a time of chaos and confusion. The staggering number of wounded would mean that The Chasseurs are stuck on the field and unable to retreat. This allows for scenes at the end to take place in a static setting, one that can be transitioned from quickly.
Having just visited Paris, I was surprised to learn that Napoleon used the Tuileries as his residence; I somehow had passed over that. In an event, I regret not going there. Oh well.
This was excerpted from a great piece about Napoleon's daily habits. I am now in the process of putting together a sequence for The Chasseurs where they will march to the first battle, and then on to Waterloo.
This will play a critical role in organizing and moving the story.
The Chasseurs "hunt" for wounded soldiers and help the old French surgeon find them and care for them. Often, a chasseur dog will guide the litter crews from the battlefield to the flying ambulance.
Emergency medicine has deep military roots. In 1792, the young French surgeon Dominique-Jean Larrey observed that most injured soldiers died for want of immediate attention. Inspired by horse-drawn "flying artillery" he developed a "flying ambulance." This ambulance volante combined with Larrey’s development of the concept of triage became integral to Napoleon’s army.
At full strength, the ambulance corps included 340 men, in 3 divisions, each with 12 light and four heavy carriages. A first class surgeon-major commanded a contingent that included apothecaries, a farrier, a saddler, a bootmaker, "a bearer of surgical instruments with a trumpet" and "a lad with a drum carrying surgical dressings." Few changes were made to his ambulance design until the motorized era.
During the 1799 battle for Aboukir in Egypt, Larrey reported that "none were left more than a quarter of an hour without being dressed." Larrey was also a gifted physician who performed the first successful leg amputation at the hip. This superb care helped troop morale, and even moved the enemy: at Waterloo the Duke of Wellington adjusted his line of fire to let the ambulances work.