Researched from genuine primary sources in regulations and memoirs, this is the first book to explain and illustrate the organization, activities, and personal stories of the female "support staff" who played a major role in the day-to-day life of Napoleon's armies. The cantinières who accompanied Napoleon's armies to war have an iconic status in the history of the Grande Armée. Sutler-women and laundresses were officially sanctioned members of the regiment performing a vital support role. In a period when the supply and pay services were haphazard, their canteen wagons and tents were a vital source of sustenance and served as the social hubs of the regiment. Although officially non-combatants, many of these women followed their regiments into battle, serving brandy to soldiers in the firing line, braving enemy fire. This book is a timely piece of social history, as well as a colorful new guide for modelers and re-enactors. Through meticulous research of unprecedented depth and accuracy, Terry Crowdy dispels the inaccurate portrayals that Napoleon's Women Camp Followers have suffered over the years to offer a fascinating look at these forgotten heroines.
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Table of Contents
INTRODUCTION Definitions, and popular status WOMEN AND THE ARMIES Military marriages Soldier-sutlers Chaos in spring 1793 Bonaparte's early campaigns: officers' indiscipline Prostitution The Civil Code, 1804 ORGANIZATION Decree of 30 April 1793 – identification, and numbers Decree of 26 July 1800 Army of Germany, 1809 Grande Armée, 1812 THE ROLE OF VIVANDIÈRES & CANTINIÈRES Goods and services Sutlers' tents Discipline Civilian canteens BLANCHISSEUSES In barracks and camp On campaign COSTUME The early 1790s From Revolution to Directory and Empire Revolutionary cockades THE REGIMENTAL CHILDREN The ancien régime Law of 26 July 1800 THE LEGEND OF MARIE TÊTE-DU-BOIS SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY PLATE COMMENTARIES INDEX