The Old Farmer’s Almanac for November 10: 5 NATURAL SORE THROAT REMEDIES



Here are five simple natural sore throat remedies to help ease the discomfort! Let us know how they work for you!

When you have a sore throat, it’s your body’s immune response to viral or bacterial infections. Sore throats can be quite uncomfortable, especially when you swallow. The mucous membranes in your throat are inflamed and swollen.

Of course, the most important thing you can do is drink fluids and stay well hydrated! Keep your throat’s mucous membranes moist so it can heal.

Try drinking or at least sipping water every hour. If it’s uncomfortable, try drinking warm herbal tea such as Echinacea, peppermint, and chamomile. Sucking on an herbal throat lozenger also produces saliva and soothes the throat.

Here are some natural sore throat remedies to provide relief, using simple ingredients from your pantry.


Of course, one common way to ease the discomfort of sore throat is gargling with salt water. The salt helps reduce swelling.

Combine 1 cup of warm water with 1 teaspoon of salt and stir to dissolve. Gargle with a mouthful of this mixture for 30 seconds, once per hour.


Sage is a wonderful herb used in cooking, but also has antiinflammatory and antibacterial properties to help soothe and help a sore throat.

Mix 1 teaspoon of herb in 1 cup of boiling water for 10 minutes, then strain.


Not only does lemon contain vitamin C and antioxidants, but it increases the amount of saliva you produce to keep your mucous membranes moist and soothe your sore throat.

For a particularly scratchy throat, take one tablespoon of concentrated lemon juice followed immediately by a tablespoon of honey just before bed, which will usually soothe your throat until morning.


Apple cider vinegar has been used in folk medicine remedies for centuries. It contains acetic acid which has antibacterial properties.

To help relieve throat pain, mix 1 tablespoon of cider vinegar and 1 tablespoon of honey or sweetener in a cup of warm water.

Note: Honey shouldn’t be given to children under the age of one.


Ginger has been shown to relieve inflammation which should help sooth a sore throat. There also studies that show ginger has antibacterial powers.

You can purchase ginger tea or make your own tea with fresh ginger.

Boil 4 cups of water in a saucepan. Turn off heat, add 1 tablespoon of grated ginger root, and cover for 10 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon of honey (or sweetener) and a squeeze of lemon juice. Drink warm or cool. Reheat if desired.


Here are a couple of age-old recipes that readers swear by!

Horseradish Cocktail: “Make a syrup of 1 tablespoon horseradish, 1 teaspoon of honey, and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. Mix in a glass of warm water and drink slowly.”

Cider Vinegar With Pepper: “Put a cap full of apple cider vinegar, 3 shakes each of cayenne pepper and black pepper into a cup of warm, salted water. Gargle as many times as needed. This remedy is said to change the pH balance in your throat.”

Of course, there are also medications including NSAIDs and throat sprays. But we hope that these home remedies soothe the pain of your sore throat and help relieve your discomfort.

Note Be sure to see doctor if your sore throat lasts more than a few days as you could have strep throat or another infection.



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The Old Farmer’s Almanac for November 10: HOME REMEDIES FOR COUGH RELIEF


Coughs, while rarely serious, can be really annoying. Some of these natural remedies can provide great relief from a cough, especially when you’re having difficulty sleeping.


  • Lemon juice, sweetened with loaf or crushed sugar, will relieve a cough. –The 1852 Old Farmer’s Almanac. 
  • The root of sweet flag was often powdered or sliced and used as a ginger substitute or throat lozenge.
  • Drink mullein flower tea.
  • Catnip tea helps reduce mucus.
  • To suppress a night cough, put 1 teaspoon black pepper and 1 teaspoon sugar into a mug. Pour in boiling water and let steep. The pepper will settle to the bottom. Sip, as needed.
  • Horehound drops, made with the extract of the leaves of the bitter mint Marrubium vulgare, can be combined with honey for a soothing cough drop, or served as a tea with lemon.
  • Hot and spicy foods act as expectorants, loosening up the lung’s secretions.
  • A reader told us that a teaspoon of mustard will relieve a cough for up to four hours. See if it works for you!
  • Some of these natural remedies might also be helpful to relieve anxiety and stress.


Now here’s a cure for a severe winter cough that comes from The Old Farmer’s Almanac archives: The Dirt Cure! Here’s how it works:

  • Find a piece of land covered with bushes and small stones.
  • When the land has a foot of snow but is not frozen solid, shovel off the snow.
  • Then cut down the bushes and dig out the stones, turning up fresh and pure soil.
  • Bring fistfuls of soil to your face and inhale the scent of fresh earth.
  • Continue until you have cleared half an acre, and you will find yourself strong and hale, and entirely rid of your cough!



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The Old Farmer’s Almanac for November 10: NATURAL REMEDIES FOR A COLD




What can we do to help our bodies through the process healing a cold? Here are some natural remedies for your body and mind.


  • Rose hip tea is full of vitamin C and can help prevent colds in advance.
  • Lemons, oranges, and apple cider are all considered to be cold remedies.
  • For chills, take fresh ginger root.
  • Historically, the layers of the onion were believed to draw contagious diseases from the patient; onions were often hung in sickrooms. Today, we know that onions have antibacterial qualities.
  • Cut up fresh garlic cloves and add them to chicken soup or other foods, or swallow small chunks of raw garlic like pills.
  • Eat loads of hot and spicy foods like chili to clear the sinuses.
  • Like garlic and onion, horseradish generates lots of heat to help offset colds. According to one farmer we know, a daily horseradish sandwich is the best cold remedy out there!
  • Prunes are rich in fiber, vitamins A and B, iron, calcium, and phosphorus. And they’ve been cured themselves!
  • To treat sore lips, go to bed with honey on them.
  • Troubled by cracked lips? Massage them with a dab of earwax (preferably your own!).

For a chest cold or bronchitis, try this remedy, submitted by one of our readers.

  • Boil a whole onion, and afterward, drink the water. You can add a little butter and salt if the taste is unbearable!


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The Old Farmer’s Almanac for November 10: COLD AND FLU PREVENTION TIPS





  • Keep current on inoculations, and ask your doctor about flu shots. The CDCrecommends that every person over the age of 6 months receive the vaccination. If possible, get the flu shot in October, before flu season begins.
  • Don’t share washcloths or towels. Use disposable towels or tissues instead of cloth handkerchiefs.
  • If you’re in a public restroom, try to avoid touching frequently-touched places, like the faucet or door handle. Shut the faucet off with a paper towel and try to push the door open with your shoulder or use the paper towel to turn the knob.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you sneeze or cough. If you don’t have a tissue, cough into your upper sleeve.
  • Colds are only caught from other people; during cold season, don’t shake hands or touch surfaces and then bring your fingers to your nose or face.
  • Don’t bite your nails; it spreads germs.
  • Don’t share food or drinks, even a taste.
  • Wash your hands often, especially after returning from public spaces! Use lots of soap and water.
  • When in doubt, hug instead of kiss, even if your heart says otherwise!
  • Drink plenty of liquids, especially fresh, pure water.
  • Get plenty of sleep. Go to bed early!
  • Cut back on sugars and alcoholic drinks.
  • Eat correctly, especially lots of fruits with high vitamin C content, as well as veggies and grains that cleanse your system.
  • If you can, take it easy and rest as soon as symptoms develop.
  • Stay at home if you are sick. Your school or office will not appreciate you inadvertently spreading your illness!


And here is some good old-fashioned advice from The 1852 Old Farmer’s Almanac:

To avoid fall fevers, eat moderately, drink sparingly, lie not down on the damp earth, nor overheat yourself; but keep your temper, and change your clothes as the weather changes.


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This Day In History, November 10: Mary Anderson Patents the Windshield Wiper (1903)

Mary Anderson Patents the Windshield Wiper (1903)

Mary Anderson (February 19, 1866 – June 27, 1953)[1] was an American real estate developer, rancher, viticulturist and inventorof the windshield wiper blade. In November 1903 Anderson was granted her first patent[2] for an automatic car window cleaning device controlled from inside the car, called the windshield wiper.[3]

Early life

Mary Anderson was born in Greene County, Alabama, at the start of Reconstruction in 1866. In 1889 she moved with her widowed mother and sister to the booming town of Birmingham, Alabama. She built the Fairmont Apartments on Highland Avenue soon after settling in. By 1893, Mary Anderson had moved west to Fresno, California until 1898 where she then she operated a cattle ranch and vineyard.

Invention of the windshield wiper

In a visit to New York City in the winter of 1902, in a trolley car on a frosty day, she observed that the motorman drove with both panes of the double front window open because of difficulty keeping the windshield clear of falling sleet.[4] When she returned to Alabama she hired a designer for a hand-operated device to keep a windshield clear and had a local company produce a working model. She applied for, and in 1903 was granted, a 17-year patent for a windshield wiper.[1] Her device consisted of a lever inside the vehicle that controlled a rubber blade on the outside of the windshield. The lever could be operated to cause the spring-loaded arm to move back and forth across the windshield. A counterweight was used to ensure contact between the wiper and the window.[5][6] Similar devices had been made earlier, but Anderson’s was the first to be effective.[6]

In 1905 Anderson tried to sell the rights to her invention through a noted Canadian firm, but they rejected her application saying “we do not consider it to be of such commercial value as would warrant our undertaking its sale.” After the patent expired in 1920 and the automobile manufacturing business grew exponentially, windshield wipers using Anderson’s basic design became standard equipment.[citation needed] In 1922, Cadillac became the first car manufacturer to adopt them as standard equipment.[5]

Later life

Anderson resided in Birmingham, where she continued to manage the Fairmont Apartments until her death at the age of 87. At the time of her death she was the oldest member of South Highland Presbyterian Church. She died at her summer home in Monteagle, Tennessee. Her funeral was conducted by Dr. Frank A Mathes at South Highland and she was buried at Elmwood Cemetery.[1]

In popular culture

Anderson’s invention of the windshield wiper is mentioned in Season 17, Episode 19: “Girls Just Want to Have Sums,” of the cartoon The Simpsons, during a debate between Marge Simpson and her husband and son, Homer and Bart, about gender equality:

Marge: “Well, a woman also invented the windshield wiper!”
Homer: “Which goes great with another male invention, the car!”[7]

Anderson’s windshield wiper invention is also briefly mentioned on the British panel/quiz show; QI (Quite Interesting); Season 10, Episode 16 – “Just the Job”.

“When was the windshield wiper invented?” was the Weather Channel “Question of the Day” for July 6, 2016.

NPR’s Morning Edition produced a profile, including an interview with her great-great-niece into her legacy and societal context on July 25, 2017. [8]


In 2011 she was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.[9]


  1. Jump up to:a b c ObituaryBirmingham Post-Herald, June 29, 1953
  2. Jump up^ United States Patent 743,801, Issue Date: November 10, 1903
  3. Jump up^ Women Hold Patents on Important Inventions; USPTO recognizes inventive women during Women’s History Month, United States Patent and Trademark Office press release #02-16, March 1, 2002, accessed March 3, 2009
  4. Jump up^ Slater, Dashka, Who made that? Windshield Wiper, New York Times Magazine, September 14, 2014, p.22
  5. Jump up to:a b “Hall of Fame Inventor Profile: Mary Anderson”Invent Now Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on 2013-05-07.
  6. Jump up to:a b Mary Anderson: Windshield Wipers, September 2001, Inventor of the Week Archive, Massachusetts Institute of Technology School of Engineering website, accessed March 3, 2009
  7. Jump up^ Girls Just Want to Have Sums“. The Simpsons. April 30, 2006. Fox.
  8. Jump up^ Palca, Joe (25 July 2017). “Alabama Woman Stuck In NYC Traffic In 1902 Invented The Windshield Wiper”Morning Edition. National Public Radio. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  9. Jump up^ “Spotlight | National Inventors Hall of Fame”. 2013-11-21. Retrieved 2016-05-28.

Inspiration of the Day for November 10: Autumn’s Beauty

Autumn’s Beauty


As the days grow shorter, we tend to acknowledge the changing season without understanding that we, too, are in transition.

The birth of autumn is an event missed by many. Autumn reveals itself slowly, hovering on the edges of our consciousness until its crisp breezes are strong enough to pierce our summer clothing, and we notice for the first time the transformations taking place all around us. It is only when the last fruits and vegetables have emerged in the crisp tangy air and the trees have begun to deck themselves in shifting patterns of crimson and gold that we internalize that fall has indeed returned. Autumn is invigorating and a time to gather our thoughts, in the same way that we might once have collected crops. Just as animals collect acorns to store them, we reap the fruit of our accomplishments. Autumn also ushers in a new slowness of being for most of us, as the tone and tempo of our lives change along with those of all of Mother Earth’s children.

As the days grow shorter and the blossoms that brightened our gardens through summer’s heat begin to droop and wilt, we tend to acknowledge the changing season without understanding that we, too, are in transition. The brilliance of autumn’s foliage, the flocks of southbound geese honking overhead, and the arrival of a bountiful harvest are all signs that our lives will soon be changing. Whether the season’s cooler days are a prelude to a cold winter or a long stretch of sweater weather, we feel obliged to slow down and take stock of our lives. Autumn’s pleasures and rituals revolve around the gathering of abundance in preparation for the winter to come. There is ample time to contemplate what we accomplished during the warmer seasons while tasting the year’s first cider or breathing in the sweet fragrance of leaves breaking down. The same stirring that inspires animals to burrow deep into the earth compels us to celebrate the rich bounty we instinctively know will not appear again until springtime.

Appearances deceive in autumn. The transformations undergone by living beings seem much more like endings than the transitions they really are. Dormancy, not death, is the hallmark of fall. Your priorities will likely change as nature flares into sunset brilliance and then lapses slowly into slumber, but remember to rejoice in the beauty of nature where every finale serves as an overture for a new beginning.



Daily OM

The Daily Horoscopes for Saturday, November 10

Daily horoscope for Saturday, November 10, 2018

Georgia Nicols, Astrologer


Moon Alert

Avoid shopping or big decisions very briefly from 10 PM to 11:15 PM EST, (7 PM to 8:15 PM PST). After that, the Moon moves from Sagittarius into Capricorn.

Aries (March 21-April 19)

This is the perfect day for a day-trip, better yet, a big trip anywhere! You’re hungry for change of scenery to get some stimulation in your life. You will appreciate beautiful surroundings, museums, parks and architectural buildings.

Taurus (April 20-May 20)

This is a good day to discuss how to divide or share something like an inheritance or jointly-held property because you will come out smelling like a rose. (You generally do.) This is also a passionate, affectionate, romantic day. (Be still my beating heart.)

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

Because it’s easy to relate to others today, make an effort to get out and socialize with others! A discussion with a female friend in particular will be heartwarming and reassuring for you. You will also realize how much you care about this person.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)

This is a pleasant day! You’re happy with your To Do list for Saturday and ready to do errands and different tasks — but you will do them leisurely with joy. You’re in the perfect mood to be productive and yet, at the same time, have a very happy day. Win/win!

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)

This is a playful Saturday. Make plans to do something different that is sheer enjoyment for you. You might want to grab a matinee, meet friends for lunch, go for a drive or do some therapy shopping before dinner. Perhaps your choice is to share fun activities with kids?

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

This is the perfect Saturday to hunker down at home and relax among familiar surroundings. It’s been a fast-paced week and you welcome a chance to unwind, regenerate and restore yourself. A conversation with a female family member will be significant and pleasant.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

Whatever you do today, you will enjoy yourself simply because you’re in a good mood. It’s that simple. However, when talking to others you want to really share something more deeply. You want to get down to the nitty-gritty of things. (“So how’s your sex life?”)

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

You have money on your mind today. And while you might be thinking about earnings, assets and cash flow, at a deeper level, you’re wondering if you are using your possessions, wealth and money to their best advantage. Does what you own make you happy? Isn’t that the point?

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

Today the Moon is in your sign, which makes you a bit more emotional than usual. However, it can also bring you a little bit of extra good luck. Why not test it and ask the universe for a favour? (Don’t go overboard gambling – it’s just a “little” good luck.)

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

You will enjoy solitude in beautiful surroundings today because you need some peace and quiet. Hopefully, you can retreat somewhere or sleep in or hide. You’re not being antisocial. You just want a chance to regenerate and sort things out.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

You’re in the mood to schmooze with friends today, especially female acquaintances. Meet someone for brunch. Grab the kids and go to a park. Get out and enjoy the company of others because you need the stimulation! Talk to someone about your hopes for the future.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)

Personal details about your private life seem to be public today. Fortunately, whatever the case, these details seem to be quite positive. You don’t have egg on your face. Instead your popularity is slightly higher today!



American Revolution: Continental Marines; Happy Birthday

November 10 is celebrated as the birthday of the United States Marine Corps at post and stations around the globe. Wherever possible–and sometimes when it would seem impossible– there is a birthday cake. November 10 is celebrated because on that date in 1775 the Continental Congress passed the following resolution: Resolved, That two battalions of marines be raised, consisting of one Colonel, two Lieutenant Colonels, two Majors and other officers as usual in other regiments; that they consist of an equal number of privates with other battalions; that particular care be taken that no persons appointed to offices, or installed into said Battalions, but such as are good seamen, or so acquainted with maritime affairs as to be able to serve to advantage by sea when required; that they be enlisted and commissioned to serve for and during the present war between Great Britain and the colonies, unless dismissed by order of Congress; that they be distinguished by the name of the first and second battalions of American Marines.

The resolution was written by a special five-man Congressional Committee that had been established only a week before and, well supplied with Jamaican rum, met evenings in a public house  in Philadelphia. The committee had not intended to create a separate unit of marines but to transfer soldiers from Washington’s Continental Army. When the general objected (the first but not the last case of inter-service rivalry between American soldiers and Marines), Congress agreed to recruit Marines independently.

The wording of the resolution of November 10 indicates the founding fathers had ales than crystal-clear idea of what marines were supposed to be. The battalions are ordered to accept only ‘ such as are good seamen, or so acquainted with maritime affairs as to be able to serve to advantage by sea when required.” But marines are not specialized sailors; they are totally different breed of fighter. In fact, the British Marines, on whom the American establishment is based, were specificity exempt from sea duties. Since 1775, the role of the American Marines has evolved in various forms as their countries’ needs have demanded; but they have not served as sailors.  The committee’s language hung over the original intention to use as marines those of Washington’s soldiers who had some sea experience.

In 1775, the British Marines were only 111 years old. But at least as far back as a thousand years before the birth of Christ, men on ships of war were divided into rowers and fighters (sailors and marines). Marines in the fleet of Ramses III helped keep hordes of invaders out of Egypt. The Greek ships that attacked Troy and of which Homer sang carried marines who fought on a forward deck. At the battle of Salamis in 480 B.C.E., when Greek city states defeated the mighty Persia, marines (epibatai) from Athens and Corinth played a vital part in a naval battle that changed history.

When Rome ruled the seas, her men-of-war carried a powerful force of marines ( milites classici). These warriors helped defeat the naval power of Carthage in 260 B.C.E. At the crucial battle of Mylae off Sicily, the Romans had 120 marines aboard each of their ships to control the rowers and board enemy ships. The victory began the Roman navy’s mastery of the Mediterranean Sea.

As the historian of ancient sea warfare, Lionel Casson, says of those early marines, “Without such fighters to rake the opponent’s deck during the approach or to stand to repel boarders after the impact [of ramming], the attacked vessel’s marines could grapple and board and stand a fair chance of taking over the attacker.”

The British Marines were originally ordered and raised by King Charles II on October 28, 1664, during the Second Dutch war, which turned New Amsterdam in to New York. They were called the Admiral’s Regiment and reputedly were the first unit to be armed with flintlocks rather than muskets. A detachment of the regiment, dressed in yellow coats and red breeches, was sent to Virginia to keep the peace in 1676. A few of them stayed and became colonist. BY 1741, three regiments of Marines were ordered raised in the American colonies under Colonel Alexander Spotswood of Virginia. One regiment, commanded by Virginia’s lieutenant governor, Colonel William Gooch–and known as Gooch’s Marines–fought in the Caribbean against Spain. British Marines helped capture the French base of Louisburg on Cape Breton Island in 1745, and they aided James Wolfe’s capture of Quebec in 1759. Wolfe himself was first commissioned in the Marines, as was John Churchill, who became the Duke of Marlborough.

On the evening of April 19, 1775, British Marines participated in the first shots heard around the world. Major John Pitcairn, who led the advance guard sent to seize the colonist’s military stores at Concord, was a Marine. It was his contingent that killed Minute Men on the snow-covered Lexington green. After the skirmish later that morning at Concord, the 1st British Marine Battalion formed a hollow square at Lexington to give a breathing spell to the redcoats returning from Concord under a hail of Colonial bullets.

Two months later the 1st British Marine Battalion charged on the left flank in the assault against the hastily constructed American entrenchments on Breed’s Hill [Bunker Hill]. Twice the British moved up the hill and were thrown back. Major Pitcairn, at the head of his men, was twice wounded. Major General Gage, the British commander in America, ordered a third assault. The story is told that when a British army battalion in this third attack was held up by heavy Colonial fire, it was enjoined to “Break, then and let the Marines pass through you.”

The Americans on the hilltop finally ran out of gunpowder and, after fighting with musket butts and stones, fled from the British bayonets. The British Marines were the first to penetrate the American lines. Major Pitcairn was killed; but in this “Battle of Bunker Hill,” for the first time, Colonials had stood up to a frontal assault by British Regulars.

British Marines fought in many sea battles and coastal raids during the Revolution. They helped throw Arnold and the Americans back from Quebec in the spring of 1776. They fought Americans hand-to-hand to prevent them from recapturing Savannah in October 1779. The following spring they helped seize Fort Moultrie in Charleston Harbor. And Marines were in the force which Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown October 19, 1781. (At Yorktown French Marines helped blockade Colonel Balastre Tarleton, who was holding open an escape route for Cornwallis)

In 1802, George III declared British Marines to be “The Royal Marines.” Admiral Horatio Nelson, England’s greatest sea fighter, wrote that “ Every fleet should have a perfect battalion of Marines and, commanded by experienced officers, they would be prepared to make a serious impression on the enemy’s coast.”

The Royal and American Marines began as enemies, but over the years after the War of 1812 they became comrades. They were blooded to gather in the Boxer Rebellion, World War Two and Korea. They share the same traditions. The Royal Marines wear a badge showing the eastern hemisphere of the globe; United States Marines wear one with the western Hemisphere.


SOURCE: U.S. Marine Corps Story; BY: J. Robert Moskin
CONTRIBUTOR: Cade Pommeraan

Napoleonic Wars: After Leipzig; Retreat

More important, were the consequences of Leipzig. Napoleon had now to go back to France to consolidate his position. Meanwhile all Western Germany rose against him. In a surge of patriotic enthusiasm Berg, Westphalia and other principalities followed the example of Bavaria. By the Treaty of Fulda (2 November) Metternich guaranteed Württemberg’s sovereignty in return for a contingent of 12,000 men. Baden, Hesse-Darmstädt and Nassau lost no time in concluding similar conventions. The dispossessed rulers of Brunswick, Hanover, Electoral House of Hesse and Oldenburg returned to their thrones.

The somewhat inchoate military machine of the allies was attempting meanwhile to exploit its strategic advantage. Klenau and bennigsen were detailed to mop up the French garrisons along the Elbe at Dresden, Torgau, Wittenberg and Magdeburg. Kleist and Winzingerode were directed to take Erfurt. Bernadotte moved north to support Wallmoden against Davout, whose communications with the Emperor were now severed. Early in November Dresden and Torgau surrendered. Before the end of the year Danzig, Stettin and Wittenberg were in Allied hands. In January 1814 Napoleon’s Danish allies, pursued into Holstein by Wallmoden, concluded the Treaty of Kiel.

On 23 October Napoleon reached Erfurt where he endeavoured to restore some order to what remained of his Grand Armée. Two days later he resumed his retreat. Schwarzenberg and Blücher were following up slowly, but if they were to intercept him he first must be delayed by Wrede’s Bavarians and Prince Reuss’s Austrians; advancing from Anspach by Würzburg, the Bavarians and Austrian contingent rached Hanau by 28 October, blocking the main road back to France. Wrede, commanding 40,000 men, held the line of the River Kinzig, with Hanau at his back. The situation looked black for the French, but the resilience of the remnants of the Grande Armée was amazing. Drouot massed a great battery, and Nansouty and Sébastiani led all the available cavalry in amassive charge t beat back the Allied left. Wrede retired across the river. On the 31st Napoleon sent the corps of Bertrand and Marmont, which had fought with truly Gallic fervour and gave time for Oudinot (Young Guard) to get around Wrede’s flank. On 2 November the wreck of the Grande Armée was struggling back across the Rhine at Mainz.

A properly coordinated army under a single chief might well have exploited the victory at Leipzig to more advantage than did the Allies of 1813. While there was no hurry to reduce the French garrisons in Germany, there was good reason to intercept Napoleon east of the Rhine, at least so far as Blücher and the Tsar were concerned (the Austrians at this stage were by no means certain that they wished to unseat Napoleon).

Leipzig, the Battle of Nations, was the biggest battle of the Napoleonic wars, bigger than Borodino and bigger than Waterloo. Its very vastness had posed the Allies the same sort of problems over control and passage of orders which had earlier vexed Napoleon. That they triumphed was due in no small part to the efforts of the brave, modest and tactful Schwarzenberg. On the eve of the battle he wrote to his wife, “When I look out my window and see the countless watch-fires outstretched before me, and when I consider that I face the greatest military commander of our age, and one of the greatest of all time, a veritable emperor of battles, then my dear Nani, I must admit that I feel my shoulders too weak and will collapse under the gigantic task which weighs upon them. But when I gaze up at the stars, I recall that He who controls them has also marked out my course.” Schwarzenberg, whom we may call the Eisenhower of the coalition forces, proved equal to the task of making them run smoothly. At a banquet a year or two after the battle Blücher proposed a toast to ‘the Commander-in-Chief who had three monarchs at his headquarters and still managed to beat the enemy.’

Napoleon, with a courage perhaps never surpassed, refused to capitulate and the Allies swept on towards the Rhine. In the approaching campaign to save France–and himself—he was to touch new heights as a general. He still had not been defeated in the field; this was not to happen to him until that fatal day at Waterloo. In Russia, in his own view, he had been conquered by the weather, at Leipzig by the treachery of the Saxons and the stupidity of an engineer officer. Such rationalizations might strain credulity, but they allowed him to continue to believe in his star.

As he withdrew to France, commanding marshals and generals whose one desire was to enjoy their wealth and estates in peace, the personal ascendancy that enabled him to continue the struggle became all the more remarkable. He opened peace negotiations that were to continue for much of the rest of the struggle, but he never seriously contemplated abandoning his conquests while he had cannon and muskets that would be fired at his command. Although the new Allied peace proposals were astonishingly liberal, taking into account his reduced military capacity, he rejected them. He also thought it discreet to throw doubt on the sincerity of the Allies, for he feared their offers of peace might lessen the French will to resist. For Napoleon the truth was always what it suited him to have others believe.

He expected that his garrisons in Germany and along the main approaches to France would cause his enemies to dissipate their forces with lengthy and unnecessary sieges. But by his own example he had trained the Allies too well in the virtues of concentration and speed. They now blockaded the French held fortresses with second-line troops and continued the war through the depths of winter. In January 1814, as the Allied invasion of France proceeded without a check, Napoleon had once again to take the field, while he might greet this turn of events by boldly raising his glass to toast the advance to the Vistula that he yearned for, his marshals were lukewarm. He however, was not to be subdued without a struggle worthy of a genius.


SOURCE: NAPOLEON: The Last Campaigns 1813-15; BY: James Lawford
CONTRIBUTOR: Martin F. Elkins