Sunshine Recorder

Last Napoleonic Veterans, 1848

Photographs of veterans of Napoleon’s Grande Armée and the Guard wearing their original uniforms and insignia. Likely date May 5, 1858—all are wearing the Saint Helene medal, issued on August 12, 1857 to all veterans of the wars of the Revolution and the Empire. May 5—the anniversary of the death of Napoleon. Every year on that date veterans gathered in Paris:

The base and railings of the column of the Place Vendôme appear this day decked out with the annual offerings to the memory of the man whose statue adorns the summit. The display of garlands of immortelles, and other tributes of the kind, is greater than usual… the old soldiers of the Empire performed their usual homage yesterday at the same place.

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