"Bitter cold. Silent march. Thoughts to cherish. Anniversary of my birth - Greetings from my mother...tears….agony…Memories of her. Covered six leagues; stopped in a village, quarter of a league in advance of the general staff. Fever and diarrhea".
— Journal of Maurice De Tascher, an officer of Chasseurs, written on December 4 1812. See Adam Zamoyski, Moscow 1812: Napoleon’s Fatal March, (New York 2004) at page 488. The painting is by Faber du Faur from the excellent blog Napoleon in Russia.