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Mondrepuis 1815

To Major Lebeau at Maubeuge, Army of the North, 2nd Army Corps, 1st Line Infantry Regiment - June 5th, 1815.

Sir,

Following the mission you have assigned to me, I have rejoined the detachement at Mondrepuis. Contrary to what you had advised me, there was only half the force I was expecting. I had to name one soldier as corporal to help take charge of the rest.

To surprise the bandits, I had ordered that the detachement be ready to march at dawn. We had taken a small path across wood and marsh in order to join the Oise river, which is reputed to have been used by the local bandits that actually infest this area. We then followed a small stream, which took us to another huge wood and marsh. The valley of this stream was flanked by cliffs which made it impossible to reach the heights except in certain areas which were extremely steep. I wish to underline to you that this path will not accommodate the passage of artillery or cavalry whilst big masses of infantry will also have difficulties. Tactically, this valley presents no interest at all.

I am sure that the woods were not as quiet as it would seem and I am convinced that if I am alive today, it is because the bandits did not want to intercept us, preferring to use the time to hide their contreband. The valley is full of potential hiding places and our progression very slow as we had to investigate each of these. We did however find a bag of pepper which I will make sure I had over to the local authorities. We then crossed the Oise river and can confirm that there are several areas which can used as fords.

Contrary to what I had hoped, our slow progression meant that I had no hope of surprising the bandits at the village of Luzoir. 

The basic bivouac of the patrol.

The following day, the patrol starts it's work.

The river Oise is crossed.

A passage is located and the soldiers cross...

...followed by their officer.

The search continues...but without finding anything.



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