I’m a history buff and should have realized it was 200 years ago during the winter of 1812 that Napoleon lost his Grand Army on the steppes of Russia. He captured Moscow but had to retreat as the Russians did not surrender. He lost half of his fighting men and was eventually defeated back in France. He escaped his first exile, returned to power shortly, and was finally defeated at Waterloo in 1815. We will probably hear more about Napoleon in the next few years.
One item of interest was a secret letter he had written requesting the Kremlin be destroyed before his forces left Moscow. That letter was recently auctioned for $243,000, bought by the Museum of Letters and Manuscripts in Paris. The same museum bought a 300 page manuscript written by Napoleon in his later exile on Saint Helena Island. The manuscript was purchased for almost half a million dollars.
I do not know where the letter or manuscript came from when it arrived at the auction house. However, I did get an answer to one of my questions: was Napoleon’s order carried out? Unfortunately, yes, the Kremlin was burned along with a lot of art work.
Speaking of history, I have heard very little about commemorating the War of 1812 fought here in America.