Reasons of behavior of officers of Army of Duchy of Warsaw were various. It was result either of variety tasks that were given them to fulfill or situation in real life that officers were faced with or finally individual human`s features differences, individual character features and upbringing. Nevertheless it is possible to systematize all these factors. Sociological and psychological researches that were lead during the Iind world war in USA Army indicates the list of following reasons of behavior:
- sense of duty,
- individual proud and self estimation,
- ideological reasons,
- sense of solidarity in group (friendship, giving example),
- will of survival,
- revenge, anger,
However we can not surely confirm if leading such a research might have brought related solutions we can put risky statement. For such social group as consisted with soldiers solutions of such a research may be related. In this point it is necessary to give a question. Is it possible to link the reasons of behavior with the sense of honor? Can we recognize the honor as next feature, that have an influence on the behavior of soldier? In my opinion at the same time it can be and it can not be recognized. Honor treated as an independent value and inspiration of behavior it can exist as independent feature that defines the following types of behavior: sense of duty, individual proud and self-estimation, solidarity in the group, patriotism. In a meaning of this work it can not be examined in sense neither of personal nor national honor.
Above described motives were created by more other factors such as: will of survival, revenge, usual human fear and various human feelings, that were obviously important integral part of soldiers behaviors. It is necessary to point out, that in this place honorable code both solved dilemmas and decided about the choice of proper behavior. Both honor in our meaning and honorable code participated in creation of consciousness of officers of Duchy of Warsaw. It was not an empty word. It was the point that determined whole life of these people. It is necessary to check how far it directed their lifes and finally if Napoleon was right with his words: Honor it does not exclude to compromise with it.
Patriotism and honor
Nevertheless it was theirs (officers) desire as well as desire of all truthful Poles - it was not and it could not be resignation of their homes, leaving the chains of blood and friendship, that connected them with their co-citizens. Their desire was neither amicable agreement of driving out nor abandoning for service to motherland, nor service in their own interest to other nation, nor desire of dying without any purpose or any joy on earth in strange place. Their desire was not to allow memory about their names disappear neither without any tear nor without any compassion, nor without any help from a side of helpful hands, that might have sweet their last breaths and honored their tombs. Their the most deepest desire would have always been possibility finding again the dearest motherland.
Karol Moeller`s words, that were addressed to marshal of empire Louis Berthier, may be recognized as the common meaning of officers and soldiers in legions. These soldiers, which were actually far from heir homes, they mostly sensed lack of it. They not only had not free motherland, but also were in various places far from their occupied country. The whole idea of organizing Legions was set on the desire of restorations independent motherland. On the other hand lots of people standing aside found Poles not only as rowdies, but mostly as hirelings that would fought at the side of France for private profits. Nevertheless officers they knew what is the main purpose of their behavior. It was not clearly possible to see to serve to France and by this way gain independent political live of motherland but polish soldiers they were rather encouraged to fight against those who were responsible for dividing motherland than live peacefully on occupied land.
Humiliation for them may have come from a point, that they did not give enough efforts to rescue motherland from lose. In this way their officers honor was blamed. On the other hand the most important was not exactly self consciousness of their private lose, but sense that was telling about the blame, which touched the whole Polish Nation. Honor of all Poles required to crush this blame with possible methods. Many times the officers were faced with difficult questions Lots Poles was embarrassed by the address of Spanish people to fighting against them polish soldiers. Spanish were calling in the sense of honor of Poles, who were experienced by the lack of freedom and come to give occupation - what was expressed in the address. The only thing was to keep silence, because many of them were close to express yearning for far country of their homes, where there is plenty of mountains, beautiful views and even if they were not the most beautiful they were the most closer - firstly they were private. In this point officers were faced with internal moral conflict. What to do - leave the lines of army and leave flags banners to whom they promised to be faithful in purpose to give understanding of honor to brave Spanish? Is it correct to continue fighting and drive independent nation into occupation?
Motherland was always standing in the eyesight and honor can not allow to abandon lines. Thay may only keep silence while French grenadier after the attack on Santa Engracja cloister during the siege of Saragossa was demanding an answer: How it could happened that Polish Kingdom was conquered? He had not seen before such proofs of bravery and sacrifice. Officers were fighting not only for the best name of soldiers but first of all of name of motherland. Honor it did not allow to wear foreign uniforms. As the consequence of this fact it was very common effort to preserve and strengthen national polish character of army. Even in 1799 when there was considered releasing companies of polish Legion`s artillery and soldiers with equipment divide into companies Cis-Alpinum Republic officers were given the choice: either come into officer stuff of cis-alpinian arilery or into fulled of staff companies of legion`s infantry - as reports Vincent Aksamitowski - anyone did not want to take first choice. It was exactly the problem of national honor, because "additionals" they could not count on any financial gratifications. They chose poverty than not sure perspective and accusing of being hirelings.
Józef Dąbrowski was conscious about the fact that soldiers and officers, that are far from motherland they can quickly come into routine and sincere ideas can be changed with cold calculation. He quickly designed general Rymkiewicz as the chief of legion correspondence and required practicing of it. The main point was to stay with contact with motherland so that all the soldiers thoughts were close to the home lands and kept by this method moral level of soldiers and officers at the most possible high level. As the thoughts were close to motherland all of them were sensitive with accusation of being hireling. When on 17th of October 1797 Napoleon signed act of peace with Austrian Empire despair came into the hearts and appeared discouragement. Generals lost their minds; blood was let off on request of Wielhorski, Dąbrowski was ill, Kniaziewicz lost a half of his natural energy. Nevertheless lots of them came back into the lines of army. General Józef Dąbrowski wrote: only thouth about motherland makes me fix sable at my side, and in time of peace it is necessary to arm myself with patience, give proofs of entity, gain friendship of people, so that after years it may be possible to say that Legions salved Poland.
Nevertheless not every man had so strong belief in Napoleon`s intentions. When on 9th of 1801 there was signed the following act of peace lots of them did not see any possibilities to fulfill their own ideas and honor decides to leave lines of army so that to avoid accusation of being hireling. As a consequence of this fact there was nothing that made Poles stay at the side of France. Therefore I was sure, that Legia would had not fought for motherland and I decided in purpose to rescue national honor, that Pole he did not know to be hireling. I decided to ask about possibility of being dismissed and lots of officers did so along my example. Nevertheless lots of officers was present on the battlefields of Europe: either as soldiers of Army of Duchy of Warsaw on salary of France or among Poles fighting above the Country. there is always very well visible national honor of Poles, which is understood as: love to motherland, fear before the disgracing the name of Poland and desire to glorify it in the whole world. While the attack on Spanish enforced positions in the battle at Ocana there was dangered lines of 4th regiment of infantry of division of Army of Duchy of Warsaw prince Sułkowski kept the regimental banner flag and with a shout: Who is Pole along me! he stopped retreating and finally reached the positions of enemy. Fear about the very well name of Poland was natural state of many officers.
There was great effort to lead in the best possible way relationships with civil people, so that not to blame opinion. However along opinion of Załuski in each nation and moreover in every regiment there are people, that was brought up not in equally the same methods and many times there happened to be ashamed about behavior of fellow countryman. When on 22nd of November 1806 both land general and organizer of Army in Calisian district Paweł Skórzewski was calling the citizens to be join the Army he also connected love to motherland with honor, giving example of defending of honor I was telling to you, not only radical necessity of having Motherland but also yours honor calls you. It is calling on you so that all of you having time and best possibility might gave proofs of your brave... Lots of people answered for this address. It is necessary to point out, that not only the duty and honor made them to join to lines of the Army.
Beautiful uniforms and best will to present themselves were one of important reasons. It is necessary to point out, that among colleagues, principals, old soldiers and veterans they quickly learned both military art and conscious patriotism. Nevertheless sacrificing and bravery of Poles was not enough to stop the lost of Duchy of Warsaw but behavior of Poles in Napoleonic wars surly saved honor of Poland and her soldiers.
The death of Prince Marshal Józef Poniatowski in the waves of Elstera at Lipsk become a symbol: He quickly regain consciousness and with a help of adjutant he climbed up the horse, but he was shaking in the saddle. From many sides people were asking him so to let people treat his wounds and by leaving the command to other general rescued himself for motherland. Bravery of prince was fighting with danger. - No, no! he shouted God gave me honor of Poles. I gave back it only to God. It is possible to discuss about the reality of this scene ant rational motives of this behavior of Prince Józef Poniatowski. He was obviously more necessary as main chief of polish army, surely he was necessary rather alive than dead. Was not it bravery that went out of the reasonable boundaries? Could not we say that honor stood against the need of motherland? It is difficult to say without any doubt. Prince Józef Poniatowski was extraordinary person. Sense of honor was for him feelings of the highest recommendation and he could let people treat his wounds and he could let to be taken in the safe place.
Here we find next moral problem. What to do either fight to the end, to "till the last drop of blood" or survive even for the highest price and in good moment start the fight again? This question must have started in the heart of many officers. Nevertheless Prince Poniatowski he did not have such a dilemma. If the point was about the honor of Poles and at the same time that mant about honor of Poland he had chosen death. We can treat that at the moment of such a decision Prince Poniatowski was enough strong in his consciousness, strong enough to make a good estimation of situation and taking the best decision (in this case for his conscience, because it is difficult to find better choice for Prince as the regular person)/. This presumption it might not be truthful because of the fact that even if he said mentioned words it happened at the moment when he was already wounded four times (fifth time he was wounded in the river) and with visible difficulties he kept himself in the saddle. On the other hand we can not decide that such an event have not took place because of the fact that Prince Poniatowski many times gave proofs that honor of nation is great value for him.
While after the failure of campaign towards to Moscow there was done extraordinary efforts so that to reconstruct the regiments Prince Poniatowski wrote to soldiers: In the address, that I am giving today to yours knowledge I am bringing to you the most prideful, the only one which is worthy of polish knights, truthfully worthy reward which is the voice of grateful motherland for the glory of names of Poles that is brought by the blood that had been given. In the close future new troops of soldiers would be placed among yours lines. With the eager to go along yours traces they would be also giving proofs that not beauty of uniforms but saint love to motherland that is given by our fathers, which made polish soldier equal with unconquered troops of first army in the world. You would be able to appreciate the eager of yours brothers and co citizens, so that to strengthen their first steps in fields of battles with yours eager on the fields of glory and finally once again you would show to the world that Poles had been borne for the Motherland and for her had been ready to die. It sounds as nearly impossible epitaph on the tomb of Klemens Liberadzki, who had been died 16 years before at the battle of Verona: Liberadzki, who had been the officer of the polish troop and who had died in the fight at Verona he reminded to fellow countryman before the death that low of motherland indicated to die or conquer. Can not we say that honor of motherland was standing at the guard of this law? I think that it stood and not only in this two cases bat in many various examples.
Honor and behavior to the civil people
XIXth century art of war was not possible to perform without engaging civil population. mostly it concerned problem of providing food and lodges for soldiers. Even if there were gathered some storages while multi-thousand armies were moving from place to place they could not provide proper amount of food because of distances difficulties in transport. It was the reason why they used storages of the local population, their housings, courts and attached buildings, which were turning into temporal soldiers lodges.
Accordingly to memories of Paweł Fądzielski, the captain of 1st regiment of Polish-Italian Legion: our life is not so expensive for us, because we do not pay to anybody; it is the fashion, that I like very much. Even if the route of march was along territories of friends it was possible to expect some enthusiasm but it was very rare situation because of the fact that it mainly meant lost of food storages, livestock or even material goods. In case of the march along territories of enemy there happened much more difficult cases, when whole population of village was escaping to the wood carrying everything that might had had any value for soldiers. Problem of lodging and supplying food for the army was problem of life or death. Even if soldiers was having food for several days they might left it during the march as difficult to carry. The effect was easy to predict while the route of march lead along regions of poverty and army was faced up with disaster. Officers corps of Army of Duchy of Warsaw was conscious with the problem, that relationships with local population was both the problem of higher rank and it was straightly connected with private interest. As the effect of this fact relationship between the army and local population was treated together among other factors that had influence on sense of honor. In this point the problem had belonged anymore longer to the private understanding of officer but to sense of honor of whole army and at the same time to sense of national honor.
Opinion about Poles was point of interest up to such a level for officers corps that they had not resigned any opportunity either to show understanding of honor or to defend it. While the staying of Polish Lancers of the French Imperial Guard in French village priest was describing to Józef Załuski his sense of being moved with the fact of displaying his holly persons wit. Załuski settled him down into arrest even if his deed was not enough reason to passed sentence. When the harmed person found out about the punishment came to ask about the acquitation for the soldier. Załuski replied: Dear Priest, You was telling me that polish soldier had made annoyance to you, Priest and yours appreciation as you have in the village. This deed is not so small accordingly to my understanding as the polish soldier and catholic at the same time. This made me sure to punish this deed with severity for example to others.
In another situation one of the soldiers of the 7th regiment of lansiers was accused of the rape on one Spanish girl. Colonell Jan Konopka in one moment organized assembly of regiment and asked women do indicate the man that had been responsible for this fact. It turned out that responsibility for this deed did not belong to any Pole but to French. the source of misunderstanding was because of similarity uniforms. French was shot in several whiles. On the other hand colonel Konopka asked to moving his regiment under command of marshal Soult because of the fact that general Sebastiani named Poles as robbers and rappers before the moment of solution of problem.
While the staying of those Polish Lancers of the French Imperial Guard in Bordoux they were also accused of steeling the parsimony of whole life of his host, where they had his lodgment. There was quickly started investigation, that brought solution quickly. Sack with money of French was hidden in dung, which was dig by the horses and the sack moved into another place. The sack was given back publicly to the French, which was asked about how much values he had stored inside. The amount of money inside was much more higher than was ment by the French. So it was the reason that was publicly claimed that Poles added some money in gratitude to the hostage.
All this efforts, which were done around the good name of Pole were done in purpose to gain good opinion among local population. The intention was neither because of the need of lodgment, nor supplying fodder for horses, nor supplying food for troops. While soldier had been either wounded or not ready to service he stayed among local population under their treatment. In case his behavior was good and he left good opinion he could count on the help of local societies. It was not easy to gain good opinion. Memories of Poles are here clear. In first several moments local population treated Poles without any sympathy. The reason of this fact laid in the opinion claimed by the French. Kazimierz Tański reporting the stay of Poles in Rome 1798, when inhabitants were panicky afraid about Poles because of opinions claimed by French people, who had defined Poles as wild and cruel people. Quickly legionnaires were recognized. They were given the estimation and even there were started friendly relationships.
Piotr Wierzbicki recalls similar event on Santo Domingo, where in the beginning polish captives were treated equally as French, that meant very cruelly. The reason was, that French were telling to Negro that Poles are barbarians, who eats human bodies. As it was before and there on Santo Domingo and as well in Spain people recognized Poles as not barbarians but on the contrary in comparison to French their behavior is better and more soft in terms of relationship to local population.
Interesting description of supplying food for the troop and associated with this problem moral dilemmas was left by the Michał Jackowski, lieutenant of cheval artillery. When in campagne 1812 he had reached some rich village, he told: My brother, we were not responsible for because we were to do what we had been told by older man; They also had to maintain the army. We were given orders to take all that we could find of food and fodder in yours village. I did not intend to do so, because all of you with your families had to live. But on the other hand here is sixty homes. I was asking you as Christian .... He was asking about a lot of things, but what he underlined the village was rich. As a consequence of such a request, which was expressed in understandable language for the host and from Christian position, he was given everything even with the blessing of the host. What is interesting, that when the whole food and fodder was brought to the camp chief of battalion Truskowski accused Jackowski of leaving peasants needed goods and took money using this for his private interest. Mister Chef - was telling Jackowski - I had not been in Spain, where many soldiers robbed, but I could not be vile. For this accusation I might have answered in the future. We did not know if the duel was performed. But if we can trust into relation there were lots of effort to treat local population in humanitarian way. But on the other hand there must have happened some other examples of treatment local population without the mercy. We can not say that polish soldier have never robbed nor did bad deeds. But from these relations we can build constant rapport.
After the conquering the stronghold of Gaeta there happened robbery of local population, that was done not only by French but also by the Poles. There was claimed the assembly by the use of horn so that to stop robbery and find responsible persons. There was needed only one look of eye to identify robberies, because Poles were covered with the different kinds of food. Despite to this fact there was performed personal examination. In this moment French soldiers shouted that this might blame soldiers honor(!). It was not possible to persuade to Dąbrowski not to do so. In first French ruck-sak there were found jewelry and liturgical cups, liturgical monstrance and other things.
In other time during the march of Polish Lancers of the French Imperial Guard in France they were accused of theft of all the poultry that belonged to the chef of the place in one of the towns. Personal examination did not bring any solution and Polish Lancers of the French Imperial Guard were released. After the moment there was possible to hear clucking, crowing and cackling. It turned out that some soldiers had hidden poultry under their caps, which was taken so funny as they were not given any punishment. It seemed that some cleverness was some how added feature of soldiers and because of this officers corps was not turning its attention in such a situation only in case if the purpose was to supply food for the troop.
Regular soldiers, that were recruited from lower classes of the society they received as behavior at home moral norms, that were difficult to replace. Marcin Smarzewski, lieutenant of the 8th regiment of infantry recalled some prisoner, who tried to escape from the prison (which was organized in the old powder magazine) by cloak channels to Vistula river. While the escaping prisoner was captured and was asked why he had tried to escape, he told: Obviously the best way to escape was this one, where no one was chasing and the way was the best known from others. - How it is the best known for you? Had you worked in channels? - Yes, I had worked many times. Had not it been dishonor? - How could you villain use honor in discussion? You thief!
There was no place for a flog type punishment, where both soldier was lead by sence of honor and who know by this way his own dignity. In case he blamed his honor he was sentenced by his own troop. Such a court was horrible because soldiers they did not have any mercy in treating colleague. They chose the judges among themselves. While the verdict was given in to chef he must have soften it many times. In case of desertion there was capital punishment while it had happened during the war. While it had happened during times of peace deserter was kept in chains. Transgression against subordination was punished in various ways - from arrest up to the death, what depended on the scale of the deed. Robbery was punished by chains, for a drunkard there was used streaming water on the head of him up to the moment of getting conscience. For smaller acts of crime was either several days of service or several days of guard service or standing for several hours with full armament in a front of guard house or finally march at the back guards. If there was blame for the whole troop he was sentenced either to wear their uniforms converted on the internal side up or to serve instead the others. Nevertheless the most horrible punishment was the court of the troop.
Specific problem in honorable code of officers of Army of Duchy of Warsaw was relationship to the ladies. Clean uniforms, proud soldiers silhouettes and surly some appreciation represented by the officers was gathering a lot of ladies. It made hearts of them to pay attention on the officers. Despite to this fact there was visible among the officers marvelous estimation to ladies, some kind of distance and respect. It was of course made also at the same time by the social status of the officers. If he was associated among upper social classes he could not let to shorten expected distance. It was the reason for some kind of friendly help that was realized by the probation by his friends the possibilities of his private attitude by the side of particular lady. It could be treated as funny situation while Józef Jaszowski took the mission of encouraging beautiful miss Klementyna Kicińska to randez-vous with his friend Józef Bem. Pervasive miss had not given any chance to Józef Bem, but successfully made Jaszowiecki fall in love with her, whom he married. Accordingly to this what was claimed by Jaszowski that however there had been several times probes of "separation him from the Sweety" every it had been executed in friendly way and with lack of effects.
Henryk Brandt recalls certain incident, in which there had take part in mail role two lieutenants: Lasocki and Lewandowski. That last one was trying to imitate his beloved lady and was sending to Lasocki letters, in which he (trying to imitate) informed about feeling to him. Lasocki met this seniorita(the event took place in Spain) and seemed to be idiot (he told about the letters from her, what she did not know). While the truth was relieved to him and authors of joke admitted to theid deeds Lasocki called Lewandowski to a duel. There was quickly made intervention: Lasocki was settled down in arrest and Lewanodowski was moved to Sedan, where was main depot of their regiment. As a humoristic consequent of this solution however there was lodged protest by Lasocki he rejected to shake hand with his interlocutor and told: both we could not live on the earth. Both of them had to promise that without expected permission they would not start the duel.
Women in officers life was certain difficult burden while the service was sending him in various places of Europe and guaranteed only not stable fate. From "beautiful sex" I was escaping with determination because of the fact that fathers who keep daughters, which both were close to become fiancé and who may attract feelings and young man to their homes were trying to gather and they were chasing for future sons-in-low. However it was hard to stay I reached victory. To be young and to serve at the same time in army, and what more get married is big nonsense. However contacts were understood as social events there was nothing against to made military existence much more pleasant. Everything was performed in boundaries of certain fixed by rules of honorable code, which demanded to lead relationships with women with delicacy.
Jaszowski recalls situation from June 1814, while he was standing with his regiment in St. Dizjer at certain married woman. He was rather careful with the problems of feelings, but while he was constantly being attracted he finally fall in love with her and confessed it to her. She was only waiting for such a confession of young officer: We can overcome ourselves. Tomorrow you would leave this place and I would never see you again. We would rather suffer for this several hours than we might have suffer because of blamed conscience by the crime we could have done. I could see you was the man of honor and yours way seemed to be bright. It is reason had my right to ask you to respect honor of the defenseless lady.
Jaszowski was a man of honor, what did not make him express that she understands lady's appeal as love fable. Despite to duty to her husband she left the doors to her bedroom opened and Jaszowski who wanted to met her for farewell was given fair information about possibility of access to the bedroom. In this moment there started mood of depression inside young officer of artillery. however he was both fighting through whole night and several times was close to leave his honor aside, he had honor of married woman before his eyes. He lasted in his trying up to the sun rise. It is necessary to remember, that in this époque Poles they stood in higher levels of opinion among the nations and their currency was one of the highest. So it was the obvious reason why women were in friendly relationships to them. Method of the behavior in relationship to "beautiful sex" seemed to be also the problem that was defined by honorable code and in this meaning there was no possibility to avoid this rules.
Methods of behavior of the officers was quickly spread to regular soldiers. When the town Chatellerault expressed in address to napoleon accusation of the 7th regiment of Duchy of Warsaw of ravishment of misses of that town, who were accompanying to soldiers. It made offended old veteran soldiers and officers for this deed. Napoleon finished this situation by the statement: Women of this town Chatellerault they are guilty of this fact, because honest ladies would have never accompanied to soldiers and gone along their music at night. In other situation regiment of food the Polish Lancers of the French Imperial Guard met a carriage with two women. When they had noticed soldiers faces of Poles with their moustage they were sure of possible lost of jewelry. After the appeal of regular soldier Michał Żwan made him quiet. The only request was of soldiers was .... to kiss them(!).
This approach to local societies created friendly relationships to our soldiers. This fact brought slighter treatment of captives, better supplement in food and fodder, etc. From time to time there were some quarrels, where there was no possibility neither to answer nor to stop offended soldiers. If happened acts of revenge these were not rare events and surely not singular examples. In Spain there was burned more than ten polish infantry convalescents, that were coming back from hospital in Toledo. Lanciers surrounded the village and burned it with all the inhabitants - without any difference because of the age or sex. When nearby to the village Laguna (Spain) there was killed lieutenant Bigucki the troop of food the Polish Lancers of the French Imperial Guard which had discovered the necked and robbed body, they wanted to burn the whole village and punish inhabitants to death. It was slightly close to lack of possibility to calm down the soldiers. Officers they knew that such a solution might have led only to increase of violence and would have not brought anything.
Not only the murders, that were done on the colleagues, made soldiers angry. During the time of collecting the food the Polish Lancers of the French Imperial Guard found out that inhabitants were calling one of the dogs "Napoleon". The blame of beloved chief and blamed honor of the whole army did not allow to leave the place without reaction. They wanted to burn the village, so that to could give. Once again the officers prevented before public murder by claiming that source of blame was liquidated (dog was killed) and the case seemed to be closed. Very well known is the case of distribution of general Krasiński in Cottbus, where public murder was avoided by the order of harmed person.
All this things indicate that honorable code of officers creates in the filed of relationships with local societies some reserve of different use. However there happened cases that bad deeds were treated as "not noticed", the serious cases were treated without mercy as these deeds were blaming name of Poland and Poles, what could not stay without reaction and rightful punishment. Additionally the harm, that was done to defenseless people seemed to be abominable deed. In such cases honorable code was respecting only rights of harmed people. In relationships with women it was necessary to be the most delicate as it was possible so that ot show oneself as person of honor. In other situation there was no chances to gain appreciation of beloved lady, if she was not married. The relationships with married woman was treated only in understanding of accompanying.
Honor and relationships with enemies
In similar way to relationships with civil population were created relationships of officers of Army of Duchy of Warsaw with their enemies in the field of battle. There existed some system of dependence, which was based mainly on the honorable code, between the fighting sides. This system of dependence was built on the rule of reciprocity, what meant for the officers clear fact of that as they would have treat forces of enemy so they also would have. Honor in this terms was as we can suspect based not only on the publicly respected moral rules but as well on the protecting dignity of themselves and certain social status as well in case of being capture or in time of fight. Honorable it was necessary to be not only to our local population but also not only to local population of enemy but to the soldiers of the enemy. Wounded soldier was a man that had deserved to be treated and give aid to him. Those who would have use violence to defenseless those are balemd by dishonor. Those would have been against to rules of knighthood.
Reciprocal relationship between enemies was defined by the feature of respect and some kind of appreciation. When in april 1809 came to Napoleon legation of Archduke Karol, where escort was created by the Poles in Austrian service there was added supervision of food the Polish Lancers of the French Imperial Guard. They were hosted in favorable way and by the farewell were gifted with money, which were handed them in till the volume of their pockets (!). Honor gave the place to the will of being noticed by others, because of the fact that Poles who were forced to serve in armies of occupying emperors were not appreciated. Interesting seemed to be the fact of service of fellow-countryman. Jarosław Czubaty turns attention to the statement of captain of Russian Army Józef Próchnicki, who was asking Prince Adam Jerzy Czartoryski about some shelter for him and his family and was writing: It was well known to Yours Glossed Person of Prince my service, that was performed by me with completed scarification and extols, that I had received from The Brightest Emperor and Yours Glossed Person of Prince, which stayed in completion to my duties inspired by honor of good officer and Pole. It is possible to say with great possibility, thay in most cases it was wandering after the doing for living, as well as will of receiving social distinction or simple eager to experience an adventure.
In this range of problem information could be completed by the rapport of officer of Army of Duchy of Warsaw Antoni Białkowski. One of his brothers served in Legions and both others were staying in Prussian Army.Białkowski admitted, that when he had been teenaged boy he was dreaming of military service. In autumn 1806 after the battle at Jena (about which it was claimed that it was won by Prussians), he was trying to join to the regiment of infantry, which arrived to Poznań: Information about this successes of Prussians encouraged me to come into the Prussian service and especially because of the fact that there was several officers Poles in the regiment [...]. To the service in the army encouraged me also stories, that had been told me be my brothers [...]. I was imaginating to myself, that I could have deserved to be noticed by my superiors and could have deserved to be awarded by higher military ranks. Young dreams were demolished by the chief of regiment, who had tried to discourage him to became military service. he ordered me to wait on the decision at home. In the night the regiment left the town: How many curses I told in address to this chief, who not only made me fool but also left without any answer. The same person of Białkowski reported also about the quarrel, which concerned the problem whom belonged the blame: Poles in Napoleonic service to Poles in habsburgian service or in contrary relation. We did not like to know such a Poles and we also deny to confirm yours polish origin, [...] and accordingly to this I wished you did not to admit yours connection to us, and also I wished you to change yours name into german one. It proofs the fact, that after some time there was starting in the mainds of young officers some consciousness, which was staying in contrary to his fellow-countryman in foreign service. Opinions about taking such a service were different up to disavow and even hatred represented for example by mentioned below Stanisław Fiszer, which was an excuse from the rule but not lonely.
In the field of the battle there did not existed respect any more. At Wagram there in fight of lancers of the French imperial guard and Austrian ulnas, who were mostly Poles. There happened also throwing curses and epithets between the sides. Mostly Poles in foreign service were both treated in neutral way and with delicate reluctance, and trying to made them convince to the idea of Duchy of Warsaw. It could be possible to take, that description about gold ducats mentioned before. By the showing of heir own status it could had an influence on the change of the side. In case of presence of foreign soldiers in camp of the enemy there was visible inverted attitude. In this case showing off honor was regular frequent habits.
In time of war in Spain, officers were showing off their attitude to heroic Spanish, what was regular rule at other fronts of war. Brave soldier, who was fighting with clear intentions deserved always to be appreciated with respect. On 10th of October 1813 platoon of cheval artillery, that had been leaded by Józef Jaszowski, defeated Russians, which were expecting them in ambush. Battalions, which were situated in the wood at the end of valley were easy aim for the artillery, which noted high loss. In fact there was ashamed conscience on this barbarian deed - reported Jaszowski - of killing in fact not so defenceless people, but who could not do anything to us. It was to kill - but what could we do? Either we could allow them to escape and allow them to do the harm to us When in the battle of Roiseco there was awarded squadron of Polish lancers of the French imperial guard, which was commanded by captain of 6th company Radzimiński, there was reported by Załuski their good behaviour in the field of battle and also after it: Only this thing I had to point out to glorify this squadron, that while French allowed to themselves on cruelty and robbery at the same time our Poles were mild and even charitable, that was admitted by the Spanish. This relationship to the enemy could only had source in moral internal directions and rules of honor, which were represented by the officers, but also of the possible reciprocal way of treating the soldiers. It could not be said to be the problem of pure pragmatism or self instinct of survival. Honor stayed on the point of defining such a behaviour and it could be treated that relation was the consequence of it.
At the time of retreat form Moscow, regiment of Light horse Guard discovered the Russian captives, which had been murdered before. This fact moved not only officers but in lines of regular soldiers. Wincenty Krasiński found the leader of the troop, that had escorted captives ant treated him roughly for such a behavior. As the Załuski wrote: Poles had never allowed themselves to be cruel with the defenceless enemies and always had been soft for them. Do they always were? We may speculate if this understanding is suitable. Similar intention of the fact is possible to find in the description of the convoying of captives after the conquering Saragossa stronghold. Then general Morlot [...] ordered to set out and whole forces of around 8 to 10 thousand soldiers marched past to us. Lots of them looked as not a soldiers, what evoked sensation of indignation expressed among the people, who were telling that there were no reasons to made such an effort for such a greenhorns. Lots of soldiers were disappointed with the treaty with group of greenhorns and they were persuading that it seemed better to lose for example all of them [...]. It seems that in case soldier was in touch to regular troops of enemy, he was representing relation of both estimation and respect. Soldiers they did not have any mercy to troops of insurgents, guerilla and similarly recognized, which were associated mostly with bandits.
At the time of Borodino battle, there was attack of cruisers of Stanisław Małachowski: Moats were covered with Russian infantry; However I wanted to remain defenseless from the death infuriated soldiers did not listen to voice of chef, they poured their armourage in the blood of enemies. However Małachowski himself he knew very good, that infuriated soldiers who were motivated by the will of revenge on enemy, they were difficult to be stopped and he wanded to rescue even several enemies. I myself carried out frightened and without the consciousness laying over there four soldiers and rescued by this way as captives I sent with the corporal. It is example of the officer's honor, which was not blamed in such a dramatic circumstances by the death of enemy. Sometimes the circumstances of the field of battle made to do the things that were not accepted in normal situations. There are very well known words of Napoleon, expressed perhaps after the battle at Iława Pruska: After the battle there is no enemy, there are people. On the other hand Klemens Kołaczkowski, who reported about the battle at Czeczerynka village at Czerniszna river, where there was necessity to deal a death-blow the wounded soldiers, who were both laying and shooting. Even this deed moved general it was necessity, because the wounded they damaged his troops. Finally we can conclude, that honorable code was defining also the relationships with enemies. Précised definition of relationships either in the field of battle and beside of it seemed to play the role in the private interests od the officers. By the respecting of honorable behavior they expected to be equally treated and any excuse from this was giving the sensation of not deserved harm and visible disapproval of the not honorable deed. It is good to remember the war biographies of captives settled down in Carbera island, where Spanish they kept in horrible conditions the captives. Description by Stanisław Broekere there not remain any doubt as it was not only not honorable, but moreover not humanitarian and barbarian behavior of Spanish in relationship to captives. At the moment when captive officers were treated with the respect and they were given some freedom and were sent by the honorable word to their homes (they were expected not to take part in former battles). Such a treatment evoked deep and sincere disapproval. Even if there happened such an excuses there was great trying to eliminate the sense of hate from the relationships with enemies, so that not lead to cruelty. Henryk Brandt he could be proud of his colleagues and officers, who reported about the painful for the conquerors bivouac on the field of battle of Borodino. There towards to the fire camps were crawling wounded and there they were given the help because of the fact that suffering were recognized rather as people than soldiers. There happened such a cases that captives were given some sips of vodka.
Honor and duties to ones own troop
Honorable behavior of officers of Army of Duchy of Warsaw had an influence on relations inside the Great Army. The most important is here the meaning of moral condition of professional officer stuff. It created situation where their sense of honor had an influence on the military force of whole Army and its military meaning. Army could not be understood only as the military technique, armament or organization. However it is important people they are important and relationships among them. Role of the honorable code was unusual, which defined the relationship between a superior and a subordinate. It set up some kind of the law that had never been put down. Braking this not written law meant serious consequences. Problem of the duties to somebody`s own troop is wide definition. It concerns wide group of things as: relationships in the group of people, diuties of the chef, diuties of the soldier, duties of soldier to the whole troop as a part of the Army.
Basic duty of the officer was to provide best possible condition to fulfill soldiers their duties. Antoni Białkowski noted marvelous description of examination of troops, which was held before the Russian campaign. When it begun the confession of the whole life [...] After the usual of examination of the company the general asked the officers to go out from the room and started to ask about the payments of salaries, taxes and expenses. Moreover he examined them if they are done some harm by officers and finally asked about their requirements. Then he examined lower officers stuff. If any of them had some complaints about the superiors, general Fiszer gave serious punishments without allowing them to say any excuses telling them: "It is necessary to try to made soldiers attached; in such a case soldier is able to give proofs of gratitude to his officer in the field of battle". It was visible what kind of purpose either was considered by officers or was to be considered. The care about the soldier was not the effect of the fear before the examination of the troop, but it came from the fact that the soldier, whom was both paid attention and care and well equipped he was more effective in the field of battle. In other situation it might have became only the problem for the army.
Załuski recalls the quarrel, that happened among one Polsh Lancer of French Imperial Guard of enormous height and lower officer of the tall height. Subordinate seemed to insult of the shape of his superior [...] I ran towards this scene and without a moment to recall my mind I took my sable and claimed down arrogant soldier. [...] Collonel Krasniński ran towards us and without listening to my explanation ordered to regiment`s adjutant take my sable back . Załuski avoided longer arrest and on the following day while he was given his sable back, colonel Krasiński apologized. This showed how they were trying to take care about the relationships between the superiors and subordinates.
State of the supplying of the troop was one of the serious problem for each chief. Joyfull and very well describing this problem anecdote was noted by Józef Załuski. One day came to Wincenty Krasiński moved colonel Kalinowski with the complain on the cavalry-captain Solecki. The quarrel was made around the dog - pudel, that had been named by the Kalinowski as hussar. It moved the dignity of the colonel, because of the fact that he himself was the colonel of the hussars. The complan was delivered in the accompany among the circle of the officers and while Krasiński asked Solecki about the reasons of such a behavior he said: It was natural sir colonel, because this creature walks as the hussars of Mr. Kalinowski in lamb skin applications but at the same time on nacked feet. It was obvious that not only the fact of giving the name "hussar" touched honor of colonel Kalinowski. Beside it there was pointed out the bad condition of the equipment in the troop, which was belonged to personal responsibility of the chef.
There were also difficult dilemmas of the officers, when in purpose of providing to the troop necessary supplyiment there was carried out the necessity of deformation of honorable code. We were forced to sent to the nearest cottages small troops, which finding manor houses and lodgments empty were destroying and collecting anything that was necessary. The necessity released soldiers discipline and I was happy preventing two houses before robbery. However I was pleased that I had stopped the most unmoral Westfalians than later on while there was nothing to noutrish horses I tolerated similar robberies because of the fact that my soldiers were not possible to be stopped by such examples of lack of discipline. My soldiers were different than others, that for their explanation I had to note, that they did not participate neither in the destroying of any utilities nor in setting the fire, that they were disappointed and had an aversion to behavior of willful soldiers. They did not take anything beside the food necessary to survive.
There happened lots of duels, while the officers responsabile for the lodgement were to occypy them for their troops. Załuski was in duel with an officer of the french dragoons, because of the fact that he took the horses of him from the stable and moved his own horses. About the quarters and stables dueles also Kajetan Wojciechowski and for sure many other officers. the reason lied not exactly in the blamed dignity, but rather in the duty to his troop. Providing good quarter and good stable was measeured then in the military ability, that was the most important, because of the fact that it had an influence on their own life. The care about the horses in the troops of chivalry was paradoxically bigger than care about the people. For the colonel of chivalry it was equal: either to lose a man or a horse - lost of any of it was squeezing the lines. The man with the horse is unit of chivalry. [...] More horses die during war because either of the bad wearing of saddle or bad shoeing than because of the bullets - was writing Aleksander Fredro. In the morning, when the trumpeted the reveille, there was either to get up and go through snow storm or sink in the mud towards to the stable of pluton. the officer expected to be conscious at the brushing the horses. There was necessary the presence of the officer at the work with horses, because of the fact that there was not to allow to do this diuties without expected care.
The care about the subordinates was exactly kind of helper in tiding the relations between the officer and regular soldiers. Sometimes because of the not related factors regular soldiers were rising the revolt. In such a case there was necessary to call the rules of honour. Antoni Białkowski recalls the event, when the 10th and 11th regiments of infantry, which stayed at Gdańsk rose the rebellion because of the not being paid the salary. General Michał Grabowski, chif of the brigade, expected this politely to the soldiers, so that they would not bring any shame of polish name among the aliees. General managed to calm down the soldiers so that to get them out of the city walls and discuss there with them. He ordered to form the square so that the front line was inside. Then called all the offcers to him. As they gathered he spoke to the soldiers that they blamed the officers with shame of disobidience and officers are not enough dignified to order them.
Then he ordered - On my command caution! Charge the weapons! - Soldiers they charged riffles with hard bullets and then general ordered - Batalions - Tuy! (prepare muskuets to fire). Brigade fulfilled the order and he told them: Now all of you would shoot to all of us and after the fire you would be allowed to release - you would release us from the ordering such a haughty, disobedient and not persistent as you were. - Then he ordered - Batalions, aim! -Soldiers aimed their riffles inside towards to their officers - Then he ordered - Fire! - No one of soldiers shoot [..] - Why did you show off your disobedience? - Finally he started to beat soldiers with sword [...] Soldiers started crying and asked to be ordered to "put away". While it was ordered they rushed commonly to the foot of general and all the officers promising them the best perseverance and obedience.
Above presented situation shows clearly, that not only such a disobedience was the shame among other alieed troops, but also dishonor for the superiors, who could not keep discipline in their troops. This is polish noble - twist their sable, swallow the death, but disobey the orders! was shouting on the lancers chef of squadron Kostanecki, while those of 4 plutons both were divided with the river from rest of forces and fought with much more numerous enemy at battle at Albuhera. There was not easy both to keep discipline, and then to provide the food and fedder and finally to behave seriously among soldiers. Nevertheless they managed it very often as a consequence of what Cyprian Godebski could note: The mind of Pole could be in the highest misfortune, what at that days was proofed as well as it was in Mantua. While the most of the grrison consisted of different kinds of Army was suffering on varied lacks, high prices or pains - only the Poles did not complained. Cases of dissertations were not known to us.
It seemed that the care about the name of the troop was main task of officers. There were laughting of the regiments, where such a skills were plain. You idlers, you spongers! What can the motherland expect on you, while having the enemy in front of the line you mixed yours formation! What it could be to do under the fire of the enemy! All this what you were supplied by us, the sacrifices and efforts that we did, all this was not to bring the shame and disappointment as you did! were shouting the citizens of Warsaw, while in the exercises of discipline 3rd regiment mixed its lines. There was the highest care to do all the best for the honor of the regiment and not to blame it with anything.
Most important problem in meaning of the defense of flags and eagles of the regiments. On the 3rd of may 1807 there happened the fest of the consecration national polish eagles, when the army was proud of the receiving new flags made promises to them and in honour to them was making many military shows [...]. The text of the promises stands as important sign: I promised to the our Lord, omnipotent God, who is entity in Holly trinity, as we arre called to the line of the defensers of the country we would be faithfull to His Majesty Emperor and king Napoleon, we would be obedient to the low and gouverment, to military superiors obedient to the last breath to defense out motherland and till it would last the health we would protect our flags. So help us the Lord.
The flags indeed were extraordinary value and its lost ment releasing the troop. In the skirmish of the most famous "los infernos picadores" - meant 1st regiment of Vistula Ulnas at Jeventes there lost regiments flags because of the carelessity of the chief colonel Jan Konopka. Despite to the order of leaving it in "depot" Jan Konopka took them with him and in the ambush of Spaniards he lost "regiments signs". Participant of this event did not hide his disappointment: Military signs as the flags become the trophies as in the weapon in hand are conquered from the defending them even with bravery; then those who lost them were in ignominy covered and the fame was tanen out to the conquerors. After the lost of the flags there was denominated 1st regiment into the 7thof lanciers, that meant the 1st would not exist anymore longer.
The same role as for the regiments of the chivalry as were playing the flags for artillery played the cannons: our horses having its shoes in bad condition, would have never managed to the task as our generals, who were careful of the public good and honour ordered to infantry with hands and belts [...] cannons [...] took on the top. Jaszowski did not hide any disappointment. He was moved why the French during the march they left transport of the cannons to the mostly not experienced stuff of the trains: we had never left to anyone our cannons during the marches as our flags. There was no kind of consolation words of the russian officer Napoleon (nota bene French man), who was captured with two cannons and while was being asked by the Emperor was crying: Oh my general I lost my honor because I had lost my canons. Consolation of him could not rebuilt blamed honour: No one who was conquered by us he did not loose his honor! Honor it does not know any compromises in this meaning.
Bronisław Gembarzewski recalls the note of Anna Potocka the moving scene of giving in the polish eagles to the Józef Prince Poniatowski after the russian campaign. After Poniatowski appeared in the terrace all those brave gathered around him putting the eagles at his foot. Soldiers they did not lose even for the moment those flags, even at the moment when the others were rescuing their life, they were thinking of the honor of their regiment. There was only one eagle missing. Prince noticed with the visible sense of moving and with smile - Oh - all gathered shouted - there was cuckoo, but the cannon bullet thorn out its head this made our colleague not show it to public exposure. Come here - told Prince - it was not yours fault - Everyone was laughing sincerely and they noticed twenty years old youth with the hand on the sling; he took out the the cuckoo - as they named it - from his pocket of the coat. Putting it - with confussion on the face - among the other eagles was explaining the reasons why he brought such a destroyed eagle. - It was because our comerade was young and every was moving forward from the lines. Prince he could neither stop nor hid his sense of moving and dried the eyes secretly. Soldiers thought that he was confused and so that to console him they told him that cannons would be back soon. - Let your majesty Prince be sure - they told - those who were moving the cannons they could not rush in hurry as we did. Cannons were much more heavier and they would come in several next days. While the horses died us we ourselves put to the canons [...] Prince ordered to divide to them all the money he had in the treasury. In the court there was given out the meal to them [...] and as they were eating they seemed to be astonished, because they understood their deeds as their duty. Their diuties were fulfilled up to the end even despite the dramatic conditions. The most clear proof of this is the raport from the last hours of the battle at Lips: our superiors they wanted to surrender only in the field with the weapons in hands [...] surrounded by the russian, prussian and austrian columns. The enemies they did not have enough eager to attack such a heroes standing in the despair! [...] Polish chefs sent colonel Rybiński to the Emperor [...] - What did you expect? - asked Emperor. - Yours emperors majesty - five hundred Poles, surrounded and divided from the forces put the weapons under yours foot , to whom belongs the glory of the winner. Please let the soldiers keep their signs of honors, which they appreciate more than the life. The lot had given us to yours emperors majesty, but nevertheless we were decided to defend our signs up to the last breath. Soldiers and officers moved by the honor they gave sincere proofs of being attached to their flags. Officers they stood on the point of protection the best relations in the army, so that soldier became attached to the troop and was proud of it. It is the duty of the officers to keep their subordinates in the spirit of brightness and confidence. Older officers were the examples for the younger giving them as well proofs of the bravery as educating them and consoling them. Honorable code was standing in the point of protection human relationships and its character. It had the same meaning for the readiness and military skills of army as well as the technical equipment, organizing skills an physical condition of soldiers. moreover the character of the relationships had the most important meaning for the people that were creating the army, their life, their sense of dignity and self esteem, identification with the troop, sense of honor, for which they did not hesitate to lose their life.
Duties of officers to himself
Officers of Army of Duchy of Warsaw was mostly from the voluntary recruitment. It provided mostly high patriotic consciousness among the officers corps and readiness to renoncments. The carieer provided high social status and respect of the public opinion. As a consequence of that the officers were faced up with the fact, that they were representative part of the Army and through that also of the Nation. This situation put on defined system of values that they were expected to present. In case they would have like to keep social position they had to suit themselves to honorable code, which was basic criteria.
First stage of valuation of the officer was his appearance. The problem is the most important and it does not allow any failure. Officer was supposed to be cleanly, as it was only possible in war circumstances, and his behavior was supposed to be noble. Every one of us took as a point of honor to cover the proofs of passed sufferings - was telling Henryk Brandt, while he let known of the capitulating the town of Saragossa, that meant free time for him and his company. Marcin Smarzewski, lieutenant of the 8th regiment of infantry complaining on his garrison service in Warsaw he recalled among his usual duties some necessary activity: cleaning, mending, polishing. All those was done so that both to shine in précised sense of this word and in metaphorical meaning. The beauty of officer corps was determined by the individual features of every officer. It stack some standard that divides the persons on two categories.
For the officers, who were considered as a persons of honor it meant the noble behavior at the same time while the officer was either of low or tall height, either slim or fat, having either small or sticking out nose. Despite to this the characteristic features were pointed out while a man was not liked by others and named as a person without the honor. Józef Jaszowski left very bad opinion in his recalls of colonel of artillery Józef Hartig: he was small, of not good presence, even in some way disabled, sitting on the horse as the dog on the fence. However ther might have been some unwillingness between those two persons the problem of this description is not important, as Hartig wads known as a person without the honor, who was accused of bringing the wagon of robbed goods at campaign of 1812 for what not only the army but also the whole nation was filled with pain, because he balmed them and he added also: a man of honor eagerly lead his life for his motherland and did not blame it by any mean deed.
Similarly Henryk Brandt describing beloved by the soldiers general Lacosta successor - not so very liked colonel Rogniat introduce him as of a man, whose face was not so very sympathetic. There is some rule in it, that persons of honor were described as people of beautiful physical features. On opposite to this people of the low features of spirit were described with their bad habbits, that might have proof of their bad presence. Generally there were despised people, whose behavior were not suited to the publicly accepted rles. Stanisław Broerke recalled with some disapproval the Pole, officer who was released from the Vistula Legion because of his bad behavior. That man joined to English service and fulfilling the duties of assistant in harbour of Alicante was treating with hunger polish captives, who were expected to join English lines. He is described as villain and the man without honor, who additionally is covered with the villainous of his deeds, and even he knew his name he did not release him so that not to blame his family. As it could be observed opinion about the man could cause some detriments not only to him, but also to his family, what had also general meaning.
Blamed honor of a one preson from family blamed all its members. It was the reason why there were made efforts to avoid being covered by any shadow of suspicion of public opinion. During the forst siege of Saragossa Kajetan Wojciechowski went with several collegues into the town, where they spent the whole day, fighting with Spaniards. At that tome squadron of Wojciechowski was sent on the patrol. He was accused that being attracted by the hope of robbery he left the lines. He felt with ingignation. He avoided the punishment, because he found quickly his squadron and his appearance was the proof of the participation rather in figths than in robbery. It might be also understood litke that, because on the second place of expected features there was also the bravery.
With the great apreciation Brandt describes the captain of Vistula Legion Ball, who came from departament of Wołyń, the man of the great education, the man of grat social forms, known also as a good man and officer. While during the figths on the streets of Saragossa soldiers were thrown with grenades and every one was escapinh he was standing not moved. Ball - we was always = tire a quatre epingles (elegant). The behavior of stable courage was both considered as a proof of honor the best example for the simple soldiers, who were observing the bravery of their superiors and were growing in the faith of their forces. Recalling the battle of Raszyn (1809) Roman Sołtyk recalls the examples of the officers bravery, Cyprian Godebski, Józef Prince Poniatowski, who with their persons on the front of the lines encouraged soldiers to the fight. This first one paid with his life for his bravery, moreover every of the officer of the general staff were either wounded or the horse of them were beaten under them.
Jaszowski recalls brave captain of artillery Działkowski: kind elderly man, who at the times of King Stanisław August served in lower ranks in this kind of armourage. He was not military educated. He was good soldier, as in 1809, when Poles conquered Sandomierz and then were there sieged over there, he showing off his bravery climbed on the fortification, took out his throusers and nacked his ass shown to Austians. Then one Croatian or austrian soldier aimed his musquet on him and damaged his back bone. Such a gestures might also accompany to the bravery, that did not make any insult to the honor. There should be any rash and propense feature that described honorable officer.
Brandt recalls the event, when Józef Chłusowicz, chief of 2nd regiment of Vistula Legion was to treat not pleasant some french grenadier. The reason of it was some event, when at the time of the dress there came into the tent of officer some puddle and grenadier after them, making the disorder and pouring out the platter with water. Chłusowicz named grenadier as impertinent person and threw him out from the tent.
In the evening there came the harmed soldier with accompanying him french officer: Mister colonel - spoke french officer - you have blamed deeply to the honorable man, who had respect in the whole his regiment. I came here with the order of the marshal Berthier to appease this not pleasant affair, moreover I believe that there might be enough slight remark. - My colonel not losing the patience answered shortly. - I could not deny that I was thrown out from the patience, but soon after that I regretted that and even I would appease that if the grenadier had not disappeared from my eyes. Mister Grenadier could you not treat it longer as a bad thing, could not you? And gave the hand to him, which was shook by grenadier. It was the most beautiful deed, that improved everything. This situation shows, that rash deeds and to fast showing off the anger did not belong to the behavior, that was expected to be presented by the officer. Additionally it is worth telling that the excuses for the harm deed to other person were understood as the best accepted way of behavior.
Not only the personal courage and extraordinary deeds ought to define the features of honorable officer. Załuski described one of the reconnaissance, which he performed with the platoon of 25 dragoons of the imperial guard under the command of unknown to him french lieutenant. They were to reach the cloister, where they were welcomed both with vine and with some attitude, as that french officer could not climb on the hores on his own force. After that it turned out that it was not first offence of that officer and he was reliesed from the guard. In the french guard regiments - as described Załuski - there was lots of officers of significant meaning, who deserved the ranks thanks to the shown bravery [...] they did not had any temper and it created situation where we both younger and better brought up polish officers were recognized as having much more better disposition.
Colonel Julian Sierawski, chief of the 6th regiment of infantry left in the description of the siege of the Sandomierz some painful details of attack of the 12th regiment of infantry. Attack on the Opatowska Gate was the defeat but it did not moved the colonel: - And where was yours colonel? - there he was laying in the row on the field... - Was he wounded? - Wounded! [...] indeed they found Weysenhoff sitting among the sad subordinates, sitting in the curb of the field with his head hanging low and supported by hands. Sierwaski he knew Weysenhoff [...] asked him was it true, that he had been wounded? - Yes, yes - answered Weysenhoff with the swooning away voice - I was wounded. - Where? - In the right leg. Indeed trousers of Weysenhoff were stained with the red liquid. Sierawski went down from the horse and as not faithful St.Thomas wanted to touch that wound. [...] He did not even touched the wound because he was both stopped and shocked by the smell, that proofed that it was neither the blood of a man or an animal, but rise alcohol, that started fermentation in the stomach of Weysenhoff. He was not the exception of this problem because a lot of the officers used alcohol. It was not recognized as a bad feature if it did not happened very often. It was interesting that it did not blamed reputation of the officer if it did not disturbed in fulfilling the duties.
Honorable code of Boziewicz pointed out as a person without the honor, the person who is notorious alcoholic and what was the most important, who being in the drunken condition did depredating deeds. It brings some understanding of problem of abusing persons. It did not seem that drinking was defaming deed, but the negative effects, that could have been treated as the effect of it. Drunkard, if only he fulfilled his duties and if by his behavior he did not touched the dignity of others he was not treated as a symbol of the not honorable person. Kołaczkowski showed the situation, while staying at Moscow he went to the group of his acquaintance persons: Many of the officers and soldiers had the visible proofs of the night banquets. Even the general Pelletier and other french officers: Mallet, Bontemps and other were made merry. I let know that they were treating themselves for the whole night with the ponch of arrack and pineapples. Pelletier was constantly shouting: "drink" and did not put away the glass from his hands. The alcohol itself played the role not only of the entertainment. Vodka was inscribed into the regulations and it was based on reasons. Alcohol was a kind of anti-poison for not so excellent front food, that was not supplied regularly.
Alcohol played also the role of motivating, that doped soldiers to much braver attacks and clearing dark thoughts. Alcohol also played the role of the disinfecting remedy was used in case of being wounded, protecting the man before the not pleasant consequences. Officer should keep the bright brain so that to fulfill his duties. Difficult and toilsome service, tiring and commonly not liked office job were treated by the officers as necessary. Good officer had to fulfill it. It was also connected strigthly with the problem of honor of his own troop. Not respecting the duties might have been the source of the loosing discipline or might have brought some chaos, etc. not only the consideration of this kept the level of every-day discipline. Young Klemens Kołaczkowski wrote inspecting the works at the stronghold of Modlin: So extra ordinary effort was over the forces of the eighteen years old youth, but the sense of honor, that did not allow to anyone to be taken over by others in fulfilling the duties even if the competition might require leaving other private problems and even by the cost of the health. Honor did not allow to stop making efforts.
Bad deeds should not have blame the whole image, but one of the episodes from the life of Załuski brought interesting light on the one of the aspects of this problem. During the russian campaign, at the state at home of Sołtykow he did some "legal" robbery. He informed the servant (the owner was not present at home) about the fact of taking over the glass for mustard and the spoon to tabac. the whole situation was explained by the fact of the participation in tiding family of Sołtyk living in Poland, who supported the Tsar Catharina the 2nd and division of Poland among the occupants. In this situation the robbery had the sense of revenge. It maight be also understood that such a not honorable deed no longer could be treated in this way because it was related to the man who was considered as without the honor and dignity. It is difficult to say, that this robbery was motivated by the will of becoming more rich, because the utilities it did not had any significant value. It could be also understood that even if it was indicated by the necessity of the moment he did not be treated as a thief so he had informed the servant. On the other hand it is visible that the whole explanation was created so that to made himself as not guilty person. It was obvious that the robbery was understood commonly as blaming deed.
The possibility of different understanding was not possible in terms of the given the word of promises. If the promises was done on the honor it meant for the officers of Army of Duchy of Warsaw last defined word, the highest authority. Officer who promised on the honor he did not need any other confirmation to believe him. While someone was in captivity officers they had significant freedom of the move, because it was enough of them to give the word that they would not have leave their place of state. Only in purpose of joining the fight again for freedom it happened, but not so often to create some rule. After the defeat at Lipsk there became some doubt if the fight at the side of napoleon might have bring some advantages. There started dissertations of a big scale. Nevertheless many of the officers expected that they would be allowed to get beck to the country with the regiment flags and with both personal dignity and soldiers honor. It meant that leaving Emperor was possible only with his agreement to do so, it meant that it could be done only after the leaving given word, that they would not leave Napoleon. Prince Sułkowski was to promises in purpose to made the army quaiet, that Poles they did not cross the Rhein. It stopped dissertations, but while on 28th of October near the Schulchtern Napoleon asked polish officers remembering their sense of honor all them decided to stay and fight at the side of Emperor.
As Jaszowski wrote there did not anything more to do for Prince Sułkowski as ask for being dismissed, because the given word he could not kept. Word of honor was saint. Some meanings of such a word became the relationship related to some debt. The debt could be either done during the gamble or accepted as free gift and it should be given back in relatively short time. It created some point in honor, that stayed on the guard of relationships, precisely some decency. For the person who made the doubt it was the problem of staying among the company. In case of not paying back such a doubts it meant leaving the debtor aside. Jaszowski, who during his military service made some debts and even several times received some sums of money in gift put as a point of his honor to pay it back. He was complaining that there were also some difficulties in finding some of donators to pay the debt back.
Meaning of the honor was so important, that there was no hesitation to put ones life on the scale. Blaming the honor was finished mostly by duels. Duel was understood in some rules. Nevertheless it had also some possibility of shaping the flow of it and the rules of it. More less it could be defined that on its shape there had to agree both sides. In most cases the used weapon was the white weapon or pistols. Very rare cases were the duels as colonel Jan Kurkowiecki and general Michał Grabowski. In most cases the duels were performed "up to the first blood", where after the first wound assistants were stopping the fight.
In august 1816 there was held the duel of Józef Bem with captain Szymon Nowicki. Nowicki shot into thigh and the bullet stick in the bone. In this moment Nowicki tried to escape from the field of the duel. Seconds caught him up and persuaded that Ben is alive and he has a right to shot. Bem used his right, shot and killed down Nowicki. Wojciechowski recalled also the duel where the officer of 7th regiment of lanciers Rumowski was called by the french officer of infantry. Rumowski did not want to fight and french beat him with sable. It blamed the whole regiment, which forced Rumowski to stand to duel. Both cases shows that not only standing to the duel meant also cleaning the blame, but also the behavior during it might have clean out the blame. Such a duels was plenty: Such a quarrels beetwen us was half of dose among us - reported lieutenant of cheval artillery, Józef Mystkowski the state in garrison of Gdańsk and duels with Germans and French - [...] even if more champaign and porter flooded out than a soldiers blood, than it could be estimated that for each six duels only one time German conquered with Pole.
For the big number of duels there were known Jakub Ferdynand Bogusławski - officer of Dąbrowski Legions (then major of 6th regiment of infantry) and Maciej Zabłocki - also officer of legions. It happened also that those who stayed on opposite places in duel became the friends. Summing it up officer of Army of Duchy of Warsaw had many duties to himself, that in case of not treating it seriously might blame his honor. External stature, duties of service, fidelity to the given word, not blamed opinion and necessity of defending the honor were understood as those duties. If he wanted to the man of honor he did not accept any concessions.
Honor and faith
For the moral decisions of Poles of that époque faith was playing significant role. Dillemas of human nature were solved by the religion and God's Decalogue. We can ask ourselves where in this situation is placed problem of honor of polish officer and both codes: honorable and Christian, and finally what kind of influence it had each other. Most of polish officers brouth from their family homes system of values, which can be named as catholic. It is formed first of all by the typical for the Christian religions Christian order of love to the God, fellow man and even the enemy. It defines the moral conflict between the necessity of fighting and trying to conquer the enemy. Nevertheless in the moment of starting the fight it was morally correct in name of defense of the motherland. In case of fighting in name of morally correct aims as defense of motherland this orders were modified in some way (addition of translating person - fight in case defense is understood as morally correct in terms of Christianity).
The times of their living could be said to be a kind of break in terms of consideration the world, war and scale of death, witch they were in constant touch. All this it must had influence on their minds. On the other hand the époque of enlightment played alsothe role in the understanding of the problems of faith. In terms of the faith we had to confess, that despite to the our catholic upbringing at home the XVIII-th century had its bad influence on ours and finally after the defeat [...] we were shouting - Domine! remitte iniquitatem plebes Tuae! (Oh Lord, forgave to us wicked - yours people!) noted Załuski while recollecting the russian campaigne, where there had not been among us any religious consideration.
Nexvertheless not everyone were forgetting about the God. Jaszowski before the every battle was doing the sum of his conscience and asked God to be served before the crippleness (not before the death). Finally he mentioned: Before the battle we did not sang "Bogurodzico" (First hymn of Poland from middle ages, which is prayer to the Holly Mother), the chaplain did not give the absolvation as it had been before. It was because with Napoleon everything was new: the faith, that made our army alive he replaced with honor. The faith and the honor could play similar role. While Jaszowski was recalling the holly mass in russian camp before the battle at Borodino he noted that it was to strengthen the fanaticism of soldiers fighting in name of faith, tsar and motherland to higher imperative pick up. Similar understanding was brought by the honor. Either can we put the sign of the equality among this values or a one is a part of the other value? I think that it depends on the person, to whom this values could be treated. The problem of honor and the faith despite to some universal presumptions is the case of individual consideration of values, personal convictions etc.
It is not possible to describe the people who declare themselves as not-confessors as not knowing sense of honor. Many of the declared confessors did not deserve on describing them with the use of honor. Values as faith and honor bring with them moral indications, that are humanitarian. The rules as "Do not steal" or "Do love the fellow-man" are equal of both systems of values and do not exclude each other. While Napoleon was observing Poles, who made sign of cross before the landing was to say: It was good that good Christians were good soldiers. Wojciechowski recalled that blessing of parents it brought the care of the heavens, which both took care on him and put aside dangers and allowed to him pass elderly age among his family.
War rules itself with its laws. And many times there was to forget about the God and faith at such a horrors and visible poverty. In such a conditions there was distinguished sense of the misery and religion in other hearts, that were left at the side of life. Obviously when the terms were good there were held Holly Masses, holly medallions and holly icons were rescuing life to soldiers and officers were complaining over the debauchery, dissolution of soldiers, who were robbing the holly places without any misery. Finally it seems that faith and honor were two values that cooperated with each other. They could exist without each other, they were a sign of similar order of values - from the other point of view (honor was more secular). Connecting the faith with the honor it should not have any place. A man who is really honorable goes with the rules of gospel. Most of the officers of Army of Duchy of Warsaw presented both systems, which did not excluded each other.
Epos of officers of Army of Duchy of Warsaw is the example of extraordinary sense of honor, that was the rule of life at the time, when they used to live. Honor in their understanding was not the empty word. They related themselves to honour either in glorious appreciation or being inspired by low motivation made it shown off so that to improve their image. Honor had every time deeper understanding. It concerned not only such simple problems as damaged uniform but every time was related to the love to the motherland. Officers honorable code organized the whole life , brought ready to use solutions, might have either solved the quarrels or directed the deeds. In dilemmas of the regular life and often moral conflicts the honorable code was first important regulatnion, which was point of determination.
Honor was such determining term, that consisted inside waste range of moral values, which were expected to define the person of the officer. It added them some diuties, which ignoring might have ment serious consequences either to the themselves or to their surrounding. We could conclude in some plain level so that to systematize norms, which were consisted by the honorable code od officers of Army of Duchy of Warsaw. How it could be formed such a code, if somebody might had described it by the words and put down on the paper?
"Yours honorable code is the guard in yours ways of the life. Do keep its regulation so that it may lead you to the aim. Let your patience be directed so that not to mislead.
1. In every your move do have your motherland before your eyes and let your each movement be inspired by her good name. Do stand in her defense, fight about her honour anywhere and whenever you are. Let the love and care about uour country be directions for you.
2. Let yours honor stay on the guard of duties, that you are faced with in the life. Fulfill them with the best care and your work will be awarded. Perseverance in diuties will bring you glory and respect.
3. As well at the time of war or time of the peace you will be avoiding not dignified deeds, which might have blamed yours name. Respect people who are as well your friends as your enemies. Let your heart not allow to stay apart from both not dignified and not possible to avoid deeds to them.
4. Remember that you are the soldier. Let the protection of good name of army and its glory will be the order for your service. Yours honor will be deserved by being the faithful to the promises, which you gave to the God, banner of army - symbols of honor and other soldiers.
5. The word of the officer is saint rule, do not break it in any case.
6. Yours person shall not be exposed on the human gossips. Do be noble in your behavior, yours words and deeds. Any blame of yours person can not be accepted. Any blame concerns not only you, but also the name of both the whole army and officers. Consider the honour and dignity, which is represented by you. Let the will of award will not have any influence on you. Let the fit of anger and propense thoughts will be strange for you. Everything what you are doing do with the care.
Use above rules and do be faithfull to them. Stay on the guard of above rules and not allow to blame it in your accompany. Remember that you have the honor to be the officer."
Such could be presented the honorable code, which was used in the life of the officers corps. There was several favtors that might have had influence on its creation. Behavior with specially understand sence of honor were shaped in Poland many years earlier. Many years of nobelmans democracy created personaldignity on the top of values in pyramide of relationships. This was the fondation of understanding of the personal honor. Fall down of the Rzeczpospolita (First Republic of Poland) enlarged and strengthened love to motherland and necessity of standing in her defense. Finally the whole army, where the honorable code became the main moral base, it added its own understanding of sense of honor.
However there was no time for acceptance of the moral indications of such a code officers corps of Duchy of Warsaw, it could be said that young officers quickly became inspired by the spirit of army. Some elements of sense of honour were shapened from the time of childhood either in family upbringing or by the former education. The upbringing was significant element in meaning of formed the behavior. It was realized in multi line way - either by the figures of regulations or soldiers life or regular life of officers circles. Additionally for many officers, who were educated in military academies its education brought the great portion of values, among which the honor stayed in the top of it.
From Lunneville`s school of Stanisław Leszczyński, by the Knight School of Stanisław August, by corps of cadets in Calisia and in Chełmno, School of Artillery and Engineering, School of Artillery and Sappers and School of Military Surgery and Doctors - everywhere there was formed sense of honor. Finally such an understanding must have brought the fruits. Józef Załuski, he could write about the moral class of Poles compared to Guard of Napoleon. Great Prince Konstanty he could express that he knew the sensation, which used to describe brave Poles. Finally Paweł Jerzmanowski, he could improve French historians Lamartine: You describe Poles as nomads and troublesome persons, who used to find their motherland in any revolution. They were looking for glory by conquering those who were to divide their motherland. [...] When yours allies were betraying you in the field of battle by escaping from lines and joining enemies Poles every time were keeping the way of honor. Józef Jaszowski he could teach his children: there is nothing worst for a man than lost of the honor. Finally the Emperor of French he could express: This Poles - it is whole honor!
by Michał Mazanowski