Eleven major maneuvers were carried out in 1857 at the Chalons camp. They took place three time per week, according to weather, but never two days in a row, in consideration of man and beast. They began early in the morning, later with the arrival winter, and lasted around three hours.
Drills were also organized periodically, specific to each branch.
The maneuvers were a spectacle greatly enjoyed by the curious who visited the camp sometimes from very far away, to see it.
On September 21st and 22nd,1857, a two-day bivouac was organized. It brought the troops north-east of the camp to the banks of the Suippe.
The photographs of the maneuvers of October 3rd and 7th, 1857 that were taken in the presence of the Emperor and Empress are among the most beautiful and poetic of the Chalons albums. They demonstrate the breadth of Le Gray's talent and attest to the great modernity of his vision.