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The Imperial Quarter


The imperial quarter was erected in the western part of the camp. On its left above the Roman road that runs from Reims to Bar-le-Duc and right through the camp, are the major-general's quarters, Marshall Regnaud de Saint-Jean d'Angély who occupied this post in 1857 and again in 1866. The altar for mass was placed to the west of the imperial pavilion.

The imperial residence was at the "summit of a small elevation; it formed a square of about 200 meters on each side, with of five pavilions built in the style of a Swiss chalet. In the center the pavilion that housed His Majesty had seven rooms that were draped in woolens and spread with thick rugs; to its right, the dining room; on the left, the living room; on each side between these two, were elegant pavilions intended for important guests".

"Behind these constructions, barracks were built to house the telegraph, kitchens, and domestic staff. The stables and sheds were behind these. His Majesty's staff and regulation officers, as well as the Cent-Gardes, bivouaced in tents of various forms stationed here and there in a picturesque manner, in the middle of a small wood of miniature firs, with a very picturesque effect".

The officers present at camp were lodged, often with very comfortable furnishings, in proximity to the imperial pavilion, in the striped tents. Gustave Le Gray has left us photographs of Prince Murat, General de Béville, Colonel Lepic and Lieutenant-Colonel de Toulongeon, who were all very close to the Emperor.

The Imperial quarter a set up, for the maneuver of September 21st and 22nd on the banks of the river Suippe, so that around Napoleon III's striped tent which was crowned with two French flagswere situated the marquise tents reserved for the Minister of War, Marshall Vaillant, and the Duke de Cambridge.

A table was dressed "en plein vent" for the Emperor and his officers' dinner.


[A Visit to the Chalons camp under the Second Empire]
[The Imperial Quarter] [The Zouaves] [Billeting] [Maneuvers] [Mass] [Sculpture at the Chalons Camp] [Nighttime Scenes]