My Great Great Great grandfather was Jean Theisen, born in Honeling/Hondelange/Hondelingen (now in Belgium) in 1792. He married a girl from Meysembourg/Mersch. In about 1848 he emigrated to the USA and eventually settled in Stearns County, Minnesota USA. When he died, an announcement was made in the German-language newspaper, Der Nordstern. Bob Lommel of the Stearns History Museum translated the story.
I have a question - about the age of Jean Theisen during the Napoleonic era. When you read the translated document, you will see that he said he was in the Battle of Austerlitz. However, Jean was only about 13 years old at that time. Did the French Armee have young boys who travelled with them doing chores such as carrying the flag, playing the bugle or other such things? Please read the story below and tell me what you think of it. Thanks.
Death Announcement from Der Nordstern, 17 Jan 1873, p. 5
Last week the widely renowned and admired John Theisen died in St. Joseph at the esteemed age of 88 years. He was the Grandfather of Mrs. J. [John] Zapp from here. The deceased was born in Luxembourg in the year 1790 [actually 1792]. He served as a valiant warrior under the banner of the great Napoleon, and participated in the war against the Russians. He fought under the French flag at Austerlitz and Waterloo and was locked up as a prisoner-of-war in Danzig. Shortly thereafter, having been decorated for his gallantry he returned to his mother army. He frequently spoke of his experiences and, in remembrance thereof, in his old age he displayed his medals upon his breast. Now he is with the great army of Eternity, as a beautiful victor after his hard battles.
[Note: The Battle of Austerlitz occurred in 1805; If Johann/Jean Theisen was in this battle, he would have been 13 years old. Either he was a water boy, a flag bearer, a bugler or had some other not combative role – or perhaps his children misunderstood this part of the story.]
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