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[讨论] 关于Crête-à-Pierrot战役

发表于 2013-4-20 13:35:44 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式

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The Slaves Who Defeated Napoleon
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发表于 2013-4-25 20:29:45 | 显示全部楼层

  Ash and Iron

          The Spring Campaign

          FEBRUARY-APRIL 1802

          For Victoire Leclerc and other French generals, the beginning of military operations brought an end to three frustrating weeks during which their actions had been constrained by the competing demands of politics, diplomacy, and the navy. Now that the bulk of the troops had landed and that Toussaint Louverture had been clearly identified as an enemy, the familiar business of war—marching columns, sieges, and maneuvers—could finally take over. After the arrival of the squadrons of Toulon and Cádiz and the defection of several colonial officers, the expeditionary army outnumbered Louverture's at 16,116 troops (see table 4).1 This, newcomers thought, was more than enough to achieve a quick victory against colonial troops that they viewed as an “incompetent rabble” that would never stand its ground in conventional combat.2 Jean Hardÿ, the general who had left his pregnant wife to secure a fortune in Saint-Domingue, described the troops under his command as first rate and predicted that Louverture would be defeated within a month, well before the rainy season. A few areas of the colony might then have to be pacified, but “this would not be difficult.”3
          Louverture probably did not share the French generals' giddiness. He was a political and strategic genius, but his tactical record on the battlefield, the claims of his admirers notwithstanding, left much to be desired. Throughout the Haitian Revolution, he had struggled to win decisive victories despite benefiting from overwhelming numerical superiority. He had obtained his most notable victories by turning on his allies (Spain in 1794) or negotiating with his enemies (England in 1798), and Rigaud's hopelessly outnumbered forces had almost defeated him in the War of the South. At the arrival of the French expedition, Louverture had tried to hide from his adversaries, only to lose control of the coastal areas in a matter of days. With his remaining forces, concentrated near Port-de-Paix (under Jacques Maurepas), Cap (under Henri Christophe), Port Républicain (under Jean-Jacques Dessalines), and Gonaïves (under himself), he planned to run and hide again, this time in the mountains; he even took all the maps of the colony with him to make it harder for his foes to find him.4 His last hope was that the broken terrain of the mornes (hills) would slow down French troops long enough for the summer fevers to kill his enemy in his stead.

        Given the position of Louverture's forces, Leclerc organized his army into five main divisions that would converge into the interior in a strategy of mass envelopment. Hardÿ was entrusted with the main force, which would march from Cap to Dondon with Leclerc and push Christophe's men south. The division of Edmé-Étienne Desfourneaux would cover his right flank, moving from Acul to Plaisance and Gonaïves, where it would face Louverture, while Donatien de Rochambeau's division would leave Fort Liberté and follow the border with Santo Domingo to St. Raphaël to ensure that no enemy escaped eastward (François Kerversau also instructed his troops to seal the border). Meanwhile, Jean-François Debelle's troops would chase Maurepas from Port-de-Paix and move inland to Gros Morne, while Jean Boudet, operating out of Port Républicain, pushed Dessalines up the Artibonite region.5 Even if Louverture's men managed to fall back, they would eventually be trapped in a central location, forced into a conventional battle, and decisively crushed. Alfred de Laujon, the court notary, compared the campaign to a giant battue: a hunt where one would force a prized stag into a corner, then move in for the kill.6
          The French set off from their positions on February 17, and within a day the three main divisions of the north had taken Plaisance, Dondon, and St. Raphaël. Hardÿ's division moved particularly fast; its general (whose name translates as “daring") always at the forefront. In Gonaïves he led the assault across a river as Christophe retreated before him; in Ennery he defeated Louverture and captured a considerable depot of guns and ammunition. This was the second time, after the landing in Limbé, that Hardÿ had encountered and beaten Louverture, but frustratingly he again managed to escape.7 The hilly terrain and unexpected resistance took a heavy toll on French troops as they advanced. “One must have seen this country to realize the kind of difficulties we encounter at every step,” Leclerc reported. “I never saw anything comparable when crossing the Alps.... The rebels hide in the impenetrable woods bordering the valleys, then retreat to the hills when pressed.”8
          Farther west, Debelle arrived in Port-de-Paix on the nineteenth to reinforce Jean Humbert's battered forces. He brought with him troops from the Toulon squadron, who had endured a particularly unpleasant Atlantic crossing and were sent into combat within days of reaching Saint-Domingue.9 As Debelle's division set out to attack Maurepas the following day, a tropical downpour broke out and the main assault force, struggling to keep its footing on soggy slopes, failed to carry the defenses. A second column that was supposed to turn the main enemy position reached its destination behind schedule and the uncoordinated assault failed.10 For the second time in a week the French army had faltered before Maurepas, forcing Hardÿ and Leclerc to divert their path to Gros Morne to come to Debelle's assistance. They were about to attack when Maurepas, seeing himself surrounded, promptly surrendered against a promise that he would keep his rank in the French army. Maurepas' decision was probably also motivated by news that the commander of nearby Jean Rabel, egged on by the mountain chief Lubin Golart, had revolted against him.11

        Despite continuous fighting, Rochambeau's division reached Ennery on the twenty-second, in the very heart of Louverture's domain. His favorite plantation was in the area, as were his wife and other family members, so he chose to make a stand in Ravine-à-Couleuvres (garden snake canyon), a valley hemmed in by steep cliffs and dense woods. After obstructing the only trail with obstacles, he positioned hundreds of grenadiers and dragoons to block the way out of the ravine, while recently drafted cultivators took position in the woods to harass the French as they proceeded up the trail. Rochambeau's forces attacked anyway and a primal melee ensued as the two forces, which had little artillery at their disposition, battled it out in gritty hand-to-hand fighting. French losses must have been heavy given the strong defensive position, but French and Haitian sources offer wildly different estimates of the forces involved in the battle, and it is impossible to offer an authoritative estimate of the casualties suffered on either side. There is even some disagreement as to who won the encounter, though Louverture was forced to pull back and, by commonly accepted standards, lost the engagement.12 He even narrowly escaped death when he passed near a French post and one of his guides was killed by his side.13 Many of his men, concluding that his cause was forlorn and that Napoléon Bonaparte's formidable legions were invincible, began deserting his army.14
          “All the inhabitants think that Louverture is lost... and that we are masters of the colony,” wrote Leclerc from Gros Morne on the twenty-seventh. He added, “and I share their opinion,” then, in a first display of doubt, crossed out the phrase and went on to cite a litany of problems instead. His troops had bypassed numerous gatherings of armed cultivators in their rapid march south, which sooner or later would have to be subdued. Louverture, though defeated three times, remained as elusive as ever. He had burned Gonaïves and many other cities as he retreated, and supplies were scarce. Overall, ten days of combat had cost Leclerc 600 dead, 1,500 wounded, and 2,000 sick, and he urgently asked for 12,000 troops so as to save “the first colony in the world” and “decide if Europe will keep colonies in the Antilles.”15
          Just as Leclerc was summarizing the beginning of the campaign for Bonaparte's benefit, one of the officers also present in Gros Morne, Adjutant-Commandant Achille Dampierre, was updating his diary. Dampierre said nothing of the grand maneuvers that preoccupied Leclerc; he was a fighting officer who saw the campaign, not as flags and pins on a map, but as a daily grind of marches and ambushes. His unit had left on February 17 with the Desfourneaux division and had begun receiving hostile fire before it had crossed its first river, then again at regular intervals for the next five miles. Skirmishes had abated near Limbé where there were fewer trees by the road, but the lull had proved temporary. Soon the towering outline of a fort had appeared atop a mountain pass. For lack of draft animals, French troops had been forced to hand push cannon up the pass, all the while clearing the trail of obstacles and dodging fire from the fort. They had carried the position, but all the officers who had led the assault had been killed or wounded. More skirmishes had accompanied the march down to Limbé, where the troops had spent two days shivering under the torrential rains that followed the onset of the campaign. They had then resumed their difficult slog south, their clothes drenched with lukewarm sweat and rainwater, fighting every step of the way and losing eighty dead and 220 injured in the two-day march from Limbé to Gros Morne. Only then had Dampierre found enough time to update his journal.16
          Further down the line of military hierarchy, war acquired yet another dimension, one in which ambushes were merely one of many hardships caused by the unfamiliar climate and terrain. The tropical rains and steamy heat of the Caribbean came as a shock to the veterans of the Army of the Rhine. Mosquitoes, scorpions, the giant crab spider, and centipedes—all of them deadly—were other unpleasant novelties.17 Saint-Domingue's landscape, fashioned by millions of years of geological activity at the edge of the Caribbean tectonic plate, was a labyrinth of ravines and mornes, and the French found themselves fighting in mountainous ranges with the foreboding names of Grand Cahos (great chaos) and Pensez-y-bien (think twice about it).18 Less than a third of the colony had even been mapped; the rest remained terra incognita to the very French government that claimed the land as its own.19 Moreau de Jonnès, a young lieutenant in the French army, gave a vivid account of the reality of war seen from the lower officer level:
          The art of war was limited to the use of one's legs.... Martial prowess consisted in climbing an escarpment, cross a rivulet that had flooded into a tempestuous torrent, sink mid-thigh into the fetid mud of the mangrove, suffer from the sting of cacti and the thousand spiny shrubs of the Antilles, wear clothes constantly wet with sweat, rains, and rivers, and sleep on damp soil, without protection from the cold nights.... We could not sleep, even though we were always exhausted, because as soon as we closed our eyes, we were swamped by clouds of flies.20
          Poor planning only added to the challenging environment. Despite André Rigaud's warning that Louverture would destroy carriages and kill mules, the expedition had brought no spares and soldiers had to carry all their equipment on their back and harness themselves to mortars like beasts of burden.21 Napoleonic armies normally lived off the countryside when the wagon train fell behind, but most granaries had been torched on Louverture's orders, soldiers were reluctant to sample the local fruit out of a mistaken belief that these caused yellow fever, and food supplies were insufficient.22 Despite Vincent's advice, no one had thought of bringing rain jackets, sun hats, and tents, so troops wore a heavy woolen uniform that was unsuited to the heat of the plains, slept on the cold, soggy ground of the mountains, and fell sick to heat stroke and common colds. Four thousand shoddy pairs of shoes had been found in the ships' holds when contractors were supposed to have provided four times that number, so soldiers trod barefoot through mangroves and spiny thickets.23
          There is unfortunately no firsthand account of the campaign written by an army private, but the New York Public Library holds a manuscript written by the sailor Jean-Baptiste Lemonnier-Delafosse, who was sent to shore to assist Rochambeau's division. His nominal goal was the capture of Sainte-Suzanne near Grande Rivière, but one would be hard-pressed to identify operational objectives from his confused account. His tribulations began when he and a fellow sailor left their column to satisfy a bodily function, only to get lost and spend the following days hiding in the woods, terrified that the rebels might capture and torture them. The fog of war was made worse by the fact that black troops fought on both sides and that Lemonnier never quite understood who was a friend or foe. “This new kind of war, where we never saw the enemy, perplexed officers and soldiers,” he wrote. “It was like going back to school; we understood nothing to it.”24 The sailors eventually encountered a friendly column, only to get lost again and endure another trek in which they battled mosquitoes and chiggers. After thirteen days they headed back to Fort Liberté, where Lemonnier, his right leg lacerated by a piece of shrapnel, halted his brief and bewildered career as an infantryman.
          The children and women trudging along army columns, exposed to the same terrain and dangers because the war knew no defined boundary, also remain voiceless. Army cooks and quartermasters (cantinières and vivandières) rarely appear in the documentary record, while soldiers' spouses were only mentioned after their husbands died and they prepared to recross as widows the ocean they had so recently navigated as wives.25 Children were also numerous; one German battalion listed twenty-three of them for a mere twelve officers and thirty-eight grenadiers.26 So many were there, in fact, that the army eventually had to set a quota of two enfants de troupe (child mascots) per company. The number did not include children ten and above, who were old enough to enroll as fife or drummer, or those who, upon reaching the ripe old age of twelve, had to enroll as regular soldiers.27 This was an army of children and teenagers, led by generals, Leclerc included, who were often in their twenties.
          For the French army, Caribbean warfare was as confounding as the region's flora and fauna. The term guerrilla war had not yet been coined so contemporaries spoke of an “Arab war” in reference to the campaign of Egypt (another apt description was the “black Vendée").28 Making matters worse, Bonaparte had sent few of the light skirmishers who would have been suited to the terrain.29 French military doctrine normally called for columns of heavy infantry to spread out before charging against enemy positions, but they could not deploy in the narrow mountain trails and the rebels chose to attack unsuspecting troops from hidden positions on a column's flanks. “These Arabs of Saint-Domingue only attack laggards and those who are lost,” complained a brigadier-chief “When they actually attack a column ... they know where to retreat because they know the area perfectly.”30 Despite the difficulties of the campaign, morale remained high at first. “Had Leclerc promoted all those who conducted themselves with bravery,” wrote his chief of staff, “there would not be a single private left in the army.”31
          French soldiers were prone to criticize the rebel way of war as unfair and cowardly because they did not conform to European norms, but they were consistent with tactics that African-born rebels and veterans of the earlier years of the Haitian Revolution had experienced since their youth. African wars, very common due to the continent's political fragmentation, often aimed at capturing slaves rather than territory and thus typically consisted of short campaigns and raiding parties. African warriors' tactics and weapons had proved sufficiently effective against their European foes for most of Africa not to be colonized until the late nineteenth century.32 Guerrilla tactics had also served the rebels well since 1791. At the beginning of the Haitian Revolution, rebellious slaves had proved highly vulnerable to the disciplined fire of a professional army in the open, but they had quickly switched to a war of nightly raids and arson that had allowed them to defeat their French owners, Spain, and then England.
          Louverture had tried to drill his army in the European style during his tenure as governor, but he quickly reverted to the rebels' default mode when the lopsided routs of Port Républicain and Cap demonstrated the limitations of his troops in pitched battles.33 “Obstruct trails, throw corpses of horses into springs; destroy and burn everything,” he instructed Dessalines.34 The strategy made good use of the rebels' strengths. In colonial times slaves had learned to supplement their meager diet with local fruits and roots, wild game, or even carrion, and they could live off far more limited resources than their opponents.35 The French “have done amazing things during the wars they fought in Europe,” Louverture told his troops. “But under this burning climate, you have one advantage: you can stand fatigue better.”36
          Even less is known of rebel soldiers than of their French counterparts, except that they were a diverse group, composed of individuals born on three continents and whose general profile one can reconstruct by using prerevolutionary demographic data. On the eve of the Haitian Revolution, two-thirds of black Dominguians had been African-born, so many rebels were survivors of the Middle Passage. French traders had first imported slaves from Senegambia before shifting their focus to the Bight of Benin and the Congo, and no fewer than one hundred tribal groups (or “nations") had been represented on Saint-Domingue plantations. Natives of the Congo had been most numerous (representing 34 percent of slaves), but one also encountered Bambaras, Igbos, Yorubas, Louverture's Ewe-Fon brethren, and every ethnic group from Mauritania to Mozambique.37 All these groups were presumably represented in the rebel army, in addition to Creoles born in Saint-Domingue (like Louverture), natives of the British Caribbean (like Christophe), and, more surprisingly, white Frenchmen. During the battle of Ravine-à-Couleuvres, a battalion chief pointed out with some befuddlement that his men had killed a member of Louverture's personal guard and that he was “a Frenchman from La Rochelle.”38 Dessalines also sent some Frenchmen to reinforce a unit in Mirebalais.39
          The correspondence of Louverture's generals makes frequent references to women and children accompanying rebel units.40 This should come as no surprise: men had outnumbered women on slave ships and plantations, but ten years of war had disproportionately affected young males, and women formed a majority of Saint-Domingue's population by 1802.41 Such women abided in part by the gender norms of their tribal group, which did not always preclude military service since women served as soldiers in African polities like the kingdom of Dahomey (present-day Benin).42 Women had participated in the slave revolt since its beginning in 1791, and their military role only grew with their demographic weight.43 Louverture initially planned to give women mere logistical roles like growing food while entrusting the heavy fighting to his professional, male army, but desperate for troops as entire demi-brigades abandoned him he increasingly resorted to hastily drafted farm laborers as the campaign progressed.44 Judging by the composition of the labor force in plantations of the era, a majority of these armed cultivators—Louverture's last line of defense—were black women, half of them born in Africa.
          To incite Louverture's supporters to switch sides, Leclerc treated civilians with respect and promised repeatedly that he had not come to restore slavery.45 His proclamations had their intended effect, and within days of landing in Cap he was able to raise several companies of black soldiers, enlist the local national guard, and employ some black guides. By April 1, six weeks after the campaign had begun, he had a total of seven thousand colonial troops fighting for him, or as many as the number of European troops still fit for duty.46 By the end of the campaign there would be more troops of color fighting for France than against it.
          Many local commanders in the northern region joined the French side from the outset of the campaign. Makajoux, the commander of Pilate, quickly defected, as did Jolicoeur in Port Margot, Louis Dau in Acul, Jean-Pierre Du-mesnil in Plaisance, and a dozen others.47 Each of them commanded a town and the adjoining countryside, so their support was essential to help control swaths of territory that French troops had no time to garrison as they maneuvered to encircle Louverture. Motives for defecting to the French side ranged from disaffection with Louverture's rule to the idealistic tone of Leclerc's proclamations. Many expected the French to win and wished to be on the victor's side; one black officer also cited his opposition to wanton acts of arson, probably because he owned plantations. But the most significant factor was an order by Leclerc that declared all assets belonging to rebel officers as forfeit.48 Economic sanctions would have been an empty threat during the 1791 slave revolt, when the rebels did not even own their own bodies, but colonial officers were now members of the propertied elite, with much to lose in case of a defeat.
          Among the converts was a black officer with the unique moniker of Gingembre Trop Fort (ginger too strong), who commanded the city of Borgne (one-eyed man). Gingembre's unusual name stood out even in a colony led by a Toussaint Louverture (All Saints Day the Opening) and whose place names ranged from Sale Trou (dirty hole) to Tiburón (shark). Although only 4'8” tall, Gingembre cut a commanding figure with his long spurs, large earrings, and oversized saber.49
          Gingembre's tortuous itinerary in the early weeks of the war was typical of the difficult choices that local officers had to make as they attempted to balance their racial affiliations, economic self-interest, and the ever-shifting balance of military power in a given region.50 Gingembre had received orders from Louverture to fight incoming French troops and, if forced to retreat, take white hostages and burn everything. He dutifully assisted Maure -pas during the battle for Port-de-Paix, but he was clever enough to simultaneously notify the French that he was thinking of surrendering (Félix Dépassé, commander of Borgne's national guard, also offered his services to the French while massacring white civilians). Sensing an opportunity for promotion, Gingembre's subordinate Joseph Casimir spared Borgne and appealed to the French, who rewarded him by promoting him to city commander. In a matter of days Borgne's three leading military figures had all divided their allegiances in an attempt to salvage their careers.
          Gingembre spent ten days fighting under Maurepas, then switched sides after Maurepas' own surrender. Professing his newfound loyalty for France, he returned to Borgne and insisted that “interim commander” Casimir step down.51 French commanders probably had some doubts about his loyalty, but they needed local strongmen like Gingembre to maintain order, and he regained his former command despite Casimir's grumbling. Knowing what the French wanted to hear, he immediately announced that his first goal as restored commander of Borgne would be to get cultivators back to work on their plantations.
          Unwilling to forgive Gingembre for the fires and massacres he had so recently condoned, white civilians were panic-stricken when he returned to town. They immediately accused him and Maurepas of plotting to rejoin rebel ranks at the first opportunity and of facilitating the escape of several rebels accused of killing plantation owners. Still hopeful that he might regain his command, Casimir eagerly joined the public outcry against Gingembre. Deluged with letters from the various factions in Borgne, military authorities in Cap officially sided with the powerful Gingembre, though one suspects that in private they shared the planters' misgivings. With people of all shades fighting on both sides of the conflict—all of them wearing the French uniform, since Louverture had not declared independence and his troops marched under the tricolor—the war was a complex tangle in which an individual's ideals and ambitions were as significant as his racial affiliation.
          Farther south in Port Républicain, Pamphile Lacroix was also contemplating his career options. Born in 1774 to a lawyer from Provence, Lacroix had followed the typical itinerary of a bourgeois officer during the French Revolution. Luckier than his brothers (two of whom died in combat), he had gradually ascended the ranks of the French army under the tutelage of such generals as Jean Moreau. But by 1801 he had been an adjutant-commandant for two years and he began to fear that he would obtain no further promotions as long as peace prevailed in Europe. After some hesitation he embarked on the Leclerc expedition with the purely self-interested goal of making brigadier general.52 Lacroix was unusually literate and impartial; thankfully for later generations of historians, he survived the Leclerc expedition, published a masterful history of the Haitian Revolution, and left two thick personal files in the army archives in Vincennes that are another invaluable resource on the Leclerc expedition.53
          Lacroix served as Boudet's chief of staff in Port Républicain, where he spent much time trying to convince Louverture's followers to abandon the rebel side. The arrival of large French contingents and the prompt submission of the south were strong incentives to defect. So was the fact that the French generally treated deserters and prisoners well.54 As he freed a captured black officer, Lacroix gave him a set of Bonaparte's proclamations and urged him to tell his old unit “the way the French from Europe welcome the French from Saint-Domingue” and emphasize that “we are serving the Republic” when “their chiefs only speak of freedom to serve their interests and obtain the labor of those poor cultivators they used to hit with clubs.”55 Lacroix's case proved so compelling that within a few days he was swamped with deserters and had to stop distributing army rations for fear of attracting thousands more recruits.56
          When the spring campaign began, Boudet left Lacroix and a few troops to guard Port Républicain while he marched north to join Leclerc's other divisions. Boudet's troops captured Arcahaye, then Saint-Marc, but they found little but ashes and corpses. After his failed attempt to ravage the south, Dessalines had returned to his traditional command in Saint-Marc, which he set ablaze—starting with his own luxurious mansion—before it could fall to French hands. Two hundred French civilians also fell victim to his wrath.57 Instead of continuing north to join Louverture, the unpredictable Dessalines then turned back south toward Port Républicain. An anxious Lacroix wondered how he would defend the city with eight hundred troops and the sailors from the naval squadron when Lafortune and Lamour Derance came to offer their services. Heading groups of runaway cultivators who profoundly disliked plantation-owning officers like Dessalines, they helped save Port Républicain for France. Dessalines fell back on the Mirebalais region, killing all the cultivators he encountered in his rage.58
          Dessalines failed to convince inhabitants of the west and south to follow him, but he did manage to shake their trust in the French army. Many of the officers of color who had rallied to France's side had done so based on Leclerc's reassurances that he had no intention of restoring slavery. Dessalines and Louverture countered with a propaganda offensive that described Leclerc as the stooge of the planter lobby, leaving many people of color unsure whether they should support Dessalines, who had abused them in the recent past, or the French, who had done so throughout the previous century. Visibly troubled by Dessalines' charges, a black brigadier chief named Paul Lafrance took Lacroix aside and asked him in tears whether “you are here to restore slavery? Whatever happens, the old Paul Lafrance would never do you any harm.. .. But my daughters, my poor daughters.. . slaves .. . Oh! I would die of grief"59 Gaining, or losing, the support of countless black officers like Lafrance and Gingembre—by convincing them that their ideals or their self-interest would be better served by siding with France—would decide the eventual outcome of the evolving conflict.
          Michel-Étienne Descourtilz, the naturalist who had sailed to the Caribbean during Louverture's heyday to recover his wife's plantations, was still in the colony when the Leclerc expedition landed in February 1802. Living in north-central Saint-Domingue, at the bull's eye of Leclerc's envelopment maneuvers, he found himself caught in the midst of epochal events, which he later related in a rare, if atrociously written, account of the spring campaign as seen from a civilian's perspective.60
          Descourtilz was in Gonaïves when Louverture, cornered by converging French columns, stormed into town atop his stallion. Betrayed by his subordinates and abandoned by his creator, Louverture rode directly into the church, smashed a crucifix, and torched the building in a sacrilegious gesture that was a pivotal moment in his spiritual life. As Spanish auxiliary and French governor, he had made frequent displays of piety; from February 1802 until his death he never again appealed to the European god who had failed him.
          “With a low, threatening voice and ferocious eyes” (or so wrote Descourtilz), Louverture then announced that he would kill all white plantation owners—and left abruptly61 Louverture rarely oversaw massacres in person so as to deny any personal responsibility, but he tacitly approved his subordinates' actions, and in at least one letter Dessalines asked him for his express authorization before executing a group of white prisoners.62 Jean-Baptiste Vollée, Louverture's white financier and a loyal supporter, was immediately shot—possibly so that he could not reveal the whereabouts of the colonial treasury—while black soldiers forced Descourtilz and other white notables to turn over their valuables.63 This step, which preceded most massacres of civilians during the war, suggests that financial gain was as powerful a motivator as racial hatred for the average Dominguian. The rebels then took the survivors inland to Petite Rivière, where they were jailed for days in a tiny, suffocating cell.
          Dessalines, who had earned a reputation for cruelty in countless massacres of Dominguians of all colors, arrived in Petite Rivière at that critical juncture, still fuming at his failure to retake Port Républicain. Thankfully, so did his wife, the gentle Claire-Heureuse, who hid Descourtilz under her bed to protect him from her husband's wrath. He was still cowering there when Dessalines entered the room to discuss the fate of white civilians with his officers. The more moderate among them expressed their reluctance to kill the innocent along with the guilty, but Dessalines reminded them of the atrocities committed by the planters during the slavery era and quickly silenced their doubts with generous servings of taffia (rum). His officers still saw Saint-Domingue as a combination of individuals, each of them characterized by their unique moral foibles, but Dessalines no longer made any distinction between “good” and “bad” planters. He had already reached a point in his ideological development where he saw Saint-Domingue as a combination of racial and social groups engaged in a battle for supremacy. Even then, when Descourtilz's hiding place was discovered, Dessalines agreed to spare Descourtilz on account of his medical expertise. The story of the husband discovering a man hidden under his wife's bed sounds almost too theatrical to be real, but the respite awarded Descourtilz rings true: engineers, doctors, priests, and secretaries often survived the Haitian Revolution because they had skills that were uncommon among former slaves.
          That same night, soldiers fanned across Petite Rivière to massacre the white population, the more hesitant among them constantly prodded by taffia and Dessalines' potent reminders of slavery. Several times Descourtilz neared death only to survive when he showed the tools of his trade or a former patient vouched for him. Others were not as lucky. Descourtilz made particular note of “impaled pregnant women” and “children neutered with bad scissors,” gory details that mirrored those found in accounts written by white captives during the 1791 slave uprising.64 Then, as later, sexual crimes, particularly those committed against white women, struck white observers as the most vivid insults to the racial and social order; then, as later, acts of cruelty against civilians seemed intended as payback for the slave masters' own sexual crimes.
          Despite popular anger at the alleged plan to restore slavery, race remained a porous dividing line, and Descourtilz noted that Dessalines' wife, a black nurse called Pompée, and several mixed-race individuals treated him humanely in the days that followed the massacre at Petite Rivière. Promoted to director of the rebel army's ambulance system, Descourtilz even boasted that “my success in curing the injured promptly turned me into an important character.”65 He thus followed Dessalines' mixed force of soldiers and cultivators as they marched into the morne of Grand Cahos, massacring, burning, and leaving a trail of ash and blood behind them.
          Another white prisoner caught in the massacre of Petite Rivière was Mialaret, the tutor of Louverture's children. The incredible streak of good luck that had seen him through the Haitian Revolution seemed to have finally run out. “A woman” (probably Claire-Heureuse Dessalines) appeared one night by Mialaret's cell to free him.66 Eluding his pursuers, Mialaret managed to reach the coast, where he boarded a French ship, only to be attacked by a pirate ship from the nearby lair of Providence; marooned on a parched, deserted island; saved by a passing U.S. merchant ship; and returned to France in 1804, fifteen years after he had left as a teenager. Mialaret's eventful life later took him to Elba, where he met Louverture's fallen rival, and Louisiana, where he seduced the orphaned heiress of a plantation. The marriage proved unhappy, not least because Mialaret emancipated many of his wife's slaves, but it produced a daughter who married the famous French historian Jules Michelet and wrote the story of her father's unusual revolutionary journey.
          Some details of Descourtilz's and Mialaret's narrow brushes with death were probably exaggerated for dramatic effect, but the massacres they witnessed were all too real. In the two-month spring campaign, about three thousand white civilians perished, or 10 percent of the prerevolutionary white population, leaving only ten to twelve surviving whites in some quartiers (counties) by the time the fighting subsided.67 French columns advancing through the Grand Cahos encountered many an example of Dessalines' revenge. Marching with Leclerc along the Artibonite River, his secretary, Jacques de Norvins, saw caimans feasting on human flesh, then the scorched remains of hundreds of civilians in Verettes. Lacroix witnessed the same ghastly scene when he crossed the town on March 9.68
          The butcher who committed this act had shown no compassion for either sex or age. . . . Girls, their breast torn apart, looked as if they were begging for mercy for their mothers; mothers covered with their pierced arms the children slaughtered on their bosom. . . . Our men were so brave that this horrible sight, far from frightening them, only made them more ardently desire to strike their enemy. One of the detachments volunteered to fight while we were still visiting the carnage; never have I seen anything comparable to the ardor they displayed in their task.
          Creoles were all too familiar with such cruelty, which they had inflicted and witnessed many times before and during the revolution, but racial warfare came as a shock to French soldiers. Some elite Frenchmen and most colonists were racist in the modern, biological sense of the term, but “scientific” racism had yet to take hold in metropolitan France, where the term race was often used interchangeably for what one would call today social class or region of origin. With a mere five thousand people of color in all of France (most of them in Paris or Atlantic ports), most of the soldiers in the expedition had probably never even seen a person of color until they embarked for Saint-Domingue.69
          The French soldiers' color-blind outlook may explain why they behaved with remarkable restraint in the opening weeks of the expedition—and why their attitude changed as colonial prejudices and the brutality of war sank in. By March 1802, a month after the initial landing, atrocities against white civilians were routinely followed by retaliatory massacres; in one notorious case the Hardÿ division summarily executed six hundred prisoners accused of killing one hundred civilians. Following yet another massacre of civilians, a British captain visiting from Jamaica saw French soldiers line up two hundred black prisoners at the edge of a ready-made grave before shooting them all methodically. The second massacre may well have been Hardÿ's handiwork as well, since his division was in the area at the time. Neither of them, it goes without saying, was mentioned in the letters he sent to his wife.70
          By the end of February, Dessalines headed one of the last organized units in Louverture's once-proud army. Facing him were the divisions of Hardÿ, Rochambeau, Boudet, and Desfourneaux, all of them rapidly closing on his position. Not one to surrender, Dessalines chose to make a stand in Crête-à-Pierrot, a fort overlooking the Artibonite River, not far from the town of Petite Rivière where Mialaret and Descourtilz's companions had met their end.71 The area had once been a flourishing plain, but by March 1802 it was a war-torn wasteland crisscrossed by a few elderly survivors.72 The fort itself dated back to prerevolutionary times and had been expanded by the British in the 1790s. Vincent had mentioned it in one of his memoirs, but Leclerc, uninformed as always, confessed that he did not know of the fort's existence until he had to take it in a siege that marked the climax of the spring campaign.73
          There were two ways to capture a fort. One could dig trenches and lines of circumvallation, starve and bomb the garrison, and generally follow the rules of eighteenth-century manuals on siege warfare. Alternatively, one could storm a fort without lengthy preparations, banking on the fact that it was garrisoned by inferior troops lacking discipline and marksmanship—the very prejudices the French held against colonial troops. The latter tactic had worked well in Fort Liberté, Port Républicain, and Léogane and fit the French taste for élan, so no one saw any need to alter it as the campaign neared its apex.74
          First on the scene was Debelle. Eager to make up for his unsatisfactory performance in Port-de-Paix, he charged against the fort on March 4 before the other columns could join him. The assault failed miserably, leaving two generals injured—including Debelle—and three hundred troops dead. Dessalines personally led a sortie to exploit the advantage, but the fighting soon became confused as Dessalines' men, still wearing the French uniform, encountered the black troops of Maurepas' 9th demi-brigade, now fighting on the French side. After he was almost killed by one of his own captains, Dessalines returned to the fort to await the next French assault. Much to his annoyance, Louverture and Christophe stopped by in the days that followed and commandeered several hundreds of his men to replace those they had lost to desertion. This left him with a mere 1,200 troops to face the bulk of the French army.
          Leclerc and the Boudet division arrived a week later to reinforce what was left of the Debelle division (now headed by Leclerc's chief of staff, Charles Dugua, following Debelle's injury). They brought with them the 13th demi-brigade, a colonial unit led by Alexandre Pétion, one of the mixed-race officers who had come with the expedition. Before the French could attack, Dessalines opened the gates of the fort and told the sick and the cowardly that they should leave at once. “These gates are lowered for those who are not willing to die,” he announced. “The friends of the French should go while they have the opportunity, because they can only expect death here.”75 He then took a barrel of gunpowder, grabbed a torch, and warned that he would blow up the fort if his men failed him. A French negotiator approaching the fort was swept away by a cannonball by order of Dessalines, who also killed a black agent who entered the fort with a copy of Leclerc's proclamation hidden in his ponytail. The red flag went up on all corners of the fort. Surrender was not an option.
          These details were related by Louis Boisrond-Tonnerre, the scion of a wealthy dynasty of mixed-race southern planters, who despite his background was an admirer of Dessalines who glorified his every move. The only other source on what took place inside the fort suffers from the opposite bias, since it was written by the naturalist Descourtilz, still a prisoner of the rebels. According to his account, Dessalines' men tortured six of the French prisoners taken during the first assault, drank their blood, and ate their hearts in a ritual that may have been religious in nature, or an act of revenge, or the product of hunger—or simply a story made up by Descourtilz to emphasize his captors' barbarity. His version of Dessalines' speech, however, is consistent with the general's usual style. “Do not lose your heart,” he told them in Kreyol. “Whites from France cannot resist Saint-Domingue's men. They will walk, walk, and then stop. They will get sick and die like flies. Listen attentively: if Dessalines surrenders to the French a hundred times, he will betray them a hundred times.... After this, Dessalines will set you free.”76
          When the French launched their second assault at dawn, led by Boudet in person, Dessalines' troops defended themselves with an intense barrage of artillery. The women in the fort took an active part in its defense, particularly Marie-Jeanne Lamartinière, the wife of the battalion chief who had contested the French landing in Port Républicain. The French got as far as the moat and seemed on the verge of taking the fort when Dessalines ordered one last discharge of artillery that wounded Boudet and finally broke the back of the French assault. Harassed by continuous cannon fire and a sortie by some of the defenders, French troops hastily retreated down the hill, and Leclerc and Dugua had to intervene to prevent an outright rout. Both were injured in the action, bringing the count of French generals wounded in the siege to five, including the captain general himself.
          Dugua and Boudet's injuries forced Lacroix to travel from Port Républicain to take over their divisions, which had suffered a total of seven hundred casualties. The command, which came with a coveted promotion to brigadier general, surely pleased Lacroix, but the troops he now led must have been particularly shaken. Those under Debelle had participated in the difficult capture of Port-de-Paix and two costly attacks on Crête-à-Pierrot; their commanding general had been replaced twice in a week.
          The fate of the wounded at Crête-à-Pierrot must have been particularly wrenching, not only inside the fort (where Descourtilz was the only source of medical care), but also outside, where French military surgeons were constrained by the limitations of an age that did not know of germs, infections, and anesthetics. There is no detailed account of the treatment of the wounded during this siege, but one can extrapolate from another battle, fought later that year, in which a cavalry officer had his arm shot through by a bullet. After riding his horse back to Cap—wounded soldiers were expected to walk to the nearest aid station in the Napoleonic era—the officer waited three hours before local doctors bandaged his arm. A surgeon stopped by later, but unwilling to offend his colleagues he did not undo their bandage until a day later, when he finally set the broken bone almost thirty hours after it had been shattered. The surgeon did little more thereafter than install a catheter to drain the pus from the swollen arm and monitor the wound for any sign of gangrene, while the patient's immune system, for a full fifty days, fought off a massive infection that might have turned into septicemia had the patient not accidentally shifted his arm one day. A piece of cloth and a shard of bone—probably the root cause of the infection—fell from the wound and the patient recovered soon after. He had been so well treated by contemporary standards that the surgeon wrote a lengthy account of the case in the colony's medical journal to boast about his success.77
          Human frailty added to the primitive state of medicine. Bonaparte had shut down medical schools on the eve of the expedition, leading to a 50 percent drop in the number of army surgeons between 1801 and 1804. Leclerc, for his part, had left the army's medical supplies in Brest because he deemed them subpar, so his doctors spent the entire campaign without proper equipment. Louverture's scorched-earth policy also meant that the sick and the wounded often lay on the ground, in the open.78 One can only imagine the appalling scene near Crête-à-Pierrot given the massive number of casualties sustained during the siege. Corpses from both armies were left to rot in place, and a Haitian historian who visited the battle site four decades later noted that it was still strewn with the skeletons of fallen foes whose bleached, intertwined bones had finally found amity in death.79
          Leclerc turned thirty on March 17. When he had sailed to Saint-Domingue, he had probably not expected that he would celebrate his birthday—his last—at the foot of an impregnable fort, injured, amid the moans of the amputees and the mutilated bodies of hundreds of civilians and soldiers. A few days later he sent his brother back to France and asked Bonaparte, for the first of many times, to be recalled.80
          After two unsuccessful assaults, Leclerc concluded that the fort would have to be taken in a more traditional manner and left for Saint-Marc to fetch artillery pieces. He also called on the Hardÿ and Rochambeau divisions to join the siege. The two generals were supposed to wait for artillery support, but Rochambeau chose to attack immediately, possibly on account of a rumor that Louverture had hidden his treasure inside the fort. The rank and file, “infuriated by the notion that they would have to mount a siege against such enemies,” also itched for another try.81 Rochambeau sent his division up the hill; it returned with three hundred fewer men a few hours later. “And so,” wrote a despondent Lacroix, “Crête-à-Pierrot, in which there were fewer than 1,200 men left, had already cost us over 1,500 casualties, with nothing to show for it.”82 Finally chastened by the three deadly assaults, the army hunkered down and adopted the conservative tactic it probably would have used from the outset had it not underestimated its adversary: blockade and bombardment.
          The lull allowed Dessalines to repair Crête-à-Pierrot and build a second redoubt on a nearby hill.83 He entrusted the main fort to Brigadier Chief Magny while Lamartinière took over the redoubt, his wife Marie-Jeanne still by his side. After urging them never to surrender or evacuate unless they received his ring as a coded signal, Dessalines then abandoned his subordinates to their fate (the oral tradition claims that Dessalines could make himself invisible and travel to and from the fort at will).84 Boisrond holds that Dessalines left so that he could gather more supplies, but Descourtilz's accusation that Dessalines was afraid of the upcoming bombardment is more credible; in an uncharacteristic display of weakness, he wrote Louverture that he had abandoned his post due to a terrible migraine.85
          Crête-à-Pierrot was the first time that French and rebel troops lived in close quarters for a sustained amount of time. They faced each other across a battlefield strewn with cadavers, but the lines were close, assaults frequent, and French troops learned much about the political ideas of their opponents—which, they discovered, mirrored their own. The white prisoners in the fort included a band of musicians whom their captors ordered to play “La Carmagnole,” a famous revolutionary song that called on true patriots to hang aristocrats. Lacroix's soldiers looked at each other in befuddlement as the familiar stanzas streamed across no man's land. They were the army of Moreau; no one had ever called them “aristocrats” before. “Our soldiers glanced at us,” remembered Lacroix, “as if to say: ‘Were our barbaric enemies right? Were we no longer the soldiers of the Republic? Had we become servile instruments of politics?’”86 Many of them must have reflected on the fact that the aristocratic planters bayoneted on Dessalines' orders were not so different from the noble lords they had guillotined during the Terror.
          Identifying one's true enemy was made all the more difficult by the fact that the French presented themselves as the liberators of the oppressed cultivators and that they fought alongside the colored demi-brigades of Maurepas and Pétion. When an elderly black couple caught near the fort was accused of espionage and summarily whipped, Lacroix ordered his men to free the accused, one blind, the other deaf Their backs bent by old age, they slowly walked away, only to break into a victory dance as soon as they were out of range. They were indeed rebel spies on their way to Crête-à-Pierrot to deliver Dessalines' ring—the signal that Magny and Lamartinière could evacuate.
          The French opened a steady bombardment when Leclerc returned with siege pieces on March 22 and the situation quickly became desperate inside the fort, where Descourtilz struggled to tend to the many wounded while food, water, and bandages ran out. After one hundred defenders died in a matter of hours, Magny proposed to end the siege with a dramatic mass suicide that would have provided an interesting counterpoint to the tragic last stand of the rebels from Guadeloupe in Matouba that same spring. His troops sensibly insisted on trying to escape, and though they were surrounded by a ring of French units that outnumbered them ten to one, half of the garrison sneaked through enemy lines in the dead of night in what Lacroix described as a “remarkable fait d'armes.”87 After Descourtilz informed Leclerc that the fort was unguarded, French troops finally seized the position and massacred all the wounded who had been left behind, most likely in revenge for the losses suffered during the siege and the massacres of civilians that had taken place nearby.
          The siege was a public relations embarrassment for Leclerc. He had sacrificed 2,000 troops to capture a fort manned by 1,200 rebels, half of whom had escaped, when everyone had been convinced of the French army's superiority in standard set pieces like a siege. The many officers who had flocked to the French side when it looked the strongest—people like Gingembre—might be tempted to return to Louverture's side if they concluded that he might win after all. Lacroix noted ruefully that cultivators, invigorated by the heroic defense of Crête-à-Pierrot, ambushed French columns with renewed energy because “we no longer inspired moral terror.”88 Christophe wrote excitedly that such a retreat “was well worth a victory” and that his dispirited troops had been overjoyed when he had told them how “those who were inspired by the powerful zeal of liberty had so thoroughly humbled their enemies.”89
          Fearful of the consequences the bloodbath of Crête-à-Pierrot might have in the larger battle for popular support, the French did their best to hide their losses. During the sorrowful march back to Port Républicain, Boudet ordered his officers to leave large gaps between the ranks so that no one could notice how much the division had shrunk in a few weeks. Leclerc published a triumphant account of the siege in a local newspaper, and equally worried by Paris's reaction he told his generals to lie about the number of soldiers under their command, “as he was already doing himself in his official reports.”90 To explain why he only had 7,500 men still fit for duty, Leclerc vaguely referred to an unspecified number of soldiers who had fallen victim to “arson, murder, and fatigue,” not combat.91 The crude propaganda deceived no one. Local civilians, Anglo-Americans, and Bonaparte quickly learned of the appalling slaughter at Crête-à-Pierrot, which remained the war's most notable battle until Vertieres eighteen months later.92
          In its haste to bring a quick end to the campaign, the French army had sliced through central Saint-Domingue, throwing all opposition aside but never stopping long enough to establish any lasting control over the countryside. As popular resistance revived in the aftermath of Crête-à-Pierrot, armed cultivators raided recently conquered areas at will, and French officers in the south reported anxiously that the colonial officers who had recently surrendered might change their minds once they realized how few white troops garrisoned the vast region.93 Louverture concluded that he could undo recent reverses by sparking popular uprisings in the French's unprotected rear, a tactic probably inspired by his rival Rigaud, who had used it to devastating effect during the War of the South. Louverture thus slipped through French lines and headed for Port-de-Paix, only to run into Maurepas' 9th colonial demi-brigade and realize that they now fought on France's side. Although surrounded by hostile troops, Louverture lost none of his usual composure and dared them imperiously to fire at their commander. Time stood still as troops hesitated over whether to shoot or obey the fallen governor, until someone opened fire and Louverture had to find refuge in flight.94
          Louverture miraculously escaped—yet again—but he was injured in the engagement, and his hope of disrupting Leclerc's strategy of envelopment by seizing Port-de-Paix was shattered by Maurepas' defection. His beloved horse was also killed under him during his hasty retreat, while his and Dessalines' sons were captured around the same time. Cut off from many subordinates in the chaos of the unfolding campaign, Louverture only now learned that some family members, such as Jean-Pierre Louverture, had defected to the enemy.95 Louverture sent yet another agent to incite southerners to rebel, but he failed to overturn the locals' deep-seated antipathy. He was, increasingly, alone.96
          It was a sign of Louverture's desperation that in April 1802 he appealed to Sylla, Sans Souci, Makaya, and Petit Noël Prieur, who headed groups of plantation runaways that were active near Ennery and Cap.97 They could inflict significant losses on columns of French soldiers, but begging bands of African-born rivals to drop rocks from mountaintops was probably not what Louverture had had in mind when two months before he had headed an army of up to twenty thousand hardened veterans that made the governors of all nearby colonies tremble.
          Christophe was more successful than Louverture in threatening their enemy's unsecured rear. While the French army was distracted by the siege of Crête-à-Pierrot, he backtracked to the rich plain of Cap, where he burned many valuable plantations and enrolled thousands of their cultivators. He went as far as a hill overlooking the city of Cap, from which he aimed a 12-pounder at the government house on March 18. The city was only weakly garrisoned since Leclerc had sent virtually every soldier into the interior, but sailors from the Cap squadron helped establish a defensive line and Christophe's assault, along with a second one ten days later, achieved little beyond rebel casualties.98
          Cap, the main entry way for U.S. supplies and French reinforcements, could not be allowed to fall. Realizing that his aggressive plan of action had put a strategic port in danger, Leclerc hastily ordered the Hardÿ division to march to Cap. This took Hardÿ's troops on a long, difficult trek through central Saint-Domingue. After battling their way through countless ambushes mounted on Louverture's orders, they ran into Christophe's own troops as they left Dondon and were caught between two rebel forces. Short on cartridges the division was nearly annihilated and lost over four hundred men getting to its destination.99 Once so confident in his letters to his wife, Hardÿ now described the campaign as “horrible, with much fatigue and deprivations.” “War in this country is a terrible business,” he added soon after.100
          The campaign had now degenerated into a bloody, confused stalemate. Although militarily superior overall, the French could not control all areas of the colony at once, while Louverture could not entertain any reasonable hope of victory in the near future after losing so many men to desertion and combat. Like two aging boxers in an indecisive bout, the French and the rebels battered each other mercilessly, yet remained unable to inflict the blow that would knock out their enemy.
          Christophe, whose conduct during the French landing in Cap had been equivocal, was particularly tempted by French promises of amnesty. Accustomed to a sophisticated lifestyle in Cap, he begrudged the unpleasantness of life on the run and was “tired,” he explained, “of living in the woods like a brigand.”101 After his first raid on Cap, he contacted the city's new French commander, who foolishly rejected his overture. The demoralized Hardÿ proved more amenable, and after his difficult trek to Cap he promised Christophe a sizable reward if he agreed to surrender. Christophe did not dignify Hardÿ's offer of a bribe with a response and insisted that the one vital question at stake in the conflict was that of emancipation.102 Troubled by persistent reports about the strength of the planter lobby in Paris, he would not surrender unless he received a formal reassurance that universal freedom would remain the cornerstone of French law. Leclerc yielded and on April 25-26 he issued two important documents: a public proclamation promising that he would draft laws based on the twin principles of “liberty and equality"; and a decree canceling Christophe's outlaw status, thus allowing him to regain his plantations.103 Christophe must have trusted Leclerc, because he soon visited Cap to meet him in person, then sent his eldest son to be educated in France.104
          Christophe's submission was an unpleasant surprise for Louverture, whom Christophe had continued to meet and serve even as he secretly corresponded with Leclerc. What Christophe did not know was that Louverture had also been secretly preparing the ground for his own surrender since early April, when the arrival of 3,600 reinforcements from France must have convinced him that the campaign was unwinnable.105 After four hundred of the newcomers were captured, Louverture chose not to send the prisoners to Dessalines to be massacred and instead treated them well—better, in fact, than Bonaparte's corrupt pursers, since the hungry, barefoot troops now received beef and shoes.106 Louverture also freed the French officer captured during the landing in Port Républicain so that he could deliver conciliatory letters to Boudet. But Louverture boldly asked that Leclerc be recalled to France as a precondition for his capitulation, and these early negotiations soon collapsed.107
          Christophe's submission a few weeks later only put more pressure on Louverture to end the war. He later claimed that he could easily have won the spring campaign and only surrendered to prevent further bloodshed, but his situation was perilous in the extreme. Christophe had defected with 4,000 armed cultivators and 1,500 troops, and soon revealed the location of Louverture's secret stashes of weapons.108 Short on ammunition, Louverture's soldiers were now reduced to melting lead and making cartridges by hand.109 Dessalines was the only officer of note still on Louverture's side, and even he lost many men to desertion when he was taken with a bout of sickness in the aftermath of the siege of Crête-à-Pierrot. Louverture confessed to Dessalines that he was considering surrendering, but his indomitable subordinate angrily rejected such treacherous talk and privately made plans to put Louverture under arrest. Backtracking, Louverture immediately assured Dessalines that he had no intention of seeking a cease-fire. He then left to do just that.110
          On April 29 an envoy sent by Louverture secretly traveled to Cap and negotiated an agreement under which all rebel generals and soldiers would be pardoned and reincorporated in the French army if they stopped fighting.111 After two and a half months of combat and thousands of deaths, the cease-fire reestablished an equilibrium eerily similar to that prevalent before the onset of general war: two large forces of European and colonial troops that cohabited uneasily while claiming to serve the same republic. Weeks of fratricidal conflict had achieved no discernable purpose. White civilians were particularly outraged to learn that at Louverture's request the bloodstained Dessalines had been included in the general amnesty.
          Well aware that Bonaparte's instructions were to deport black officers, not rehire them, Leclerc explained apologetically in his reports to Paris that the cease-fire was a temporary measure dictated by difficult circumstances. His military situation was indeed as delicate as Louverture's. After weeks of campaigning, Saint-Domingue remained so insecure that Leclerc returned to Cap by ship after the capture of Crête-à-Pierrot to avoid Hardÿ's fate. By that time the campaign had cost his army five thousand dead and as many sick and wounded, or half of the forces that had arrived from France. Leclerc attributed most deaths to imaginary diseases to conceal his losses at Crête-à-Pierrot, but he knew that spring was almost over and that tropical diseases—real ones—would soon ravage his army. Upon learning that Bonaparte had also sent an expedition to Guadeloupe, he also began to fear that the reinforcements he was so urgently requesting would be diverted to other theaters. News that peace negotiations in Amiens were going poorly was another reason to worry. The fleet sent from Britain had finally reached Jamaica, while most of Leclerc's ships of the line had returned to Europe, so France's naval superiority was a distant memory. Informed (falsely) by the governor of Jamaica that he had fourteen thousand men at his disposal, Leclerc could even fear that his land forces were outmatched as well.112
          Forced by mutual exhaustion to an agreement they both resented, Louverture and Leclerc arranged to meet in person on May 7 on a plantation outside Cap to finalize the cease-fire. On the sixth, Leclerc was dining in the harbor when he learned that Louverture had come to town a day earlier than expected (most likely to forestall any French plan to capture him). Louverture came with several dozen members of his guard, who followed him with drawn sabers wherever he went, and looked more like the defiant leader of a victorious army than a vanquished foe begging for mercy. The white population, still mourning the losses of the spring massacres, looked at him with suspicion, anger even. “This is human nature for you,” Louverture told Hardÿ as they rode into town. Not long before, “I saw these people groveling at my feet.”113
          Leclerc rushed to shore to meet Louverture, and the two generals had a long, rancorous interview while Leclerc's secretary, Norvins, listened. Faced with Leclerc's litany of complaints regarding his recent behavior, Louverture deflected all criticisms by claiming, as was his habit, that controversial events were none of his doing. “The blacks” had insisted on fighting the French; “Christophe” had burned Cap; “Dessalines” had killed white civilians. Ever more modest, he declined Leclerc's offer to continue serving in the French army to help control the cultivator population because he was “too old, too sick; I need to rest in the countryside.” Besides, he added with a hint of mockery, “when I told the blacks to work on plantations or fight in the demi-brigades, they obeyed me. They should obey you, since you hold a rank higher than mine.”114
          After concluding peace, the two generals broke bread—almost. Afraid of being poisoned, Louverture waited until the end of the meal before accepting a block of gruyere cheese, cutting thick slices from all sides, and eating the center. Sitting sullenly, he refused to even talk to his brother Paul, who had lost Santo Domingo without a fight.115 Further down the table, Norvins asked his more talkative neighbor Dessalines, now back in the French army, why he had killed so many civilians. “Because Louverture ordered it,” Dessalines answered. “He was my chief, I had to obey him. Leclerc is my chief now: if he asked me to kill Louverture, I would do it.”116 Aside from Louverture, Leclerc, and Dessalines, guests included Christophe, Pétion, and Jean-Pierre Boyer. In retrospect, Norvins noted, all six officers (in that order) had, or would, rule Haiti between 1798 and 1843. Had Leclerc seized this opportunity to capture all colonial officers as they made their submission, as Bonaparte's instructions specified, the course of Haiti's history would have been radically different; but Leclerc felt too weak to take such a bold step at the time.117
          Louverture left Cap the following day and headed for his plantation in Ennery, where he planned to bide his time until the summer fevers gave him back the advantage he had lost on the battlefield. When his cultivators accused him of having abandoned the cause, he told them not to worry because “your brothers are still under arms, and all black officers kept their rank.”118 Members of his personal guard stayed in Cap, where Leclerc employed them as guides in French units, thus unwittingly providing Louverture with a network of spies with which he would follow the dramatic decline of the French army over the next few weeks.119
          Despite the many hurdles that still lay ahead of him, Leclerc could look back on the recent past with pride. In less than three months he had conquered all of Saint-Domingue, when Spain and England had never controlled more than swaths of the colony during their years-long campaigns. Aside from the botched landing in Cap and the bloody siege of Crête-à-Pierrot, he had conducted a swift, effective campaign in difficult terrain against an enemy that, at the time of the initial landings, outnumbered his army two to one. Shortly after Louverture's submission, he learned that England and France had finally signed a peace in Amiens and that he could now bank on both internal and international amity.120 He immediately began to work on the political reforms that would occupy him for the remainder of the spring.
          Hardÿ, whose ardor for war had ebbed considerably during the campaign, was glad to report to his wife that peace was finally upon him. Many of his colleagues took the opportunity to redirect their energy toward the famously seductive women of Saint-Domingue, but he assured his wife that they had made “no impression” on him. On May 17, two weeks into the peace, he learned that his wife had just given birth to a son. “Tell me what his name is, and who is the godfather,” he wrote in a tone of joy tinged with melancholy. “I tenderly hold you against my heart, as well as my three dear children. I will remain yours for the rest of my life.”121 Hardÿ did remain faithful to his wife until his dying breath—but that moment came much earlier than expected. Ten days after writing the letter, he contracted yellow fever and died in a few hours. His remains, interred in the citadel of Cap (which was renamed Fort Hardÿ), never saw France again.
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 楼主| 发表于 2013-4-26 15:05:36 | 显示全部楼层
Gustavus 发表于 2013-4-20 17:09
The Slaves Who Defeated Napoleon

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 楼主| 发表于 2013-4-26 15:11:29 | 显示全部楼层
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发表于 2013-4-26 18:50:51 | 显示全部楼层
山高水长 发表于 2013-4-26 15:05

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发表于 2013-4-26 18:52:17 | 显示全部楼层
山高水长 发表于 2013-4-26 15:11

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