With today’s puzzle we are highlighting an oil painting by an Arkansas artist, James M. Fortenbury titled "The Retreat from Moscow." Fortenbury was an artist living in Little Rock in the 1870s. He was commissioned to paint a copy of the Arkansas Traveller that was displayed at the 1876 Centennial Expedition in Philadelphia. James M. Fortenbury also painted several items in the Arkansas State Archives' collections, including portraits of Chester Ashley and Robert Ward Johnson, and paintings depicting The Battle of Palarm and Retreat from Moscow.
The Retreat from Moscow shows
Napoleon's soldiers retreating in the snow in 1812. Following the rejection of
his Continental System by Czar Alexander I, French Emperor Napoleon I invaded
Russia with his Grande Armée of 500,000 soldiers and staff on June 24, 1812. As
the French soldiers advanced, the Russians under General Mikhail Kutuzov burned
everything behind them as they retreated deeper and deeper into Russia. On
September 14, 1812, Napoleon arrived in Moscow intending to find supplies, but
instead found almost the entire population evacuated, and the Russian army
retreated again. After waiting a month for a surrender that never came,
Napoleon was forced to retreat in order to save his army from the onset of the
Russian winter and lack of food. By the time Napolean's troops made it back to
France, more than 400,000 men in the Grande Armée had lost their lives.
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