The Truth? We'll Never Know
Many, many generations have passed since the birth of brothers Jean and Michel Ney. That these two men were born in Saarlouis, France is a fact, that they were respectfully born in 1767 and 1769 is also fact, that their parents are Pierre and Marguarite Ney, unquestionable, but who were they?
Family legend tells us that Jean Ney is my more "greats" than I can count Grandfather, making Michel Ney, my oh so many times removed Uncle. Family tradition hasn't changed, and yet again, neither has history. According to military record Jean Ney was killed in the Battle of Trebbia (Italy), on June 20, 1799. Family history disagrees with those military records, and they have recounted the journey of Jean Ney's life. This tradition believes that Jean was not killed at the Battle of Trebbia, but that he in all actuality surrendered to the enemy, that he was imprisoned in a P.O.W. camp, and that he survived that same camp. He survived to tell his story to his family, and through the years it has been relived through generations of oral tradition, but is it accurate?
Michel Ney, was the far more famous of the two brothers. History has chronicled his life, his military prowess, his trial for treason, and his execution. Family tradition again disagrees, but what's the truth, and who will ever know? Anyone who could have proved or disproved the tale I am about to tell has been dead for more than 200 years; it is the stuff of legends; it's a cry that everything in the history books may not always be accurate, but in the end does it really matter? Maybe it's just a tale, but it is a good one, and when all is said and done you'll just have to judge for yourself.
Truth and Fact
Pierre Ney was a master barrel-cooper of Saarlouis, and a man who was skilled in this trade would be considered a very important person in any city, town, or region. Barrel-coopers supplied the barrels that enabled companies to ship, businesses to trade, and the layman to store perishable goods. These barrels have had many names and have served many purposes; casks, tuns, kegs, and hogsheads are some of the names by which they're known. Whiskey would be our first thought as to what they stored, but fish, meats, vegetables, and eggs were also protected, anything that could be stored for any length of time was.
Saarlouis, at the time of Jean and Michel Ney's birth was a predominantly French area that lay along the boundary of France and Germany. Pierre Ney, their father, was a French sympathizer. His own military history details him as having fought with the army of Louis XV, in his war against Frederich the Great. Pierre Ney was a loyal subject of the French king, and was favorably looked on as one one of the few sargeants who came away from the disastrous Battle of Rossbach, unscathed. Family tradition holds that his allegiance to France was bolstered by his fear the Prussia would one day gain the Saar, and his pro-French views were embraced at the dinner table and around the fire. His stories had a huge influence on the paths his sons would take, but that doesn't mean he didn't try and deter them seeking lives as soldiers.
"it's the same problem with every European army. Brains and courage are not enough. You have to belong to the nobility to gain advancement."
I'm sure his sons heard his words, and yet they both came to ignore them; Michel Ney even went so far as to prove him wrong.
The Beginnings of the Revolution
Our history books have always taught us that the French Revolution was in may ways a mirror to our own here in America. It was a battle for democracy and freedom from the rule of monarchy. The French people were fighting for democracy, they fought against the class system that left the majority of French citizens living lives no better than slaves. Louis XV, had been seen as altruistic; he was a compassionate ruler. Unlike the peasants in many other European provinces, French serfs had more personal freedom, and yet, like in the colonies they found the taxation placed upon them unfair and reprehensible.
Louis XV's death brought huge change to the French citizens, and any loyalty that the French monarchy had once had from its people deteriorated, and it deteriorated quickly. Louis XVI was weak in both person and policy; he gave away the rule of his country to the selfish, harsh ministers who would completely alienate the people of France while he lived in opulence, gluttony, and squander. The French people were arrested and imprisoned for as little as the taking of a loaf of bread to feed their starving families. The jails became overcrowded; they were bursting at the seams, and the people of France decided that they'd had enough. The day was July 14, 1789; it was the day the the French people decided to take back their country; it was the day that angry mobs broke out in riots, and it was the day that the jails were taken, and the prisoners were released by a people desperate for change, desperate enough to do violence. It was the start of a revolution.
The Storming of the Bastille
The capture of the Bastille found the beginnings of a new democratic form of government in the country of France. The country's new governing body was the National Assembly, and the King, although still King, was nothing more than a figurehead; he was a symbol.
France had always had a tumultuous relationship with surrounding territories, constantly finding themselves unable to hold onto their borders. The French army had seen no rest in its opposition against both the Prussian and Austrian armies which had simultaneously occupied Belgium, but by 1792, the French army had mustered up enough strength to contemplate an attack against its invaders, and pushed hard driving them back across the Rhine. Shortly after, they were successful in moving the Prussians out of Holland leaving the French in complete control of the Netherlands and Belgium.
Military victories aside, the French still had the biggest problem of all yet to be dealt with. What were they to do with the King and Queen? The government needed to make a decision about what to do with the "monarchy," and their decision led to the trials and executions of both Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.
The Early Years as a Soldier
Michel Ney was a second son, but he was also his father's first choice to succeed him in the family business. Pierre had noticed that Michel was not only extremely intelligent, but that he was confident and outgoing as well, and at the age of eighteen Michel was sent away as an apprentice to a lawyer. His father had hoped that this would either enable him to take over the family business, or even put Michel in a position that he would one day open a business of his own. Pierre's dream never materialized; Michel left his apprenticeship at the age of nineteen, and did exactly what his father had warned him never to do; he joined the army.
Adulthood and Promotions
Michel Ney joined the Volunteer Army, 5th Hussars, in 1788, and by the time the French forces had regained control of its surrounding borders in 1792, he had been promoted five times. Within four years he had been promoted to full lieutenant in the cavalry. Ironically, both Michel and Jean Ney had gone against their father's wishes, both served in the cavalry, and yet neither had ever fought in the same battle. They were brothers, but that was where it ended.
By 1794, Michel was named a Colonel in the Grand Armee, and it was in that year he fell ill due to a bullet wound in the arm. He disappears form history for a very brief two years during his twenty-eight of service. When he returns to the history books; he comes back on August 5, 1796, and he comes back a Brigadier General. The life of a soldier never stops, and the next few years found him making his way in what had become his chosen career.
By 1799, Michel Ney has entered what will be the most important year of his life. He is promoted to Lieutenant General. His courage in battle gained the respect of his peers, and during a battle against the Austrians on May 27, 1799; he left the safety given to him by rank, and went in to fight alongside his men. History tells us that he was an inspiration, it tells us of the cheers of his men, and it tells us that they fought all the harder because of his presence amongst them. He was named "le Rougeaud," the red head, although it wasn't his hair they were talking about; it was the color of his face in battle.
That same battle found Ney wounded three times; a musket ball in the leg, a bayonet through the foot, and a bullet from a pistol through his hand. Due to his injuries, Ney was allowed to retire to his farm in Colmar in order to recover. A few weeks later he received a visitor there, a visitor bearing the message that his brother Jean had been killed in battle, but this wasn't true; the message was wrong. Family tradition holds that Michel may at some point have been apprised that his brother had been captured and held prisoner, never to return to the French army after, but we will never know.
The fact that Jean Ney did indeed escape is truth; he settled in Midwolda, an area between the border of Holland and Germany, the same place where he had once served with his unit, and he lived there until his death. Jean Ney never knew that his military record had listed him "killed in action;" in fact, had he known he would never have hidden and started a new life with a new name. He thought he would be considered a deserter after leaving his internment in the prison camp because he never returned. He spent 15 years in that camp; do you think he would have been named a deserter?
The New Dictator
Ney spent just enough time at the farm to gain his recovery. Within two months he was both back in battle, and once again wounded. The Battle of Mannheim left him both reopening an old wound, and taking a bullet in the chest; he was named Commander in Chief of the Army. It was said that he tried to turn down the promotion, that he preferred leading his men in battle, but he received the promotion anyway. In November of 1799 the lives of the people were changed once again, they gained a dictator, and his name was Napoleon.
Five months after Napoleon declared himself dictator, Michel Ney led the first division march into Germany where he fought for eight months. On December 3, 1800, he led the final attack at Hohenlinden, and Napoleon impressed with his command met with him in private. It was the first time they had met, and after that meeting Ney was sent to home to "Le Petite Malgrange," his farm in Saarlouis. It was the first time he'd been there since he left at the age of eighteen. Seven months later he was called back to Paris, and it was there that Napoleon named him Inspector General of the Cavalry.
Hoping to keep Ney under his thumb, Napoleon encouraged Josephine to embark on finding Michel a wife of suitable nobility and political background. Josephine found twenty year old, Aglae Louise Auguie. After his marriage Ney was sent to Switzerland as a diplomat, and he was not happy.
By 1804, Napoleon had readied 120,000 soldiers in hopes of invading England; Ney was happy to be called back into action, but Napoleon had miscalculated. He had 120,000 men, and he had all the necessary supplies, but he had no money. The French coffers were once again empty, Napoleon was broke, and America gained the Louisiana Territory.
Years of Fighting
The next seven years found Ney traveling all over the world commanding French troops; Napoleon was crowned emperor on December 2, 1804. A battle against the Austrians found Ney named the "Duke of Elchingen," different battles in different countries gave him the titles of "bravest of the brave," and the "Prince de la Moskova." The titles would lead one to believe that France was invincible, but the facts tell us differently, and eventually we reach the year 1814; the year France was invaded by enemy troops; the year that the Dutch rose up against them in rebellion; the year that the alliance of England, Prussia, Holland, Germany, Austria, and Russia banded together in their invasion of France, and their common goal of destroying Napoleon.
At the urging of his military leaders, Napoleon surrenders on March 31, 1814; Michel Ney is made a part of the team who decide his fate. The "Treaty of Paris" is signed, and Napoleon is allowed to keep his title, guaranteed an income of 180,000 pounds of sterling per year, and is sent to retire on the Island of Elba. The alliance gives its word that it will pull its forces back to the Rhine.
It was Michel Ney who then informed Louis XVIII, that he was returned to the throne that once belonged to his brother, that the monarchy had been re-established. In turn, Ney swore his support to the new king, and was allowed to keep his position in the government. Michel chose to retire, and his retirement almost lasted a year, but in February of of 1815, Napoleon escaped from the Island of Elba, and Ney was once again called to duty for his country. He was called back to capture Napoleon, and he made a promise he would.
Finding Napoleon and Facing the Firing Squad
Michel Ney was successful in finding Napoleon, but he never never fulfilled his promise to Louis XVIII. He did not bring him back to Paris in an "iron cage." What he did do was welcome Napoleon with open arms, and join the many people of France who had done just that same thing. Louis XVIII, "got the hell out of Dodge (Paris :)," and Napoleon began his "One Hundred Days," which ended in Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo, and his exile to the Island of Helena. Ney was arrested trying to escape into Switzerland, and made to stand trial for treason, the trial that ended with a sentence of death by firing squad. The Marshal of France was named traitor and sentenced to death.
"Sentence executed as ordered."
Family tradition tells us that Michel Ney, the Marshal of France did not die that day, that he did not experience death by firing squad, and that his escape was carefully and methodically planned by members of the Masonic Lodge. Ney, a Freemason, was saved from death by the interventions of the Duke of Wellington, also a freemason.
It was decided that if Ney made a promise to go to America, and to never reveal the names of his rescuers, he would be spared execution. It is legend that tells us that only one member of the firing squad, and one member of the burial crew would know of the secret; both were masons. Guns were loaded with blanks, Ney was supplied with a simple red fluid that would serve as blood, and Ney himself requested that he be shot through the heart; he asked that they not fire at his face, and he motioned to his heart in plea.
His body was quickly put into a coffin and turned over to friends. From there they tell us that he was disguised, boarded onto a Spanish schooner, and finally transferred to the ship of a privateer who transported him to the coast of Florida.
Family tradition tells us that he settled in the Carolina's where he finished out his life teaching school, and that his life spanned another fifteen years. They say he kept his secret all of the remaining years of his life, but that he admitted his identity on his deathbed, that as he lay dying he murmured the words, " Bessieres is dead; the old guard is dead, now please let me die." His gravestone is marked with the name of Peter Stuart Ney; it also reads, "soldier of the French Revolution under Napoleon Bonaparte," and he is buried in Cleveland, North Carolina. That Peter Stuart Ney is buried there is a fact, that he once was the Marshal of France, that is legend. There is no proof; there are only tales, legends, and a simple Masonic statement from 1920, that the escape was not only rumored, but possible.
F. Wm. E. Cullingford, supplied a Masonic statement extracted from, The New England Craftsmen." He tells of the plans as they are remembered within the Masonic Lodge and its members, it ended like this..........
"Possibly the tale is merely a legend without foundation in fact, but I have given it as it has been told me by those who firmly believe in the truth of this tale. If it is so, it is merely another proof of the all- pervading spirit of Masonry, and another example of what Masons have done for their brothers in the past."
His assessment supports the legend, but lie or legend; it's a great tale.
Kaie Arwen (author) on August 06, 2020:
Jacob, my maiden name is De Neui. We might just be related....
Jacob DeNeui on August 13, 2019:
Jean Ney was my great great great great great great grandfather. Our DeNeui family book states that he defected from the French army and assumed the surname of the deceased child of Dirk Johannes Neu. Not sure how but by the time his descendants immigrated to America, there was a "de" in the front (Dutch?) and an "i" at the end. DeNeui is pronounced the old French way "Ny" as opposed to the German way "Noy". Thanks for this article!
Kaie Arwen (author) on December 27, 2016:
How interesting! I live in Chicago.... do you happen to know where she is buried?
Gb on August 28, 2016:
My great grandmother was Antoinette Ney, arriving in the US from France around 18?? I have photo of her taken around 1880. She died in 1887, is buried in Chicago. I think it was peritonitis related to childbirth. Have tried to find info on her, and have none. All the women do have auburnish hair and hazel eyes that grow greener with age.
Kaie Arwen (author) on February 18, 2016:
Thank you Robert, I'm glad you enjoyed!
Robert Sacchi on February 15, 2016:
An interesting biography and an interesting pair of mysteries. I enjoyed reading the Hub.
Kaie Arwen (author) on December 22, 2015:
I'll go back and look at my research..... I don't recall another Marshal, but that wasn't what I was concentrating on. Sorry, I didn't see your post sooner..... I might have had this finished already. ;-)
Monarchin on November 01, 2015:
During your research, did you find any information about another Marshal who deserted and the hunt for him? He would have been born before 1776 and "died" or deserted before 1808. When and where did Jean Ney die? What was the color of Jean's hair? How tall were the brothers? Thank you for your help!
Susan on January 28, 2014:
Kaie - Can you email me your Ney information, too? I never received your email from a year ago or so if you sent me one. I'm still curious about the Ney history. Susan - firstname.lastname@example.org
Kaie Arwen (author) on January 27, 2014:
Sorry Barb, I haven't checked in here for awhile. I will get what information I have and email it to you ASAP. Your information was very interesting...... I'll be in touch soon!
Barb Meirose on January 03, 2014:
Sorry, I did not leave contact info for the previous post. Anyone with information with the Jean Ney lineage, please contact me at email@example.com
Kaie on January 02, 2014:
I was also told, my family was related to Marshall Michel Ney. My grandfathers family immigrated in the 1880's with their 2 daughters. Once here, 4 more childrens were born. My grandfather, being the youngest, Arthur M Ney. His parents were known as Jean B and Marie Ney. My great grandfather died in 1901, my great grandmother, Marie lived to be 99, dying September 1959. She lived in the Stubenville/Zanesville Ohio area. That is where my father was born. My grandparents Arthur and Mary Verna, moved a bit, before settling in Cincinnati Ohio.
Susan on October 23, 2012:
Let me know if you are having trouble with my email firstname.lastname@example.org. Looking forward to comparing info with you.
Kaie Arwen (author) on September 29, 2012:
I will be in touch by early in the week! Thank you!
Susan on September 26, 2012:
Kaie and Timothy,
As per our previous comments, if you would be willing to share with me the extra info you have concerning Jean Ney (such as a picture of Jean Ney's grave, medal, etc.) please email me at email@example.com. Maybe by swapping stories (although I just have a few to add) we can find out more about our family story/legend.
Kaie Arwen (author) on September 16, 2012:
Timothy~ Fascinating! I've been contacted by more than a few people researching Michel Ney's life. It get more interesting all the time! Thanks for stopping by......... I'd love a picture of the medal and document if at all possible- I'd like to add the picture to this article. Thanks, Kaie
Kaie Arwen (author) on September 16, 2012:
Carolyn- The possibilities are seeming not quite so remote these days. Keep in touch....... maybe one day we'll have a reunion! Kaie
Kaie Arwen (author) on September 16, 2012:
Susan- I don't know what happened here....... but I commented on these last three comments 3 weeks ago........ alas, the comments are gone! I see you signed up here on Hubpages...... I'm going to head over later and see if there's an email attached. Thanks, K
Timothy Ney on August 24, 2012:
Neat. That's my family legend as well. Both my father and grandfather's name are Marshall Ney. Our ancestors immigrated to Texas sometime during the 1840's from Germany. We actually have a military medal and document for Jean Ney. Cool to see that there is some common history.
Carolyn on August 23, 2012:
I too have a Ney history. My Great-great grandfather being Captain Daniel W. Ney during Civil War. Our story goes he was the grandson of Michel Ney. In addition, my grandmother's name was Anna Ney who had a brother named Marshal Ney. So interseting to see the story in print even if the possibilites ar remote.
Susan Bye on August 19, 2012:
Yes, I would love to tell you a few more of the stories my Grandpa told us and wrote down and see how we're related. Can I contact you via email directly? I'm new to these hub pages (thanks to finding your article) so I don't know how to do that if it's possible.
Kaie Arwen (author) on August 18, 2012:
Susan- Always nice to meet another member of the family. If you contact me here through Hubpages, maybe we can compare notes! Happy to meet you! K
Susan Bye on August 13, 2012:
Kaie, I came across your story as I was scouring the internet for info about the Neys to make a family history scrapbook. Apparently, we are related! I, too, am a decsendent of Jean Ney (Johannes Derks Neu). My grandpa told the story to us often. Thanks for writing it. How interesting to find that the same story was passed down to different 'branches' of the family tree.
Kaie Arwen (author) on April 21, 2012:
Publication date was December 6, 2010; good luck!
Kaie Arwen (author) on April 21, 2012:
Tanner- Great subject for a project if I may say so myself ;-) I don't have any other posts on the subject, but I do have a bit of extra information if you need it. I will go and check the publication date for this article and be back.
tanner on April 20, 2012:
hi kaie i am doing michel ney for a school project, and i thought your story on michel neys was mazing do you have any other blogs on michel ney cause if you did i would definitely read them. what's the date of publication?
Kaie Arwen (author) on April 09, 2012:
Barbara- I see there are a few of us here with the same mystery. We may need to trade notes and see what happens! Glad you stopped by......... I'll bne back to check in! Kaie
Barbara Colgan on April 06, 2012:
My family is thought to be a decendent of M.Ney. I know that my great grand parents were from Canada and of French Decent. While living in Charlottesville VA I met another Ney decendent-whom looked like my uncles. I feel there is more to this story and you have me curious
Kaie Arwen (author) on April 01, 2012:
Ken- My grandparents also hailed from the country of Germany. I'll be in touch, and I'll be happy to share the information I have. Thanks for stopping by........... Kaie
Ken Ney on March 29, 2012:
My dad always told me we were related to Michel Ney. driving me crazy to fiquire it out. Went on ancestry .com. And found out that my grandfather and his two parents were born all in Germany. Kinda left me scratching my head. My dad and all his siblings, and their spouses are gone, so there is no one to answer any questions. Could you help me. Ken.firstname.lastname@example.org
Kaie Arwen (author) on March 09, 2012:
Emily- Maybe we're distant relations!?! Glad you enjoyed this...... I had a great time putting it together. :-) Kaie
Emily on March 08, 2012:
Hello! What a fantastic story. So exciting for me since my familyname is Ney and what I have heard it was taken as a soldiers name having Michel Ney in mind.
Kaie Arwen (author) on July 22, 2011:
Edward B- I'll bet it helps to be a Freemason! Good luck with your book and most of all your research............... let me know when you're published! Kaie
Edward B on July 19, 2011:
It helps if you are a Freemason too
Kaie Arwen (author) on July 18, 2011:
Edward B- I'm going to be on the side of the DNA, although I don't believe in grave digging (gives me the creeps!). Then again, if it's empty I would find it completely fascinating.
Your book sounds quite interesting............... researching the Masons is a favorite hobby, although I haven't devoted much time to reading lately.
I'm glad you happened upon my article here. It was a labor of love! Thanks for stopping by........... Kaie
Kaie Arwen (author) on July 18, 2011:
ketch42- Always good to have another cousin.............. a lot of the homework wasn't mine. A cousin of my grandfather's who was very old at the time we were in correspondence did quite a bit of the legwork. I just took over where he left off. He was a very sweet man and I wish I'd have met him. Glad you enjoyed "distant" cousin; I enjoyed writing this! Glad you were here! Kaie
Edward B on July 15, 2011:
By chance I came across this site. I've been researching for my book, "Masonic Valor," on the life of Ney after arriving in the U.S. Last month I was in Paris, and of course went to the Pere Lachaise Cemetery (sec-21),to see Ney's grave. As luck would have it, I met a very knowable and very old lady who told me her mother said Ney's grave was in fact, empty. One could only wounder and hope the legend is true. Lets get some DNA.
ketch42 on July 14, 2011:
I enjoyed your hub. My grandmother was a Nye (Ney?) and I was told a similar story about Marshal Ney as a youth. Of course the name was changed slightly to protect the offspring. I just sort of wrote it off as "yeah. everybodies related to royalty or someone famous", but the story is right on the mark.
The freemason connection was something I was not aware of though and I always heard South Carolina, but it sounds like you really did your homework. Heck, we might be distant cousins....very distant.
Anyway, enjoyed and take care.
Kaie Arwen (author) on February 25, 2011:
TC - Thanks.............. you're a peach! Kaie
TC on February 25, 2011:
Tombstone marked "Peter Stuart Ney" Let me see what I can find. If I can get some decent photos, I'll let you know, along with a precise address of where the burial is.
Kaie Arwen (author) on February 19, 2011:
I wasn't able to come up with anything. I have a picture of Jean Ney's grave.......... and little tidbits of where Michel is believed to be buried. You are in the right vicinity. Let me know if you come up with anything new! Kaie
TC on January 22, 2011:
As chance would have it, I only live about 20 minutes from Lincolnton. The morning of the day I posted here I was at the cemetery for the purpose of finding the marker, but I couldn't remember if the stone indicated Marshal Ney's history or if it was marking something else. Which subseqently is what prompted my search again on line and lead me to this blog.
Kaie Arwen (author) on January 20, 2011:
TC- Yes, I actually have all of that information, along with a photo of where he is believed to be buried. In some parts of the family fact is fact. Two incredibly interesting brothers, and two very well planned disappearances. Thanks for commenting. I am going to check if that gravesite is marked as Lincolnton. ~ Kaie
TC on January 19, 2011:
Couple of items of lore unmentioned. Michel Ney was supposedly a schoolmaster of some repute in what is now Lincoln County North Carolina and either taught at Davidson College or the research papers documenting this phase are archived there, I don't recall precisely which. I also found a brief blurb that says he is buried in Lincolnton NC, in the white cemetery or burying ground first utilized in 1787 for that purpose.
Kaie Arwen (author) on December 06, 2010:
Daniel~ Thank you for correcting me :-D I make typos with the best of people! Lucky for me this piece really isn't about Napoleon.......... but i promise to never make that mistake again! Kaie
daniel glacis on December 06, 2010:
Hello ! Good job, but in the part "years of fighting",you wrote that Napoleon was crowned emperor in 1808 : sorry, but he was actually on december 2nd 1804, as every Napoleon fan knows. You're forgiven, unknown friend...
Kaie Arwen (author) on June 18, 2010:
sheila b- I'm glad you're enjoying........... history is my favorite thing to read about. I'm glad it's just a little infectious! Thank you........
sheila b. on June 18, 2010:
I'm enjoying an hour or two of reading your wonderful histories.
Kaie Arwen (author) on March 12, 2010:
Sam- Thank you for stopping by. I'm glad you enjoyed it!
Sam Askew from McLean, VA on March 11, 2010:
Great Hub ... I enjoyed it immensely .... well researched.
Kaie Arwen (author) on February 23, 2010:
tonymac04- I am happy you stopped by, and I am certainly happy you enjoyed the tale.
Tony McGregor from South Africa on February 21, 2010:
What a fascinating tale indeed! Thanks for sharing it and writing it so well.
Love and peace
Kaie Arwen (author) on January 29, 2010:
Snowy Finland! I bet it's beautiful!
Yes, Michel Ney had a brother, and no, he didn't die as a prisoner of war. Jean Ney lived out his life after the prison camp. He went back to Midwolda after leaving the camo and finished his life there using the name Johannes Derks Neu. The name was taken in honor of a good friend's son who had died as an infant. Jean had become close to the gardner at Midwolda while he was stationed in the area; the name of the gardener's son allowed him some anonymity.
He married a local girl in April of 1789, and they had seven children. He died at Midwolda in 1821 of natural causes.
Thank you again for visiting! I hope this answered some of your questions.
Kaie Arwen (author) on January 17, 2010:
Mit Kroy- Thank you! Glad you stopped by!
Mit Kroy from Georgia,USA on January 15, 2010:
Another great story!
Keep on hubbing!
Arja Röpelinen on January 14, 2010:
Fascinating story ! I hope, legend is not only a story but the truth. It´s so unfair and ironically, if Michel Ney was executed. Marshall Soult was stabbschief Napoleons at Waterloo, but he get no penalty (if he get, it was "nothing bad").
Michel Ney is my favorite marshall Napoleons. I have always been interested of Napoleonic era and wars.
Today Napoleons dream is fullfilled: The EU ! Napoleons methods was different as novadays.
Did Yoy knew, the grave of Ney was opened(at Pere Lachaise cemetery)1903 and they found nothing, the coffin was EMPTY ! Where was the body, who knows ?
Did Michel really have a silverpalte on his skull(headwound) ? They tried to find it from grave in Rowan county.
First time I read that Michel has a brother. In what year did Jean Ney died ? Do you know what he did end of his life ? If I understood he didn die at camp (P.O.W).
I will read more abouth M.Ney and his life (army, privat).
Please, write more abouth M.Ney and his family.
Many greetings from snowy Finland !
Kaie Arwen (author) on December 26, 2009:
James- Thank you for that.......... I may just have to get ahold of that one, sounds like some great reading!
James A Watkins from Chicago on December 25, 2009:
I have a great book about the Masons.
Kaie Arwen (author) on December 22, 2009:
James- Yes, I find the Masons truly fascinating, and they were indeed powerful. I had some very interesting conversations while trying to determine whether the "legend" was at all plausible, even if I couldn't get any type of confirmation.
Guess they're not going to share any secrets with me....... but I'm with you; I believe......... and anything is possible.
James A Watkins from Chicago on December 20, 2009:
This story is truly fascinating! And told so well. It was all great but you built it to a fine climax with the escape being the best part of an excellent tale. I believe the legend. The Masons were a powerful lot.
Kaie Arwen (author) on December 14, 2009:
Pop- Welcome back.......... hope the vacation was fabulous! Glad you liked my story; I always find it baffling! I'll be over for my french toast shortly.
breakfastpop on December 14, 2009:
Loved your hub. What a fabulous story.
Kaie Arwen (author) on December 11, 2009:
GPAGE- You have no idea how much fun I had writing this. I used to be a huge genealogy buff; I can trace my dad's paternal family back into the late 1600's, and my mother's maternal family back to the 1100's; she was Welsh, and she had a very colorful heritage. That's my next story............
GPAGE from California on December 11, 2009:
Kaie...this is very interesting! I love reading about this sort of stuff......GREAT hub! Best, GPAGE
Kaie Arwen (author) on December 10, 2009:
Ah, and it was fun to tell! Thank you!
Hmrjmr1 from Georgia, USA on December 10, 2009:
So it is a great tale my friend and thank you for telling it!