War and Peace - document from the Enoch Wood scrapbook

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Date:16th of October 1813 - 19th of October 1813 (c.)

Description:The Battle of Leipzig

Document describing the emotional scenes between victorious leaders in the aftermath of Napoleon's most decisive defeat at Leipzig, Germany.

Nearing the end of the Napoleonic Wars

The Battle of Leipzig (also known as The Battle of Nations) took place between 16th-19th October 1813 and effectively signalled the end of French military dominance in Europe.

It was the largest conflict of the Napoleonic Wars.

Forces from Russia, Prussia, Austria and Sweden took part in this battle and successfully forced France out of Germany.

As part of a coalition with Great Britain (known as the Sixth Coalition), these countries went on to successfully invade France, forcing Napoleon to abdicate and flee (although he would come back to fight the Battle of Waterloo, his final defeat in 1815).

The end of twenty years near continuous war with France

Britain had been almost continually at war with Revolutionary and Napoleonic France for two decades.

Good news for trade

The manufacturers of the Potteries had suffered for years due to trade restrictions imposed during the war years.

Enoch Wood has written NB Preserve this at the top of the article. The end of the war would have been very good news for the industrialist in terms of a potential revival in trade. However, emerging conflict with the United States meant that normal trading would not be realised for a number of years to come.


An eye-witness relates the following:- When the Field Marshall Prince Schwartzenburg observed the defeat of the French, after three days of fighting at Leipzig, he was anxious to covey the tidings himself to his Sovereign, who, together with the Emperor of Russia and King of Prussia, were stationed upon a height, about two miles from the field of battle. The feild marshall galloped up at full speed, and, saluting the Emperor with his sword, said - "Your Majesty, the battle is at an end - the enemy is beaten at all points - they fly - the victory is ours!"
The Emperor raised his eyes to Heaven, and a tear was his answer: but his Majesty, dismounting, and having deposited his hat and sword on the ground, fell on his knees, and aloud returned thanks to God.
This example was followed by the other two Monarchs, who, having also kneeled, said, "Brother the Lord is with you!" At the same instant, all the Officers in attendance, as well as the Guard, kneeled down, and for several minutes a dead silence reigned; after which, more than a hundred voices cried, "The Lord uis with us!" The sight of three Crowned Heads, accompanied by a great number of distinguished warriors, kneeling under the canopy of Heaven, and, with tears, praising the God of Battles, was most affecting.

About this document

This document was collected by Burslem pottery manufacturer Enoch Wood and is now among the collections at Stoke-on-Trent Museums.


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