After 2 visits to new bookstores and 2 visits to used bookstores, I turned to the friendly neighborhood library. I found several books that gave a nicely detailed account of Napoleon’s exploits, including the location of battles, challenges he faced, and the types of troops he fought against. The library also had a special room to make photocopies, which was very handy since some of the books could not be checked-out.
I have dived into the books, taking notes, marking-up maps in Photoshop, and getting a feel for his campaigns.
In a side story, Napoleon was invited to the estate of a French noble for a rabbit hunt. The noble wanted to make sure Napoleon bagged as many rabbits as possible, so he had the estate stocked with domesticated rabbits several weeks before the hunt. This was all kept under the tightest of security. After all, if Napoleon found out he was hunting tame rabbits, the noble might well lose his head to pay for Napoleon’s embarrassment.
So, the big day arrives, and Napoleon pulls up in his carriage for the grand hunt. The carriage stops on the road running next to the forest, and the noble and servants fall breathless in anticipation. Napoleon’s servants open the door and Napoleon emerges. There is much bowing and pleasantry. As they prepare for the hunt, they hear a rustling sound coming from the forest. Within seconds hundreds of rabbits erupt from the trees and run straight for Napoleon. In panic, he retreats to his carriage, slams the door, and orders the driver to leave with all haste. As the carriage pulls away, Napoleon can be seen tossing rabbits out the carriage windows.
It turns out the domesticated rabbits didn’t know how to survive on their own and had to be fed daily to keep them alive. Each day, a carriage (looking much like Napoleon’s) full of rabbit food was dispatched to feed them.