To General Friant Paris,
15 September 1806
I have arrived from Saint Cloud, my dear General; His Majesty received me with his usual good will. He spoke to me of departing within a few days in order to rejoin you. This news is for you alone and my Chief of Staff.
Everything is war here; a detachment of the Guard left this morning. Meanwhile, many persons believe that these preparations have no other purpose than to bring about peace and, as a consequence, to render the Prussian armaments ridiculous. But, in any case, we are prepared; my last inspection of the troops convinced me of this.
There is a very important item, however, which we completely lack; this is that of canteens, pots, etc, I was assured here that there was no means of delivering them to us.
It is thus necessary to count only on ourselves. Also, I beg you, on receiving this letter, to warn the division commanders to charge the colonels with assuring themselves that, in the event of the order to depart, each captain will procure from the local inhabitants by private contract those pots of beaten sheet iron which are used in Germany. This article is not very costly and will give the soldier the ability to make his soup. It is necessary that each company procure these so as to have one or two extra. It will be better to be rich in this respect, since only too many will be lost. This order must be promptly executed and is for all arms of the 3rd Corps.
It is probable that, when you receive this letter, I will be en route to rejoin you.
Your wife is doing well and has been at Pontoise for some days, where she had to look for her mother. My wife was surprised by my arrival. She sends a thousand greetings to her excellent brother in law. I am departing immediately for Savigny to make the acquaintance of my little one there.
MARSHAL LOUIS DAVOUT