The directory ЂPlots of stamps in the catalogueї
Le Tambour d'Arcole (roughly, the little drummer boy) was André Estienne, born in Cadenet in 1777. He joined the Luberon Regiment at the age of 14, and was with the troups in Nice in 1796 when Napoleon Bonapart arrived to take command of the Army of Italy. During this campagne, after several victories, the troups were pinned down at Arcole, Italy at the Alpone river by the defending Austrians. Every wave of attacking soldiers was mown down by Austrian case shot (another fine use of technology). Even Napoléon himself fell in the river and was saved by the sacrifice of his aide de camp, Muiron. Our little drummer boy , and a few soldiers, swam the river with his drum on his head. Reaching the other side, André beat the charge on his drum. The Austrians thought they were surrounded and Napoléon's troups were able to charge the bridge and take the position. Napoléon decorated André with silver handles and points, and our star was born. André Estienne was still there when Napoléon was crowned at the Paris cathedral. During his lifetime, André was honored with statues at the Pantheon and the Arc de Triomphe, and received one of the first Legion d'Honneur in 1804.
France, Cadenet. Andre Estienne