Talk:Michel Ney

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North Carolina?[edit]

There is a tale in my family that Ney came to America after being supposedly executed. He taught my ancestors as a travelling tutor, in Wake County, North Carolina. He never let on about his past except during evenings when he became intoxicated and strutted around, speaking French, and claiming to be Marshal of France.

For your information.

John Coan

  • Yes, this was on Unsolved Mysteries, about a red haired French immigrant School Master in North Carolina who may have been Michel Ney. It might be worth a mention in the article, as long as it is clearly stated as unverified, but the editor adding this would have to be very very careful with the phrasing. Additionally, while the concept is fascinating, I am not sure it really is relevant to this article, instead more an afterthought or a final exclamation point to the legend to say, "Oh yeah, he might have escaped to America." GestaltG 20:22, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

It's just so damn lowbrow. Must every Wikipedia article eventually devote space to conspiracy theorists? It's like the National Enquirer version of history. Profhum (talk) 06:20, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

The article citation says the evidence is "tenuous at best" then proceeds to give the exact opposite in the form of both circumstantial AND physical evidence that in my opinion, does too good a job of making this complete and utter fact. Is there any way to cite a source that goes about picking this "legend" apart? It seems like the only evidence against Ney's survival in America is simply saying "not true", whereas the side supporting it has a buttload of evidence from his similar handwriting, similar appearance, and similar physical scars and admission. I'm never one to believe in conspiracy theories; I believe the US did land on the moon and too much evidence supports that, and I believe Lee Oswald killed Kennedy alone and there is too much evidence to support that. But this "legend" has too much evidence supporting the "conspiracy" theory, and no evidence not supporting it. Someone please clarify this? AndarielHalo (talk) 15:49, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

The man who called himself Peter Stuart Ney is known to have worked in North Carolina as well as South Carolina. Pleas read the discussion under the subtitle “The eventual fate of Michael Ney”. In it I have done my best to debunk all counterarguments I could come up with.

2010-06-08 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:48, 8 June 2010 (UTC)

Copyedit and NPOV nomination[edit]

I have nominated this page for the following reasons:

  • First, this article needs "clean-up" and some Wikifying, which I have started but not completed. I have edited down to the Battle of Waterloo, but I am currently working on another more involved article and cannot finish the edit. Hopefully, someone will finish.
  • Second, in reading this page, I got the sense of "hero-worship" by the original editor. Thus, this page lacks a NPOV and needs to be expanded and subdivided. Particularly, in opposite to the overall tone of this page, other sources have indicated that Marshal Ney was not particularly brilliant, and thus the discussion of the criticisms of Ney need to be expanded. GestaltG 20:22, 2 January 2006 (UTC)


A couple of comments:

  • It would be nice to have something covering the gap between his early life as a manual laborer and his later life as an extremely high-ranking officer.
  • The part about "However, Ney also had part of the blame, for he was cowardly" may be true, but it's extremely incongruous compared to his depiction in the rest of the article. If it's true, the article should state it in a way that acknowledges this incongruity. Otherwise it's simply confusing for the reader.-- 06:31, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
I agree, I added a request for a citation, the "cowardly' part seams to be personal opinion.--Bryson 14:19, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Napoleonic Wars Career[edit]

I re-wrote the 'Soldier for Napoleon' section, which I found to be filled with both hero worship and statements about Ney being a terrible commander, as well as many un-sourced statments. I have re-written it in a chronological order, fact based way (ie. dates, places, titles, events etc.), and added many notes. I also added the ‘Revolutionary Wars Career’ section to cover a previously void part of Ney’s life. --Bryson 23:18, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

"During the retreat from Torres Vedras, Ney worsted Wellington in a series of much-lauded rearguard actions" Shouldn't the word "worsted" be "bested" if he defeated or had the upper hand? Worsted is a term used for textiles. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:31, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

Post Napoleon Career / Ney During the Hundred Days[edit]

I replaced the ‘After Napoleon’s fall’ section with two re-written sections. I have keep some original text, but the rest I wrote to fill in some details, as well as added a number of notes. --Bryson 04:11, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Early life comment[edit]

Is it just me or does "Michel Ney was born in Saarlouis, a French enclave in the German-speaking Lorraine, something that made Ney bilingual." read rather poorly. I have also read in Military History that Ney was of half Scottish stock, I also read this on a history web site, but when I added said comments, they were removed. --Diarmada

I wrote that section and have to admitt that me english isn't the best in world since I am swedish, but I try and hope that my fellow editors will help. About the other thing, I found nothing about Ney being half scottish in the sources I used to rewrite the early life section, so I removed it. Can You give sources were you have read it and if it was his mother or father that was scottish? Carl Logan 23:28, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
It could use re-wording; I did not change that section when I cleaned up this article awhile back. I have a biography on Ney, Ney spoke German at home and learned French at school, but I can’t find anything about him being part Scottish – do you have a source for Ney being half Scottish?--Bryson 23:36, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
I came across the following article after typing "Michel Ney Scottish in Google. It is far from empirical, but it was the first article that I checked, my time is limited so maybe this will point someone in the right direction, I do remember the Military History article on Ney, I will try and root it out:

"December 7, 1815- MARSHAL NEY SHOT. Michel Ney, Napoleon's right hand at Waterloo, was executed. Called Le Rougeaud -the Redhead- because his hair color was inherited from his Scottish father, who was a follower of Bonny Prince Charlie. After the French defeat at Waterloo, the restored French royalty needed a scapegoat to blame for the embarrassing ease with which the Corsican upstart took back France. Michel Ney was courtmartialed by his peers, executed against a wall in the Luxembourg Gardens. The fiery warrior offered no repentance and even gave the :"Ready, Aim, -Fire!" order himself. Recently some theorists have claimed that the execution was a sham arranged by Wellington and that Ney lived on. Their reasons were that the public was kept away from the execution site and that the soldiers of the firing squad were handpicked from Neys old veterans. When shot he is said to have fallen forward instead of backwards after being hit by 12 -68 caliber musketballs, and that the customary coup de grace pistol shot to the brain was not administered. Instead, the body was immediately bundled up into a carriage and driven away. That night the officer in charge of the firing squad was arrested by the Royalist government. Twenty two years later in 1837 on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean a French immigrant schoolteacher named Michael Stewart died of old age in North Carolina. On his deathbed he told his confessor " I swear before God that I am Michel Ney, Marshal of France." When embalming the body his family saw he was covered with scars from old musket and saber wounds." Diarmada 10:08, 14 February 2007 (UTC)—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Diarmada (talkcontribs) 10:08, 14 February 2007 (UTC).

In the French edition of Wikipedia his mother is said to be Scottish. It also recites some anecdotes about a Pierre Ney living in North Carolina, who claimed to be Marshall Ney. There is no source quoted in the French Wikipedia edition. By the way, they don't bother with embroidering his early life. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:44, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

Please clarify Marriage and children[edit]

These points could do with clarification

  • by whom he had issue extinct in male line and a bastard son married without issue. Was the bastard son with someone else? Presumably but I'm reluctant to change the original sense of the words since I don't know; did they have the son together but he was technically bastard for some reason? Or was he not a bastard but something else that made him ineligible to inherit?
  • Edgar Napoléon Henry, recognized as 3rd Prince de La Moskowa 1857... the title went back to his older brother's issue. Which brother's issue?
  • Joseph Napoléon, 2nd Prince de La Moskowa... Michel Louis Félix, recognized as 2nd Duc d'Elchingen 1826. Presumably Joseph isn't "recognised" since he got it as soon as his father died?
    • is this correct? (Maybe these are standard terms in this field, if so a note in reply to this would be useful; if not please clarify the article)
    • if so why the gap from his father's death to the 2nd Duc being recognised?

Lessthanideal (talk) 10:23, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

The gap, as I understand it, was because Napoleonic titles weren't initially recognised by the restored Bourbon kings. There were two sons, and the titles were divided between them and their issue. When one son's line ended, the titles passed to the other son's descendants. Coemgenus 16:27, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

I know there are decendents of him still living in Germany and the UK but are there any over the world? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:18, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

Translation of "Le Rougeaud"[edit]

Wouldn't "Big Red" or just "Red" be a better translation of this nickname? Nobody is called "ruddy" in English anymore, and "Red" is a common English nickname for red-headed people.Mtsmallwood (talk) 05:45, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

The eventual fate of Michael Ney[edit]

Eugène Michel Ney[edit]

Is it known under which circumstances Eugène Michel Ney died? Pascal Cazottes has suggested that he did not die but instead immigrated to the United States. I just want to know if such a scenario is plausible. The guy referred to as “E.M.C. Neyman” may well have lied when he claimed to be the son of Michael and Louise Ney. Questioning is nothing wrong. The problems arise when people reject without thinking.

2010-06-09 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden.

Return of the North Carolina connection[edit]

I noticed another editor had placed a huge section about PS Ney and Michel Ney's possible escape. I removed it because it was overly long, incited, and speculative, as well as un-encyclopedic. I think perhaps that info should be put into a Peter Stuart Ney article, and have a link to that on this page. I live in Iredell County, about 20 minutes from PS Ney's grave, and would be more than willing to help, including by adding my own pictures of the grave. I just don't think this article is he place for more than a very very brief summary. Cdtew (talk) 03:33, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

the entire article needs rewriting and the whole section about PS Ney needs to be reduced to a couple of phrases, which is actually more yhan it deserves, really. The whole Ps Ney story is at best highly speculative and probably is a hoax altogether. What reslly belongs in such an article is more detail about this extraordinary man's childhood , his battlefield exploits, his temperament and his legacy. To take just an example: he wrote a manual for infantry tactics, which was significant at the time and which is not even mentioned... --Alexandru Demian (talk) 22:11, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

Kingdom of France tricolor is backwards?[edit]

Why is the tricolor for the Kingdom of France reversed in the info box? It has red on the left rather than on the right. (talk) 00:31, 11 October 2013 (UTC)

Possibly to distinguish it from the Republic's tricolour (10 August (French Revolution)).--Technopat (talk) 09:06, 11 October 2013 (UTC)

Possible escape section[edit]

The sourcing is really weak. First two paragraphs have none with a citation needed tag. Some of the other links are 404, and another is from a Time magazine letter from 1936. This section could be removed entirely if better sourcing isn't found. --Harizotoh9 (talk) 20:56, 16 December 2013 (UTC)

Looking a bit deeper. One source was to a Masonic lodge. The page 404's and now links to a facebook page. Another is a local news story that cites an amateur historian and his personal theory. These are weak, weak sources. I removed the entire section, citing WP:UNDUE. Naive readers will be mislead into thinking this is a mainstream theory. Re-insert the section when there is stronger sourcing. --Harizotoh9 (talk) 21:08, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
There is no reference to this in any of the mainstream biographies I've read. Unless at least a couple of them are provided, the section can only be considered as being fiction and should stay out of the article. --Alexandru Demian (talk) 10:32, 22 December 2013 (UTC)
Agreed fully. This seems like a simple case of WP:UNDUE.
Note that the IP editor keeps re-instating the section without discussing it. I invite this IP editor to produce mainstream sources to back up this section. --Harizotoh9 (talk) 19:18, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
I concur that this story does NOT belong in article. Many links provided in previous comments have gone to rot. I never found a reliable source. I read of Ney as a child and recall the story as being presented as fact, and his purported last words in the story were: "I am Michel Ney, Marshal of France" The Masonic Order could have indeed pulled this off, but there are no reliable sources. Here are some recent links: . Also see Find a Grave and search Peter Stuart Ney. There is a book: Historic Doubts as to the Execution of Marshal Ney, James A. Weston 1895, which is NOT a reliable reference.Tjlynnjr (talk) 19:29, 29 April 2014 (UTC).