The veteran of Arcole: the legend and the intercession of Napoleon

arcole veteran

San Piero in Campo is a small hamlet of the municipalità of Campo nell’Elba. The veteran lived there with Maria, his stepdaughter. He was a veteran who became blind during the battle of Arcole, near Verona. Napoleon promoted him to lieutenant on-site. But, because of various problems, the officiality of that promotion never arrived.

The veteran suffered for it. His stepdaughter, to give him a moment of joy, decided to go to Portoferraio. Here she took a lieutenant uniform and a false document that attested the promotion. For the soldier, it was a tribute for the many pains suffered on the battlefield.

Napoleone were exiled in Elba Island. Once he heard about the story of the veteran, decided to see him. But the girls was worried because of the false document, so she went to the French emperor and told him the truth. Napoleon was sure that shortly he would have returned in France to reacquire the title of Emperor.

But this never happened. After the short period known as “A Hundred Days”, the veteran of Arcole lost his memory. So it became one of the legends of Elba Island.


Image source: “La Bataille du Pont d’Arcole” di Horace Vernet – Con licenza Pubblico dominio tramite Wikimedia Commons