La Fusillade du Champ-de-Mars – July 17th – 1791

My Dear Heart does not know what she hides from in this house. I pray she takes the children away, but I further debate the looming consequence of my position and, then, whether I might join them too. Oh Dear Heart there is nothing that I want you to see less than these sights I’ve seen today.

I will never understand the purpose of these conflicts, if you can even call them that. We all want the same thing, they just don’t seem to understand the way in which I believe we shall reach that goal.

More importantly I wish they’d not put me in these positions. Sometimes I regret why I even entered the military in the first place. A young helpless decision maybe? The French forces are the people who have the most power to make a real difference, for better or for worse, but there is not a simple way of making that change. If we should attack the royalty we’ll lose the support of half our troops, nonetheless, of course, unnecessarily kill innocent people and people who do not deserve to die.  I could never do such a thing even if my life depended upon it. The King has done so much for our country, provided funds for Amerca’s success, gathered the peoples from all across our nation. Nowhere is it written: his name accompanied by a sentence of death.

Rather on the other hand, should I lead my men at regular into the city streets banging on doors and without relent, looking to kill any loyalists, or further even revolutionaries at large, I would be destroying the very revolution that which I wanted to create.

For what is my very purpose within this turmoil? Please Lord help me, I know not what to do. I have come to confess my crimes but I fear this is not enough to account for the deadly crimes which I did commit today.

IMG_10379; Here I confess my sins at the Abbey of Saint Martin

I cannot ever be seen, nor heard, nor be doing the things I did today ever again. My very soul shan’t allow me to do such things. These filthy dogs left me for dead and left me for bringing death upon hundreds! Which I did not do!

This day I entered the grounds of a grand petition that was growing. I looked only to keep the peace, but upon my appearance the peoples of the radical factions erupted! There was nothing I could do! They stoned my men. They stoned me. Thank the Lord my children and wife were not present. For a time they left, relented the strength and allowed me to regain the morale of my troops. We thought it smart to stay to ensure the situation did not escalate again. But, merely hours later the citizens returned. All citizens who supported my document explicitly giving them the right to have say legally, safely, respectfully. Yet, they pursued more violence. And death. Might there have been 50,000 men there today, I did not want to fire on a single one of them. In fact, I found hope in the depths of my heart when I rode up to the grounds, seeing the masses that which had gathered for their own rights. To stand up for what they believe, and for a good cause. It lifted my spirits, after being asked to enact military power upon them, I mustn’t have been in the lightest of moods, but the lump in the pit of my stomach was lifted at this sight. My heart bloomed, and joy began to fill my body.

Only moments later I had to fire.

They gave me no choice.

What was I to do?

If only they had listened to my requests. I asked them, trust me I did. Peacefully I pleaded their cooperation for ne’er had I dreamt n my worst nightmares I’d be shooting on my friends, my fellow citizens. I hope these men can return to peace, and know I meant no intentional harm: Danton, Brissot, Marat… Robespierre.

Oh my Dear Dear Heart I came home to. She sat in her chair in the corner of our living room. Georges sitting on the floor by her feet, Virginie and Anastasie on either side of the room, all sitting at peace, unknowing of the horrors that I had just seen.

Oh please let them be safe from this terror.

Now I rest at my desk. Her breathing soothes my soul, to the depth that which it can be cleansed in these times of dread and fear, and crime. She sleeps behind me. Please keep her this way. There is nothing more pure in my life, no more beautiful or right. Right. This is what I search for: right. There may be nothing more I can do in this fight. There is no more my heart can take surely. It may now be my time, to bid adieu to my friends, those of which who still fight here in this terror, to take my family to a better place. A place where hope will not be taken from one’s soul. To a place where we can live right. 

My Dear Heart and I will truly be free.

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