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Soon to come - The historic novel telling you the story of the life of Marshal Ney, wrapped into the legend that the 'Bravest of the Brave' escaped execution with the help of French Free Masons and the Duke of Wellington

 

Wind in the Willows : The Legend of Michel Ney, Marshal of France – Soldier of the Revolution

A 150-year old mystery lies buried in a graveyard next to the Third Creek Presbyterian Church in rural Rowan County, North Carolina. Legend is that Peter Stuart Ney, the schoolmaster who was buried there in 1846 was really the great French general, Marshal Michel Ney, who led the bloody winter retreat from Moscow to Prussia during the Napoleonic Wars in 1812. On his deathbed, the 77-year-old Ney was asked by his physician if he indeed was the French general referred to by his men as "the red lion" and by Napoleon as "the bravest of the brave." He raised himself and responded "By all that is holy, I am Marshal Ney of France!" In 1815, after Napoleon's abdication, Ney had sworn allegiance to Louis XVIII. When Napoleon left the island of Elba with a small army he had been allowed to maintain on the island, Ney vowed to bring him back to Paris in an "iron cage." After Ney joined forces with Napoleon and they were defeated at Waterloo by Wellington, Ney was condemned to die for treason. Ney and many other French military leaders were members of Nine Siaters Lodge in Paris. This was the Lodge that Ben Franklin was active in many years previous and which may have been instrumental in Franklin's securing support for the American Revolution. Wellington was a Freemason and legend has it that the execution by firing squad on December 7, 1815 was faked with the assistance of Wellington and French Freemasons. According to legend, Ney gave the order to fire and brought his hand down upon a bladder of dye hidden beneath his shirt. That night, legend has it that Ney fled to the coast and made his way to Charleston, South Carolina aboard the “Lagonier”. Peter Stuart Ney taught school in Cheraw, S.C., Lincolnton, N.C., Mocksville, N.C., and in Cleveland, N.C.  There were a number of reports of his being recognized by men who fought with him in the Napoleonic Wars. He was an expert stenographer, swordsman, horseman, spoke fluent French and played the flute. When he had a bit too much to drink, he would claim that he was Marshal Ney of France. His body was covered with sword and bullet scars. Was this man really Marshal Ney of France? I doubt the mystery will ever be solved, but the theory of a Masonic connection that resulted in saving Ney's life is certainly plausible. The inscription on Peter Stuart Ney's tomb in the Third Creek Cemetery does nothing to diminish the legend: "In memory of Peter Stuart Ney, a native of France and soldier of the French Revolution under Napoleon Bonaparte, who departed this life Dec. 15, 1846, aged 77 years."

Through this legend the author will tell the tale of the life of Michel Ney, Marshal of France, his true life story.


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