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The Young Franc Tireurs And Their Adventures in the Franco-Prussian War   By: (1832-1902)

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The Young Franc Tireurs And Their Adventures in the Franco Prussian War By G. A. Henty.


Preface. Chapter 1: The Outbreak Of War. Chapter 2: Terrible News. Chapter 3: Death To The Spy! Chapter 4: Starting For The Vosges. Chapter 5: The First Engagement. Chapter 6: The Tunnel Of Saverne. Chapter 7: A Baffled Project. Chapter 8: The Traitor. Chapter 9: A Desperate Fight. Chapter 10: The Bridge Of The Vesouze. Chapter 11: A Fight In The Vosges. Chapter 12: The Surprise. Chapter 13: The Escape. Chapter 14: A Perilous Expedition. Chapter 15: The Expedition. Chapter 16: A Desperate Attempt. Chapter 17: A Balloon Voyage. Chapter 18: A Day Of Victory. Chapter 19: Down At Last. Chapter 20: Crossing The Lines. Chapter 21: Home.


Rescue of a Supposed Spy. Among the German Soldiers. The Children on the Battlefield. The Sea! The Sea!


My Dear Lads,

The present story was written and published a few months, only, after the termination of the Franco German war. At that time the plan which I have since carried out in The Young Buglers, Cornet of Horse, and In Times of Peril, and which I hope to continue, in further volumes of giving, under the guise of historical tales, full and accurate accounts of all the leading events of great wars, had not occurred to me. My object was only to represent one phase of the struggle the action of the bodies of volunteer troops known as franc tireurs.

The story is laid in France and is, therefore, written from the French point of view. The names, places, and dates have been changed; but circumstances and incidents are true. There were a good many English among the franc tireurs, and boys of from fifteen to sixteen were by no means uncommon in their ranks. Having been abroad during the whole of the war, I saw a good deal of these irregulars, and had several intimate friends amongst them. Upon the whole, these corps did much less service to the cause of France than might have been reasonably expected. They were too often badly led, and were sometimes absolutely worse than useless.

But there were brilliant exceptions, and very many of those daring actions were performed which while requiring heroism and courage of the highest kind are unknown to the world in general, and find no place in history. Many of the occurrences in this tale are related, almost in the words in which they were described to me, by those who took part in them; and nearly every fact and circumstance actually occurred, according to my own knowledge. Without aspiring to the rank of a history, however slight, the story will give you a fair idea of what the life of the franc tireurs was, and of what some of them actually went through, suffered, and performed.

Yours sincerely,

The Author.

Chapter 1: The Outbreak Of War.

The usually quiet old town of Dijon was in a state of excitement. There were groups of people in the streets; especially round the corners, where the official placards were posted up. Both at the Prefecture and the Maine there were streams of callers, all day. Every functionary wore an air of importance, and mystery; and mounted orderlies galloped here and there, at headlong speed. The gendarmes had twisted their mustaches to even finer points than usual, and walked about with the air of men who knew all about the matter, and had gone through more serious affairs than this was likely to be.

In the marketplace, the excitement and buzz of conversation were at their highest. It was the market day, and the whole area of the square was full. Never, in the memory of the oldest inhabitant, had such a market been seen in Dijon. For the ten days preceding, France had been on the tiptoe of expectation; and every peasant's wife and daughter, for miles round the town, had come with their baskets of eggs, fowls, or fruits, to attend the market and to hear the news. So crowded was it, that it was really difficult to move about... Continue reading book >>

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