Paris under the Commune eBook

John Leighton Stuart
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 483 pages of information about Paris under the Commune.

[Footnote 110:  The most reliable account of his death is given by a medical student who attended him in his last moments.  “Dombrowski was passing with several members of the Commune in the Rue Myrrha, near the Rue des Poissonniers, when he was struck by a bullet, which traversed the lower part of his body.  He was carried to a neighbouring chemist’s, where I bandaged the wound.  Before his transportation to the Lariboisiere Hospital, he ordered the fire to cease, but the troops defending the barricade disobeyed the injunction.  His sword was handed by me to a captain of the 45th of the Line.  His last words were nearly identical with those which he uttered as he fell:  ‘I am no traitor!’” His worst enemies have said of him that he was a good soldier in a bad cause.]

[Footnote 111:  At the prison of Sainte-Pelagie, on Tuesday, the 23rd of May, the unfortunate gendarmes, who had been made prisoners on the 18th, were shot, together with M. Chaudey, a writer, on the Siecle, arrested at the office of the journal, and conducted, first to Mazas and afterwards to Sainte-Pelagie. (Appendix 11).

According to the Siecle, the “Procureur” of the Commune, Raoul Rigault, presented himself, at the office at about eleven at night, and having sent for M. Chaudey, said to him, without any preamble:  “I am here to tell you that you have not an hour to live.”

“You mean to say that I am to be assassinated,” replied Chaudey.

“You are to be shot, and that directly,” was the other’s rejoinder.

But, on reaching the prison, the National Guards who had been summoned refused to do the odious work, and the Procureur went himself to find others more docile.  Chaudey was led before them, Raoul Rigault drew his sword to give the signal, the muskets were levelled and fired, and Chaudey fell, but wounded only.  A sergeant gave him the death blow by discharging his pistol at his head.  The next day, a hundred and fifty hostages of the Commune, confined at the Prefecture of Police, amongst whom were Prince Galitzin and Andreoli, a journalist, were about to be shot by an order of Ferre, when the incendiary fires broke out and prevented the execution of the order.  At eleven o’clock, Raoul Rigault commanded the prisoners to be released, and enjoined them to fight for the Commune; upon their refusal, a shower of balls was discharged at them.  The prisoners rushed for refuge into the Rue du Harlay, which was in flames, and were afterwards rescued by a detachment of the line.

That same day was fatal to Raoul Rigault.  He was perceived by a party of infantry at the moment when he was ringing at the door of a house in the Rue Gay Lussac.  His colonel’s uniform instantly made him a mark for the soldiers; he had time to enter the house, however, but was soon discovered, gave his name, and allowed himself to be taken off towards the Luxembourg, but before reaching it, he began to shout, “Vive la Commune!” “Down with the assassins!” and made an effort to escape.  The soldiers thrust him against a wall and shot him down.

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Paris under the Commune from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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