In July of 1807, Lannes returned to France, and in September was appointed Colonel General des Suisses.  He would spend the next months at his home, the Chateau de Maisons in Saint-Germaine-en-Laye, and enjoy its gardens.  He also purchased the Hotel de Rohan-Chabot in Paris and spent a small fortune furnishing the place.  He also enjoyed drinking Armagnac, which his wife disapproved, because of its affects on him.

In late 1808, a conference between Napoleon and the Russian Emperor Alexander I was to be held in Erfurt.  The purpose of the meeting was to reassure the alliance between the two powers.  Lannes was given the task of escorting Alexander I until Napoleon’s arrival.  On the 21st of September 1808, Lannes received the Emperor of Russia at Friedberg, and the escort commenced.  The trip mainly consisted of troop revues and parades.  For this small service Alexander I awarded Lannes, along with Caulaincourt the order of Saint-Andrei.


“I see that you propose giving the Furstenstein property, with 40,000 francs
a year, to M. Lecamus.  I cannot imagine a more absurd step.  Since my reign
began I have never ventured on a more arbitrary act.  There are more than ten
men who have saved my life and to whom I grant pensions of not more than
600 francs.  I have Marshals who have won ten battles, who are covered with
wounds, and whose reward has been less than what you are giving to
M. Lecamus.  If Lecamus has 40,000 francs a year, what must I give
to Marshals Berthier, Lannes, Bernadotte, who have won the throne
on which you sit at the price of countless wounds?”
Napoleon to Jerome, January 4


April 4, 1808

French Armies in Germany
The following were the stations of the several divisions of the French army in Germany on the 1st of March:
General VICTOR, Governor of Berlin, remained in that capital, and his corps of the army occupied Spandau, Potsdam, & c.
The 3rd Corps, under Marshal DAVOUST, was cantoned in Poland.
The 4th Corps, under Marshal SOULT, had its head-quarters at Stettin, and occupied Pomerania, & c.
The 5th Corps, (Marshal MASSENA’S), occupied Lower Silesia, under the orders of General SUCHET.
The 6th Corps, (Marshal NEY’S) under the orders of Marshal MORTIER, who is Governor-General of Silesia, is stationed in Upper Silesia; head-quarters at Breslau.
The Artillery and Engineers are quartered at Erfurt.
The Voltigeurs and Grenadiers, under General OUDINOT, remains in Dantzic.
The Infantry of Reserve, Under Marshal LANNES, has head-quarters at Elbing.
The Calvary of Reserve, under the Duke of BERG, is cantones in Hanover – the 5th Regiment at Lunenburgh; the 8th at Ulzen; the 9th at Verden; the 12th at Nienburgh; the 16th at Celle; the 21st at Hanover; and the Horse Artillery at Hameln.
The  Russian troops who were on their return from the Prussian frontiers have, for the greater part, halted in Russia Poland; and an extensive camp has been formed at Keminice Podolskey, to sustain, as is pretended, the operations of the Russian armies in Turkey.  This statement shows, in a striking manner, that in spite of the apparent harmony between Governments of Russia and France, BUONAPARTE is careful not to fore go any advantage of situation.  Possibly he means to hold these posts, some of them strong fortresses, as a pledge for the exercise of all due vigour in Finland, and a hearty co-operation in his project against Sweden.



August 3, 1808

From the Dutch Papers
Paris, July 23.
It appears to be certain, that his Imperial Highness the Grand Duke of BERG will be proclaimed King of Naples.  The Grand DUCHESS, his spouse, arrived yesterday at Paris from Bayonne.  Marshal LANNES has set out from Lectoure to take the waters at St. Sauveur.



September 12, 1808

Paris, Aug. 31.
The day before yesterday the EMPEROR hunted in the wood of St. Germain’s, and breakfasted in the Pavillion de la Miurte.  Prince WILLIAM of PRUSSIA, Count TOLSTOY, and the Marshals MASSENA, LEFEBVRE, and LANNES were of the party.



October 18, 1808

Letters and papers to the 10th inst. were yesterday received from Holland.  BUONAPARTE and the Emperor ALEXANDER both arrived at Erfurt on the 27th ult.

Conference at ErfurtNapoleonNapoleon at Erfurt






The former reached that city first, and , understanding that his Imperial brother had arrived at Weimar, he mounted a horse, and proceeded towards that town.  On his way he met ALEXANDER.  The two Sovereigns embraced each other, and entered Erfurt together, escorted by two regiments of cavalry and two of infantry.  The Emperor of RUSSIA was accompanied by the Grand Duke CONSTANTINE, and BUONAPARTE by his brother JEROME.



November 10, 1808
Erfurth, Oct. 13.
Today, after the levee, his majesty the EMPEROR and King received the letters of recall presented to him by his Excellency Count de TOLSTOY, Ambassador from his Majesty the Emperor of RUSSIA, recalled from his post to be employed in the army.

Marshal Lannes

Three carriages of the EMPEROR, drawn by six horses, were sent to bring the Ambassador from his residence, and reconduct him thither.  The First CHAMBERLAIN of his Majesty performed the functions of Grand MASTER of the Ceremonies.  The Ambassador was presented by the Vice Grand ELECTOR, performing the functions of Arch Chancellor of STATE; and on leaving the audience, he was invested with the Grand Eagle of the Legion of Honour.  His MAJESTY granted the same decoration to Count ROMANZOW, Minister of Foreign Affairs.  M. de CHAMPAGNY, Marshal LANNES, and M. de CAULAINCOURT, have been decorated by his Majesty the Emperor of RUSSIA, with the Order of St. Andrew.



THE EMPEROR’S FRIEND – Marshal Jean Lannes
by Margaret Scott Chrisawn

IN THE WORDS OF NAPOLEON – The Emperor Day by Day
Edited by R. M. Johnston – New Material by Philip J. Haythornthwaite