Historical Timeline

I have attempted to create from a large variety of sources, a comprehensive Historical Time Line of the Napoleonic Era.  That being said, it would be the work of a lifetime to include every single event that occurred over this period of time, so it can not be 100% complete.  Many of the events have associated details that are linked as Posts that allow for discussion on each one of the events.

Historical Timeline for Napoleon Bonaparte

1769 Aug 15Napoleon Bonaparte is born in Ajaccio, CorsicaDetails
1779 May 15Napoleon enters the Brienne military school at the age of 9Details
1784 Oct 17Napoleon completes his studies at Brienne and enters the Ecole Royale Militaire in Paris
1785 Oct 28Napoleon graduates in one year from a 2 year program with the rank of second lieutenant in the ArtilleryDetails
1785 Nov 03Napoleon is stationed in Valence
1786 Sep 15Napoleon receives a leave of absence from the military and returns to Corsica. Throughout the next 7 years Napoleon makes a number of trips back to Corsica with a final result that him and his family are forced to flee for the last time on Jun 11, 1793.Details
1788 JunBonaparte meets with his regiment in Auxonne.
1789 Jul 14The storming of the Bastille signifies the beginning of the French Revolution
1791 Feb 12Napoleon rejoins the 'La Fere' (newly designated the '1st') Artillery Regiment at Auxonne
1791 JunNapoleon promoted to 1st lieutenant and re-assigned to 4th (former 'Grenoble') Artillery Regiment at Valence
1791 JulFrench army officers required to take oath to new Constitution. Napoleon did, many Royalist officers did not
1792 Apr 20France declares war on Austria thus beginning the War of the First CoalitionDetails
1792 Aug 10Napoleon witnesses the storming of the TuileriesDetails
1793 Jun 11A quarrel with Paoli, the mayor of Corsica, starts and the Bonapartes are forced to leave the island
1793 Dec 22Napoleon successfully defeats the British at Toulon and is promoted to the rank of Brigadier GeneralDetails
1794 Aug 09Napoleon Imprisoned. With the fall of Maximilien Robespierre in the coup d'état of 9 Thermidor on 27 July 1794, those associated with him were subjected to a witch hunt-like series of attacks from the Thermidorian Reaction. This included Napoleon, whose relationship with Augustin led to his imprisonment in the Chateau d'Antibes for being a Jacobin. He was cleared two weeks later
1795 Jun 13Napoleon is promoted to General of the army de l'Ouest and immediately goes on leave
1795 Sep 15Napoleon is struck off the list of generals employed by the Committee of Public Safety. Period of financial difficulty
1795 Oct 05The whiff of grapeshot. After being asked by Paul Francois Barras, a Directory member, he plays a part in the suppression of the Royalist insurrection against the ConventionDetails
1795 Oct 15At the home of Paul Francois Barras, Napoleon meets Rose de Beauharnais (Josephine) Details
1796 Oct 26Barras helps Napoleon win promotion to Commander of the Army of the Interior
1796 Mar 09Napoleon and Josephine are married
1796 Mar 11After Napoleon is appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Army of Italy and only two days after being married, he leaves for Italy (First Italian Campaign)Details
1796 AprilNapoleon scores a string of victories (Battles of Dego, Mondovi, Montenotte) and an armistice of Cherasco which sees Piedmont exiting the war. One Piedmontese officer would later complain: "They sent a young madman who attacks right, left, and from the rear. It's an intolerable way of making war."
1796 May 10Battle of Lodi (French victory under Napoleon)Details
1796 Jul 04Siege of Mantua begins
1796 Aug 05Battle of Castiglione (French victory under Napoleon)Details
1796 Sep 04Battle of Rovereto (French victory under Napoleon. The action was fought during the second relief of the Siege of Mantua)
1796 Sep 08Battle of Bassano (French victory in the territory of the Republic of Venice, between a French army under Napoleon Bonaparte and Austrian forces led by Count Dagobert von Wurmser. The Austrians abandoned their artillery and baggage, losing supplies, cannons, and battle standards to the French. This engagement occurred during the second Austrian relief attempt of the Siege of Mantua)
1796 Nov 15-17Battle of Arcole (French victory under Napoleon)Details
1797 Jan 14-15Battle of Rivoli (French victory under Napoleon)Details
1797 Feb 02Siege of Mantua concluded with the Austrians capitulating after four failed relief attempts)
1797 Apr 17The Treaty of Leoben (also known as the Peace of Leoben) was signed
1797 Oct 17The Treaty of Campo-Formio is signed with Austria thus ending the War of the First CoalitionDetails
1797 Dec 05Napoleon returns to Paris as a heroDetails
1798 May 19Napoleon sets sail for Egypt for the beginning of the Egyptian CampaignDetails
1798 Jun 11Napoleon captures Malta enroute to Egypt
1798 Jul 02Napoleon lands in Egypt and occupies Alexandria
1798 Jul 21Battle of the Pyramids against Mamelukes (French victory under Napoleon)Details
1798 Jul 24Napoleon captures Cairo
1798 Aug 01Admiral Lord Nelson destroys the French fleet at Aboukir Bay, the Battle of the NileDetails
1799 Mar 07Napoleon begins his campaign in Syria by taking Jaffa. Approx 4000 prisoners were executedDetails
1799 Mar 17Continuing the campaign in Syria, the siege of Saint John d'Acre beginsDetails
1799 Apr 16Battle of Mount Tabor; Turkish army attempting to relieve Acre is defeated
1799 May 21After the last failed assault on Acre on May 10, Bonaparte decides to lift the siege and return to Cairo
1799 Jun 22Britain became the last nation to join the Second Coalition against France. Before her signature were those of Austria, Russia, Turkey, the Vatican, Portugal and NaplesDetails
1799 Jul 25Battle of Aboukir (French victory under Napoleon)Details
1799 Aug 22Napoleon leaves Egypt for Paris to address political upheaval in France
1799 Oct 16Bonaparte arrives in Paris
1799 Nov 9-10Napoleon participates in a coup d'Etat (18 Brumaire) that overthrows the Directory and establishes the Consulate with Napoleon as First ConsulDetails
1800 Feb 13The Bank of France is created by Napoleon.Details
1800 May 20Napoleon Bonaparte leads the Army of the Reserve across the Alps (Saint Bernard pass) to begin the Second Italian CampaignDetails
1800 Jun 14Battle of Marengo (French victory by Napoleon in Italy)Details
1800 Dec 03Battle of Hohenlinden (French victory by General Moreau in Germany)Details
1800 Dec 24Napoleon and Josephine escape an assassination attempt (The Infernal Machine)Details
1801 Feb 09Treaty of Lunéville signed with Austria thus ending the War of the Second Coalition except for British involvementDetails
1801 Mar 24Tsar Paul I of Russia is killed and his son Alexander I ascends the throne
1801 Jul 15The Concordat is signed with the Pope.Details
1802 Mar 25Treaty of Amiens is signed with England thus ending the War of the Second CoalitionDetails
1802 May 01Napoleon begins restructuring of the French educational systemDetails
1802 May 19The Legion of Honour, or in full the National Order of the Legion of Honour (French: Ordre national de la Légion d'honneur) is established by NapoleonDetails
1802 Aug 02Napoleon made First Consul for life as a result of his success in ending the War of the Second CoalitionDetails
1803 May 03Louisiana is sold to the United States (Louisiana Purchase)Details
1803 May 18The War of the Third Coalition began when Great Britain declared war against France believing that Napoleon was violating the Treaty of Amiens. The Swedish and the Russians joined the British in declaring War against France via the Treaty of St. Petersburg in Apr 1805. For the first year the war was fought almost exclusively at sea
1804 Mar 21The Duc d'Enghien is tried and executed as reprisal against an attempted royalist coup (Cadoudal-Pichegru conspiracy)Details
1804 Mar 21The Napoleonic Code enters into forceDetails
1804 May 18Napoleon Bonaparte is proclaimed Emperor of the French by the Senate
1804 Dec 02Napoleon's coronation takes place at the Cathedral of Notre Dame de ParisDetails
1805 May 26Napoleon is crowned King of ItalyDetails
1805 Aug 09Austria joins War of the Third CoalitionDetails
1805 Oct 08Battle of Wertingen (French forces led by Marshals Joachim Murat and Jean Lannes mauled a small Austrian corps commanded by Feldmarschall-Leutnant (FML) Franz Auffenberg. This was the opening battle of the Ulm Campaign)
1805 Oct 14Battle of Elchingen (French forces under Michel Ney rout an Austrian corps. This defeat led to a large part of the Austrian army being invested in the fortress of Ulm by the army of Emperor Napoleon I of France while other formations fled to the east. Soon afterward, the Austrians trapped in Ulm surrendered and the French mopped up most of the remaining Austrians forces)
1805 Oct 16-19Battle of Ulm (French victory under Napoleon)Details
1805 Oct 21Battle of Trafalgar (The Franco-Spanish fleet is destroyed by Admiral Lord Nelson)Details
1805 Oct 30Battle of Caldiero (French victory with the French Armée d'Italie (Army of Italy) under Marshal André Masséna against an Austrian army under the command of Archduke Charles of Austria)
1805 Dec 02Battle of Austerlitz (French victory under Napoleon, perhaps his greatest victory)Details
1805 Dec 26Treaty of Presbourg is signed ending the War of the Third Coalition and dissolution of the Holy Roman EmpireDetails
1806 Feb 18The Arc de Triumphe is commissioned to commemorate the victory at Austerlitz. Design work begins in 1806Details
1806 Mar 30Napoleon's brother Joseph is made King of Naples
1806 Jun 5Napoleon's brother Louis is made King of Holland.Details
1806 Jul 12Confederation of the Rhine is established under French protectionDetails
1806 Oct 06War of the Fourth Coalition begins (Russia, Prussia, Britain, and Sweden)Details
1806 Oct 14Battle of Auerstadt (French victory under Marshal Davout)Details
1806 Oct 14Battle of Jena (French victory under Napoleon)Details
1806 Oct 27Napoleon enters Berlin
1806 Nov 21Napoleon declares the Continental Blockade (also known as the Continental System) via the Berlin DecreeDetails
1807 Feb 07-08Battle of Eylau (Stalemate/Slight French victory under Napoleon)Details
1807 Jun 14Battle of Friedland (French victory under Napoleon). Details
1807 Jul 07-09The Treaties of Tilsit are signed between Napoleon and Tsar Alexander I of Russia (Jul 07) and with Frederick William III, King of Prussia (Jul 09). This ended the War of the Fourth Coalition. Meeting of Napoleon and Tsar Alexander I on a raft in the Niemen RiverDetails
1807 Jul 22The Grand Duchy of Warsaw is created. Established by the Treaties of Tilsit in 1807 after the Poles had helped Napoleon defeat Prussia, it consisted originally of the major portion of the central Polish provinces that Prussia had taken in the 1790s. For Napoleon's second war against Russia (1812), the Duchy of Warsaw supplied nearly 98,000 men, but Napoleon's defeat in Russia also sealed the fortunes of the duchy. In 1813 the Russians assumed control of it. Later the Congress of Vienna divided it into three parts: the Grand Duchy of Poznan; the free Republic of Kraków; and the Congress Kingdom of Poland, which was joined to Russia by making the Russian emperor its king.
1807 Aug 16Napoleon's brother Jerome is made King of WestphaliaDetails
1807 Sep 07Preemptive British attack Copenhagen destroying the Danish fleetDetails
1807 Oct 27Treaty of Fontainebleu; France and Spain agree to attack Portugal thus beginning what is known as the Peninsular WarDetails
1807 Nov 30Marshal Junot occupies Lisbon
1808 Feb 20Marshal Murat is appointed as Napoleon's lieutenant-general in Spain.
1808 May 02An uprising in Madrid against the French presence occurs which is quelled by Marshal Murat. Charles IV of Spain abdicates.
1808 Jun 06Joseph is made King of Spain and Murat replaces him as King of Naples
1808 Jul 14Battle of Medina de Rioseco (defeat of the only Spanish army capable of threatening the French advance into Old Castile. General Joaquín Blake's Army of Galicia, under joint command with General Cuesta, was routed by Marshal Bessières of France after a badly-coordinated but determined assault on the French corps north of Valladolid)
1808 Jul 16-19Battle of Bailén (Spanish victory over French forces led by General Pierre Dupont de l'Étang)Details
1808 Aug 17Battle of Roliça (an Anglo-Portuguese army under Sir Arthur Wellesley defeated an outnumbered French army under General Henri Delaborde, near the village of Roliça in Portugal. The French retired in good order. It was the first battle fought by the British army during the Peninsular War
1808 Aug 21Battle of Vimeiro (Wellesley defeated the French under Major-General Jean-Andoche Junot in Portugal)
1808 Nov 10Battle of Burgos, also known as Battle of Gamonal during the Peninsular War. A powerful French army under Marshal Bessières overwhelmed and destroyed the outnumbered Spanish under General Belveder, opening central Spain to invasion.
1808 Nov 30Battle of Somosierra (French army under Napoleon forced a passage through the Sierra de Guadarrama shielding Madrid)
1808 Dec 4Madrid surrenders before Napoleon
1809 Jan 16Battle of Corunna (French victory under Soult in the Peninsular War)Details
1809 Mar 28Battle of Medellín (French victory under Marshal Victor against the Spanish under General Don Gregorio Garcia de la Cuesta. The battle marked the first major effort by the French to occupy Southern Spain, a feat mostly completed with the victory at the Battle of Ocana later in the year)
1809 Apr 08War of the Fifth Coalition begins as Austria attacks BavariaDetails
1809 Apr 20Battle of Abensberg (French victory under Napoleon)
1809 Apr 21-22Battle of Eckmehl (French victory under Napoleon) was the turning point of the War of the Fifth Coalition. Napoleon had been unprepared for the start of hostilities on 10 April 1809, by the Austrians under the Archduke Charles of Austria and for the first time since assuming the French Imperial Crown had been forced to cede the strategic initiative to an opponent. Thanks to the dogged defense waged by the III Corps, commanded by Marshal Davout, and the Bavarian VII Corps, commanded by Marshal Lefebvre, Napoleon was able to defeat the principal Austrian army and wrest the strategic initiative for the remainder of the war
1809 May 21-22Battle of Aspern-Essling (Austrian victory over Napoleon)Details
1809 May 23Battle of Alcañiz (Spanish force defeats French force under General Suchet in Spain)
1809 Jun 14Battle of Raab (French victory under Prince Eugène de Beauharnais. The victory prevented Archduke John of Austria from bringing any significant force to the Battle of Wagram, while Prince Eugène de Beauharnais’s force was able to link up with Napoleon at Vienna in time to fight at Wagram. Napoleon referred to the battle as "a granddaughter of Marengo and Friedland," as it fell on the anniversary of those two battles)
1809 Jul 05-06Battle at Wagram (French victory under Napoleon)Details
1809 Oct 14Treaty of Schonbrunn is signed ending the War of the Fifth Coalition. Austria ceded Salzburg to Bavaria, West Galicia to the Duchy of Warsaw, Tarnopol district to Russian Empire and Trieste and Croatia south of the Sava River to France (see Illyrian provinces).

Austria recognized Napoleon's previous conquests from other nations as well as recognizing Napoleon's brother Joseph Bonaparte as King of Spain. Austria also paid to France a large indemnity and the Austrian army was reduced to 150,000 men - a promise not fulfilled.
1809 Oct 18Battle of Tamames (French defeat in Spain. It was a sharp reversal suffered by part of Marshal Michel Ney's French army under Major-General Jean Marchand in the Peninsular War. The French, advancing out of Salamanca, were met and defeated in battle by a Spanish army)
1809 Nov 19Battle of Ocaña (Marshal Soult and King Joseph Bonaparte defeat the Spanish army, which suffered its greatest single defeat in the Peninsular War. General Juan Carlos de Aréizaga's Spanish army of 51,000 lost nearly 19,000 killed, wounded, prisoners and deserters, mostly due to the French use of their cavalry
1809 Nov 26Battle of Alba de Tormes (French victory under General Marchand in Spain)
1809 Dec 15Napoleon divorces JosephineDetails
1810 Apr 02Napoleon and Marie-Louise are marriedDetails
1810 Sep 27Battle of Bussaco (An Anglo-Portuguese force under Wellington defeats French forces under Massena in the Peninsular War)
1811 Mar 05Battle of Barrosa was an unsuccessful French attack on a larger Anglo-Spanish force attempting to lift the siege of Cádiz, Spain during the Peninsular War. During the battle, a single British division defeated two French divisions and captured a regimental eagle.
1811 Mar 20Marie-Louise bears Napoleon a son, who is given the title 'King of Rome'Details
1811 May 03-06Battle of Fuentes de Oñoro (Wellington checks an attempt by Marshal Massena to relieve the besieged city of Almeida)
1811 May 16Battle of Albuera (Indecisive battle of the Peninsular War)
1812 Apr 06Battle of Badajoz (16 March - 6 April 1812) an Anglo-Portuguese army under the Duke of Wellington, besieged Badajoz, Spain and forced the surrender of the French garrison
1812 Jun 24Napoleon crosses the Niemen River for the beginning of the Russian CampaignDetails
1812 Jul 22Battle of Salamanca (Wellington defeats Marshal Marmount in Spain)
1812 Aug 16-18Battle of Smolensk (French victory under Napoleon)Details
1812 Aug 18Battle of Valutino (French victory - between Marshal Ney's corps, about 30,000 strong, and a strong rear-guard of General Barclay de Tolly's army of about 40,000, commanded by the General himself. The Russians were strongly posted in marshy ground, protected by a small stream. The French, attacking resolutely, carried the Russian position in the face of enormous natural difficulties)
1812 Sep 07Battle of Borodino (French victory under Napoleon)Details
1812 Sep 14Napoleon enters MoscowDetails
1812 Oct 19Napoleon leaves Moscow
1812 Nov 26-29Battle of Berezina (Napoleon manages to extract his force across the river fighting a rear-guard action)Details
1812 Dec 18Napoleon returns to ParisDetails
1813 Mar 16Prussia declares war on France beginning the War of the Sixth CoalitionDetails
1813 May 02Battle of Lutzen French victory under Napoleon)Details
1813 May 20-21Battle of Bautzen (French push back combined Russian/Prussian force)Details
1813 Jun 21Battle of Vitoria (Wellington leading the allied British, Portuguese, and Spanish army broke the French army under Joseph Bonaparte and Marshal Jean-Baptiste Jourdan near Vitoria in Spain, leading to eventual victory in the Peninsular War.)
1813 Jul 29Congress of Prague takes place
1813 Aug 12Austria declares war on France
1813 Aug 26-27Battle of Dresden (French victory under Napoleon)
1813 Oct 16-19Battle of Leipzig or Battle of the Nations (Combined Allies forces defeat Napoleon)Details
1813 Oct 30-31Battle of Hanau (French victory under Napoleon)Details
1814 Jan 29Battle at Brienne (French victory under Napoleon)
1814 Feb 01Battle of La Rothière (French defeat under napoleon. Attacked by a large Prussian force, the French managed to hold until they could retreat under cover of darkness. La Rothière was Napoleon's first defeat on French soil)
1814 Feb 10Battle of Champaubert (French victory under Napoleon) - Six Days CampaignDetails
1814 Feb 11Battle of Montmirail (French victory under Napoleon) - Six Days Campaign
1814 Feb 12Battle of Château-Thierry (French victory under Napoleon) - Six Days Campaign
1814 Feb 14Battle of Vauchamps (French victory under Napoleon) - Six Days Campaign
1814 Feb 18Battle of Montereau (French victory under Napoleon)
1814 Feb 27Battle of Orthez (The Anglo-Portuguese army under Wellington defeat a French army led by Marshal Nicolas Soult in southern France near the end of the Peninsular War.)
1814 Mar 07Battle of Craonne (French victory under Napoleon)
1814 Mar 20-21Battle of Arcis-sur-Aube (Napoleon withdrew his French army after confused fighting)
1814 Mar 30-31Allies enter ParisDetails
1814 Apr 06Napoleon's unconditional abdication takes place thus ending the War of the Sixth CoalitionDetails
1814 Apr 10Battle of Toulouse (Wellington defeats Marshal Soult)Details
1814 May 04Napoleon sets sail for the island of Elba.Details
1814 May 29Josephine dies from pneumonia
1814 Jun 30Treaty of Paris is signed between France and the CoalitionDetails
1814 Nov 01Congress of Vienna assembles to redraw the map of Europe.Details
1815 Feb 26Napoleon leaves ElbaDetails
1815 Mar 01Napoleon lands in France near Antibes
1815 Mar 13The powers at the Congress of Vienna declared Napoleon Bonaparte an outlaw and form the Seventh CoalitionDetails
1815 Mar 14Marshal Ney, who had said that Napoleon ought to be brought to Paris in an iron cage, joined him with 6,000 men.
1815 Mar 15After he had received word of Napoleon's escape, Joachim Murat, Napoleon's brother-in-law and the King of Naples, declared war on Austria in a bid to save his crown.
1815 Mar 17The United Kingdom, Russia, Austria and Prussia, members of the Seventh Coalition, bound themselves to put 150,000 men each into the field to end Napoleon Bonaparte's rule.
1815 Mar 20Napoleon arrives in Paris (beginning of The Hundred Days) and Louis XVIII fleesDetails
1815 Apr 09The high point for the Neapolitans as Murat attempted to force a crossing of the River Po. However, he is defeated at the Battle of Occhiobello and for the remainder of the war, the Neapolitans would be in full retreat.
1815 May 03General Bianchi's Austrian I Corps decisively defeated Murat at the Battle of Tolentino.
1815 May 20The Neapolitans signed the Treaty of Casalanza with the Austrians after Murat had fled to Corsica and his generals had sued for peace.
1815 May 23Ferdinand IV was restored to the Neapolitan throne.
1815 Jun 15French Army of the North crossed the frontier into the United Netherlands (in modern day Belgium).
1815 Jun 16Battle of Ligny (French victory under Napoleon…, sadly his last)Details
1815 Jun 16Battle of Quatre Bras (A costly draw between the Anglo-Dutch force and the French Marshal Ney)Details
1815 Jun 18-19Battle of Wavre (French victory under Marshal Grouchy, alas too little too late)Details
1815 Jun 18Battle of Waterloo (Allied forces defeat Napoleon…, enough said…...sigh)Details
1815 Jun 22Napoleon abdicates for the second time.Details
1815 Jun 29Napoleon leaves Paris for the west of France.
1815 Jul 07Graf von Zieten's Prussian I Corps entered Paris.
1815 Jul 08Louis XVIII was restored to the French throne — The end of the One Hundred Days.
1815 Jul 15Napoleon Bonaparte surrendered to Captain Maitland of HMS Bellerophon.
1815 Oct 13Joachim Murat is executed in Pizzo after he had landed there five days earlier hoping to regain his kingdom.
1815 Oct 16Napoleon arrives on the island of Saint HelenaDetails
1815 Nov 20Treaty of Paris signed.
1821 May 5Napoleon diesDetails
1840 Dec 15Napoleon's remains are returned to France and interred at Les InvalidesDetails

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