The Nightmare of Borodino

THE COUNTESS WHO DREAMT THAT HER HUSBAND DIED IN BATTLE

As Napoleon’s armies advanced into Russia in 1812, the wife of a Russian general, Count Toutschkoff, had a dream where she saw herself in a room at an inn, in a town that she did not know.

Her father entered the room, holding her small son by the hand. Sorrowfully, he told her that her husband had been killed by the French army. “Your happiness is at an end,” he said. “He has fallen at Borodino.”

Twice more the dream came to her and in the end she told her husband. Together they searched maps but they could not find a mention of Borodino anywhere.

But on September 7, 1812, the new retreating Russian armies turned and defied the French-at a village called Borodino, 70 miles west of Moscow. They were heavily defeated.

Countess Toutschkoff and her family stayed at an inn only a few miles from the battlefront, while her husband commanded the reserves. The next morning her father entered the room holding her small son by the hand.

“He has fallen,” he stammered. “He has fallen at Borodino!”

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