Perhaps historians in the French SIG can sort out two dates pertaining to
the Franco-Prussian War. After much reading in historical accounts, I have
not arrived at agreed-upon dates for the following:
1. France's Declaration of War
My great uncle, whose biography I am undertaking, was a young member of the
Alliance Universelle Francaise. Adolph Cremieux was the President and gave
entry tickets to the Chamber of Deputies to Alliance members. In 1922, my
uncle recalled the dramatic announcement:
I was present in the Chambre des Deputes at four p.m. on July 15th, 1870,
when the Courrier of the Emperor, Napoleon III, delivered to the Premier of
France, Emile Olivier, the message that France had declared war on Prussia.
Some accounts give the date for France's declaration of war as July 15;
other accounts state that it was July 19. Most agree that the declaration of
war followed on receipt of the 'Ems Telegram' on July 13. Were there two
dates that claim the "declaration de la guerre"?
2. The opening battle of the Franco-Prussian War outside Sarrebrueken
My great uncle was born in the Rhineland (Bernkastel), studied in Metz and
in 1866 emigrated >from Prussia to France. He fled Paris after July 22, 1870
for his parent's home in Sarrebrueken. There he claimed he saw the first
battle of the war >from his parent's livingroom window. Was this September 4
or August 4? Again, the historical records appear contradictory.
Clarification would be greatly appreciated.