Larrey was the greatest military surgeon in history. Of him Napoleon said: “C’est l’homme le plus vertueux que j’ai connu”. He was present at all Napoleon’s great battles and one of the few who stood by him on his abdication, and was waiting for him on his return in 1815. Larrey was one of the first to amputate at the hip-joint; he described the operation in vol. 2, pp. 180-95, reporting at least two successful cases. He was the first to describe the therapeutic effect of maggots on wounds, gave the first description of “trench foot”, invented the “ambulante volonte”, used advanced first-aid posts on the battlefield, and devised several new operations. He was familiar with the stomach tube, with débridement, and with the infectious nature of granular conjunctivitis (trachoma). He was a kindly man, who devoted much of his life to the well-being of the soldiers, among whom not even Napoleon commanded more love and respect. Larrey states on page 1 of vol. 5, published 24 years after vol. 4, that he intended it to complete his campaign memoirs. Vol. 5 includes his account of the Battle of Waterloo and Napoleon’s exile.
English translation with notes by Richard Willmott Hall of vols. 1-3 in 2 vols. as Memoirs of military surgery and campaigns of the French armies, on the Rhine, in Corsica, Catalonia, Egypt and Syria; at Boulogne, Ulm and Austerlitz; in Saxony, Prussia, Poland, Spain, and Austria. Baltimore, 1814. English translation of vol. 4 by John C. Mercer, as Surgical memoirs of the campaigns of Russia, Germany, and France. Philadelphia, 1832.