Napoleon, riding to Valuevo on the twenty-fourth, did not see (as the history books say he did) the position of the Russians from Utitsa to Borodino (he could not have seen that position because it did not exist), nor did he see an advanced post of the Russian army, but while pursuing the Russian rearguard he came upon the left flank of the Russian position--at the Shevardino Redoubt--and unexpectedly for the Russians moved his army across the Kolocha.
Below the village the road crossed the river by a bridge and, winding down and up, rose higher and higher to the village of Valuevo visible about four miles away, where Napoleon was then stationed.
Beyond Valuevo the road disappeared into a yellowing forest on the horizon.
On August 25, the eve of the battle of Borodino, M. de Beausset, prefect of the French Emperor's palace, arrived at Napoleon's quarters at Valuevo with Colonel Fabvier, the former from Paris and the latter from Madrid.
Crowds of men of various arms, wounded and unwounded, with frightened faces, dragged themselves back to Mozhaysk from the one army and back to Valuevo from the other.