Napoleon, contrary to many expressed opinions of him, was a humane man. He felt grief for heavy losses (see his correspondence after Eylau). He took good care of his troops, and was genuinely concerned for their welfare. He had a good, common sense soldier’s approach to medical care. He generously rewarded his best surgeons, Larrey and Percy among them. The Grande Armee was his home, and he loved his soldiers, but he used them as he saw fit. He also put himself in the line of fire, which is one of the reasons his soldiers followed him unhesitatingly into the fire.
Napoleon also had a sense of humor. Supposedly Savary asked him once if he wanted to be God. Napoleon thought it over and replied, ‘No, it’s a dead-end job.’ Traveling with his escort, one of the trooper’s horses stumbled and the trooper was thrown. Napoleon reined in, leaned over and asked why the trooper was so clumsy. Later, as luck would have it, Napoleon’s horse stumbled, and he was thrown from his saddle. The justified trooper reined in, leaned over, and asked why Napoleon was so clumsy. Napoleon remounted, and they continued on, the escort undoubtedly feeling much satisfied by the justice of the situation.