In contrast to Jakob Walter’s description of a swift pursuit of the Russians after Smolensk, Faber du Faur writes about three days of rest. While they were both in Ney’s IIIrd Corps, it appears that du Faur was involved in the action at Valutina-Gora while Walter was not. This most likely explains the rest given to du Faur’s unit.
du Faur provides the following description for his painting: “On the 20th, the day after the battle, we quitted the battlefield and made camp on the plateau, just to the right of the main road. Three days of rest followed, drawing to a close a bloody period of fighting.”
“We heard that we were to be reviewed by the Emperor, who had, the day after the fighting at Valutina, already reviewed Ney’s other divisions and that of [General Charles-Étienne] Gudin. Our days of rest were marked by the occasional return of a few inhabitants who had fled during the fighting. Some of them came over to our camp, meeting our curious troops who, by means of signs, gestures and a little Russian they had picked up, attempted to communicate with them.”