Pierre wished to be there with that smoke, those shining bayonets, that movement, and those sounds.
He is said to have induced his brother to employ a Parsee to purchase artillery and small arms from the Bombay government, and to enrol some thirty sailors of different European nations as gunners, and is thus credited with having been "the first Indian who formed a corps of sepoys armed with firelocks and bayonets, and who had a train of artillery served by Europeans."
They required humouring, and their march discipline was very elastic. But in battle the "thinking bayonets" resolutely obeyed orders, even though it were to attack a Marye's Hill, or a "Bloody Angle," for they had undertaken their task and would carry it through unflinchingly.
It is calculated that the field army would consist, in the third week of a great war, of 633 battalions, 410 squadrons and 574 batteries, with technical, departmental and medical troops (say 630,000 bayonets, 60,000 sabres and 3444 guns, or 750,000 men), and that these could be reinforced in three or four weeks by 350 fresh battalions.
The smoke of the guns mingled with this mist, and over the whole expanse and through that mist the rays of the morning sun were reflected, flashing back like lightning from the water, from the dew, and from the bayonets of the troops crowded together by the riverbanks and in Borodino.