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Cristoforo Baggiolini, the hero of Beresina

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Baggiolini street to the Europa district of Alessandria joins Romita boulevard to Galvani street. Today the road is defined by two perpendicular lines and by the original straight segment interrupted by De Gasperi street.
Cristoforo Baggiolini (Alessandria, 11 November 1796 – Vercelli, 3 December 1872) was a military officer, teacher, essayist and poet. It was 1812, the author finished his classical studies in his native city and intervened in the Russian Campaign together with the Napoleonic troops: the brave sixteen-year-old soldier won the title ‘hero of Beresina’ on the battlefield (26 – 29 November 1812). The scuffle that occurred on Belarusian soil is inscribed in the collective memory of Switzerland: the Napoleonic army had enlisted 9 thousand Swiss soldiers and forded the river assisted by a platoon of 1300 Swiss soldiers in front of the Russian troops.
The Savoy Restoration followed the débâcle of Napoleon and induced Baggiolini to serve the Sardinian army: the second lieutenant joined the battalion of Tortona participated in the Austro-Sardinian expedition to Grenoble (1815).
It was 1817 and Baggiolini ceased his military career to begin teaching Italian letters at the Real Collegio of Turin: the teacher, a supporter of the insurgents at the riots (1820-1821), turned moderating work to the students.
Baggiolini, already condemned to perpetual imprisonment and confiscation of property because author of two pamphlets (”Report of a Piedmontese carbonaro to a Spaniard on the last cases of Turin” and ”Political dialogue between Machiavelli and a Piedmontese”) obtains from the Senate the internal confinement of two years alternative to the penalty expiated before exercising the teaching of rhetoric recruited by Monsignor Alessandro d’Angennes (Bishop of Alessandria from 1818 to 1832) to the archbishop’s seminary of Vercelli.

Baggiolini, appointed headmaster at the gymnasium in Vercelli, also wrote the pamphlets ‘To the corruptors of public opinion in Venice and Lombardy’ (Vercelli, 1848) and ”Replica a T. Mora sulle agitatori veneti e lombardi” (Novara, 1848) to reiterate the benevolent thesis of the annexation of Lombardy to Piedmont.
Baggiolini was enrolled in the Accademia degli Indefessi of Alessandria: the praise was moved by the work ”Commentaries on the famous Moska expedition led by Napoleon Bonaparte in the year 1812” (Alessandria, 1814) embellished by the Latin version.
The literary production of Baggiolini, a fertile and mediocre writer of prose and verse, is extended to the poem ”Maria Clotilde of France queen of Sardinia” (Turin, 1818), to the dossier ”Political and religious history of Vercelli” (Vercelli, 1836) and “The General Study of Vercelli in the Middle Ages” (Vercelli, 1888), to the works ”Guiscardo” (Cuneo, 1828), ‘Dolcino and Patareni’ (Novara, 1838), ‘Tamar” (Vercelli, 1843).
The translation for educational purposes ”The works of Virgil literally vulgarized and translated” (Turin, 1843) edited by the Alexandrian author to exalt the ancient Roman poet, was rejected by the school leadership.