Napoleon truly sculpted all his marshals from the mud. Here are profiles of just some of the Marshals de France before they met Napoleon.
Murat: innkeeper’s son who was headed for a job at the church.
Massena: cabin boy, smuggler and fruit-seller
Soult: village baker
Lannes: cloth dyer
Ney barrel cooper
St. Cyr: gave drawing lessons for income
Unfortunate how a great many would end up betraying him. Thus is the interesting twist of the story of history.