While we were fighting the Civil War, the French were up to their asses in alligators in Mexico. In 1863, Danjou was commanding officer of a Foreign Legion infantry company that was part of the French "Mexican Expedition." Prior to that, in the 1850s, he had fought in both the Crimean War and the Austro-Sardinian War. He lost his left hand in Algeria in May of 1853, when his musket exploded. He designed and had made a wooden hand, which he wore for the rest of his life.
On 30 April 1863, Jean Danjou, with 2 other officers and 62 men, was escorting a munitions convoy to Puebla, Mexico. At about 7 am, they were attacked by a Mexican force of over 2,000. (800 cavalry and over 1,200 infantry) The 65 Legionnaires repulsed several cavalry charges, inflicting heavy losses on the Mexicans, and then retreated behind the walls of the Hacienda Camerone, a nearby inn. The Mexican commander, a Colonel Milan, called for the French to surrender. Overwhelming numerical superiority, after all. Danjou responded with his now famous line, "The Legion dies. It does not surrender." Then he went around to each of his men with a bottle of wine and urged them not to give themselves up, no matter what.
The Mexican onslaught resumed. Danjou took a bullet in the chest and died around noon. At 6 pm, only five men remained alive, and they were out of ammunition. So, naturally... they fixed bayonets and charged.
The Mexicans did not kill them. Colonel Milan ordered his men to cease fire. The five Legionnaires were taken alive and allowed to form an honor guard for the body of Captain Danjou. Ultimately, they were released and returned to France. The story is now a part of French military legend.
Captain Jean Danjou's wooden hand now resides in a glass case in the Museum of the French Foreign Legion in Aubagne, France. It is taken out every April 30th, placed on a silk pillow, and is part of the Legion's annual Camerone Day parade.
One of the highest honors than can come to a Legionnaire is to be chosen to carry that pillow.
Quote from Napoleon: "You call these baubles... Well, it is with such baubles that men are led. Do you think that you would be able to make men fight by reasoning? Never. That is good only for the scholar in his study. The soldier needs glory, distinctions, rewards."