[In this second part of the chapter I develop the argument that history has the same features as language in general. It is incapable of being pinned down to a single factual original simply because we retell history in language. The way history is written - even at the most basic level - is mired in linguistic and other choices that have nothing to do with fact. Again, that is just how history is and the alternative is practically inconceivable anyway. 'Facts' and 'events' in history also have the same features as other units of language aimed at conveying information; they all have their signifieds, and are all capable of infinite repetition so that, again, there is no fixed originary meaning. In conclusion I repeat that none of this renders history detached from the importance of empirical accuracy, and is no licence to make things up or to deny that things happen. It is simply the way that history is, but we need to emrace the possibilities that that presents - which is what the second half of Why History Doesn't Matter is about.
Historical narrative is “structured like a language”
On the date identified in conventional calendars as 18 June 1815, several hours of heavy fighting took place around various farms and hamlets to the south of Brussels, at the end of which the army comprising troops from Britain, the southern and northern Netherlands, Prussia and various other German states moved forward towards the south and the army largely but not entirely composed of French soldiers fighting for Napoleon Bonaparte moved back away from them and towards Paris after losing more men killed and wounded.