The aim of this study is to critically rethink the case of the first contact between foreign military and representatives of the most numerous, as well as the most archaic in terms of social culture estate of the Russian Empire, namely the peasantry. Contrary to the commonplace literary plot, typical for the memoirs about the 1812 meeting of military personal with a «Polish» or «Russian» peasant (that rarely specify the exact coordinates and personalities of the representatives of the local population), the correspondence of the headquarters created directly at the time of contact by the officers of the Grande Armée appears to be a more reliable source. It is represented mainly by the multivolume edition by the French archaeographer G. Fabry, as well as by the epistolaries by the servicemen from the Archives Nationales (Paris) and the Service historique de la Défense (Vincennes), the Bayerische Kriegsarchiv (Munich) and the administration of the Vilna Department of the Lietuvos valstybės istorijos archyvas (Vilnius). As a result of the study of these sources, the scale of contacts has been established, their main variants have been categorized, and the reasons and strategies for avoiding meetings have been stipulated. It is shown that despite the great intensity of contacts between Napoleon's army officers as the spokesmen of the high culture and local peasants as the representatives of the popular culture, the lack of mutual understanding and exchange of sociocultural meanings prevailed.