Military Subjects: Battles & Campaigns

The 1799 Campaign in Italy: The Siege of Mantua April to August - the French Forces

By Enrico Acerbi


Mantua Garrison until 5 Messidor an VII (23 june 1799)

Infantry during the Verona battles           2415
Guns                                                         657
Gunboats                                                    15
Total général April-June 1799             11812

Garrison Commander - General-de-division François-Philippe de Latour-Foissac [i]

Mantua, a former fortified city of Lombardy, Italy , today capital of the province of Mantua, 35 km. SSW. of Verona. It is situated 88 ft. above the level of the Adriatic and was actually on an almost insular site in the midst of the swampy lagoons of the Mincio river. As the belt of marshy ground along the south side could be sunk under water as necessary, the site of the city proper, exclusive of the considerable suburbs of Borgo di Fortezza (Citadel) to the north and Borgo di San Giorgio to the east, may still be said to consist, as it formerly did more distinctly, of two islands separated by a narrow channel and united by a number of bridges. On the west side the Mincio widens to form a soort of lake, called Lago Superiore, on the east side Lago Inferiore - the boundary between the two being marked by the Argine del Mulino, a long mole stretching northward from the northwest angle of the city to its Citadel.

In that year, it had 2650 houses, 19 churches and 25,000 inhabitants. The city was then still encircled with its high medieval walls of stones and bulwarks. Since 1500, they had also constructed bastions, but during the long period of peace, which the country had known for fifty years, they neglected their maintenance, so that these works were in very poor state. The north and the east of the city faced the lake. On the north riverside of this lake was the Citadel, linked up with the city by a lifting of earth (Ponte Molina), which mantained the level of the lake water. Another lifting (San Giorgio) linked up the city with the eastern bank of the lake. Mincio continued its course then until Pô, joined at Sacchetta. A part of the lake waters filled the trenches of bulwarks. In fact, a broad part of city surroundings were made of marshes, making the approach of siege-equipments particularly difficult without speaking about health problems linked to this environment (malaria).

The Mantua urban area was malaria plagued from 1190 when a complex artificial lakes system was created for defense purposes. This major ecological transformation set up the habitat for the anopheles mosquitoes, vector of the disease.[ii]

From Kriegsarchiv Wien

Marmont: "Mantoue, endowed with a good surrounding wall, is besides covered by two lakes, the one superior, the other inferior: ahead of the first is the citadel, giving a bridgehead of a large development; ahead of the second, the suburb Saint-George, not so strengthened, and who fell between our hands (in 1796). Of the compared quoting, the lake almost had dried up, and was made up of a current of water forming a big island with the trenches of the place: a party was occupied by the fort said T-Work, intended to cover a long curtain of the place thrown only by some towers and covered by a trench full of water. T-Work was on earth and without surface, but rough and wood-poles filled."

As a fortress Mantua was long one of the most formidable in Europe, a force of thirty to forty thousand men finding accommodation within its walls; but it had two serious.

defects - the marshy climate tolled heavily on the health of the garrison, and effective sorties were almost impossible. Otherwise, different sources judged the city as not so strong:

Mantua, situated in the middle of a lake formed by the Mincio river in the course of its passage from the Alps to the Po, depends entirely for its security upon its outer works, and the command of the waters which surround its walls. Two chaussées go across its whole extent on bridges of stone; the first leads to the citadel, the second to the faubourg San Giorgio (St. George).

Connected with the citadel are the external works and entrenched camp, which surround the lake, and prevent all accesses to its margin. These works, with the exception of the citadel, are not of any considerable strength; the real defence of Mantua consists in the command which the garrison has of the waters in the lake, which is formed by three locks. That of the citadel enables them at pleasure to augment the upper lake; that of Pradella gives them the command of the entrance of its waters into the Pajolo; while that of the port Cerese puts it in their power to dam up the canal of Pajolo, and let it flow into inundations to obstruct the approach of the place. But, on the other hand, the besiegers have the means of augmenting or diminishing the supply of water to the lake itself, by draining off the river which feeds it above the town; and the dykes which lead to Pradella are of such breadth as to permit trenches to be cut and approaches made along it. Upon the whole, an exaggerated idea had been formed both of the value and strength of Mantua, by the importance which it had assumed in the campaign of 1796, and the result of the present siege revealed the secret of its real weakness.”

The Mantua Garrison - 29 germinal an VII - 18 april 1799

Garrison Commander: General-de-division François-Philippe de Latour-Foissac
Chief-of-Staff: Adjudant-général Jean Baptiste Paul Gastine [iii]
Adjoint chef-de-brigade Marie Louis de Varennes (93e demi-brigade de ligne) [iv]
2nd Chef of the 2nd Polish Legion - Chef-de-brigade Ludwik Dembowski (assigned to Migliaretto defences) [v]

On 28 floreal an VII (17 May 1799) Général-de-brigade Dembowski became Staff Adjudant-général and Amilcar Kosinski Chef of the 2e Polish Legion for Dembowski troubles with his officers.

Place of Mantua

7681

Chef de la place Soulier
Engineer Commander: chef-de-brigade Maubert
Engineer: Chef-de-bataillon Perigord
French Artillery:  Commander: Chef-de-brigade Borthon
Marine Commander: Lieutenant Pagés (15 gunboats)
Commissaire de guerre Leclére

29th Light Infantry Demi-brigade                

832

31st Line Infantry Demi-brigade  – Chef-de-brigade Louis Fédon

2024

I Battalion: Chef-de-bataillon Baron

III Battalion: Chef de bataillon Tourel

IV Battalion: Depot 45th Line Infantry Demi-brigade :  Chef de bataillon Lacroix

657

Polish Artillery

Artillery Commander:  Chef-de-brigade Wincenty Aksamitowski
Artillery 2nd Commander: Major Stanisław Jakubowski - (became St. George Art. Commander:)
Artillery Adjudant:  Major Kajetan Stuart
Artillery Quartermaster: Major Feliks Mościcki
Polish Artillery Battalion: Chef-de-bataillon Józef Aksamitowski
1st Polish Artillery Company: Capitaine Hipolit Falkowski
2nd Polish Artillery Company: Capitaine Jakub Redel
Polish Legion artillery Company: 1 sergeant-major, 5 sergeants, 1 caporal furrier, 10 caporals, 2 commanders (train), 30 canonniers 1e classe, 47 canonniers 2e classe - total 101 men.

2nd Polish legion– infantry- Commander: Général-de-brigade Jozsef Wielhorski 

1194

General Wielhorski was assigned to the Migliaretto defence.                    

III Battalion: 2e Legion Polonaise  Commander : Lieutenant-Colonel Antoni “Amilcar” Kosinski [vi]

835 by June

 

Mantua Cisalpine Garrison

1e demi-brigade légère cisalpine - Commander: Chef-de-brigade Eugene

785

II/1 Cisalpine Battalion:  chef Cappi, III/l Cisalpine Battalion:  chef Belfort

Artillerie Cisalpine

219

Chef-de-bataillon Cerutti and Chef-de-bataillon Verlato

Sapeurs Cisalpine - capitaine Joveroni

240

Cisalpine Pontonniers Company:  capitaine Chapuis

60

2e demi-brigade piemontaise de ligne           chef-de-brigade Fontanieux -

???

1e légion helvétique chef-de-brigade Barthés - 

434

Chefs-de-bataillon : chef Mesmer , chef Ott , chef Bucher , chef Abyberg

2e légion helvétique chef-de-bataillon Jayet - 

460

Chefs-de-bataillon : chef Jounquiére

Cavalry

 

Carabiniers du Piémont:  Chef-d’escadron Armand Gros

145

7th Dragoons regiment: Chef-d’escadron Delisle

454

Outposts

Defence Avancée De Pradella or Pradella Horn

535

Pradella was the western gate which led to Mantua. It was a so called demi-bastion having the shape of a letter M with the base in front of Mantua. It had also a ravelin and was surrounded by a water ditch, which could have be filled thanks to Lake Superior. From Pradella there was a good line of sight till the Belfiore Heights. The fortification was intended as a protection for the dam, which allowed, if opened, the Superior Lake waters to enter in the Pajolo Channel, flooding a large area (south, south west of Mantua) so creating a large swamp in front of Migliaretto-Te redoubts. 

Commander: Chef-de-brigade César Balleydier [vii] 29th Light Infantry Demi-brigade

Artillerie-à-pied

103

3rd Polish Artillery Company:  Capitaine Józef Czachowski 

II Battalion: 29th Light Infantry Demi-brigade [viii]- Chef-de-bataillon Obert          

392

7th Dragoons Degiment:  ½ Sqn.                  

40

 

The Citadel

957

The Citadel or Porto Mantovano was the northern defense of Mantua. It was a ring fort (Kronwerk or etoile) or a completely enclosed geometrical fort, with bastions, ravelins and outer structures. It was linked with the northern part of the city by a long bridge (which was also a dam able to control the waters of the Superior Lake in the point near the middle of the lake) called Ponte Molini (Mills bridge) because of the old twelve grind mills called the Dodici Apostoli.       

Commander: Général-de-brigade Louis-Gabriel Monnet de Lorbeau [ix]
The former chef-de-brigade of 31e demi-brigade de ligne

I Battalion: 31st Line Infantry Demi-brigade: Chef–de-bataillon Baron    

884

5e Régiment d'Artillerie-à-pied: Chef-de-bataillon Labadie           

15

6e Régiment d'Artillerie-à-pied: Chef-de-bataillon Mérique          

53

 

Fort Saint-George (San Giorgio)      

1372

Fort St. George (or better Bourg St.George) was not a thought as afortification, rather a protection for the bridge to Mantua. The entrenchments, protected by earth embankments, were not so difficult to seize. Besides, a dense wood prevented from sighting in time any approaching troops and a line of guns batteries, in the village of Zipata, could heavily bombarded its side.

Commander:  Général-de-brigade Jean-Baptiste Meyer de Schauensee [x]

Artillery Commander: St. George Fort:  Chef de bataillon Stanisław Jakubowski

French Canonniers                

175

4th Polish Artillery Company:  Capitaine Jan Mehler

 

26th Light Infantry Demi-brigade :  Chef-de-brigade Girardelet    

566

II Battalion: 56th Line infantry demi-brigade: Chef-de-brigade Morel (Chef-de-bataillon Lelmi)

774

III Battalion: 93rd Line Infantry Demi-brigade: Chef-de-bataillon Marguel          

487

7th Dragoons Regiment                    

25

 

Front Migliaretto –“Te” Island         

1272

The Te Palace, ancient residence of the Mantua Dukes, had been transformed into barracks and then into a circular redoubt (Etoile). It was very strong and difficult to seize, being surrounded by water and swamps. Migliaretto, a sandy “island”, which emerged from the swamp, when the middle and inferior lakes waters filled the southern area, had a powerful bastion, with its front towards the south, and a second parallel fort in its rear, defending the small city port (Porto Catena). These fortifications covered the city south-eastwards in the direction of the hamlet of Pietole, southwards facing the outpost of Cerese (the very first location the besiegers could seize with a minimal endeavour).

Commander: 2nd Polish Legion: Général-de-brigade Jozsef Wielhorski [xi]

2nd Commander: Chef-de bataillon Girard 2nd Battalion:  3lst Line Infantry Demi-brigade

 

7th Company 2nd Régiment Artillerie-à-pied                      

241

II Battalion: 3lst Line infantry demi-brigade  Chef-de-bataillon Girard     

674

II Battalion: 2e Legion Polonaise  Chef-de-brigade Dembowski    

357

On 28 floreal an VII (17 May 1799) Général-de-brigade Dembowski became Staff Adjudant-général and Amilcar Kosinski Chef 2e Polish Legion for Dembowski had trouble with his officers.

General Foissac-Latour gave this portrait of the Szef Jozsef Wielhorski, when he was named Commander of the Southern Sector, the more critical zone of the battlefield:

"Le général Wielhorski , officier-général plein a de courage, de connaissances, de présence a d'esprit, méritait d'autant plus la confiance a que je lui marquai, en lui assignant ce poste, a qu'à toutes ces qualités il joignait ce zéle républicain qui lui avait fait abandonner sa fortune en Pologne pour se réunir, dans le midi de l'Europe, aux défenseurs de la liberté, qui a fut toujours chère à sa valeureuse nation."

This was the order of Foissac-Latour for the nomination :

“Ordre du jour du 29 germinal (April 18).

Brigadier Wielhorski is named commander-in-chief of all the positions of Migliaretto and Te redoubt, also with the outposts situated in front of these entrenchments till the enemy positions, in the ground limited to the left by the lower lake, and to the right by the swamp which leans in the half-bastion aside of the Te-redoubt. He will take this command as soon as his health will allow him; in the meantime, this important command is entrusted to the chief of the 31st line battalion, Girard; from this moment, he will be appointed with the name of commander-in-chief of the Migliaretto frontline.The chief of brigade Balleydier, of the 29th light infantry half-brigade, is named commander of the Pradella front, and of all the outposts situated in front of this work, between the swamps (about which is spoken above), and the superior lake, till the enemy positions. These commanders  will lodge in positions, the nearest possible to these point, entrusted to their courage, to their enlightment, to their republican patriotism.

Independently of the common guard duties, previously fixed for these two posts,, there will be, every day, a reserve battalion shared between them, in the proportion of one  third for Pradella, and two thirds, of its strength, for Migliaretto.

These reserves will begin their service during the night, and will be withdrawn during the day, after they will have received the permission from the respective commandans. They will be held in their camps, within and next to the gates of Migliaretto and Pradella,ready  to go outside in case of night-attack.

Henceforth the total strength of garrison will be shared in three equal parts): one will supply the guards) and the workers teams; the second will always be ready to march in order of battle, and will supply the reserves and detachments, the third will be completely in rest.

The not employed reserve troops will be kept in their barracks; the officers will wear the hausse-col (pass), and will be nearby, ready to reach their troop. The Polish troops, having been integrated in the army under the French police and the people war-commissioners, will be left in Mantua under the control of these same commissioners.

All the present Polish officers “à la suite” or supernumeraries, making their service, will enjoy the rations of their respective ranks; all, without distinction of rank, will have the treatment of the second lieutenants. As a consequence the war-commissioners will count them in their distribution bills and will organize the depots according to this arrangement). I will ask directly the general Wielhorski for the situations.  “

Migliaretto Artillery Positions – (middle June 1799)

“Thé” Island guns

17

Migliaretto bastions 1 and 2- guns

7

Road Lunette guns

2

Entrenched camp guns

10

New lunette guns

10

Pajolo Dike Bty guns

2

Notes:

[i] Général Philippe-François Foissac de la Tour (Foissac-Latour) Born on July 11, 1750, dead near Poissy on February 11, 1804 (1806 ?). Entered the service in the Royal Engineers Corps (pupil at the Military Engineers School in Charleville-Mezieres) and, as Captain served in America during the War of Independance. There he got the revolutionary ides which led him back to France . He was then in the Northern army, at Namur (siege), Jemappes and, in 1793, he was named Général-de-brigade. Then he was suddenly dismissed from the army but in two occurrences he was committed as engineer chef-de-battalion. Suspected of anti-republican actions he was arrested and escaped the “guillotine” after the fall of Robespierre. In 1795 (24 may) was confirmed général de brigade ans soon was also named général de division (13 june) by the Directory. He remained at Paris, as expert fortress-commander, refusing to become ambassador in Sweden . In 1797 reached the armée d’Italie where he served for two years until he had the charge of Mantua’s Governor (1799). With the fortress capitulation he was prisoner at Klagenfurt (Carinthia), where he began a long and vain battle to rescue his honour, weakened for the Mantua’s surrender affair. While he marched to Vienna and his troops returned in France (and because of the suspect he had exchanged the Fate of the Polish soldiers (considered deserters by Austrians) with better surrender conditions for himself, the War Minister in Paris, Bernadotte, opened an investigation at Paris judging his operate. But the trial never took place. Bonaparte, who always deserved the uttermost ugly words against him, not forgot his behaviour. Returned from Egypt , said he was guilty for the loss of Mantua. Foissac was expelled from the Army and called “unworthy to wear the French uniform”.  The final decret of expulsion was published on 24.08.1800.

Napoleon himself decided to apply, for the first time, this Consular Act against him, cancelling Foissac from the ranks of the officers and inhibiting him to wear the French uniform. The future Emperor so commented his decision: “It was an illegal Act, tyrannical without doubts, but it was a necessary awful thing to do. He was 100, 1000 times guilty, and we were forced to censure him.We shot him with the arms of dishonour but, I repeat, that tyrannical act was due, like all exceptional decisions that are to be taken in a great Nation and under special circumstances.” Foissac, forgotten by all former friends, retired in his house of Hacqueville near Poissy. After the publication of his defensive memoirs upon Mantua affair, he died there on 1804 (1806?). 

[ii] The term malaria (from the Italian mala “bad” and aria “air”) was used by the Italians to describe the cause of intermittent fevers associated with exposure to marsh air or miasma. The word was introduced to English by Horace Walpole, who wrote in 1740 about a “horrid thing called mal’aria, that comes to Rome every summer and kills one.” The term malaria, without the apostrophe, evolved into the name of the disease only in the 20th century. Up to that point the various intermittent fevers had been called jungle fever, marsh fever, paludal fever, or swamp fever.

[iii] Adjudant-général Jean Baptiste Paul Gastine, born at Alençon (Orne) on August 24, 1755 from a humble family. On June 2, 1771 he voluntereed in the regiment of the Gardes Françaises. During the first years of the Revolution he was in the Garde Nationale de paris anf then in the 102nd infantry regiment as captain. In 1792 he was with the armée du Centre and with that of Moselle in 1793. On December 27, 1793 he was named adjudant général chef de bataillon and then was with the armies Rhin-et-Moselle and Rhin, where, on June 13, 1795 he wa promoted to the rank of adjudant général chef de brigade, with the order to reach the army of the Côtes de l’Océan in 1796. He was then on duty by the armies of Sambre-et-Meuse and finally in Italy , participating at the Magnano battle (April 1799). Having followed the troops withdrawing to Mantua, he remained there as Chief of Staff of the fortress commander. On July 1799 he was taken prisoner and sent to Leoben in Styria, where he had a long prisony, following the same destiny of all the French officers involved in the Mantua surrender. On August 3, 1801 he returned in France , sick and tired, and, after one month, he retired (or was forced to retirement). On December 5, 1805 he was recalled as Adjudant commander, under Lefebvre, remaining in the General Staff of the 5th Corps during the 1806 and 1807 campaigns. In 1808 he received the order to reach the army of the Pyrénées Orientales, but his health forced him to a new retirement. On November 2, 1808, sick, he died at Saint-Germain-en-Laye (Yvelines).

[iv] Chef-dBrig. Marie Louis de Varennes (1736-1804). At the time he was 63 years old. In 1792 he was promoted Colonel of the 15e infantry regiment and on May 15, 1793 he had also a provisional rank of général-de-brigade. The 93e demi brigade de Ligne arrived in Italy on February 1797. It received the new flag models , de l’Armée d'Italie designed by Bonaparte, on July 1797 at Belluno, under division Delmas: the flag were, obviously, « virgins » or without any name of battles fought. It charged the flags with the title "traversée du Tirol". In 1799, the 3rd battalion of 93e was detached on garrison to Mantua with its chef de brigade Varennes (the other two btns. were leaded by the brave chef-de-bataillon Marion). Was at Mantua that the flag was taken by Austrians when the fortress capitulated on 30 July.

[v] Chef-dBrig. Ludvik Mateusz Dembowsky (1768-1812) Brigade commander in Legions, general and baron of French Empire. Was born 24.08.1768. in Dembowa Gura, Anjey's son. 1.12.1784 was sent to the army. Due to family contacts and resources of his father's treasure got the rank of cornet (khorunjim) in less than half an year, in 5 years he got the rank of captain and on 28.12.1791 he got the patent to the rank of major, commander of 6th infantry regiment. In the very next year he got the baptism of fire, fighting the Russians  under the command of prince Josef (Ponyatovsky). In the rebellion Koszyushko, 1794, got the rank of colonel. After rebellion's defeat left the country and entered french army as volunteer 19.02.1795. As captain-adjunct he was ranked to the staff of  Alps army of general Kellerman, then till the January 1796 to the Italian army (Rusca division). Had used the opportunity to serve under command of Bonaparte and was wounded near Saint-George.

Had got his trust, he left Paris 08.02.1797 with the bunch of dispatches to Venetian group of host. These dispatches holded information about supporting Polish Legions formation. He made up this mission successfully. In Milan, on his way he got an assigned from the general Dabrowsky to be the commander of battalion and temporary  aide-de-camp. However, commander of Legions soon called Dembowsky 'unsuccessful acquisition', gipsyman, gambler, drunk-hard, scandalous man, who did know military service and removed him from the staff, had sent him to Mantua to command the 3rd battalion. Dembowsky, whose vanity was insulted, decided to change this negative appraisal. He set severe discipline among his riflemen. His project of creation of 'denarian fund' (national treasury) had attracted everyone's attention, and Dabrowsky, under the influence of flattery and impression of absolute faith, started to trust Dembowsky again. This was soon followed by  honorary assignment of Legions representative at Military Minister - Biragge in Milan (30.08-21.09.1797). The threat of the war made Dembowsky return to the army. But in 1798 he was compromised once more. His letter, where he wrote about his readiness to support Dombrowky overthrow and his substitution for general Grabowsky, was intercepted. He also had to spend two weeks under arrest for his abuses at the border. Now all his followers left him (even Vibitsky).

Austrian compaign 1799 smothered personal dislike as Dembowsky fighted as lion. He was noted at Legnago, by generals Gardanne and Montrichard. 5.04. at Magnano he got wounded and was assigned as 2nd Legion commander instead of dying on the battle field Rimkevich. During Mantua siege he had shown much courage but also cruelty because of delicacy absence in relations with subordinates. These subordinates hated him that much that after capitulation     during legioners internment in Garts two officers attacked him and hitted with sticks. Although Dembowsky fighted 15 duels, he refused to settle this quarrel in this way so he petitioned in austrian commendant's office. This caused revolt of his collegues. Even Dombrowsky, in spite of his favourite  aide-de-camp's pains (Dembowsky's brother Jan), condemned Dembowsky. Fearing the officers would refuse to serve with him, Dembowsky tried to be proceeded to Dunay Legion. Although he was technically proceeded by consuls's decision and supported by commander in chief of Rein army - general Moro, staff chief Dessol, he could not overcome his compatriots' dislike asking the conflict to be solved according to honour code.

While parisian colony was in favour for conflict settlement, general Knyazhevich insisted that he would not accept an officer whose honour was stained. Dembowsky got sick with the grief as Gavronky death opened him an opportunity to be assigned as  Knyazhevich's staff chief and he knew that his own compatriots would not allow that assignment. In despair, he found his offenders in Paris and made them bring their apologies. In the meanwhile new perspectives had opened. His brother, Jan due his widespread contacts (general Lannes, Murat, Dumas) managed to get to the First Consul (Bonaparte) and obtained Dembowsky's assignment (16.9.1800) as a brigade commander by the staff of Grizon army. Following the impulse, he left Legions and entered French Army. Since this time the wall of dislike had separated him from his compatriots.

His career seemed to be provided since besides his brother's protection he had found his faithful followers (general McDonald and general Baraguey d’Hilliers), who called Dembowsky 'successfull acquisition' and insisted on his being transmitted to permanent French position.

So due to odd fate's irony, on 12.3.1801 when he was officially excluded from Legions officer list, 105th french semibrigade insisted on his being assigned as its commander, underlying not only his knowledges and courage but also kindness.

[vi] Antoni  Kosiński called "Amilkar" (1769 - 1823). In his youth he was a novice of the Father Pio Order, that he left in 1790 to devote himself to the military career (from 1792 in 3rd Regiment of Lithuanian Infantry). During the Kościuszko Upraising he was promoted to the rank of Captain. Was wounded at the defense of Warsaw. After the fail of the insurgency he emigrated to France . So, in order to acquire the French citizenship, he served for next five years on the French Navy ships. In 1796 he was in the army of Italy , participating in the battles at Lodi and Arcole. In cooperation with general Dąbrowski he formed the Polish Legion in Italy . In 1798 he was promoted to the rank of colonel and 2nd-chief of II Legion. After the fall of Mantua was captured by Austrians. He was also the organizer of the Legion of the Ionic Islands Republic. Then, as the Legions were sent to Santo Domingo by the help of Adam Czartoryski, he offered his service to tsar Alexander the Ist. In 1803 he asked for being dismissed and in the rank of general of brigade he returned tin Poland . He devoted himself to the economy and literature. In 1806 he returned to the service by the side of general Dąbrowski. In two times he covered the duties of Polish Division commander: during the siege of Danzig and in the Friedland battle. For the 1807 campaign he was awarded with the Knight cross of Virtuti Militari. During the campaign of 1809 he was the governor of Warsaw and then chief of the polish troops. He fought with them in battles at Szczekociny and Żarnowiec. In 1811 he was promoted general of division and became the chief of the veterans Corps. During the war of 1812 he led the departments of Siedlce and that of Lublin, organizing the defense at the Bug river line. After the end of the campaign and the fall of the Warsaw Duchy, he asked for being dismissed. Died in 1823 in Targowa Górka.

[vii] César Balleydier (1762-1805), from Savoy, had a troubled officer career in the republican armies and in those of the young Empire. He was son of a Notary, a young rebel boy loving the easy life. Cesar enrolled himself in a Swiss regiment of Piedmont (1783-1787), then, on 1792, when Savoy was annected to France , he took the command of Annecy Volunteers. The following year, 1793, was chef de bataillon at the Toulon siege, being promoted there (1794) chef-de-brigade. The Directory gave him a demi-brigade formed with volunteers reckoned from the new republican territories, mostly violent and rude men, sometimes outlaws. He fought in Corsica and Italy . In september 1796 was wounded and taken prisoner.

Obtained the freedom by prisoners exchange and returned to service, with some burocratic difficulties, but he had the command of his “criminals”. On 1799 he was taken prisoner again at Mantua, sent in Styria and finally exchanged. When in France he followed the bad fortunes of general Foissac.Latour, badly hated by Bonaparte, and was forced to retire. Recalled in 1802 he took the arms as commander at the Elba island and, in 1803, had the command of a new regiment at Utrecht Camp in Holland. In 1804 he was awarded with the Legion d’Honneur (Chevalier). He was present, with his regiment, at Ulm capitulation in 1805 and then sent against russian Avant-guards. In november, during the approaching march, was killed at Leoben in Styria, few days before Austerlitz.

[viii] On March 1796 the 18e légère was merged with the 6e Légère to form a new demi-brigade with the number 29 (29e demi-brigade legère). The two merged demi-brigades had only a force of 1200-1300 men. The command was assigned to César Balleydier ex commander of the 18e, a proven officer, brilliant and brave. At the merging moment the 29e formed with the 4e légère or demi-brigade Allobroge, the AvantGuard Brigade commanded by general Rusca, division Augereau. In september Balleydier was wounded and taken prisoner. The command was given “ad interim” to Claude Clement, who, when chef Balleydier re-took the leadership, was absolutely unwilling to leave his command. Otherwise Balleydier was able to command his demi-brigade on 1797.

[ix] Chef-de-Brigade Louis-Gabriel Monnet de Lorbeau - Born: 1 January 1766. Chef-de-Brigade: 23 July 1796 31.Demi-brigade di fanteria di Linea – promoted General-de-Brigade: 5 april 1799 – participated at the Mantua defence - General-de-Division: 27 August 1803 - Commander of the Legion d'Honneur: 14 June 1804 - Died: 8 June 1819

[x] Général de brigade Jean Baptiste Maur Ange Montanus Joseph Rodolphe Meyer de Schauensee (1768-1802). Born in Switzerland. Général de brigade. 13.6.1795 général- de-brigade. 1797 At Rivoli. 1799. Italy ’s campaign. Place commander at Modena, Ferrara, Bologna, and engaged in the defence of Mantua. 1802 – died at Santo Domingo having got the Yellow Fever.

[xi] General Józef Wielhorski (1759-1817) - polish general, had part in the russo-polish War of 1792, and during the Koshuszko insurrection in 1794. From 1797 to 1802 was with the Polish Legion in Italy , commander of the I Legion. From 1809 in the Duchy of Warsaw Army, in 1811 helped the War Minister (Józef Poniatowski) and became Division General.

 

Placed on the Napoleon Series: October 2008

Military Index | Battles Index ]



© Copyright 1995-2012, The Napoleon Series, All Rights Reserved.

Top | Home ]