Military Subjects: Battles & Campaigns

The 1799 Campaign in Italy: Macdonald’s Wars in Central Italy

By Enrico Acerbi

Macdonald’s Plan and the Fall of Rome

Departed from Viterbo on May 17, the army was on May 20th in Bolsena, on the 21st in Acquapendente, on the 22nd  in Radicofani, on the 23rd at Buonconvento, on the 24th in Siena, on the 25th in Barberino (Val Elsa), and on the 26th arrived ub Florence. Generals Gaultier, Miollis and Vignolle, who were in Tuscany from the first few months of 1799, supported the march of General Macdonald. Gaultier had organized an observation camp between Florence and Bologna; one brigade, under Vignolle, had been sent to Siena to garrison the city; this latter General had organized the troops in a so excellent way, by this side of the Apennines, which Macdonald had to pass through, that the French were able to guard all the passes and to have all the roads free for their passage. Generals Gaultier, Miollis and  Vignolle were the leaders of the former Tuscany division, sent by Schérer at the beginning of the military operations in Italy, in 1799. It was a weak unit, taksed to control  Tuscany and to support the Grand Duchy’s government with a military- political structure. General Gaultier was too old to be a good field officer, delegating the conduct of the occupation to his brigadiers, Miollis and Vignolle. From his seat in Florence he assisted in the splitting of the division into a lot of micro garrisons, too weak to destroy the insurgents’ bands.

Division de Toscane General Paul-Louis Gaultier Chevalier de Kervéguen [1]
Chef-d’Etat Major : Giacomo Filippo Ottavi
ADC: Adjudants généraux Touret and Franceschi

Cavalry

700

Artillery

60 

Total strength

6450

 

 

 

Right Wing Général de brigade Sextius-Alexandre-François de Miollis [2]

Pisa, Lucca, and Livorno

Avant-Garde Chef-de-Bataillon Pierre François Mont Serraz (or Montserrat) [3]

 

Eclaireurs of 16th Light Infantry Demi-brigade

500

I Battalion   1st Piedmontese Line Demi-brigade

500

16e Demi-brigade légère I Battalion  - Chef Mont Serraz

900

1st Piedmontese Line Demi-brigade - Colonel Brigadier Marchese Francesco di Varax  [4] 

1240

Had two Battalions (I Savoia and III Lombardia)

1st Cisalpine Line Demi-brigade - Chef de Brigade count Filippo Severoli of Modena  [5]        

1500

Had two Battalions (I Battalion . Rogier) at Massa - (III Battalion  Ferrent) at Livomo – (the II Battalion  Fontanelli or 3rd Cisalpine Legion was with General Teulié) organized at Ferrara by General de division Teulié - then transferred to Ancona

Left Wing Brigade Général de brigade Martin de Vignolle [6]

Firenze, (when Vignolle left to Siena, these troops went under the Poles)

3rd Line Infantry Demi-brigade Chef-de-Brigade Des Partes III Battalion

1000 

8th Line Infantry Demi-brigade Chef-de-Brigade Brun 

900

55th Line Infantry Demi-brigade Chef-de-Brigade Ledru

1000 

Macdonald had barely arrived at Florence, where he dealt with the resources to improve his position and to put himself in communication with Moreau. All the detachments, spread out in Tuscany, were joined together with the main army; in the same way he had been done with regard of the troops in Naples and those confined in the Church’s States, now the Roman Republic. These various detachments, forming 9 or 10000 men, were placed under the orders of Montrichard, thus raising the effective strength of   Macdonald’s army to about 38000 men; after having left garrisons at fort Sant’Elmo in Naples, in Capua and Gaeta, and others to contain the riots in Ancona, Perugia, Rome, Civita-Vecchia as in other small stations, and to protect the retreat of his rearguards, he still remained with 18000 men and thirty guns. These forces, and those under Montrichard, combined with the Division Victor of the Italy Army, detached by Moreau, and which had advanced towards Tuscany, were going to put Macdonald in a  stronger position, in order to carry out the campaign.

As told, Macdonald’s left wing, under the Polish General Dąbrowsky, was ordered to seize the position of Pontremoli, whose occupation became necessary to pass to the Genoese State. Austrian General Ott was too far away to oppose him and the detachment, left by him in Pontremoli,  was soon obliged to retreat, after a short resistance. Dąbrowsky also occupied Massa and Carrara, essential stations to control the Tuscany’s Apennines, which separated the Vara Valley from that of Taro, in northern Emilia. Victor, who  advanced, through the Ligurian “riviera di Levante”, could join with Dąbrowsky; and thus was restored the line of communication with Genoa.

Macdonald proposed, to Moreau, a plan of operations, which did not tend to a joint frontal assault, rather he thought to advance to  Mantua, so cutting the rear line of operations of Suvorov in northern Italy. Having become aware the Russian fieldmarshal had split his forces into two large bodies, of which, one was under his direct command in Piedmont, and the other, under Kray, was at Mantua, watching over the Duchies of Parma, Piacenza, Modena and the legation of Bologna, MacDonald considered that, while hastily throwing a large force into the gap left between these two army groups, he could perhaps beat the two separate enemy forces in succession, thus delivering Italy with a bold operation, totally worthy of the winner of Arcole, Rivoli and La Favorita. Macdonald thus invited Moreau to advance, with the Army of Italy, along the Eastern “Riviera”, on Pontremoli, following the same road Victor had taken, and then to go down the Tanaro Valley, while he would cross the Apennines in direction of Modena, repulsing the Austrian units which were there and then reaching Reggio and Parma, and join of the two French armies, between this latter city and Piacenza.

(Note: in 1799, Italy, it was the second time in which a French commander tried to imitate the Bonaparte’s “manoeuvre sur le derrière”. The first episode at Legnago ended with a “fiasco”, the second never happened, being early stopped at the Trebbia).

Moreau initially gave the impression he supported this plan, to which he gave the uttermost importance. Leaving his defensive position at the Col de Tend, in early June, reinforced with few battalions just arrived from Nice, which marched through Oneglia to Genoa, he turned by his right wing and entered the Ligurian littoral. His army followed the Apennines ridge, which the French controlled and covered the left wing, and took a valuable position at the head of the Tanaro valley, near the river’s springs, between Ceva and, few miles away, the Mediterranean. To prevent from making this movement useless and to confuse the enemy, initially Moreau made only some demonstrations, those which could have made the Austrians to think his only goal was to wait for aid from the sea. The French fleet had left Brest under the command of Admiral Bruix, who having just entered Toulon, was ready to leave the  port. Moreau, intentionally, organized a diversion, by which it was said that this fleet would to bring to him 15000 men. This news were announced in newspapers, with all the details, which could have made them as probable. He hoped so to disguise the real target of his march and to draw all the attention of Suvorov totally above him. Consequently he provided all possible publicity about his arrival in the Ligurian littoral and openly operated like if, waiting for the help from Toulon, he would then penetrate to Monferrato, going directly towards Alexandria to free its citadel.These means, indeed, so succeeded in misleading the Austro-Russians that Mélas, in a dispatch who he addressed to Suvorov, urged the Russians to reinforce the Alexandria camp.

Other Republican Forces Left Behind – Republican Rome

The Papal States. The Papal States or State(s) of the Church (Stato della Chiesa, Gli Stati della Chiesa or Gli Stati Pontifici) was one of the key historical states of Italy. The French Revolution proved as devastating for the  provinces of the Papacy as it was for the Catholic Church in general. In 1791,  the Comitat Venaissin and Avignon were annexed by France. Later, with the French invasion of Italy in 1796, the Legations of Emilia and Romagna were seized and became part of the revolutionary Cisalpine (former Cispadane) Republic.  Two years later, the Papal States were invaded by French forces, who contributed to the constitution a new Roman Republic, heir of the ancient consular one. The French had invaded the Papal States officially in revenge for the murder of  General Mathurin-Léonard Duphot in 1797. The Roman Republic (Repubblica Romana) was proclaimed on February 15, 1798. after Louis Alexandre Berthier, had captured Rome on February 10. Pope Pius VI was later exiled to France and died there, at Valence, in 1799. In 1799 the Republic was united with another French client state, the Tiberina Republic. The Roman Republic was short-lived, as the Papal States were restored in June of 1800. The Tiberina Republic was proclaimed on 4 February 1798, when republicans rule the town of Perugia. It was a republic that took the name from the river Tevere (Tiber). In 1799 it was merged with the Roman Republic. A single Consul led it and the State issued the French flag. The Roman Republic flag was a vertical tricolour black-white-red, modelled on the French tricolour, as granted by Napoleon. It was governed by a circle of Consuls, like the ancient Roman Republic. The Papal States were restored in June of 1800 and Pope Pius VII returned, but the French again invaded in 1808, and this time the remainder of the States of the Church were annexed to France, forming the départements of Tibre (Tevere) and Trasimène (Trasimeno).

Rome Division Général Pierre-Dominique Garnier [7] French garrison commander
Chief  of Staff : General de brigade Pietro Teulié [8]
Adjudants-généraux: General Ladislaw Jablonowski, prince Cesare Santacroce
Brigadiers : General Jerzy Grabowski, Chef-de-Brigade François Valterre, Chef-de-brigade Giuseppe Valory

Total men varied from 5000 to 2000 depending on desertions

French and Cisalpines

2568

In May, Chef de Brigade (a provisionary title) François Valterre [9] of 30th line Demi-brigade was the military Commander of the place of Rome

Artillery (crews)

39

11th Regiment  Chasseurs à cheval 2 sqns

225

19th Rgt Dragoons 1 Sqn

 

27th Light infantry Demi-brigade detachment

155

64th Line Demi-brigade detachment

171

62e Demi-brigade di linea I-II- III Battalion . - Chef-de-brigade Claude-Louis Gudin

1371

All these units reinforced Macdonald Army when he passed by Rome on May 16th.

 

General de brigade Pietro Teulié

   

7th Cisalpine Legion

 607

 

Part of 2nd Cisalpine Line infantry Demi-brigade: battalions I/7a legio­ne Audifret,  III/7a Legione Lasinio

 

Cisalpine General Pietro Teulié. Sturdy, with a strong constitution, acute talent, he was also kind, firm but right, loyal on duty, and all his busy life was signed by loyalty, faith and courage.

The French Rome garrison’s commander, depended also on the Roman republican troops and their commander. The first one was General Soublens, lightly wounded, on  July 9, 1798, during a duel by sword against someone called Morteor, and dismissed on 26 August, for unknown reasons, together with a French Chef-de-brigade, he under the Roman duty too. He was replaced by Soubiron, but on August 30 the leadership was given to the Pole Ladislaw Jablonowski (1769-1802), chef-de-brigade of the Roman Legion, who substituted, on June 7, colonel Matera. In January 1799, Jablonowski was replaced by the compatriot Jerzy Grabowski (with the adjudant-captains Jerzy Zenowicz and Casimir La Roche). On May 9, 1799, Zannini, the commander of the Anconitano Battalion, was named Chief  of General Staff and, on June 26, he was promoted adjudant-general, assuming also the provisional command of the roman troops. On September 6 the command passed to Francesco Santacroce, who had also the command of the Rome’s National Guard.

Militarily speaking, on June 10, 1798, the Republic territory was split in two Divisions, correspondents to the French territorial divisions, the 1st was at Rome and the 2nd at Ancona. Each had a General commander, a General assistant Chief  of General staff and a “ordinateur” Commissioner in Chief . The first division had its jurisdiction over the departments of Circeo (Anagni), Tevere (Rome), Cimino (Viterbo) and Clitunno (Spoleto), the second division on those of Trasimeno (Perugia), Metauro (Ancona), Musone (Macerata) and Tronto (Fermo). The staff of the joint Roman General Headquarters, in the administrative plan of 1799, included 1 major general, 1 brigadier, 1 General assistant, 1 engineers Chief  and 1 artillery commander. While the commissioner Bassal was still organizing the first 3 battalions (Trasimeno, Clitunno and Tronto), in order to enlarge the Roman republican infantry, the French Directory ordered one futher requisition, with faculty of personal substitution, in order to complete the line units (legionnaires, dragoons and gunners). The new recruits needed to complete the ranks had to be gathered into the citadel of Perugia.

Roman republican army, from its beginning, always had not so large funds to manage. They lack of training and, regarding the Officers, they lack also of military and General culture. The Officers, a wild bunch of Italian and foreign adventurers, provided by themselves to pay their uniforms, ending in a colourful, picturesque and disordered amount of different military suites. They was renowned more as duelists, blasphemers, boasters and wine drinkers than warriors. Also the troops were originally dressed with an incredible pout-pourri of uniforms, using mainly the Papal depots in the capital. A singular uniform, however, characterized the Roman Legion of 1799 and it came from the outer provinces. Some provincial battalions of the Legion were dressed in black uniforms, because of the lack of money which forced the administrators to use tissues utilized for the Catholic priest’s clothes (this generated a lot of jokes between friends and enemy ).[10] The Roman “legionnaires” loved the pillages, but not the fights; many units exited from Rome ancient walls in perfect order and loud beating musics, deserting quickly as soon as they reached the countryside. The French were very amused by this behaviour, but the Poles had a deep hate for those “band of cowards”. At least we can consider the Romans as a virtual army, very low-graded and inferior also to the Neapolitan republicans. So consider the numbers, written below, as mere enrollment sheets ciphers. The actuality was rather different.

I Legione Romana  (1798) –City Legion [11]

 

I Battalion Chef Giuseppe Valory                       

812

II Battalion Chef Prince Giuseppe Pignatelli            

797 (200) for desertions

III Battalion (Invalides) Castel S.Angelo Chef Ignazio de Raxis Hassan                   

200

1798 - Independent Battalion . of Urbino Chef Agostino Staccoli  [12]

600

1798 - Independent Battalion . of Ancona Chef Zannini  

 
   

II Legione Romana (1798 - Umbria)

 

Trasimeno Battalion Chef Major Farje

??

Clitunno Battalion Chef Major Turski

??

Cimino Battalion

??

Tevere Battalion

??

Departmental Legions (Provincial) II-III-IV-V [13]

 
   

1798  - Roman Cavalry

 

I Dragoons Regiment - Chef de Brigade Claude Roize (French)
Chefs d’Escadron Vincenzo Galassi and Charpentier (French)                      

304

II Dragoons Regiment Chef Félix Sulpice Debaste (former 1st Gendarmerie à cheval) 
Chefs d’Escadron Riccardi e Giovanni Maria Narboni               

450

III Dragoons Regiment Chef Giuseppe Palombini (former 2nd Gendarmerie à cheval)

450

Chefs d’Escadron Niccola Giannelli (then Giovanni Maria Narboni) and Alessandro De Cumis            

1798 - Artillery

 

1st Roman Artillery Regiment with 4 companies   

223

   
Legione Romana  total strength   

1798 – November 4

3043

1799 - February  

3914

1799 - September

2911

The 1st Legion had 9 companies  and 1197 men– Ancona’s garrison Legion had 6 companies  and only 322 men – The 1st Regiment  Dragoons had 2 squadrons and  224 horses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                     

 


The Roman Legion in Spring 1799

I Legione Romana

 

I Battalion Chef Giuseppe Valory                 

450

III Battalion (Invalides) Chef Ignazio de Raxis Hassan in Castel S.Angelo

200

II Legione Romana (Umbria)

 

Trasimeno Battalion Chef Carlo Leoncilli               

600 volunteers (200)

Clitunno Battalion Chef Jan Turski (Pole)

??

Cimino Battalion

??

Tevere Battalion

??

V Legione Romana (Laziale or sedentaria) or residential National Guard

??

 

Garrisons at Viterbo, Civita-Vecchia, Civita-Castellana, Circeo, Terni, Rieti etc.

Roman Cavalry [14]

 

II Dragoons Regiment - Chef Narboni (ex Gendarmerie) 2 sqns                             

450

Chef-d’escadron Camillo Borgia e Chef Charpentier

I Republican Hussars Regiment                                                                

150

Roman Artillery Regiment  Chef Brugi                               

223

During the winter of 1799, the Legion, and in particular the lst Bbattalion of Valory, was engaged in several defeats in Umbria. Captured from the rebels of the Valnerina, the Legion’s chef Ordioni was subsequently freed at Stroncone. In the meantime the Legion passed under the command of Pignatelli, promoted chef-de-brigade. On April 26, 500 “legionari” replaced the French garrison of Civita-Vecchia: their behaviour was also worse than the French one, so, in June, local reports branded them as “thieves as the previous ones”. The others remained in Rome, concurring to form the mobile columns employed in the “guerrilla” in Umbria and Lazio regions.

In June 1799, all the Roman Republic was reduced, practically, only to few more important towns of the former Papal State. In the Department of Cimino were garrisoned, from General Garnier troops, only Civita-Castellana, Tolfa and Civita-Vecchia. The remnants of all the territory was, more or less, in the hands of the insurgence. At this time, also in the Tuscia were organized the so-called insurgency masses and just in these months emerged the figure of General Flavio Ceccarini. This fellow, administrator of the Chigi in the territory of Farnese (Viterbo), began to gather volunteers and to become absolute lord of the territory from Lake Bolsena to the sea, after having put in rout a unit of French cavalry, approximately sixty soldiers, which, on June 23, had returned to Rome, dismounted. Ceccarini, after having chosen to stay with the French had completed a beautiful turn of events finding himself chief  of the insurgence. The ports of Ancona and Civita-Vecchia were blocked, respectively, by the Russian fleet and the English Navy. All the war power of the Armée de Rome had been reduced to some small columns, which sometimes made offensive action into the nearby towns, in order to collect provisions or in order to punish the rebels. The French, in spite of a new levy of Conscripts, did not succeed in enlisting other soldiers in the territory of the Republic and were forced to watch  the rebellion, practically, by themselves. General Garnier, isolated from France by the “Aretini” rioters [15], in order to better defend what had remained of the Roman Republic, declared them in under “Siege Status”, suspending all the organs of the Government.

On September 11, the French adjudant-General Teulié, with approximately 1500 men, reconquered Monterotondo, occupied by the Sanfediste bands of the “brigand” Salomone. The town was immediately pillaged, but when the French left, the rebels returned. On September 18 the French commanders held a dramatic council of war and took the decision, after eight hours of debate to surrender. Therefore, in top secrecy, in the Circeo Department began a coming and going of secret agents between Rome and Civita-Vecchia. On  September 26, Garnier, after having spread the gossip that he was ill, secretly went to Civita-Vecchia dressed in civilian clothing. Here he met Commodore Throubridge, on his ship, in order to establish the preliminary matters of the capitulation. On the night of   28 and the 29 (September) he returned to Rome, in company of two English emissaries. Those, after having stated the negotiations terms   with the French, secretly crossed to the Department of Cimino in order to show these last agreements to the Austro-Russians commanders. On the morning of 29 September, the Jacobins and the other Roman citizen realized, officially, that the republican experience was just finished:

“Libertà  Eguaglianza [16]

R. R.

Romani, le imperiose circostanze della guerra hanno reso necessaria una negoziazione con il nemico [. . .] 

quelli che si vorranno ritirare hanno una piena libertà di farlo e seguire i francesi [. . .]

Roma, 7 vendemmiale anno VIII.

The capitulation articles stated, among other things, the delivery of Civita-Vecchia and Corneto cantons to the British, the rest of the territories to the Austrians while Rome and the southern Lazio would go to the Neapolitans. The French could leave Rome with military honours and  embark themselves at Civita-Vecchia on British vessels, which would have carried them either to Corsica or  to Marseille, with all the local Jacobins intending to follow them. On the morning of  September 30, Neapolitan troops under Field Marshal Emanuele De Bourcard entered the city via the  San Giovanni Gate. Rodio, with his insurgents, entered, nearly at the same time, through the  Maggiore Gate. The arrival was received by Romans in a rather cold way, considering that the fort of Caste1 Sant'Angelo still remained in French hands. When, the successive day, the tricolour flag was lowered, the city  exploded with  popular joy.

Notes:

[1] Général Paul-Louis Gaultier Chevalier de Kervéguen(Otherwise referred also as Gauthier)He was born on March 22, 1737 in Brest (Finisterre). Student in marine engineering in 1755, he was employed at the works for the port of Rochefort and the fortifications of the Aix island until 1762. Embarked at Brest, in 1763, for the expedition to Rio-Janeiro, he passed to San-Domingo the following year, and became aide-de-camp of count d' Estaing. In 1763, the government attached him, as military engineer-geographer, to the legion known as Saint Victor’s. Returned to France in 1768, he accepted the task to go to Corsica, where he obtained, on November 18, 1769, the “Brevet” of infantry captain. In 1778 was charged with the design of topographic map of the Coasts of the Ocean, working at it until April 13 of this year. Sent in America with the title of General Marshal-de-logis of the landing troops, it was at the attack of fort St Lucia in 1779, and at the assault of the fort of the Grenade island, where he was wounded by a shot in the thigh; the same year he became Knight of Saint-Louis. Returned on the continent, at the end of this colonial campaign, he was appointed lieutenant-colonel on December 20, 1779, continuing to direct the topographic map Bureau of the Coasts of the Ocean until 1785. After the Revolution he was promoted, on November 15, 1791 to the rank of adjudant-General colonel, becaming the General Chief  of staff in the army of the West Pyrénées. General of brigade on March 8, 1792, he spent the following year in the army of Italy, with the same functions, agreed also by the people representative attached to this army. In 1794 he had the patent of division general, and was confirmed in this rank the 25 prairial year III. In the years 1798 (till 1800) he led the General Inspectorate of infantry of the army of Italy, and commanded “ad interim” this army during the first months of 1799. At the age of 62, he left his job to the “exiled” General Moreau, being charged with the command of the Tuscany division. He was too old to be a good field officer, delegating the conduct of the occupation to his brigadiers, Miollis and Vignolle. From his seat in Florence he assisted at the incredible splitting of the division in a lot of micro garrisons, too weak to win the continuous raising of insurgents’ bands. Then he was also Infantry Inspector in Chief , Member of Legion d’Honnèur, Officer of the same Order and elector of the Seine department, he obtained his retirement on June, 6, 1807. He died in Paris on May 3, 1814.

[2] General Francois Alexandre Sextius de MiollisWas the police-arm of General Gaultier. Born at Aix [en-Provence] on September 18 1759 and dead on June 18, 1828, he reached the rank of infantry major general. Miollis was also an Hero of the American War of Independence, under General Lafayette, particularly distinguished himself under Rochambeau at Yorktown, as second lieutenant of the Soissons regiment; there he was wounded. In 1792 he was protagonist of the occupation of the Francheville citadel near Nice, as lieutenant colonel of the “3e bataillion des volontaires des Bouches-du-Rhône”. In 1794 he became brigadier General (February 25), nomination “à titre provisoire”, which was confirmed on June 13, 1795. Already in 1794 he commanded an infantry brigade in the Armée d' Italie. He distinguished himself in the combat of Finale (1795). In 1796 under Bonaparte, he led the 1st brigade of the 4th division of infantry (II Corps “de bataille”), remaining always in the Armée d' Italie till 1805. In 1797 he was employed at the Mantua siege and fought at St. Georges fort. From February 4, 1797 (Armée d' Italie) he was Governor of Mantua, after Wurmser’s capitulation. In 1799 he was againg employed as commander of infantry brigade and sent to Tuscany with Gaultier. He became Livorno (Leghorn) Governor and was promoted to major General “à titre provisoire” on July 6. At that time he was serving under General Gouvion Saint-Cyr with the task to clear the rebels from the Genoese hills. Fought at Recco (end of August 1799) and at Rapallo (October 14, 1799). Finally confirmed as Général de Division, on October 19, 1799, he was involved in the Genoa siege with Masséna. After that bad experience, Miollis, became the commander of the 5th division of the Armée d' Italie, from 1800 to 1801, commander of the Tuscany division of the Armée d' Italie in 1802 and finished to be part of the Consular opposition. Bonaparte not agreed and forced him to retire. However, the Emperor, had always had an high regard of his political experience; so Miollis was recalled on duty and reintegrated in his old rank. On August 28, 1805, he returned as Governor of Mantua and was also Commander in Chief  of the French troops in Italy, in October 1805. In December occupied Venice, under Eugène de Beauharnais. In June 1807 june he became Knight (then commander-knight) of the Italian Order of the Iron Crown. From 1807 till 1809 he was a divisional commander of the Italian Kingdom (Regno Italico). He occupied Rome, becoming the new commander of its division in February 1808. His titles continued to grow up: Grand Officier de la Légion d’Honneur, (September 14, 1808), Count of the Empire, (September 16, 1808), Commander of the Order of Two Sicilies (November 25, 1808). On July 6, 1808 he ordered the arrest of the Pope Pius VII. From 1810 to 1813 he remained in Italy as First Administrator of the Rome province and commander of the 30th Roman division. In 1814, as a result of the Entente Convention between Murat and Fouché, on March 10, he abandoned Rome. Called to the presence of the King Louis XVIII Miollis was made Chevalier de St-Louis, (August 13, 1814) and was sent to direct the military district of the Bouche-du-Rhône and Vaucluse, under Masséna, in January 1815. When the Emperor returned, he was sent forward by Masséna in order to block Napoleon on the disembarkation beach of Golf Juan, on March 7 1815. Arrived to Gap he had news Napoleon was already in Grenoble, just from three days. Therefore he returned to Marseille “as for the orders of Masséna”. During the 100 days he was Governor of Metz, and, on August 25, 1815 was definitively retired by Louis XVIII. He spent his last years between Paris, Isle-Adam, Villefranche, and Aix. He died, casually, because of an accidental fall, beating the head against a marble table edge.

[3] Chef Pierre-François Mont-Serraz, Was born on February 5, 1758 at the town l'Hôpital, in the old department of Mont Blanc (Savoy). Entered in the service on July 21, 1791 in the 3rd battalion of the Paris volunteers, and was named captain the next August 1, by ballots, four days after fulfilling the functions of adjudant-major. Again lieutenant on July 3, 1792 in the 12th battalion of Chasseurs, incorporated in the 16th light demi-brigade, he was sent to the North army and was named adjudant-major on March 10, 1793. He distinguished himself during the Rhine army campaigns, from 1764 to 1797, arriving to the rank of captain and, after, major. His good conduct during the engagements of Neuburg, Rottwil, Biberach, Riegel and the Rhine passage, deserved him the most flattering praises on behalf of the Generals Michaud, Pichegru and Moreau, under the orders of which he had fought. Passed in 1798 with the Helvetian army, he showed greatest courage with the capture of Sion, and, for that event, he was awarded by Directory with a congratulations letter. In 1799 he was in the armée d’Italie and in 1800 in the Southern Observation Corps, where was named chef-de-brigade, on the battlefield. Responsible of the first vanguard of the Elba island, he seized it with 500 men, entering the town of Porto-Ferrajo, put then his siege in front of Porto-Longone, which was defended by a Neapolitan garrison four times superior than his troops; the fort capitulated after forty-five days of bombardment; seized the fortified camp he captured there a few hundreds of prisoners of the 8000 men pushed back with loss of 18 guns, 6 mortars, of all the ammunitions. For this event he was named Member of the Legion-d’Honneur, the 19 frimaire year XII, elector of the Léman department in year XIII. Colonel Mount-Serraz, which had continued his services in Italy till 1806, entered, on July 11 of this year, and with the approval of the Emperor, in the Royal Guard of Naples as Colonel of the Grenadiers. He distinguished himself, in 1808, during the capture of the Capri island. Little time after, Murât entrusted to him the place command of Naples, led until 1814. After having obtained, as remuneration of his services and his fidelity, the rank of Lieutenant-general, he returned to France, where he was accomodated by King Louis XVIII, who named him knight of Saint-Louis. General Mount-Serraz died in Meudon on September 27, 1820.

[4]The 1st Piedmontese line demi-brigade was formed with the I Battalion . Savoia and the III Battalion . Lombardia, led by the Sardinian Brigadier Francesco de Varax. He reached Modena, on March 16, with 860 men but, having not yet crossed the Tuscany border, he was purged by the Officers from Nice and Savoy.

[5] The Balegno Legion. As told, the line demi-brigade was formed with the I Battalion . Savoia and the III Battalion . Lombardia, led by the Sardinian Brigadier Francesco de Varax. On first of July, the Lombardia battalion, led by the Piedmontese chevalier Balegno, wholly deserted, joining, early, the bands of Curzio and Marcello Inghirami, in Maremma, and, according to moment, was incorporated into the Grand ducal service, where it became  the extreme wing of the Austro-Russian-Aretine (Arezzo insurgents) army. From that time it was called the “Balegno Legion” and was indicated as an example of Piedmontese Royalist rebel unit. As for the truth, however, it must be said that deserters were mainly Italian mercenaries and all but Piedmontese.

Also some men of the Savoia battalion ended the 1799 among the ranks of the Balegno Legion (except 62 men which preferred to return to the King’s service, in Sardinia island, as the “Foreign Chasseurs” of Sassari). On April 4, in fact, the Savoia was deployed in the Elba island and, on May 28, besieged by the rebels of Portoferraio. It surrendered only on July 4 and capitulated on “parole” promising not to fight more against the rebels. However, on day 20, as soon as it disembarked at Livorno, was declared prisoner of war for having refused the surrender pacts (??). To the astonished soldiers the only way to avoid the prison seemed that of joining the Balegno legion. On July 28, chevalier Balegno, seriously wounded and declared unfit to the active service, was dismissed, receiving several mentions by Austrian general, and baron, Michael Friedrich Benedikt von Melas, and by Suvorov too. When the legion had made return in Tuscany, there was organized a minimal company of “Italian Chasseurs” with its remnants.

[6] Général de brigade count Martin Vignolle, (sometimes referred as Vignolles) Grand Officer of the Legion d’Honneur. Was born in 1763 in Languedoc and died at Gard in 1824. Was Chef d'état-major in the armée d’Italie during the campaign in Savoy and Piedmont. Transferred to the division Gaultier in Toscane, he was the political arm of Gaultier and commanded a brigade until the revolt of 1799. Then was War Minister of the Cisalpine republic and Chef d'état-major in the armée de Hollande in 1803. In 1809 was Count of the Empire. With the King’s return in Paris he was Préfet in Corsica (1818). Elected representative of town of Gard he lived (and died) there until 1824.

[7] General de division Pierre-Dominique Garnier,b. 19 December 1756, Marseille d. 11 May 1827, Nantes "Soldier in the regiment of Ile de France from 1776 to 1779; dragoon in Guadaloupe; captain in 1789 in the National Guard of Marseille, where he had returned to take up his profession of architect once more; second lieutenant-colonel, in 1792, of that battalion of volunteers which had sown 'the Marseillaise' to all the echoes of France during its march on Paris. He had led it to the attack on the Tuileries on 10 August, when he was wounded, then, as a reward for his conduct on that day, he was appointed second-lieutenant in the regular army, in the 51st infantry, on September 15, 1792, but he did not accept. On October 26, 1792, Garnier was appointed first lieutenant-colonel of the 11th battalion of chasseurs; General of brigade on September 12, 1793; General of division, before Toulon, on December 20 1793 (confirmed on August 29 1794); he had constantly fought on the Alpine frontier and served with the [French] Army of Italy again, in Rome, during the years 1798 and 1799. Invalided out on 20 May 1801, he went to live in Paris. From 1812 to 1812 he was commander in Barcelona; he returned to Paris where he was reported by the Minister of Police, Savary, for “making himself noticeable for his exaggerated opinions”. To move him away, he was appointed, on April 23, 1813, commander of Laibach [Lubliana], in Illyria. The invasion drove him out, and he went to command at Blaye, and was then retired in 1815. Having retired to Nantes, General Garnier died there, at 23 rue de l'Est

[8] CisalpineGeneral Pietro Teulié. Of far French roots, as the name indicates, Teulié came from the family Teulier of Languedoc. He was born on February 3, 1763. Adolescent, studied letters; then he chose jurisprudence and, graduated to Pavia, he made lawyer-practice by the counselor Bossi. In 1796 he exercised as lawyer in Milan, when the descent of the French army and the triumphs of the young Bonaparte inflamed him. He was young, being only 33 years old, and was easy to be caught by passion. Sturdy, with a strong constitution, acute talent, he was also kind, firm but right, loyal on duty, and all his busy life was signed by loyalty, faith and courage. In the Revolutionary years, before 1800 (and after), he had numerous tasks in northern Italy, adjudant General and capobattaglione (Major) of the Lombardic Legion, Chief  of General staff of General Giuseppe Lechi, commander of the territorial Division of Ferrara. He was in the vanguard of the consular army, which, led by Bonaparte, crossed the Great Saint Bernard, in 1800.

After having fought several battles in the northern Italy he was charged with the job of Cisalpine War Minister. He carried out that task in a brilliant way, reorganizing an army of 28000 men, then carrying them to 110000. He provided at all, uniforms, wages, regulations, excluding the French military administration. One of the most satisfying operation was the creation of a College for Orphans of a military parent, with the seat in the former abbey of Saint Luca, for the maintenance and the education of the orphans of fathers fallen in war. Subsequently resumed his field service taking the command of the Lechi Brigade, but soon he was recalled to direct the administration of personnel of the War Ministry. In this period poetry he unfortunately praised some poetical verses against France. Murat was informed of that, and, by his turn, he informed Napoleon. Teulié was under trial, and therefore condemned to the loss of rank with a year of exile. After six months,  Napoleon himself thought he was enough punished and restored him in his rank, attaching him to the division Pino, for the planned, then aborted, expedition to Britain.

In Paris he attended to the Emperor coronation and in Milan for the second one. During the siege of Colberg, in June 1807, during an inspection, he was hit in the left thigh, by a gun ball come from the fortress. In spite of the large wound he continued, for three days, imperturbable to give orders. On the fourth and fifth day he was caught by a high fever and paralyzed by Tetanus. On the sixth day he died, under the care of doctor Defilippi and the French General Loison. During his funeral, the Prussians rendered honor to him shooting some salvoes.

[9] Chef de brigade François Valterre (1759-1837). He acted as chef de brigade or colonel from June 14, 1800 till October 27, 1808.  In 1776 he was a Grenadier in the Médoc regiment. In 1789 he was grenadier of the National Guard. With the Revolution he became NCO on September 9, 1792. From 1793 till 1794 he was at the Ardennes army; He led the first battalion of the 175e demi-brigade in March 1795. In February 1799 he was named provisional chef-de-brigade, was wounded several times. He was confirmed as Général de brigade on January 29, 1808, remaining at the regiment’s command till October 27. He served also as military place commander (commandant d'armes) at Palma Nova. Besieged by the Austrians, in October 1813, and transferred to the arsenal-depot battalion on January 17. Awarded with the Barony de Saint-Ange (December 19, 1809) and with the Cross of Commander of the Legion d’Honneur (December 26, 1805).

[10] When the French troops occupied the Papal States, instituted and organized the Roman Republic, as they revolutionary custom, giving order to requisite the military and religious clothes and forcing the Jews to work in the tailoring of the new uniforms. If in Rome the things developed with a slow pace, because of the military attack of the Neapolitan troops slow, in the Umbria and Marche provinces this clothing plan proceeded more quickly. Few is known about the troops that were created there, but some authors witnessed these soldiers were surnamed, for the colours of their uniforms, black with red cuffs, in Umbria “Regiment of the Abatini” (Chaplains regiment) while in Marche “Infernal Regiment”, being red and black the Catholic hell’s colours. This provincial  regiment arrived to Rome, by June 1799, arousing wonder just for the colour of the uniform. We know also that the Roman regiments took the French way to define soldiers as riflemen, “chasseurs” and grenadiers, distinguishing them from the colour of the shoulder straps and the pon-pons, with the cockades inserted in a hat called corsican, “à la Còrse”, marked with the national colours: White, Red and Black. Sources: Crociani – Brandani, L'esercito della Repubblica Romana del 1798-99. Aspetti Uniformologici. - A. Sansi: Memorie aggiunte alla storia del comune di Spoleto - Don Vincenzo Murri: Cronaca Loretana.

[11]On August 30, 1798, Jablonowski was promoted general-de-division, assuming the command of the Roman troops. Promoted chef-de-brigade, on September 7, Ordioni, by his turn, passed to command the Legion, yielding that of the 2nd battalion to Pignatelli. The Legio was completed with the callback of the dismissed and with 500 volunteers. By November 4, in order to defend the Republic, the Legion had 1,600 effectives: 812 of the 1st battalion (captain Giuseppe Valory) and 797 of the 2nd (Pignatelli). But 200 invalids were left in Castel Sant'Angelo under the former Papal Captain Ignazio de Raxis Hassan. Because of the desertions, the 2nd battalion was reduced to hardly 200 men and was combined with the Polish Legion. These soldiers were the only who took part to the combats against Neapolitans, at Faleri and Otricoli, where the “legionari” received, as award, 2 of the 5 captured guns of the enemy.

[12]Ancona and Urbino had 2 independent regular battalions, preexisting the Republic and the Roman legion, deriving from the previous Papal garrisons, led by Major Zannini. On November 4, 1798, the Ancona Battalion would have counted 812 effectives, (probably) partially split into the micro garrisons of the department. The Urbino Battalion had been created on December 27, 1797, as result of the Cisalpine occupation and had been completed, on January 1798, under Major Filippo Viviana, who was replaced, two months after, by the count Agostino Staccoli. For effect of the counter-revolution of June 14, 1799, the Urbino unit urbinate was merged with and replaced by the City National Guard troops; it was reorganized on 4 companies (one of city and three of the countryside) always under Staccoli.

[13] The Departmental Battalions(2nd-3rd-4th-5th Legions). On November 17, 1798, activating the Conscription law of June 10, decided to call to ballots 7 young classes (1776-81) in order to form, where it was possible, the departmental battalions, with a strength of 21 Officers and 6 companies (1 grenadiers, 1 chasseurs and 4 riflemen). In Spoleto Bassal ordered the requisition by November 21, into the military place, random extracting a tenth of the total of the Conscripts (a total of 24 men). However for several difficulties opposed by the municipalities, the Clitunno battalion (quartered in the abbey of San Nicolò) had to be completed with volunteers with a swarm of convalescent men and beggars. Analogous it was the formation of the other battalions. The 2 Umbria’s battalions, which formed the 2nd Legion, initially were led by Francesco Santacroce, and then by the French chef Jaile. The Trasimeno Battalion was under the French chef Farje and the Clitunno battalion under the Pole Giovanni (Jan) Turski. The command of a 3rd Legion was assumed by the Pole chef Nielepicz. It included the departmental battalion of Metauro (Marche), led by the lieutenant colonel Oliviero Ronca (already commander of some Papal units: in 1793, of the Terracina Battalion and, in 1794, of the Romagna Battalion, removed, in 1795, from the Papal service in order to have contracted game debts). Urbino was not a so large town able to supply its contingent of 100 conscripts. The departmental authorities of Musone repeatedly emphasized the peasants renitence and the poor number of recruits, assembled in Macerata, deserted as a whole. Consequently the above Battalion was completed with Neapolitan deserters and prisoners. In January 1799 were constituted the 4th and 5th Legions, under the French chef Dubany and Francesco Biancoli, promoted lieutenant colonel. In some documents there is mentioned also a 6th Legion, but probably the author made some confusion with the 2nd one. The 4th Legion included the Musone and the Tronto (Bonfili) battalions; the 5th Legion those of Cimino and of Circeo. This last one was led by lieutenant colonel Lorenzo Bai, already Cadet in the Papal cavalry, expelled on December 1794 for political conspiracy.

[14]According to the plan, elaborated by the Was Minister Planta, the cavalry had to have 12 companies with 7 officers and 14 non-comissioned officers, 2 buglers, l blacksmith, 100 horse dragoons and 20 on foot (in all 105 Officers and 1668 men). But in September 1799 they figured only with 10 companies, two of the 1st Regiment (with 224 men) and 8 of 2nd and 3rd.

[15] The Arezzo insurgency is firmly linked with the history of an Austrian officer, the future Field marshal Carl Freiherr Schneider von Arno. In 1799 he was a Fähnrich of the Italian 4th Light infantry battalion Bach (Corps Klenau), with which he was at Verona, Mantua and along the Po river. When the “Viva Maria” insurrection outbroke in Tuscany, the insurgent asked the Austrian Command to have an Officer, who could led the peasants in battle. Klenau proposed Schneider and Kray gave his approval. On June 16 the young Officer reached Arezzo and began to organize his troops. He raised a “division” of 6000 trained rebels in a mass of 30000 armed peasants and was helpen by the former florentine General Inghirami. He occupied Florence, Siena and Livorno clearing all the French weak garrisons. In August he captured Perugia and then marched against the Roman territory. In November he was openly praised by General Fröhlich for his conduct (also Suvorov mentioned him as an example). The man who actually had led up to 45000 insurgents, 4000 of which completely equipped, 1200 trained cavalrymen and an artillery battalion, organized with captured guns, returned to his battalion at Sarzana. The Emperor awarded him with the promotion to Capitän-Leutnant and granted him the use of the “von Arno” suffix, in order to remember the main Tuscany’s river. La ter he was also awarded with the Commander Cross of the Tuscany’s Order of  St.Joseph. A similar career had (but with less satisfactions) also a Russian officer, of Italian origins: Yegor Gavrilovich Zukata or, in Italian, count Giorgio Zuccato (Цукато), Venetian. He was sent, by Suvorov, to do the same things made by Schneider, in central and southern Italy, during the summer of 1799.

[16] Liberty  Equality
R. R. (Rome Republic)
Romans! The imperative circumstances of War have given the necessity to negotiate with the enemy
[. . .] Those who would desire to retreat, have the full freedom to do so and to follow the French
[. . .]  Rome, 7 vendemiaire year VIII

 

Placed on the Napoleon Series: February 2008

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