Military Subjects: Battles & Campaigns

The 1799 Campaign in Italy: Down the Valleys (August 9-14, 1799)

By Enrico Acerbi

 

 

August 9

The French army concentrated its columns: the Left Wing, with the Reserve units of Clauzel and Richepanse, went down the Bormida Valley; St. Cyr, with the Right Wing (and the Center) gathered behind Voltaggio, Carrosio, Mornese and Ovada. The movement was accompanied by the flank security units of Miollis and Montrichard, watching all the passes which led to the Genoese Riviera, also garrisoning the ligurian capital city.

Joubert then wanted to make a reconnaissance of all the forward enemy positions. He was helped, in this important occasion, by Moreau, whom he had invited not to leave the army without providing him advice about the ground which Moreau had studied with his renowned cleverness. Moreau’s answer was affirmative and the former chief accompanied Joubert around all the enemy lines.

August 10

The Left Wing proceeded from Carcare, together with Joubert, pushing to the Erro Valley in order to organize a link with the Right Wing, led by Moreau. This seemed a dangerous way to march, too wide being the distances from one column and the other, with no flank protection past the ligurian passes. However the intelligence of the Austro-Russian deployment, the concentric direction to the objective, more than the rough roads and the complex terrain, justified this way to engage the enemy.

August 11

The French continued to go down the Bormida, Erro and Orba Valleys. Lemoine’s Division, with its vanguard, entered the village of Melazzo, few miles before Acqui, after a short intense musketry. Grouchy, the provisional commander of Victor’s Division, camped at Ponti with the infantry reserve. The cavalry reserve reached Cremolino linking the center of the army with the Left Wing.

On this day, Fieldmarshal Suvorov sent out his order for the future action against Genoa. He, when learning of the French advance, ordered Bellegarde to reach Acqui (with 8 Battalion s and 6 squadrons) to observe the enemy movement. The Austrian column had, near the village of Silvano, a short engagement with Dąbrovski troops, which withdrew to Ovada. In the late evening a strong French column reached Arquata Scrivia, alarming the Austrian outposts. The main group of the Coalition Army remained fixed near Rivalta, to cover the Tortona siege.

August 12

Grouchy marched to Bistagno and pushed his vanguard on to the height above Terzo, while Lemoine reached the location where the Erro Creek flowed into the Bormida. All the Austrian small outposts were forced to withdraw (some prisoner was also caught). Bellegarde retreated through Acqui, reaching Fresonara on the other bank of the Orba. Kray’s arrival at Frugarolo forced Bellegarde to leave Fresonara in order to deploy near Retorto to leave some space for the former “Mantuaner” columns. Kray’s Corps camped in front of Alexandria, having, only old orders, a whole day to rest, before continuing the march toward Coni (Cuneo). [1]

Hypothesis D – General Attack towards Genoa and Nice (Original Deployment Orders)

4th Column –attack through Col de Tende against Ventimille, till Nice and river Var
FML Paul Kray de Krajowa et Topolya - Generalmajor Carl Peter Ott de Batorkéz
Staff – Lieut.Colonel De Pest, Obersten Beschinnyi, Herlitz, Neugebauer, Captains Hippert, Troyer

Brigade Generalmajor Anton Freiherr von Elsnitz

I Battalion of 3rd croat Grenzregiment Carlstädt-Ogulin - Commander: Freiherr Carl von Letzenyi

900

III Battalion 3rd Grenzregiment Carlstädt-Ogulin former 7th Carlstadt Battalion

869

K.K. 48 Hungarian Line Infantry Regiment Freiherr Philipp von Vukassovich – I, II Battalions

1277

K.K. 5th Hussar Regiment 2 Squadrons.

208

Brigade Generalmajor Friedrich Heinrich Freiherr Gottesheim

K.K. 13 Line Infantry Regiment Freiherr Franz Wenzel Reisky von Dubnitz – I, II Battalions - the third at Milano

1512

K.K. 39 Line Hungarian Infantry Regiment Graf Thomas (Támas) Nádasdy – I, II and III Battalions

1380

Brigade Generalmajor Graf Johann Franz Seraphin von Saint Julien Walsee

K.K. 10 Line Infantry Regiment (former Regiment Kheul) –I and III Battalion –II Battalions at Venice

1690

K.K. 16 Line Regiment Freiherr Ludwig Terzy: Commander: Graf Franz Khevenuller-Metsch – I,II and III Battalions - the Grenadiers being with Hohenfeld Battalion

2700

Brigade Generalmajor Graf Ferdinand Johann Morzin

K.K. 4 Line Regiment Hoch und Deutschmeister - Erzherzog Maximilian von KölnCommander: Obst Carl von Brixen - I, II, III Battalions – the Grenadiers being with Hohenfeld Battalion

2700

K.K. 40 Hungarian Line Infantry Regiment FZM Graf Joseph Mittrowsky – I, II Battalions

1584

Brigade Generalmajor Freiherr Ferdinand von Minkwitz

K.K. 45 Line Infantry Regiment Freiherr Franz von Lattermann – II and III Battalions

1339

I Battalion of 4th Grenzregiment Carlstädt Szluiner (1st Szluiner Battalion)

614

IV Battalion 4th Grenzregiment of Carlstädt - Szluin(2nd Szluiner Battalion)

430

Brigade Generalmajor Nikolaus Joseph Pálffy von Erdöd

K.K. 3rd Light Dragoons Regiment FM Erzherzog Johann Baptist – 6 squadrons

906

K.K. 2nd Hussar regiment Erzherzog Joseph Anton – 8 squadrons

836

   

The Coalition HQs were now aware of the enemy army descending the valleys. The Russian General Dalheim was sent to Arquata Scrivia to protect the Serravalle flank, where the garrison locked itself into the fortress. Watrin attacked the town repulsing the Russian outposts and the whole situation became more comprehensible.

The presence of Watrin’s Division in the Scrivia Valley had persuaded Suvorov that the French Left Wing advance toward Acqui was a fake and that the main attack was to be done by the Scrivia River, in the direction of Tortona. This was exactly what he wanted, to confront the French in wide open fields, where cavalry could easily manoeuver. His orders for the outposts were to engage the enemy for short periods and then to retreat, to force the French to get close to the plains. So Joubert, without any hard obstacles, deployed his Left Wing in the Orba Valley, at Capriata, while St. Cyr had almost reached Novi. The town was defended by the cavalry outposts on the southern hills (4 squadrons of the 5th Hussars and 200 cossacks) and into its walls (other 3 squadrons of the 5th Hussars and 100 cossacks). General Alcaini had orders to reinforce the controls on Tortona and to secure the bridgehead of Ponte Curone. At this time Suvorov transferred his Headquarters from Bosco to Pozzolo (Formigaro) and ordered the vanguard of Prince Bagration to follow him in that village.

August 13

Pèrignon, arrived at Strevi, a town on the Rivalta (Bormida) road and reinforced the Lemoine’s Division with the cavalry reserve, ordering the passage of the river in an effort to link with the army at Capriata. After a short musketry duel at Castelferro, Grouchy, who led the vanguard, attacked Capriata and cleared the village, repulsing the Coalition garrison. The task to garrison Capriata was left to Lemoine, while Grouchy with the cavalry reserve, camped on the left bank of the Orba. The French Right Wing deployed Watrin either behind or in front of Serravalle, Laboissère at Gavi, Dąbrowski as linking unit and the Reserve at Carrosio.

August 14

Early in the morning St. Cyr advanced toward Novi with intense musketry engagements, pivoting on his right at San Bartolomeo and seizing the southern Novi hills, where he camped. Dąbrowski had orders to attack Serravalle with 3000 men, who would act also as a tactical reserve, whenever needed. At 4:00 p.m. the French army, about 38000 soldiers, deployed in front of the enemy, the right on the Scrivia, the center at Novi and the left on the Orba around a village called Pasturana.

During the evening, the Austro-Russians completed their deployment: Kray on the left, in two ranks, camped between Basaluzzo and the road to Bosco, deploying two divisions under Ott and Bellegarde; Derfelden in a central position with his two divisions Shvejkowsky and Förster, camped behind and in front of Pozzolo, where Suvorov had his headquarters; Mélas led the Left Wing from the Rivalta camp with other two divisions (Fröhlich and Liechtenstein); a reserve of 5600 infantrymen and 400 cavalrymen were at Spinetto Scrivia; General Rozenberg with other 10000 men and about 3000 cavalrymen deployed between Viguzzolo and Monte Galdone

Novi – the Battlefield

Novi: In 1447 it became part of the Genoese republic . From this time onwards the town flourished in terms of population, economy and arts. Novi in fact held the leading status in the Genoese Republic, in the River Po plain area; being the provincial capital of the Oltregiogo district (the area between the Ovada and Tortona districts, consisting in the middle Scrivia valley, as well as the Lemme and Borbera valleys). This period also saw the migration of numerous noble Genoese families, who built many stately residences in the local area. This accounts for the strong Ligurian influence over the Novi area.

Between Scrivia and the Lemme torrent, which had its springs at la Bocchetta and threw itself into the Orba Creek, a little after Basaluzzo, to the north of Gavi, was mount Mesma, called also Monte Rossa. From its northern slopes originated the small valleys of Fornace, Riarca and Braghena, the brooks flowing down them to Pasturana, and into the Lemme. The largest of this these, dug by the brooks, went down until the Scrivia at Serravalle (literarly Close Valley) and it was named the Monte Rotondo, for it assumed a round shape in front of Novi; it ended with long and gentle slopes before Basaluzzo.

Almost parallel with the Monte Rotondo, laid another plateau from Serravalle to Pozzolo-Formigaro. This plateau had, from its eastern border till the steep slope of Monte Rotondo, a width of about 500 meters and dominated the Scrivia valley. The causeway from Novi to la Bocchetta, through Gavi, cut and surrounded the slopes and the valleys of Monte Mesma; actually, only on this mount, there was a road usable by artillery. Another causeway led from Pasturana to Gavi through Tassarolo and the road from Novi to Gavi, on the crest of the Monte Rotondo, was impassable for the carriages. After Pasturana, the Monte Mesma slopes were covered with brushes and small trees. Behind Novi there were many vineyards and litlle farmhouses. The town was defended by good walls flanked by old towers. The town had also many towers (each palace had one) and three bell-towers, which could be utilized as observatories. The town of Novi, in 1799, had four gates and had a triangular shape, very wide, with large walls charged with remparts and machicolations [2], with a water ditch very deep surrounding the walls. At the Novi right, till Serravalle, a small hamlet above the left Scrivia bank, the road is long and straight, about 7 kilometers long before touching the first hills before the Appennines. Left of Novi, a road led to the Pasturana Cemetery, after 3 kilometers of rough road, which crossed a woods.

Pasturana was a small village of 54 houses, whose grey walls surrounded a sort of funnel, dug in the center of the village: a pond long 20 meters and 10 meters wide, with stagnant waters, which had frontally a terrace full of farm building and from which one could dominate the broad vineyards, extended till Basaluzzo. The southern part of Pasturana had denser houses and covered the rocky spur of an high slope, which fell straight into a ravine called Riasco. That high and steep hill surrounded also the western side of the village. Pasturana was crossed by two trails: the road from Novi to Francavilla and the causeway from Basaluzzo to Tassarolo. The line Serravalle-Novi-Pasturana was the French frontline and facing it were the plains which led to Alexandria. There, opposite to the northern Novi gate, was a small village, with a famous castle: Pozzolo Formigaro.

The terrain between the Scrivia and the Orba was rough and arid for a very hot summer. There were about 200 “cascine” or little farmhouses, dispersed in the hills, poor vegetation, some gentle woods and many vineyards, terraced and limited by small stone walls. The same terrain was in front of Novi, having only more wheatfields as a difference; it was a clear terrain, otherwise cut by many ditches, channels and little creeks. There artillery and cavalry could fight in a decisive way. At the extreme right of the future battlefield (the Coalition’s right) was the village of Fresonara and, near it, Basaluzzo. At the left, near the Scrivia, the most important village was on the opposite side of the river: Cassano Spinola. Otherwise there were some hamlets or “cascine” scattered in the countryside: Bettole, facing Cassano of the opposite bank 3 kilometers away from Novi, San Bartolomeo located between Bettole and Pozzolo.

The French deployment was completed during the August 14-15 night. Dąbrowski, having left Arquata, was put in the rearguard of the right wing, passed the bridge of Serravalle and blocked the castle (fort), controlling the village of Stazzano on the right Scrivia bank. The rest of the Right Wing advanced toward Novi in battalions echelons: Watrin reached San Bartolomeo and then returned back, deploying between the Scrivia and Laboissière (who was the right and the centre of the French army. Novi, abandoned by the Austro-Russians was defended by general Gardanne, who had behind the 3rd Line Demi-Brigade, the artillery park and two cavalry regiments. The link with the Left Wing was fixed in the woods of the park between Novi and Pasturana. The reserves, with around 1000 workers, controlled the trails and the causeways in the hills south of Novi.

Right Wing: Général de Division Gouvion Saint-Cyr
HQ with Laboissière

Left Wing: Général-Division Catherine-Dominique marquis de Pérignon

 

Battalions

Squadrons

Men

Division Laboissière, later Darnaud

22

16

9510

Division Watrin

20

8

6300

Division Dąbrowsky

12

2

2868

Brigade Miollis

5

3461

Artillery and Engineers

750

Totals

59

26

22889

Artillery

4 pounder

8 pounder

total

Mainly with Laboissière

4

6

10

       
       

Battalions

Squadrons

St. Cyr Memoirs

Jomini

Chodzko

Gachot (Suchet archive)

Dąbrowski’s Division

12

2

2340

2130

2070

1480

             

Division Commander: Général Jan Henryk Dąbrowsky

Extreme right of the battlefiled: Fort Serravalle blockade.
Adjudants-généraux - Jan Dembowski, Paweł Tremo
Deputy commander: General Władysław Jabłonowski (adjudant - Konstanty Przebendowski)
General Staff Attaché - Jan M. Dąbrowski, Rudolf Acier
1st Polish Legion – former commander Chef-de-Legion Mathieu (Maciej) Forestier prisoner at the Trebbia

         
 
2e Chef-de-Legion (deputy) - Jan Strzałkowski

280

Adjudants - Karol Cz. Pakosz, Józef Chłusowicz
Quartermaster - Ignacy Hilchen
I Battalion chef - Szymon Białowiejski
II Battalion chef - Józef Chłopicki
III. Battalion chef - Piotr Świderski
Polish cavalry or Legion Ulans Chef-de-brigade Andrzej Karwowski ½ Sqn.

50

1st Cisalpine Line Demi-BrigadeChef de Brigade count Filippo Severoli of Modena. A poor battalion formed with the remnants of the Battalions: I Battalion Rogier - III Battalion Ferrent

350

1st Cisalpine Line Demi-BrigadeChef de Brigade count Filippo Severoli of Modena.

350

17th Line infantry Demi-Brigade - Chef de Brigade Jérôme-Joseph Goris

400

55th Line infantry Demi-Brigade - Chef de Brigade François-Roch baron Ledru des Essarts. Only two Battalions the III/55th was at Ancona

400

   
   

Battalions

Squadrons

St. Cyr memoirs

Jomini

Chodzko

Gachot (Suchet archive)

Watrin’s Division

20

8

6040

4535

nl

6280

 
Général de Division François Watrin – HQ at San Bartolomeo
Adjoudants-général Pierre-Edme Gautherin o Gauthrin (Gautrin) – Coloro and Jacqueleu
 
   
 

7th Regt. Chasseurs à cheval - Chef-de-Brigade Marie-Benoit-Antoine-Joseph Bussiere De Lamure [3]

212

25th Regt. Chasseurs à cheval [4]

??

Sappers 3rd Coy of the 1st Battalion

118

Avant-guard Brigade Légére Général-de-Brigade Jean-Baptiste (Andrè) Carvin known as Calvin – Avantgarde HQ at Cassano Spinola (road to Tortona)

1250

8th Light infantry Demi-Brigade - Chef-de-Brigade Jacques-François Brun – only one Battalion

300

15th Light infantry Demi-Brigade - Chef-de-Battalion Jean-Claude Desailly – only one Battalion

300

Chef Lahure wounded at the Trebbia was substituted by the chef-de-Battalion Desailly

27th Light infantry Demi-Brigade - Chef-de-Brigade Jean-Baptiste Brunet [5]- only Carabiniers Companies

250

11th Line infantry Demi-Brigade- Chef de Brigade Marc-Antoine Coban Vabre [6]

400

The former commander was general Calvin himself, from October 21, 1798

       

Brigade Général-de-Brigade a titre provisoire Jacques Darnaud or d’Arnaud

1500

12th Line infantry Demi-Brigade - Chef-de-brigade François Vergez[7]

700

There is some confusion with the number 12. The Line DB was with the Macdonald army (at the Trebbia) while the Light 12 DB came from Tirol with Dessolle, after the retreat.

30th Line infantry Demi-Brigade - I Battalion ? - Chef de Brigade François Valterre was at Rome

800

The 30th Light infantry Demi-Brigade??- Chef-de-Brigade Vérideau?? a Belgian unit. It is often listed at Novi but its presence is not sure

       

Brigade Général Pierre-Etienne Petitot [8] - former commander of the 78th Demi-Brigade

3530

62nd Line infantry Demi-Brigade - Chef-de-brigade Claude-Louis Gudin [9]

1980

78th Line infantry Demi-Brigade- Chef de Brigade Jean-Joseph-Henri Cassine

1550

Battalions

Squadrons

St. Cyr memoirs

Jomini

Chodzko

Gachot (Suchet archive)

Laboissière’s Division

22

16

3976 [10]

3645 11

nl

10466

             
Général de Division Pierre Garnier de Laboissière
HQ in front of Novi – 9510 with Colli and Cavalry
Adjudant-général Gayot
Attached during the battle: Général-de-Brigade a titre provisoire Jacques Darnaud o d’Arnaud
   
             

6th Hussar Regiment – Chef-d’Escadron Bordesoul and later Chef de Brigade Pierre-Claude Pajol [11]

     

200

3rd cavalry regiment –Chef de brigade Jean Baptiste Meunier

     

180

1st Coy of the 4th Light artillery regiment

     

42

1st Coy of the 1st Light artillery regiment

     

16

2nd, 5th and 6th companies of the 6th Light artillery regiment

     

117

7th coy of “canonniers volontaires”

     

16

6th coy of the 6th Light artillery regiment

     

58

3 Sappers companies

      150

Artillery light pieces

      31
     

Brigade General Gaspard-Amédée Gardanne - deployed into the town of Novi

     

1800

18th Light infantry Demi-Brigade 1st Battalion - Chef de Brigade Louis-Stanislas-Xavier Soyez

     

1050

21st Line infantry Demi-Brigade - Chef de Brigade Robert

     

750

Brigade Général Jean-Baptiste du Torpt baron de Quesnel

     

1462

deployed in defence of the height around and above Novi

     

17th Light infantry Demi-Brigade - Chef de brigade Henry-François Fornésy

 

    450 [12]

63rd Line infantry Demi-Brigade I-II Battalion s - Chef-de-Brigade Villaret – III Battalion at Tortona

 

    1012 [13]
     

Brigade Général Leonardo Antonio Giuseppe Gaspare Venanzio Luigi Colli-Ricci Marchese di Felizzano known as Colli (linking with Lemoine à it was the Perignon’s right Wing)

 

14th Line infantry Demi-Brigade - Chef de Brigade Jean-Claude Moreau [14]

 

    650

The unit was refilled with Piedmontese troopers, former soldiers of the Sardinian Kingdom.

     

24th Line infantry Demi-Brigade - Chef de Brigade Guinet?

     

1400

Began the 1799 under chef Georges Kister, promoted adjudant and then provisional général de brigade. The name of Chef Guinet is not sure.

68th Line infantry Demi-Brigade - I e II Battalion Chef de BrigadeJules-Alexandre Leger Boutrouë

     

1400

The 68th Line infantry was sent, on 22 Sept 1798, to the armée d'Italie to reinforce the Piedmont garrisons, with I Battalion (former 65th Demi-Brigade ) II Battalion (former 182nd Demi-Brigade ) III Battalion (former 1 and 2 Battalion s des Landes). The I Battalion was in campaign with Montrichard and the Naples army of Macdonald, the III Battalion had been taken prisoner at Turin by the Coalition besiegers.

Polish Grenadiers Battalion – chef: Kazimierz Małachowski

     

350

           

Right Wing Reserve

   

2845

Reserve brigade Adjudant-Général François-Joseph Pamphile de Lacroix

   

2625

3rd Line infantry Demi-Brigade II-III Battalions - Chef de Brigade Georges Mouton (July 14, 1799)

   

1275

106th Line infantry Demi-Brigade - Chef de brigade Jean Claude Roussel

   

1350

The 106th Line infantry - on 22 Sept 1798 - was in Switzerland with I Battalion (former 35th Demi-Brigade) II Battalion (former 201st Demi-Brigade). Chef not known. It was at Bussolengo, March 26, (Division Grenier - Reserve detachment) and Magnano (San Giacomo) (Division Grenier - Left brigade Quesnel du Torpt) wher had heavy losses.

   

Cavalry Reserve Général François Guerin d'Etoquigny

   

425

19th Regiment Chasseurs à cheval - Chef-de-Brigade Louis-Urbain Bruë [15]

   

140

16th Regiment Dragoons - Chef-de-Brigade (wounded) François-Marie Clement de la Ronciere [16]

   

180

19th Regiment Dragoons - Chef-de-Brigade Pierre Geraud

   

85

18th Cavalry regiment - Chef-de-Brigade David-Denis Terreyre

   

180

Total as in Suchet’s report

   

585

Reserve Artillery (Center)

4 pounder

5 pounder

8 pounder

   

2

6

2

   
         

Left Wing

         
         
The Left Wing had Lemoine’s Division on the right, deployed near a mill, 1 kilometer away from Novi. The division was split in company massed formations. The wing received at 2:00 a.m. the 12th Dragoons as reinforcements. It completed its order with a group under the direct orders of Perignon, massed companies in a straight line 500 meters in front (north) of Pasturana. The extreme Left Wing was under Grouchy, from Pasturana to the Lemme Creek, which was dry and easily passable. General Richepanse led the cavalry reserve behind Pasturana, having had no time to reach the Orba for the difficult terrain. All the The army artillery was deployed in a second line. [17]
         
Commander: Catherine-Dominique marquis de Pérignon – HQ at Pasturana    
Artillery pieces 12        
Artillery

4 pounder

8 pounder

5 ½” howitzer

   

Gachot

6

2

2

   
         
         

Left Wing

 

      5877

Brigade Général-de-brigade Bertrand Clauzel in Reserve

2100

29th Light infantry Demi-Brigade – 1st Battalion

  400

only with the 1st Battalion (Chef Balleydier and the other two Battalion s were at Mantua). The 29th Light infantry - on 22 Sept 1798 was at Armée d'Italie with I Battalion (former 2/6 and 3/6) II Battalion (former 18th Demi-Brigade ), III Battalion (Demi-Brigade of Haute Saone). Chef-de-Brigade Charles-Joseph César Balleydier In march 1796 the 18th légère was attached to 6th Légère to form a new Demi-Brigade called 29th Demi-Brigade legère. Former Demi-Brigades had about 1200-1300 soldiers. Command was awarded to César Balleydier former 18th commander ... during 1799 campaign he was taken prisoner at Mantova by Austrians. It was present at Pastrengo (March 26) in Jean-Baptiste Meyer's brigade (Serurier). It was at Parona (30 march) in the same brigade (1st line). It was shocked in Reserve (Serurier's) at Magnano

 

74th Line infantry Demi-Brigade – I,II, and III Battalions Chef-de-Brigade Antoine-Alexandre Rousseau

1700

The 74th Line infantry, on Sept 22, 1798, was at the 9th Military Territorial Division (Nimes) with I Battalion (former 73rd Demi-Brigade) - II Battalion (former 185th Demi-Brigade).

 
       

Brigade Chef comte Louis Partouneaux in Reserve then to Grouchy division

  1400

29th Line infantry Demi-Brigade I e III Battalion s - Chef-de-Brigade Joseph Boyer [18]

  Garrisons ??

105th Line infantry Demi-Brigade

1400

The 105th Line infantry was, on 22 Sept 1798, at the 19th Mil. Terr. Division (Lyon) with I Battalion (former 9th Demi-Brigade) II Battalion (former 1 Battalion /149th Demi-Brigade). Heir of the famous Lannes' Demi-Brigade (1795).

 

Cavalry Brigade Général Antoine Richepance or Richepanse (5 regiments) in Reserve

 

1069

1st Cavalry Regt. - Chef-de-Brigade (provisional) Pierre Margaron [19]

 

302

12th Regt. Dragoons - Chef-de-Brigade Joseph Pagès wounded at Novi [20]

 

260

1st Hussars regiment - Chef-de-Brigade Joseph-Denis Picard

 

325

9th Regt. Chasseurs à cheval - Chef-de-brigade François Augustin Liébault [21]

 

182

2nd Regt. Chasseurs à cheval - Chef-de-brigade Jean-Baptiste Croutelle

 

??

The former Laboissiére regiment

       
         
         

Battalions

Squadrons

St. Cyr memoirs

Jomini

Chodzko

Gachot (Suchet archive)

Lemoine’s Division

9 or 11

3 or 4

6410

?

nl

5910

Général de Division Louis Lemoine
Adjudant-général Seras
           
             

Brigade Adjutant général Chef-de brigade Louis Gareau

         

2960

 

5th Light infantry Demi-Brigade 2 Battalion s - Chef-de-Brigade Antoine Chatagnier

         

1160

26th Line infantry Demi-Brigade one Battalion [22] - Chef-de-Brigade Guillaume Miquel

         

900

 

The 26th Line infantry - on 22 Sept 1798 was at the 8th Mil. Territorial Division (Marseille) with I Battalion (former 16th Demi-Brigade) II Battalion (1 Battalion 170th Demi-Brigade) III Battalion (various volunteers and gendarmerie). March 26 – Pastrengo battle (Division Delmas - Avantgarde right Grandjean Brigade), it was deployed in the first Line with two Battalions and a chain of Hussars connecting it to Preval rearguard (the other Battalion). Chef de Brigade not known (Molard?). At Magnano - part with 1st Line Brigade Grandjean (Demas) - part (2 Battalion s) with 2nd Line Reserve brigade Préval.

   

80th Line infantry Demi-Brigade one Battalion - Chef-de-Brigade Jean-Antoine Dejean [23]

 

        900  

The 80th Line infantry, on 22 Sept 1798, was at 10th Mil. Terr. Division (Perpignan) with I Battalion (former 13rd Demi-Brigade) - II Battalion (former 2nd and 3rd Battalion s Jura et Herault) - III Battalion (3rd Battalion 7th Demi-Brigade provisoire).

   

Brigade Jean-Mathieu Seras

2950  

20th Light infantry Demi-Brigade I, II, III Battalion s - Chef-de-Brigade Lucotte (who was in Ancona)

1450  

The 20th Light infantry, on 22 Sept 179,8 was at 8th territorial division (Marseille) formed by former Battalions of 10th Demi-Brigade.

   

34th Line infantry Demi-Brigade II and III Battalions. - Chef-de-Brigade Louis Prix Varé

1400  

lst squadron Cisalpine Hussars - 1 sqn - Chef-de-escadron Angelo Lechi

100  
     
     

Grouchy

Battalions

Squadrons

St. Cyr memoirs

Jomini

Chodzko

Gachot (Suchet archive)

Grouchy’s Division

5620 [24]

4670

HQ at Pasturana

Général de Division Emanuel Grouchy
Line Basaluzzo-Pasturana
Adjudant-général Fressinet and Dugommier
 

Brigade baron Charles-Louis-Dieu Donné Grandjean

 

2670

26th Light infantry Demi-Brigade I Battalion ?

 

950

39th Line infantry Demi-Brigade - Chef-de-brigade Antoine-Louis Popon de Maucune

900

92nd Line infantry Demi-Brigade - Chef-de-Brigade Bruno-Albert-Joseph Duplouy

820

Brigade Adjudant généraux Henri-François-Marie Charpentier

2000

93rd Line infantry Demi-Brigade -I / II Battalion s - Chef-de-brigade a.t.p. Charles-Sebastien Marion

1100

99th Line infantry Demi-Brigade - Chef-de-brigade Pierre-Joseph Petit

900

   
Summary  
August, 15, 1799 Novi (27 thermidor an VII) – French Order of Battle
French Army Gen. de Division Barthélemy Catherine Joubert
(37,574-35,487 infantry and 2097 Cavalry, 43 guns)
2nd Commander: Général en Chef en seconde General de Division Jean Victor Marie Moreau
Chef de l’État Major Général: Louis-Gabriel Suchet[25]
Commissaire ordonnateur en Chef: Aubernon
Chef d’Etat Major: général Dessolle
Adjoudant-général à l’Etat Major: Lahorie
Army artillery Commander: General Debelle
Army Engineers Commander: General Chasseloup de Laubat
 
   
Clausewitz’s Data - (15 août 1799.) -Armée d'Italie. - Bataille de Novi. Force
Division Grouchy

5600

Lemoine’s Division

6400

Division Laboissière, later Darnaud

3600

Division Watrin

4500

Division Dąbrowsky

2100

Brigade Miollis

3500

Brigade Colli

3900

Reserve Aile droit

3000

Reserve Aile gauche

5900

Val Bormida Detachments gen. Roguet

2400

Riviera Ponente Detachments gen. Montrichard

2300

Totals

43,200

   

Notes:

[1] The day of arrival of the FML Kray de Krajova was the 12th of August (not the 10th as told in Miliutin). The exact date was witnessed by two reports of general Zach (August 11 and 12) and by the Stutterheim’s articles. Zach underlined also the severe losses Kray had while marching (20 deads of which one was the Oberst Lieutenant Wojna of the Latermann regiment).

[2] A machicolation is a floor opening between the supporting corbels of a battlement, through which stones and lethally hot liquids could be dropped on attackers at the base of a defensive wall.

[3] By January 16, 1799 promoted from chef d'escadron to chef de brigade of the 7e chasseurs à cheval.

[4] Was under Chef de brigade François Guerin d'Etoquigny actually charged to lead the Reserve as provisional général de brigade. In the Mémoires historiques, Rapport de Suchet (Archiv de guerre, Paris) the regiment is not listed in the Order of battle.

[5] The former unit of Chef-de-Brigadecomte Louis Partouneaux was led by Chef-de-Brigade Jean-Baptiste Brunet Born: July 7 1763. Chef-de-Brigade: June 26, 1794 at the 13th Light infantry Demi-Brigade. Chef-de-Brigade on July 1, 1795 transferred to the 25e Demi-Brigade d'Infanterie légère. On June 7, 1799 2nd Chef of the 27e Demi-Brigade d'Infanterie légère. General-de-Brigade (provisional) after his good behaviour at the Trebbia: June 10, 1799. General-de-Division: on June 7, 1802. Died: September 21, 1824

[6] Chef de Brigade Marc-Antoine Coban Vabre Born: February 26, 1743 - Chef de Brigade: May 25, 1797 (25e Demi-Brigade d'Infanterie) - Chef de Brigade: July 27, 1799 (11e demi brigade d'Infanterie) - Colonel: 1803 (11e Regt d'Inf) - General de Brigade: February 1, 1805 - Officer of the Legion d'Honneur: June 14, 1804 - Died: August 4, 1817

[7] Chef-de-brigade François Vergez Born on June 12, 1757. He was promoted chef de brigade at the place of the commander Giradon, left at Gaeta by Macdonald. Colonel on August 30, 1805. General de Brigade: October 23, 1806. Commander of the Legion d'Honneur: August 28, 1810. Empire’s Baron: September 21, 1808. Died on June 20, 1830.

[8] Chef-de-Brigade Pierre-Etienne Petitot Born: February 12, 1752 - Chef-de-Brigade: January 7, 1795 (87e Demi-Brigade d'Infanterie) - Chef-de-Brigade: February 23, 1796 (78e Demi-Brigade d'Infanterie) - General-de-Brigade : September 20, 1793 (refused the promotion) - General-de-Brigade : June 19, 1799 -Commander of the Legion d'Honneur: June 14, 1804 Died: September 7, 1807.

[9] Uncertain his presence at Novi as wounded in June (Trebbia). Claude Louis Gudin, born at Auroux (Niévre) March 22, 1753. Served with the Légion de Saint-Victor from May 1771. On September 21, 1792 he was chef-de-bataillon of the 2nd Battalion de la Creuse (part of the 62nd). He became chef-de-brigade of the 95th Demi-Brigade on June 26, 1794 and in sequence chef of the 62nd by February 8, 1796. In 1797 he was wounded in the right hand by a bayonet cut. Wounded also at the Trebbia, where he got an howitzer ball’s splinter in his thig (June 19). Gudin retired in 1802 from service.

[10] Counting separately - Quesnel + Gardanne = total division. Colli, the reserve and cavalry apart

[11] He joined the 6th Hussars at Albissola (Savona) after Novi, on the last days of August. The regiment, involved in the Pasturana encirclement had actualy only 147 men with 126 horses. Chef de Brigade Pierre-Claude Pajol (Born at Besançon on February 3, 1772 - Chef de Brigade 6th Hussars: July 21, 1799 - General de Brigade: March 1, 1807 - General de Division: August 7, 1812 - Chevalier of the Legion d'Honneur: December 11, 1803 - Officer of the Legion d'Honneur: June 14, 1804 - Commander of the Legion d'Honneur: April 25, 1809 - Grand Officer of the Legion d'Honneur: February 19, 1814 - Baron of the Empire: March 19, 1809 - Count of the Empire: November 25, 1813 - Peer of France: June 2, 1815 - Died: March 20, 1844) . He participated to the revolutionary period at Paris as a sergeant of Volunteers. In 1791 he entered the army as sergeant-major in the 1st bataillon du Doubs, but he was soon named 1st lieutenant in the Saintonge regiment. He was at Valmy as lieutenant of the Grenadiers named as the “Colonne Infernale”. In 1793 he distinguished himself at Hochheim where he was wounded. He returned, recovered, in 1794 as aide-de-camp of general Kleber, fighting at Marchiennes, Fleurus and at the mount Patissel. In 1796 his good behaviour at Altenkirchen granted him the rank of chef d'escadron, on the battlefield. He was in campaign (1797) with the 4th Hussars, at the Rhine passage, at Neuwied, Ostrach and Liebtingen. Then he was transferred in Switzerland under Massena where he distinguished himself again and where he obtained the rank of chef-de-brigade. Transferred in Italy he assumed the command of the 6th Hussars (July 21, 1799) and was at Novi, where he lost almost all his regiment. Returned in France, Pajol was attached to the Lecourbe’s vanguard and participated at the 1800 campaign (receiving also the best references by Moreau for the fight at Hohenlinden). In 1805, after Ulm, he became général de brigade and was in Prussia (Poland) during the 1806-1807 years. In 1809 he had the command of the outposts-line in Bohemia, which was hardly defended until Davout’s arrival. For his behaviour at Eckmuhl, Napoleon gave him the commander cross of the Légion-d'Honneur. At Wagram he charged the Austrian cavalry defending the Danube bridgehead. During the 1812 campaign he led the Davout vanguard, passed the Niemen river, seizing Wilna and Minsk. After an expedition made against the Bagration’s artillery park he was named général-de-division (August 7, 1812). After the Moskowa he was wounded in the right arm, following the general withdrawal. In 1813 he was at Lützen, Bautzen, Buntzlau and Dresden (the shot which truncated the legs of Moreau came from one of his guns). During the retreat he led, provisionally, the 5th cavalry Corps. In 1814 Napoleon gave him the command of the observation army of the rivers Seine, Yonne Loing. In that year he led a famous charge on the Montereau road which granted him the Grand Officer Cross, one of the few acquired on the battlefield. After the 100s days he was named commander of the Cavalry Corps seizing Charleroi, Namur and followed the Prussian until Waterloo with Grouchy, arriving too late to change the battle results. In 1830 Pajol took the leadership of the Insurgency, but was substituted by Gérard, and continued the struggle until the end. On September 20, he was sent to command the 1st territorial division and in November he was in the Peer Chamber at Paris. On October 29, 1842 he retired and died two years later without the honour to become a French Marshall, an award which would have deserved to him.

[12] They were actually 476 men in two Battalion s (source: Liut. Rétoré, Historique du 92e régiment d’infanterie, Lavauzelle, Paris).

[13] They were 1030 as for the regimental history (G. Molard, Historique du 63e régiment d’infanterie, Berger-Levrault, Paris 1887). The 63rd chef-de-bataillon Lelong was named chef-de-brigade on the battlefield.

[14] Chef de Brigade Jean-Claude Moreau - Born: January 15, 1755 - Chef de Brigade: October, 29 1797- until 1803 (14e Demi-Brigade d'Infanterie). General de Brigade: August 29, 1803 until 1812 - commander 3rd brigade of the 6th infantry division - II. Corps. Grand Officer of the Legion d'Honneur: March 19, 1813. Baron of the Empire: May 3, 1810. 1813-1814 – Commander the fortress of Soissons. Dead on December 9, 1828

[15] On December 17, 1798, General Championnet received a compliments letter for his renewed successes; «the Directoire» said the letter «has no doubts you’ll be able to destroy the whole Neapolitan army, after the final gathering of the armée de Rome, and you’ll seize the territories of its disloyal King, promoting the Liberty government; so We confirm the promotion of Bruë in the rank of chef de brigade at the 19e chasseurs à cheval, you have made on the battlefield at Civita-Castellana, by the 3 pluviôse year VII (January 22, 1799). Bruë (Louis-Urbain), was a conventional Officers of the Morbihan; his promotion was got on 27 frimaire an VII (December 27, 1798).

[16] Chef de Brigade François-Marie Clement de la Ronciere. Born on February 2, 1773 at Amiens (Somme), he entered the service, in 1793, as simple soldier in the 13e régiment de chasseurs à cheval. Become 2nd Lieutenant he was with the armies du Nord and of the Sambre-et-Meuse, where he was promoted to the rank of Captain. At the Rhine army he was Staff officers by general Lefebvre and then he returned to his regiment in Italy and to Rome. There he was a Dragoons chef d'escadron, fighting at Modena, the Trebbia, where he was wounded by a shot on his left leg. At Monte-Alto he led a charge, with 150 horsemen, an enemy division of about 6000 soldiers (800 being the cavalry) putting them in rout. He was named Chef-de-brigade «à la suite» of the 19e régiment de chasseurs and the took the leadership of «his» old 16th Dragoons, with whom he was at the Naples army on 1800, at the Gallo-batave armée on 1801 and under Augereau until 1802. In 1803 he had the Star of the membership of the Légion-d'Honneur while on garrison at Soissons (Compiègne camp). By December 31, 1806, Napoleon promoted him to the rank of brigadier general and in 1808 he was also Baron de l’Empire. On April 22, 1809, during the Regensburg battle, he had an arm amputated. As a reward for his severe wound, the Emperor gave him the command of a brigade in the Reserve army of Hautpoul and, on June 11, he named him general of division. With this rank, Clement, was chosen to direct the Special Cavalry School and he was there until 1812, when he was called to command the 27e division militaire. Clement retired from service on October 6, 1815. He was recalle in 1831 as General Cavalry Inspector and, then, as Inspecteur de la Gendarmerie in 1834, after which task he definitevely retired.

[17] The ammunition dotation for the heavy pieces was: 1100 shots for each 8 pdr piece, 1790 shots for each 5 pdr piece, 2000 shots for each 4 pdr piece, 807 shots for each 5 ½ pdr howitzer. (from a general Debelle Report to Moreau – Archiv de guerre – in Gachot cit.)

[18] The 1st and 3rd Battalion s. were at Novi, the II/29 had been taken prisoner at Mantua with Chef Joseph Boyer. He was an aide-de-camp of general Duhesme, when at the armée de Naples. Born: May 4, 1761 Chef-de-Brigade: November 5, 1795. General-de-Brigade: March 8, 1807 Officer of the Legion d'Honneur: June 14, 1804 Chevalier of the Empire: July 11, 1810 Baron of the Empire: November 25, 1811.Died: December 12, 1830

[19] In the place of chef.-de-brigade Jean Juignet, the unit was under Chef-de-Brigade Pierre Margaron, wounded at Novi. Born at Lyon (Rhône: May 1, 1765, he was in the armies du Nord and of the Sambre-et- Meuse. Named provisional Chef-de-Brigade of the 1st Cavalry, on December 23, 1798 (he was officially confirmed in this rank on December 3, 1799) he fought in Italy at the Trebbia and Novi, where he suffered a wound. Later, at Fossano, while performing a mission given by Championnet, he suffered a second severe wound which fractured his right leg. He was General-de-Brigade on August 29, 1803 after a brilliant 1800 campaign. Wounded at Austerlitz he retired until 1806, when he was recalled on duty. In 1807 was in the Observation Corps of Gironde and then in the French Portugal army under Junot. He became General de Division on August 16, 1813 in the ranks of the Grande Armée. Commander of the Legion d'Honneur: June 14, 1804, Baron of the Empire: January 29, 1809, Died at Paris on December 16, 1824.

[20] Chef-de-Brigade Joseph Pagès, Born: 10 March 1754, Chef-de-Brigade: 13 June 1794. General-de-Brigade: 24 December 1805. Officer of the Legion d'Honneur: 13 June 1804. Baron of the Empire: 9 January 1810. Died: 1 September 1814. Pagès, born dragoon in 1781, had been wounded, as lieutenant-colonel, in a clash he had had in 1793 in the forest of Mormale. He was again wounded by two shots at Novi and was promoted Brigadier after Austerlitz. From 1795 till 1797, 12th dragoons were successively attached to the armies of Sambre and the Meuse, of the West and of Mainz. The 21st dragoons, formed in 1793, were incorporated into it on December 21, 1797. The regiment served in Italy in 1798 and in 1799, and returned that year to Germany.

[21] Chef François Augustin Liébault was made provisional chef on June 24, 1799, after the Trebbia. Unfortunately he died during the Novi battle, before being confirmed in his rank. His place was taken by the chef-de-bataillon Jean Pierre Thuillier (confirmed chef-de-brigade on October 6, 1799).

[22] While the Light 26th Demi-Brigade (or two of its Battalions) was taken prisoner at Mantua, after the fortress surrender, the Line 26th Demi-Brigade had had a full campaign. In the 26th Line, which was under Grandjean at Magnano, chef de bataillon Guillaume Miquel, was named Chef de Brigade a titre provisoire on August 3, 1799, after the new destination for the chef Molard. He was officially confirmed in the rank by September 3, 1799 (17 fructidor an VII.).

[23] Chef-de-Brigade Jean-Antoine Dejean, Born: November 25, 1765. Chef-de-Brigade: August 14, 1793 (13e Demi-Brigade de Bataille). Chef-de-Brigade: May 19, 1796 (11e Demi-Brigade de bataille). Chef-de-Brigade: July 11, 1798 (80e Demi-Brigade d'Infanterie). General-de-Brigade : October 19, 1804. Died: November 6, 1848

[24] With Partonneaux.

[25]Louis Gabriel Suchet (born at Lyon, March 2, 1770 – dead at Marseille, January 3, 1826), future duke of Albufera and Maréchal d'Empire (1811), a well educated young man entered the Garde Nationale de Lyon in 1791 in which became a Captain (1792). In September 1793 the Ardèche Volunteers voted him to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, and he was the chef-de-bataillon of the 4e de l'Ardèche, which participated to the Toulon’s siege. There, Suchet, during an action, took prisoner the British general O’Hara. In 1794 was in the armée d'Italie, at Vado, Saint-Jacques and in all fights where division Laharpe was involved. In 1795,at Loano, leading his Battalion he captured three Austrian flags. In 1796 he commanded a Battalion of the 18th Demi-Brigade, under Massena, fighting at Dego, Lodi, Borghetto, Rivoli, Castiglione, Peschiéra, Trento, Bassano, Arcole et Cerea, where he was severely wounded. When his health got better, he was also in the last campaign before the Campo-Formio Treaty. Massena sent him to Bonaparte, to bring the flags captured at Tarvis. He was again wounded at Neumarkt (Styria) and was named chef de brigade on the battlefield (October 1797). In 1798 he was in Switzerland with his Demi-Brigade and then he was attached to the general Brune Staff, during the short swiss campaign. After a short period in which he had the confirmation to the rank of général de brigade he was transferred to the Joubert’s Staff in Piedmont. During this period he had some troubles with the Directory, accused to be a former Emigrée, and this was on of the caused of Joubert’s retirement. He was at Paris and was completely discharged by the judges, returning in service on April 5, 1799, at the armée du Danube. His unit was detached in the Grisons and defended the positions of Davos, Bergen, and Pulgen. Then he caught the link with the main army, at the Rhine springs, passing through the St. Gotthard without troubles. However he suffered a new wound and new charges (upon the Brune government in Switzerland). For these problems he was forced to refuse the rank of division general at the armée d’Egypte and, after the trial, he reached the Massena Staff, completely discharged. There he was named chef d’état-majorand with this rank he was recalled by his friend Joubert, who asked directly for him in Italy. Suchet was able to manage all the questions in Liguria, either about not military matters and continued his job under Championnet. By the 18 brumaire, Bonaparte entrusted Massena with the Italian superior command, and confirmed Suchet as chief of Staff. During the bad days of the Genoa siege, the Suchet detachment was cut off from the city and withdrawn to the Var river. He was able to enter Genoa only by August 22, 1800, after Marengo. In 1801, after six months of armistice, Suchet led the Army Center (around 18000 men in three divisions). At the Mincio passage he supported and disengaged general Dupont in serious troubles, taking 4000 Austrian prisoners of the Bellegarde Korps, at Pozzolo. After Luneville he was named General Inspector of Infantry and was ready to continue his brilliant career, mainly with the Spanish campaigns

 

Placed on the Napoleon Series: January 2009

 

 

 

 

 

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