Military Subjects: Organization, Strategy & Tactics

 

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES.

ABOVILLE (Auguste-Marie), artillery major, Officer of the Legion of Honor, was born in Fère on April 12, 1776.  He entered into the service as an artillery student in 1792, and became captain at the end of 1793; afterwards, almost at once like other nobles was suspended in his functions, then reinstated in his rank the same year.  He distinguished himself in the campaigns of the revolution with the armies of the North, the Rhine and Italy .  Appointed artillery major of the Guard on December 15, 1808, he entered the Austrian campaign in this capacity, where he had an arm carried away at Wagram on July 6 of the same year; named brigadier general three days after, then commandant of the School of Fère, ultimately he held the honor of Peer of France.

ARRIGHI, born in Corsica, embraced the military profession early.  In 1805, he obtained the command of a regiment of dragoons, which he led to the combat of Wertingen, where he demonstrated extraordinary valor; he had a horse killed under him and fell in the midst of enemies whom he threw back with saber blows; his soldiers saved his life.  At Austerlitz, he was awarded the decoration of Commander of the Legion of Honor.  On May 19, 1806, it was made colonel of the regiment of the dragoons of the Guard; a little later named brigadier general and Duke of Padua, he took part in the campaign of 1807, and moreover, was distinguished at the battles of Wagram and Leipzig.   In 1815, Napoleon created him a Peer.

BESSIÈRES, Duke of Istrie, Marshal of the Empire, one of the Colonel-Generals of the Guard, born in 1769 in Pressau (Lot), took up service in the Legion of the Pyrenees on November 1, 1792.  His courage and his talents distinguished him in his first campaigns, and he promptly came to the rank of major in the Army of Italy.  With the engagements of La Favorita and Rivoli, he deserved the greatest praises, and proved that he was worthy to occupy an eminent rank in the army.  During the campaign of Egypt , he commanded the company of the Guides of the General in Chief, and did not cease justifying, in the face of the enemy, the high opinion that his first arms had conceived of him; the rank of brigadier general became the reward of his services in this campaign.  On the decisive day of Marengo, Bessières, at the front of his brigade, gloriously avenged the death of Desaix.  At the Battle of Austerlitz, at the head of the cavalry of the Guard, he fell on the Russian Imperial Guard with an impetuosity that made any resistance useless, took its artillery from them and made captive those who managed to escape the carnage.  In this memorable campaign, the successes that he obtained proved how worthy he was to command the elite of our brave men.  On May 1, 1813, the day before the Battle of Lutzen, Bessières, wanting to reconnoiter the plain, advanced on the sides of the tirailleurs, when he was struck by a ball horizontally, which carried away his wrist, drove into his chest and left him dead on the spot.  Such a disastrous loss was hidden from our troops, because it could have discouraged them: it is said that everyone regretted the death of the famous marshal.

BARDIN (Étienne-Alexander, Baron), born in Paris. Son of the famous painter who was the follower of David, after having devoted his first years to the art, which made his father illustrious, he embraced the cause of freedom and left in 1792, as a recruit, with one of the battalions of Loirel.  His courage advanced him quickly.  He was proposed by Napoleon, on December 16, 1811, as Colonel of the Pupils of the Guard, and was named in 1813 Commander of the Legion of Honor, after the battle of Dresden, where he was distinguished at the head of a division of the Young Guard.

BERTHEZÈNE (the Baron), born in Provence, was distinguished, as of his youth in soldiering. In 1807 he was a major of the 65th Regiment of Line.  In 1811, he was named adjutant-general for the corps of grenadiers of the Guard.  Today General Berthezène is a Peer of France.  He had been a governor of Algeria after 1830.

BOINOD (Jean-Daniel-Matthieu), was born on October 20, 1756 in Vevey, Canton of Vaud ( Switzerland ).  He followed the occupation of printer and publisher and when he entered the service, in August 1792, he was made quartermaster-treasurer in the Legion of Allobroges.  Provisional commissioner of war (commissaire des guerres), 25 brumaire year II, and employed at the siege of Toulon, where the artillery service was entrusted to him.  It is there that his relationship with Napoleon started and an intimacy was established between them, which resisted all the tests of time.  The government named Boinod commissioner of war 17-vendémaire year IV, and attached him to the Army of Italy, where he deployed such intelligence and probity that the general in chief gave him a gratuity of 100,000 fr., in assignats (paper money), it is true; but Boinod, whose disinterest equaled his patriotism, refused.  Twenty-four years later, Napoleon took account of his delicacy, by bequeathing 100,000 fr. to him by his third codicil of April 24, 1821.  Boinod took part in the campaign of year VIII, with the Army of Italy, in the capacity of chief ordainer (ordonnateur en chef).  When, under the terms of the decree of the Consuls, the people were consulted whether Napoleon Bonaparte would be named Consul for Life, Boinod, because of the inflexibility of his principles, protested by a negative vote; he was the only one in the old Army of Italy who did so.  The First Consul did not take any offense, and 12-vendémaire year XII, he employed him with the cavalry of the camps established on the ocean coast.  Napoleon further displayed his lack of concern for this act of opposition, in 1804, by integrating this citizen in the list of the members of the Legion of Honor. Boinod made the campaigns of year XIV, with the Grand Army, and had, on June 21, 1806, inspected the 2nd Corps, in the Frioul.  Next on September 17, the Emperor attached him to the Ministry of War of the Kingdom of Italy, named him Knight of the Iron Crown and Officer of the Legion of Honor.  Boinod accepted, on March 15, 1808, an important mission in Dalmatia, a mission he discharged with the greatest success.  Named on April 19 the same year Reviewing Inspector of the Army of Italy, the Prince Viceroy, by decree of May 15, 1809, entrusted to him the position of general superintendent of the army in Germany .  Chief Inspector, by Imperial decree of January 20, 1810, Boinod continued to be used in the Army of Italy.  When the misfortunes of 1812, 1813 and 1814 weighed on France ; when he who had filled the universe with his name had become the object of the ingratitude of all and the cowardly treason of some, Boinod, who had protested against the establishment of the Empire, ran to stand beside his benefactor and of his friend.  Renouncing his position, understanding his future, he went to Switzerland , establishing his family there, crossed Italy , embarked at Plombino and unloaded at the Island of Elba.  As soon as Napoleon learned of the arrival from Boinod, he sent someone to find him and hastened to receive him.  The following day, an order-of-the-day notified the troops that Boinod was charged with being Chief of Administrative Services for the Island of Elba.  Stripped of control of the Corps of Inspectors of Reviews, by Royal Decree of December 13, 1814, Boinod returned to France with the Emperor, in March 1815, and was named Inspector in Chief of Reviews of the Imperial Guard.  Stripped of control of the army again, after the second abdication of Napoleon, he was however allowed to retire, by special decision of the King, April 16, 1817, and was obliged, to make a living for his family, to accept a modest employment as special agent for management of food of Paris, which he obtained on May 1, 1818.  During the twelve years that he carried out these functions, he brought to this service improvement, which produced important savings for the State.  After the revolution of July, nominated President of the Commission of the Former military civil servants, by Royal Decision of August 14, he gave his resignation as Director of Subsistence, and on December 31 next, again his rank as a military superintendent within active cadre; on April 20, 1831, he was named Commander of the Legion of Honor, and allowed a definitive retirement on May 27, 1832.  After having provided a long and honorable career, this man, cut in the cloth of the old, died in Paris on May 28, 1842.  The Corps of the Superintendent raised a modest tomb at the cemetery of the Mount-Parnassus, and devoted to him a bronze medal representing his features, with this inscription: “He had the distinction of honor to be mentioned in the will of Napoleon.”

CHASTEL (Louis-Pierre, Baron), born in Veigi, near Carouge, in Savoy, on April 29, 1774, was a major with the 24th Regiment of Dragoons, when he was named second major of the horse grenadiers of the Guard.  In 1805, following the Battle of Austerlitz, he was created an Officer of the Legion of Honor, he made the campaign of Russia in 1812, and was particularly distinguished at the Battle of the Moscowa: Chastel was quoted with praise in several bulletins.

CHRISTIANI (Charles-Joseph, Baron), major commanding the 2nd Regiment of Foot Grenadiers; born February 27, 1772, serving a long time with distinction, and was particularly noted on February 28, 1814, at the combat of Gué-à-Trim (Tresmes), on left bank of Thêrouane.  At Mount-Saint-Jean, he was at the head of 2nd Regiment of Grenadiers of the Guard.

COLBERT (Édouard, Baron), Lieutenant General, commanding the red lancers of the Guard. After having served with distinction over several years, and having merited his rise to the rank of brigadier general, he covered himself with glory in the campaign of 1809, against Austria , in particular at the combat of Amstetten, on May 4.  He contributed strongly to the gains at the Battle of Raab, where he was decorated with the Legion of Honor, and gathered new laurels on the day of Moscowa; later, he seized the considerable magazines of Willecka and Sorcha, and was named as commander of the light horse lancers of the Guard, which he led, in 1813, at Bautzen.  He was again distinguished, in 1814, at Montmirail and Craonne.  On November 28, 1813, he was elevated to the rank of division general.  On the day of Mount-Saint-Jean, General Colbert was wounded and his regiment almost destroyed.

CORBINEAU (Jean-Baptiste, Count), born in Marchiennes (Nord) on August 1, 1776, embraced a military career at the beginning of the revolution.  Captain of the horse chasseurs of the Guard at Eylau, he was named squadron head on the battlefield.  In Spain , at the Battle of Burgos, in 1808, he obtained the rank of major; at Wagram, in 1809, he showed a heroic courage, was wounded and named general.  It was he who, in 1812 and at the time of the disastrous retirement from Russia , found a passage at Beresina that saved part of the French Army.  This important service led to being named general of division and aide-de-camp of Napoleon: it was in this capacity that he made the campaign of Saxony.  In 1813, he was with Vandamme at the Kulm affair: he maneuvered skillfully and saved his division.  In the defense of our territory, in 1814, he fought the Prussians and Russians at Rheims, and this city was retaken.  He was distinguished at Montmirail, and returned in his functions of aide-de-camp of Napoleon, in the campaign of Belgium in, 1815.

CURIAL (Philibert-Jean-Baptist, Count), born at Saint-Pierre-d’Albigny, in Savoy, on April 21, 1774.  Soldier and intrepid officer, he became major in 1799, during the campaign of Egypt .  Colonel of the 88th Regiment of Line in 1804, he was distinguished at the Battle of Austerlitz, and was named Commandant of the Legion of Honor.  In 1805, colonel-major of the foot chasseurs of the Guard, it was not long before being made general.  He was distinguished at Eylau and Friedland.  Commanding the tirailleurs of the Guard in 1809, he was noted on the 21st and May 22nd, at the combat of Gross-Aspern and the Battle of Essling.  General of division in 1810, he commanded the chasseurs of the Guard during the campaigns of 1812, and was charged, in April 1813, with the organization of the twelve regiments of the Young Guard, formed in Mainz; he commanded these same (units) in Saxony, and was mentioned again at the Battle of Wachau, where he took twelve hundred prisoners, among whom was General Meerfeld; he also contributed to the gains at the Battle of Hanau against the Bavarians.  Curial, known for his intrepidity, places himself in the first rank among the generals of the Guard.

DALHMANN, Brigadier General, Colonel of the Horse Chasseurs of the Guard.  His life was only one continuous of triumph; his death was that of a hero.  At the bloody Battle of Eylau, in the general charge, which decided the victory, Dalhmann perished at the head of his regiment.

DAVOUST (Louis-Nicolas), Marshal of France, Duke of Auerstaëdt, Prince of Eckmühl; born in Annoux on May 10, 1770, he studied at the Military Academy of Paris.  Entered the military profession in 1785, with the rank of second lieutenant in the Champagne Regiment, he soon moved on to command a battalion of the Yonne, and was noted in the Army of North for his brilliant conduct.  His numerous and important services merited his successive promotions through all the ranks, up to that of brigadier general. He was employed in the Army of the Moselle, attended the blockade of Luxembourg , and joined then the Army of the Rhine, where Pichegru employed him with the defense of Montaign (GdD defending Mannheim).  Made captive at the surrender of this town, Davoust was exchanged a few months after, and was, with the army of Moreau, at the crossing of the Rhine, on April 20, 1797.  There, Davoust was distinguished in the bloody combats of Diersheim, of Hounau, of Kentzig and of Halasch.  After the conclusion of peace, he pinned his fortune to Bonaparte, and followed him to Egypt , where he commanded, under the orders of Desaix, the division, which penetrated into Upper Egypt, and was particularly distinguished at Gizeh and Zion; he saved to some extent the flotilla, which brought provisions to the French Army.  At Samanhout, he charged at the head of the cavalry a considerable number of Arabs, and put them to flight; then he covered himself with glory at the battles of Thebes, of Kéné, of Abouhamana, of Esney, of Cophtos, and contributed strongly to the glorious day of Aboukir.  Returning to France in 1800, and made division general, Davoust obtained command of the grenadiers of the Consular Guard, was named Marshal of France in 1804, and one of the general majors of the Guard.  In 1805, he commanded one of divisions of the Camp of Bologna.  Called to Germany in 1805, he was distinguished at Ulm and Austerlitz.  In 1807, at Jena, where he commanded the right wing of the army, he demonstrated extraordinary valor and had his clothes riddled with musket balls; but he directed his army corps with so much of skill in the village of Auerstaëdt, that his movements were considered the principal reason for victory.  Napoleon remembered his satisfaction with these events by conferring upon him the title of Duke of Auerstaëdt.  Davoust entered Berlin at the head of his troops, and penetrated deep into Poland .  At Eylau, at Heilsberg, Friedland, he continued to add to his military reputation.  The campaign of Austria , of 1809, provided him with new occasions for his courage to shine.  Davoust had one of the most beautiful parts in the victory of Eckmühl, whose name, attached to a principality, was then decreed to him by the Emperor; then he seized one of the islands of the Danube, in front of Presbourg, which taken, was a prelude to, at Guzersdorff, the famous battle of Wagram.  During the campaign of Russia , in 1812, he was in charge of the command of the First Corps.  On July 23, he beat Prince Bagration at Mogilev, and deployed his usual valor at the Battle of Moscowa, where he was wounded and had two horses killed under him.  Davoust reached the apex of his military reputation by the beautiful defense of Hamburg, in 1814, where he successively resisted the repeated attacks of the Swedes, the Prussians and the Russians.  After the disasters of Mount-Saint-Jean, Davoust received the general command of the army under the walls of Paris; but his efforts to reorganize it were not crowned with success, owing to spending too much time on his administrative duties, perhaps he signed with too much precipitation the capitulation from which more advantages could have been obtained. He withdrew then to the left bank of the Loire, and caused the disbanding of the entire army to the authority of the King.  Davoust died under the Restoration.

DOGUERREAU (Louis, Baron), born in Dreux on July 11, 1777; student of the artillery school, he was employed in 1795 with the Army of the Rhine in the capacity of lieutenant, then as captain, in 1799, with the Army of Egypt; and was wounded at the siege of Saint-Jean d' Acre.  Becoming a battalion head in 1803, his coolness and his bravery made him obtain, in 1806, the rank of major in artillery of the Guard.  In 1807, he was named colonel and chief of staff of artillery to the army corps of General Sébastiani, and made the campaign of Spain ; he was distinguished at the battles of Talavera, of La Reina and of Almonacid.  In 1813, he made the campaign of Saxony as colonel of horse artillery of the Guard, and proved again how worthy he was to command it.

DORSENNE. He entered a military career at seventeen years.  Born of a father who had passed his life in combat against the enemies of his country, he felt the thirst for glory early: also his first steps were marked by brilliant deeds which elevated him in a short time from the rank of private to that of general; each advance which he obtained was the reward for some act of intrepidity; in a word, he could justify the opinion that the Emperor held of him, and proved, in all the circumstances of his life, that he could command of the officers who Napoleon chose to belong to his old Guard.  The Marshal Oudinot, wounded at the Battle of Essling, was obliged to give up his command: Dorsenne, who commanded the foot grenadiers and chasseurs of the Guard, accepted the order to join his regiments with the crack corps of combined grenadiers, deprived momentarily of their valorous chief.  In this battle, Dorsenne had two horses killed under him; one of them, while falling, fell back on him resulting in a contusion to the head, which thereafter, was to deprive the army of one of its most brave champions.  Returned to Paris, after the peace of Vienna, he was sent to Spain with twenty thousand soldiers:  Napoleon, having identified the need to have Marshal Bessières near him, had not found a more able or worthier man than Dorsenne to replace him.  This one completed what his predecessor had so gloriously begun: he retook all the towns which had been lost, purged the country of the bands of guerrillas who infested it, and took positions such, that the English army, to avoid its destruction, had no other option but to withdraw promptly to their processions in Portugal.  It was following this brilliant campaign that the beautiful Dorsenne, as he was then known in the army, was obliged to undergo the trepan operation, from which he did not survive.

DROUOT (Antoine, Count), was born in Nancy on January 11, 1774.  At sixteen years, he was considered able to be admitted among the numbers of the artillery officers and was exempted to spend two years at the school of application.  Drouot stayed with this arm in all the campaigns of the revolution, and in particular that of Egypt .  Many exploits, featuring an astonishing bravery, marked each moment of his career.  In 1809, he was named major of the foot artillery of the Guard.  Brigadier general, he was notable everywhere he was present; imperturbable, cold-blooded, the acuity of his glance, led to his being called near Napoleon in the capacity of aide-de-camp, on March 7, 1813.  On May 2 at the battle the Battle of Lutzen, he gave new evidence of his bravery, while charging at the gallop with the light artillery of the Guard; moreover he was noted the 28th at the affair of Bautzen, and was promoted to the rank of general of division on September 3, 1813.  At Wachau, on October 3, attacked by the enemy cavalry, in very superior numbers, he ordered to the gunners to form their pieces in square, and loaded with grapeshot. His orders were carried out with such precision that in one moment the enemy was put to rout.  Drouot did not show less valor at Hanau.  After the Treaty of Fontainebleau, he wanted to share in the exile of which he had shared the victories: he followed Napoleon to the Isle of Elba and was a military governor of this principality.  In May 1815, he commanded the advanced guard of Napoleon, who marched on Paris.  At Mount-Saint-Jean, he proved that one could obtain a triumph even when given defeat, rejoining the army at Laon, and obtaining the command of the Guard, that he only left with its dismissal.  Included in the ordinance of July 21, he was made captive, and appeared at the Council of War in April 1816.  Marshal Macdonald, assigned as his witness, recounted to the audience a bright truth of the general’s conduct. Discharged by a judgment, General Drouot withdrew himself to his birthplace.

DUPONT (Xavier-Alexandre-Joseph), Captain with the 1st Regiment of the Voltigeurs of the Imperial Guard, was born in Mons on September 19, 1774.  Entered the Legion of Béthune on April 12, 1792, there was named second lieutenant, after having remained in the lower ranks for ten months.  He was successively a part of the Army of North, those of Sambre-and-Meuse, of Italy , of the Rhine, of Germany , of Spain , and finally of the Grand Army.  He was a captain with the 25th Regiment of Tirailleurs when he entered, in this capacity, the 1st Regiment of the Voltigeurs of the Guard, on June 8, 1809.  Dupont was gloriously distinguished on several occasions, among them, at Tretta, where he dispersed, with some men, an insurrection of peasants; at the retirement of Trebbia, where, with a small number of soldiers, he pushed through with his withdrawal a squadron of Chasseurs of Bussy (émigrés), which was prepared to harass the rear of the regiment; at Novi, where, being on patrol and encircled by enemy cavalry, he got clear and managed to save, while carrying on his shoulders, a soldier whom he did not want to lose.  Dupont was killed in Russia , from a shot received at the taking of Smolensk, on August 25, 1812; he had been named a member of the Legion of Honor on April 24, 1807.

DUROSNEL (Antoine-Jean, Count), born in Paris on November 9, 1771, gained most of his military reputation with General d’Harville, which took up this strong young person as an aide-de-camp.  A decided taste for the military career, a heroic courage and constant studies justified his rapid advancement. At Austerlitz, he displayed extraordinary valor, and was elevated to the rank brigadier general; at Jena, he charged the enemy with so much intrepidity, that it determined the defeat of the Prussians. In the campaign of 1809, he became general of division; he was thought dead at Essling, where he was seriously wounded and made captive. In 1813, he was governor of Dresden.  General Durosnel was aide-de-camp of the Emperor for a long time.

FRIANT (Louis, Count), Lieutenant General; born in Morlincourt ( Somme), commanding the foot grenadiers.  In 1781, Friant took up service in the regiment of the French guards, and was named corporal of grenadiers; shortly afterwards, non commissioned-officer-instructor, he preserved this rank over seven years, and left the army on February 7, 1787.  In 1789, Friant again took up service as a non commissioned officer, and after soon became an adjutant major of the section of the Arsenal: he refused the command of the 9th battalion of Paris, which was offered to him, and only accepted it when it was necessary to go to the frontier.  Friant took part in campaign of Egypt , and was distinguished at all the brilliant actions which took place in this campaign, and in particular at the battles of Heliopolis, of Belbeys, of Boulacq and of Cairo.  On March 8, 1801, he received the landing of the English army in Aboukir Bay, disputed the ground to them step by step, made his retirement on Alexandria, and only gave up this town after a siege of six months.  On his return to France , Friant was named general of division and inspector general of the infantry.  Employed in the grand army, during the campaign of 1805, he strongly contributed to the beautiful day of Austerlitz, where he had four horses killed under him, and was constantly at the height of the fray.  Napoleon, to demonstrate his satisfaction with the singular services that he had contributed in the course of this campaign, named him Grand-Eagle of the Legion of Honor, and gave him an endowment of 20,000 fr.  On October 14, 1806, Friant contributed with his division to the Jena victory, and covered himself with glory at the battle of Eylau and that of Tann.  In 1812, he became commandant of the grenadiers of the Guard, and took part in the campaign of Russia in this capacity; he fought with distinction at Smolensk, was wounded at the Battle of Moscowa, and was noted at Dresden, at Wachau and at Leipzig.  He took a beautiful part at the bloody action of Hanau, and demonstrated extraordinary valor during the campaign of 1814, in particular at Montmirail and Champ-Aubert.  In 1815, Friant still commanded the grenadiers of the Guard, and guided our old phalanxes at Fleurus and Mount-Saint-Jean, where he was himself seriously wounded.

GROS (Louis), Brigadier General, Colonel-Major of the foot chasseurs of the Guard, born in Carassonne on May 3, 1767.  At eighteen years old, he began his service and was a sergeant in 1790; his courage advanced him promptly.  In 1793, he was named captain on the battlefield.  Gros was particularly distinguished in the armies of Italy , of the Pyrenees, of England , of Holland and the Rhine; in the year XII, he was allowed in the Guard, and it was at the head of the foot chasseurs that he made all the campaigns of the Grand Army.  His military talents and his bravery were pointed out mainly on the immortal days of Austerlitz, of Jena, of Eylau, and Friedland.  While placing him at the head of the regiment of the foot chasseurs of his Guard, Napoleon appointed him Baron and Commandant of the Legion of Honor; he was also Knight of the Iron Crown and Maximillian of Bavaria.  Gros died under the Restoration.

HARLET (Louis, Baron), born on August 15, 1772.  His bravery and his talents allowed his being entrusted with a regiment during the campaign of Russia .  Named brigadier general in 1813, he increased his military reputation in this rank.  In 1815, Napoleon placed him at the head of one of the regiments of foot grenadiers of the Guard.

HULIN (Pierre-Auguste, Count), born in Geneva on September 6, 1758.  Captain of a company of chasseurs of the barriers, Hulin was soon battalion head; he went to the Army of Italy, where he made his first campaigns under General Bonaparte, in the capacity of adjutant general.  He commanded the Chateau of Milan in 1797 and 1798.  Becoming general of division, Hulin accepted the command of grenadiers of the Consular Guard, in 1803.  He was distinguished during the glorious campaign of Austria , in 1805, and was selected to command the city of Vienna.  He still made the campaign of 1806, and was named commandant of Berlin.  Returning to France , he obtained the command of the 1st Military Division (Paris), where he remained up to about 1814.  General Hulin died blind and at a very-advanced age.

JANIN (Claude, Baron), born in Chambéry in 1775, served for a long time in the Guard, and was detached to the Viceroy of Italy, in Milan, to organize the guard of the prince.  During the campaign of Russia , he commanded a platoon of elite gendarmes of the Guard; in 1814, he was made brigadier general, and in 1815, Peer of France.

KRASINSKI (Vincent, Count), Polish General, was chamberlain of Napoleon, and Colonel of the First Regiment of Light Horse Lancers of the Guard.  He was distinguished especially in the campaign of 1812, by taking part in all the combats, which the Poles made on the Russians.  In 1813, he was named brigadier general, and general of division in 1814.

LALLEMAND (Dominique, Baron), born in Metz, strongly embraced the military profession at a young age; he advanced due to his intrepidity and his talents; he had arrived at the rank of brigadier general of artillery at the time of the abdication of Napoleon.  In 1815, appointed lieutenant general, he fought at Mount-Saint-Jean at the head of the artillery of the Guard, and returned then under the walls of Paris with the Guard, which he followed beyond the Loire. (See in Book XV, the Chapter entitled: The Guard after Waterloo, Brigands of the Loire and the Field of Asylum.)

LARIBOISSIÈRE (The Count).  His great talents and his courage quickly raised him to the rank of brigadier general; in 1806, he demonstrated extraordinary valor during the campaign of Poland , and obtained the rank of general of division commanding the artillery at the siege of Danzig.  In 1809, at the head of the artillery of the guard, he stopped the Austrians at Essling, and dispersed them at Wagram.  In 1812, he had organized the immense artillery, which thundered at Moscow with such terrible detonations that had not disturbed those plains since the day of Poltava and then remained in those plains.  General Lariboissière, died on December 29, 1812, on the banks of Niemen, having experienced the pain of the loss of his son, killed at the Battle of Moscowa.

LARREY (Dominique-Jean, Baron), born in Bodeau, close to Baguères, in 1766, an excellent medical student and devoted entirely to the surgical art.  In 1798, he accompanied General Bonaparte to Egypt ; as chief surgeon of the French Army, or often seen on foot in the breech paused to treat wounds, in the midst of the greatest dangers.  He made medical observations in these regions, which he published in 1803.  There is a report by him on the amputations of the limbs following the gunshot wounds, and a very-esteemed memoir of military surgery.  Larrey rendered services to the army such that it is impossible for us to enumerate here: also it honors us to say he took part in all the campaigns of Grand Army in the capacity of Surgeon in Chief of the Guard, and of the military hospital of Gros-Caillou.  Only one word will be enough to praise him: while speaking about him, the Emperor said, at Sainte-Helena: “He is the most virtuous man that I never have met."

LAURISTON (Jacques-Alexandre-Bernard-Law, Count), was born on February 1, 1768, and embraced the military career early.  He was employed in the artillery and there obtained a fast advancement, as he had as much talent as he had courage.  Becoming aide-de-camp of Napoleon, he was entrusted with important missions; he was welcomed with enthusiasm by the people of London, where he was sent in 1801 to carry the ratification of the Peace of Amiens.  At Wagram, he decided the victory while making the center of the Austrian army lose one mile of ground, their rout involving the two wings.  After being employed as Ambassador in Russia , General Lauriston took part in the campaign of Saxony and was distinguished at Koenigswartha, at Weissig and at Bautzen.  He entered in Breslau on June 1, crushed the Russians on August 18 at Liebenichen, crossed the Bober the 21st, and obtained new successes at Jauer and Wachau; after having shown the same valor at Leipzig, he was turned back on the bridge located between this city and the suburb of Lindenau: the way cut, he fell into the Elster with his horse, was made prisoner and taken to Berlin.  Lauriston died Minister for the House of the King Louis XVIII.

LEFÈVRE-DESNOUETTES (Charles, Count), born in Paris on December 14, 1775, enrolled at the beginning of the revolution and arrived successively at the first ranks of the army.  At Austerlitz, he demonstrated extraordinary valor, and was promoted to the rank of brigadier general.  Many successes had already marked his marches in the fields of Spain , in 1808, where he was seriously wounded and made captive.  Napoleon, by blaming the impetuosity, which sometimes made him forget the laws of prudence, rewarded him at this place for this intrepidity, which although likewise a fault, made him keep producing new triumphs.  After his exchange, he was named general of division, and was called in 1809 to command of the horse chasseurs of the Guard.  Returning to Spain in 1811, he was again noted at Figueras.  In 1812, Napoleon carried him away to Russia ; he was always close to him in the retirement, and took part in his dangers.  In the campaign of Saxony, he strongly contributed to the success at the Battle of Bautzen, and seized, on August 19, the mountains of Georgenthal.  In 1814, at Brienne, he received several lance blows and a blow of a bayonet.  He escorted Napoleon up to the place of his embarkation for the Island of Elba. His valor shone with a new gloss at Mount-Saint-Jean.

LETORT (The Baron).  His valor and his talents placed him at the head of the Dragoons of the Guard, during the formation of this corps in 1806.  In 1809, he led a squadron of this regiment in Spain , and was noted at the Battle of Burgos.  During the campaign of Russia , he had frequent occasions to be singled out, and was particularly distinguished at the combat of Malojaroslawetz, the 24th and 25th of October, 1812.  At Wachau, in 1813, he executed the boldest and most decisive charges, at the head of the dragoons and lancers of the Guard; he had a horse killed under him at Hanau, where he was wounded.

MICHEL (Pierre, Baron), born in Pointre (the Jura).  At Austerlitz, he deployed with such valor, at the head of the 40th Regiment of Line, of which he was a major, that he was judged suitable to cross over with the same rank to the grenadiers of the Guard.  At Eylau, he was made Colonel of the Legion of Honor; shortly after he was named general.  In 1812 and 1813, the campaigns of Russia and Saxony offered many occasions for him to support his reputation of bravery.  In 1814, he was wounded at Montmirail, and was named general of division on the battlefield.  In 1815, he took up arms again, and found, at the Battle of Waterloo, on June 18, a glorious death, worthy of his bravery: it was he who pronounced these sublimes words, allotted in error to General Cambronne: “The Guard dies and does not give in.” (See on this subject the account that we made of this day, as well as the notes affixed at the bottom of pages 660 and 661.)

MORLAND (F. - L.), Colonel of the Horse Chasseurs of the Guard; born in Souilly ( Meuse) on August 11, 1771, entered into the service in 1791 as a simple chasseur.  His merit advanced him quickly up to the rank of major.  In the year XI, he was allowed into the horse chasseurs of the Guard, where he found new occasions to be recognized.  He was a major of this regiment when Napoleon appointed him colonel, to replace Prince Eugene, called to the throne of Italy .  Morland successfully took part in all the campaigns from 1792 to the year III, at the affair of Sprimont.  On the memorable day of Austerlitz, at the head of the Horse Chasseurs of the Guard, he charged the artillery of the Russian Imperial Guard, and took it; but in this brilliant deed, Morland was killed by blow of grapeshot.  On March 7, 1805, a funeral service was celebrated in his honor in the metropolitan church of Paris.

MORTIER (Édouard-Casimir-Joseph, Duke of Trèvise), born in Cambrai in 1768, entered the service in 1792, as lieutenant of carabiniers, and soon worked from the capacity of captain to the head a company of volunteers of his department.  The Battles of Jemappes, of Neerwinden, of Sellemberg, offered the occasion for him to show his valor; and the day of Hondschoote credited him with the rank of adjutant general. At the blockade of Maubeuge, he was wounded by a blow of grapeshot; still fought at Mons, at Brussels, at Leuven, at Fleurus; went on to Maastricht with the corps of General Kléber, directed the attack of Fort Saint-Pierre; and was then in the crossing of the Neuwied, under the command of Marceau.  In 1796, General Lefebvre, who commanded the advanced-guard of the Army of the Sambre-and-Meuse, consigned to him his advanced posts.  At the Battle of Freidburg, he was the one who forced the passage of the Nidda; and at Wildendorf, a few days after he covered himself in glory by crushing the enemy.  During this campaign, Gressau, Germandeu, Schweinfurt, and many other important posts, were removed by Mortier: at the combat of Ilsfeld, his conduct was above any praise.  After the Peace of Campo-Formio, he refused the rank of brigadier general for command of the 23rd Regiment of Cavalry; but with the opening of the campaign of 1799, he was called to the Army of the Danube, with the title of brigadier general, commanding the advanced posts.  On the day of Liptingen, he obtained a brilliant success.  Passing to the Helvetian (Swiss) Army, he took the command of a division, which was distinguished at the combat of Mutten and with all those which led up to the capture of Zurich: he directed, with General Klein, the attack on this city on left bank.  At Sargans, at Treias, Tamius, new exploits increased the military glory, which he had already acquired.  Mortier was then named commander of the 2nd Division of the Army of the Danube, which he left at the end of the some months, to pass to that of 15th and the 16th military divisions.  In 1803, he was in charge of the command of the army intended to seize the Electorate of Hanover.  This expedition ended in the Convention of Sublingen. On returning to Paris, Napoleon named him one of the four Colonel-Generals of the Consular Guard, and entrusting to him the command of artillery and the seamen.  In 1804, Mortier was made Marshal of the Empire, and preserved his rank in the Guard; in September of the same year, he was placed at the head of a division of the Grand Army, commanded by the Emperor in person.  In this memorable campaign, Mortier descended the left bank of the Danube, cut the communications of the Russian Army with Moravia, and defended at the famous combat of Dürrenstein, where, with a body of four thousand men, he beat the Russian army, under the orders of Kutusov, more than thirty thousand soldiers strong.  During the following campaigns, we can cite the numerous days which were glorious for the Marshal, those of Jena, Eylau and Friedland. Sent to Spain in 1808, he commanded the 5th Corps, was distinguished at the siege of Saragossa, in February 1809; winning the Battle of Oçana in November, assisted the operations of Marshal Soult against Badajoz, was charged with the siege of Cadiz, and still battled the Spaniards, on February 19, 1811, at the Battle of Gebora.  In 1812, Mortier was distinguished in Russia in a very particular way, and left Moscow last, after having made blown up the Kremlin.  In 1813, he defended Frankfurt, where he reorganized the Young Guard, of which he had the command during all the campaign of Saxony; he fought at Lutzen, at Dresden, at Wachau, Leipzig and Hanau.  In 1814, he delayed for a long time the march of the allied armies on the capital, and ceased fighting only when all means of resistance had become impossible.  Marshal Mortier, that the bullets and the grapeshot had respected so many times on hard fought battlefields of Europe, died in Paris on July 20, 1835, victim of the Fieschi attack.

MOUTON-DUVERNET. Full of talent and bravery, it is at the point of his sword that he would conquer all his ranks. Germany , Prussia , Poland , were his theatres of glory.  In Spain , it commanded a body of the Young Guard, and showed extraordinary valor.  He was a colonel in 1807 and general of division in 1813.  At the affair of Uclés, in Spain, General Mouton-Duvernet, then colonel of a regiment of the Young Guard, after seizing the town of Uclés, defended by eight thousand men, joining together some dragoons and pursing the enemy; he arrived in front of a column of four thousand men, pierced the center, and captured a flag after having killed the officer who carried it.  During this time, the 1st Regiment and the remainder of the division arrived, and the four thousand men laid their arms down.  At Mount-Saint-Jean, in 1815, he increased his beautiful military reputation further, and to the regret of his many admirers he found on the battlefield the only death of which he was worthy.

ORDENER (The Count) took part in all the wars of the revolution; as a private, he would rise successively up to the rank of brigadier general.  In 1803, he was sent to Portugal , then appointed commandant of Brest, and came, in 1804, to be placed at the head of the horse grenadiers of the Guard.  He led them to at Austerlitz, and it is under his orders that they carried out those brilliant and decisive charges, which could decide the success of the day.  This campaign merited Ordener the rank of general of division.  His services, as many as they were honorable, were rewarded by his admission to the Senate and his nomination as governor for the Chateau of Compiegne, where he died in 1811, struck down by an attack of apoplexy.

ORNANO (The Count), born in Corsica in 1784, commanded a battalion of chasseurs of this island during the campaign of 1805, and was named officer of the Legion of Honor after the battle of Austerlitz, where he was distinguished.  After the campaign, he was named as the commandant of the dragoons of the Guard, and went as their head in 1806 to 1807.  He followed Marshal Ney to Spain , and constantly was noted for his brilliant deeds there.  On June 26, 1809, he faced much artillery at the crossing of the Navia, and took four pieces of cannon at the combat of El Tormes.  Named brigadier general, he passed into Russia .  From his conduct at Ostrovno and Moscowa, he was raised to the rank of general of division, and took part, in this capacity, the campaigns of Saxony and France , during which he would support his brilliant reputation.

PETIT (Jean-Martin, Baron), born on July 22, 1772.  Already remarkable for his many services, he was distinguished in the expedition of Egypt , as aide-de-camp of General Friant; Petit was particularly noted during the campaign of 1806, against the Prussians and the Russians; and on June 28, 1813, he was elevated to the grade of brigadier general and that of Commander of the Legion of Honor.  Petit, in the Guard, made the campaign of France : it was he who Napoleon embraced, at Fontainebleau, when he read his good-byes to the Guard, before leaving for the Island Elba.  At Mount-Saint-Jean, Petit commanded, in the capacity of major, the lst Regiment of Foot Grenadiers, and it was at the head of these brave men that he supported and protected the retirement gloriously.  General Petit is today a Peer of France and commandant of the Home of the Invalides.

POUL LA COSTE (Joseph-Victor), grenadier lieutenant of the Old Guard, Chevalier of the Legion of Honor; born in Mézin (Lot-et-Garonne) on July 21, 1791, entered the Imperial Military School of Saint-Cyr at the age of eighteen years.  He left in March 1811, as second lieutenant in the 15th Regiment of Light Infantry and made the campaign of Germany immediately, under the command of Marshal Davoust. Promoted, on September 2, 1812, to the rank of first lieutenant in the company of carabiniers of the same regiment, Poul La Coste made the campaign of Russia .  After the evacuation of Moscow, the Friant division, to which this regiment belonged formed part of the advanced-guard constantly and preserved this perilous station until October 18, in front of Kalouga.  Though hardly twenty-three years old, but bringing together the necessary qualities to enter the Guard, Poul La Coste was incorporated, on January 22, 1813, in the 1st Regiment of Grenadiers of the Old Guard with the rank of captain, and successively attended all the battles of the campaign of France.  He was present at the good-byes of Napoleon at Fontainebleau, after being named himself as Chevalier of the Legion of Honor a few days before (April 2, 1814).  At the beginning of the Emperor’s stay on the Island of Elba, Poul La Coste was included, on the following July 1, in the organization of the grenadiers of France which went to form the garrison in Metz; and on the return of Napoleon to Paris (March 20, 1815, he entered, on May 21), in the 4th Grenadier Regiment of the Old Guard, reconstituted on April 8 of the same year, and made the campaign of Belgium.  Poul La Coste, who commanded the first company of the first battalion at Fleurus, was seriously wounded by a ball, which plowed through his two thighs.  In the next August, disbanded as all his brave men comrades in arms, Poul La Coste returned to his home; but there, an object of all the vexations that those of the new order of things had in that the spirit of reaction which called them brigands of the Loire, in order to remove himself from ceaseless persecutions of which he was the object, Poul La Coste entered the Legion of the Lot-et-Garonne, with his rank of captain, and definitively left the army with a pension which his brilliant services had been earned him.  Today, Poul La Coste lives withdrawn in its birthplace.

ROGUET (Francois, Count), born in Toulouse on November 12, 1770, entered the service in 1789, and earned, by brilliant actions, the rank of brigadier general.  In 1808, in Spain , he was distinguished at the siege of Bilbao and Santander; in 1810, he destroyed a considerable gathering of insurrectionists at Jaugnas.  His exploits against the Army of Galicia, whose progress he stopped, earned him the rank of general of division, to which he was elevated on June 24, 1811.  In 1812, he commanded a division of the Grand Army, in Russia ; and, after the retirement, he was charged with gathering and reorganizing the Old Guard.  It fought on the days of Dresden, Leipzig, Wachau and Hanau.  At the time of the attempt made by the English on Antwerp, in 1814, Roguet, at the head of five battalions, crushed them and making them experience a considerable loss.  In 1815, he commanded the Foot Grenadiers of the Guard, and partook in the glory of these valorous soldiers, in this glorious and disastrous campaign.

SAINT-SULPICE (Raimond-Gaspard de Banard, Count), born in the Piedmont. He entered the service very young and quickly rose to the higher ranks; his talents and his courage placed him at the head of the regiment of dragoons of the Guard.  The campaigns of 1805 and 1806 offered him a large number of occasions to make his valor shine, in particular at the Battle of Eylau, where he was wounded.  Raised to the rank of general of division in 1807, Saint-Sulpice was named Governor of the Chateau of Fontainebleau in 1810.  In 1813, he commanded the 4th Regiment of the Guards of Honor.

SORBIER (Jean-Barthèlemy, Count), born on November 17, 1762 in Paris, performed excellently in his studies at the Military Academy of Paris, from where he left lieutenant in 1783; captain in 1791, he was an adjutant general in 1793.  In 1805, he commanded three divisions at the Battle of Austerlitz, where the artillery took so glorious a part.  After this campaign, he was sent to Dalmatia; he took an active part in the Battle of Wagram, in 1809, as brigadier general.  His services earned him, in 1811, the rank of general of division.  In 1812, he commanded as Head of Artillery of the Guard, and was distinguished on the fields of Smolensk and Moscowa: in 1813, Wachau, Leipsick, Hanau, were mainly days of glory for him.

SOULT (Jean-Dieu), Duke of Dalmatia, Marshal of France, Grand Ribbon of the Legion of Honor, commandant of the Foot Chasseurs of the Imperial Guard; born at Saint-Amand (Taru).  In 1769, soldier in the Regiment of the King, infantry; in 1792, instructor of the National battalions in the Upper Rhine; and, in 1793, captain of these same volunteers, Soult was named, by the representatives of the people, adjutant general of the Army of Moselle, where he was noted for his intrepidity: one owes him credit for the Battle of Fleurus.  With the army of Sambre-and-Meuse, he demonstrated his valor at the combat of Attenkirken and Kleinnister, where he took five hundred prisoners. With the Army of Mainz, at the combat of Hoskirch, he held on all the day with two squadrons and four companies, the repeated attacks of five thousand men.  At Freidburg, his advanced guard resisted a column of twenty-five thousand Austrians.  At Stockach, he attacked three times Prince Charles, who was with the head of all the Austrian forces; Soult, on this occasion, carried out a retirement where he deployed with a high degree his strategic talents.  Made general of division to the Army of the Danube, he added to his fame the combat of Schwitz, of Lucerne, of Frauenfeld, Andelsjugen and Adlik, and strongly contributed to the victory of Zurich.  After the crossing of the Lints, Soult chased Suvorov, and ejected the Russians on right bank of the Rhine.  In Cadibona, he seized the flag of the 97th demi-brigade and sprang on the point where the Austrians made the most progress.  This action rallied all the French troops, and decided the victory in our favor.  During the campaign of Italy , daily combat still added to his glory.  After the victory of Marengo, Soult was initially charged to subject the Piedmont, where he would seized Tarente, Otranto and Brindes, and left the Army of Italy to come to take the command of the chasseurs of the Consular Guard.  Marshal of France in 1804, he commanded in 1805 one of the Grand Army corps, seized the bridge of Donawert, and contributed considerably to the surrender of Ulm.  He regained mastery of Augsburg and Memmingen, and commanded the French right wing at the Battle of Austerlitz.  In 1806, he took Bayreuth, Hoff and Plauen, and decided the success at the Battle of Jena.  In Grossen he crushed twelve thousand Prussians, and began the Magdeburg blockade.  In 1807, Soult seized the bridge of Bergfried, and demonstrated extraordinary valor at Eylau: he took a great part in the victory of Heilsberg.  In 1808, his entry in Spain was marked by many successful the actions at Gamonal, at Burgos, at Espinosa, at Nancilla and Coruña made him feared and respected by the Spaniards and the English.  In Portugal , he was still victorious at Juzo, Allariz, Osogne, at Monterey, at Chavez, Draya; he directed the operations of the memorable battles in front of Oporto, where he seized two hundred guns.  It also seized Olivenza; and at Badajoz, with eighteen thousand French, he withstood the shock of an army thirty-three thousand men, English as well as Portuguese and Spanish.  At Baza and Cullas, he showed an extraordinary skill.  In 1813, he commanded the center of the French Army at the Battle of Bautzen; and more particularly was noted at that of Wurtchen.  In 1814, he again took command of the Army of Spain, and evacuated this country by disputing the ground step by step: this retirement is remarkable for the combats of Bassussarry and Laustêrénia.  Lastly, the Battle of Toulouse put the crown on his reputation as a grand captain: there, eighteen thousand French disputed the victory for fourteen hours with an army of one hundred thousand English, Portuguese and Spaniards, commanded by Lord Wellington.  In short, Marshal Soult is certainly one of the most famous representatives of French glory, under the Republic, Consulate, the Empire, the Restoration and the Government of July.

VIGNEAUX, Chevalier of the Legion of Honor, made the campaigns of Germany in the capacity of a vélite of the foot grenadiers of the Guard, and those of Spain and Russia as lieutenant-adjutant-major to the 4th Regiment of Tirailleurs (Young Guard).  He lives today withdrawn to Lanojon ( Gironde).

WALTHER (H.-J., Count). The Imperial Guard counted few brave men soldiers such as him; Walther was always with the advanced guard during twenty years of ceaseless wars, and received honorable wounds: his blood ran at Austerlitz, Eylau, Friedland, etc. etc., and always his exploits astonished the army.  In 1812, he made the campaign of Russia at the head of horse grenadiers of the Guard; he charged and cut to bits the Bavarians at the Battle of Hanau.  The pain of seeing his fatherland about to be invaded by foreigners, fatigue from his campaigns and his many wounds led Walther to the tomb towards the end of 1813.

 

Placed on the Napoleon Series: July 2007

 

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