The Waterloo Association: Members Area

Join: Join the Waterloo Association

The 1799 Campaign in Italy

The 1799 Campaign in Italy: Battle of Verona, March 26, 1799

By Enrico Acerbi

Army Center –  General de Division Jean Victor Marie Moreau[1]

Provisional HQ Villafranca – Sona – Sommacampagna  camps

The presence of the Gen. Moreau early in the Italian campaign has been often ignored by historians, who simply consider Moreau’s involvement from the moment he took Schérer’s command, so after the Cassano battle. After the Pichegru affair, in which Moreau was charged as an accomplice in treason, the commander of the Rhine armies went into a disgraced retirement in 1797. Only in 1799 was he permitted to return on duty as a “common” infantry inspector, and sent to Italy . Obviously his presence was very embarrassing for the most important commanders of that time; otherwise his great experience was inestimable. In particular, Moreau did not have a good relationship with Schérer or, put another way, we can say that Schérer held him in esteem as strategist but probably felt himself a superior authority, having been the former War Minister, while Moreau did not hold Schérer in high regard as either a commander or as a Minister. During the first battles near Verona, Moreau completely disagreed with Schérer’s orders, finding it “useless to waste troops by attacking Verona from the northern side ….” Moreau simply performed his mission to harass the Austrian center of the battlefield, pulling the Austrian into Verona, and contributed to Schérer’s “useless” victory as well as to the defeat of the French right wing. A week or so later he would finally write: “I could have had said it in advance, that plan … a disaster!”

Note: along the right margin are two columns of numbers giving manpower strengths; the left total is taken from Jomini’s order of battle, the right total from Gachot’s.                                                                            Jomini   Gachot

Division of the Center – GdD Claude-Victor Perrin[2]           8190

Camp Villafranca
Chief of Staff: Gen. Jacques Blondeau[3] 
Adjudants: Adjudant général François Argod[4] 

“La division du centre et de la Réserve, aux ordres des généraux Victor et Hatry, partiront, à la nuit tombante, de Villa-Franca, du village en arriére pour se porter en droite ligne sur le chemin qui conduit a Vérone.

“La division Victor ira masquer la porte de San-Zeno, communiquera par sa gauche et par la rivière avec la division Grenier et par sa droite avec la reserve qui viendra masquer la porte Neuve. Les généraux Victor et Hatry feront tous leurs efforts pour s’emparer de ces portes, soit en les enfoçant à coups de canon, soit en les faisant sauter par le pétard.”  – French War Archive, Plan du général Schérer.

Piedmontese light artillery brigade                                       (2 coys)                                              120 
Horse artillery                                                                      2 Btys. [??] left in Mantua                   140
Foot artillery (heavy)                                                           4 Btys. left in Mantua                             80
Sappers                                                                                1½ platoons left in Mantua                   180

Avant-Garde Detachment Jacques Blondeau

3rd Bn 2nd Polish Legion (Bn. Zagorsky)[5]                                                                         900        760
1st Swiss Legion (légion helvétique) –  chef-de-brigade Barthés                                        1047
Other Chefs-de-bataillon: Mesmer, Ott, Bucher, Abyberg

Brigade Gen. Jean-Joseph-Magdelaine Pijon (alias Pigeon)[6] 

92e Demi Brigade de LigneChef Bruno-Albert-Joseph Duplouy                                       1870             1985
99e Demi Brigade de Ligne[7]Chef Georges Mouton                                                       1800             1893

Brigade Gen. Baron Jacques-Antoine Chambarlhac de Laubespin[8] 

56e Demi Brigade de Ligne[9]Chef Morel                                                                                 1900      1905

Cavalry                                                                                                                                                           1000     

15e Rgt Chasseurs à Cheval[10] –  Chef Louis Lepic                            (4 sqns)                             603        488
18e Rgt. de Cavalerie[11]Chef Denis Terreyre                    (3 sqns)                                           389        253

Reserve Division Gen. Jacques Maurice Hatry[12]                                                                                6260

Roverbella camp

Chief of Staff: Chef de brigade Francois-Nicolas Fririon. [13] 

Adjudant généraux:

Henri-François-Marie Charpentier[14] (he was a provisional Advance Guard Brigade general and a Chef de bataillon of the 94e DB)
Jean-Baptiste Solignac [15] (detached to command Piedmontese troops)

Horse artillery                                                                            1 Bty.                                                  60           66
Foot artillery                                                                              3 Btys.                                                               200
Sappers                                                                                       1 ½ platoon                                                      150

Hatry had to advance to Victor’s right, taking Santa Lucia and heading, therefore, toward the fortress, into which he would have entered by Porta Nuova, the city-door on the way to Mantua. The long column was supported only by some pieces of light artillery, it having left behind its supply wagons in order to be able to move more quickly. These forces would be able to arrive in sight of the city walls in just three hours, while nobody could have expected a major engagement so soon, because field intelligence had indicated that the Austrian army was encamped north of Rivoli.

Advance Guard Brigade Henri-François-Marie Charpentier

21e Demi Brigade de Ligne (Advance Guard Charpentier ?)            one battalion                             900             1119
33e Demi Brigade de Ligne[16]chef de bataillon Roguet (led a column)                                    1900             2140

Brigade Jean-Baptiste Solignac

3rd Piedmontese Line Demi Brigade – Chef Jean-Baptiste Solignac                                                900            1975
63e Demi Brigade de Ligne[17]Chef Antoine-Francois Brenier de Montmorand                      1700            1585

Detached to the Vérideau Reserve (Div. Sérurier). Chef Brenier was wounded on April 14.             

Reserve Cavalry                                                                                                                                                     800              

7e Régiment de DragonsChef Jean-Jacques Laverand[18]                                                                                530

Brigade Gen. Maurizio Ignazio Frésia, Baron of Oglianico[19]                                                                             314

2nd Piedmontese Dragoon Regiment[20]                                             (4 Sqns)
4th Piedmontese Dragoon Regiment[21]                                               (6 Sqns)

Center Division total                                                                                                                                    14450


[1] Général Jean Victor Marie Moreau, was born at Morlaix in Brittany. His father was a lawyer with a good practice. Instead of allowing young Moreau to enter the army, as he attempted to, Moreau’s father insisted on his studying law at the University of Rennes. Young Moreau showed no inclination for law, but revelled in the freedom of a student’s life. Instead of taking his degree, he continued to live with the students as their hero and leader, and formed them into a sort of army, which he commanded as their provost. When 1789 came, he commanded the students in the daily affrays which took place at Rennes between the young noblesse and the populace. In 1791 Moreau was elected a lieutenant colonel of the volunteers of Ille-et-Vilaine. With them he served under Dumouriez, and in 1793 the good order of his battalion, and his own martial character and republican principles secured his promotion to general of brigade (provisionally, on December 20, officially, on February 6, 1794). Carnot, who had an eye for the true qualities of a general, promoted Moreau to be general of division on April 14, 1794, and gave him command of the right wing of the army in Flanders under Pichegru.

The Battle of Tourcoing (1794) established Moreau’s military fame, and in 1795 he was given the command of the Army of the Rhine-and-Moselle, with which he crossed the Rhine and advanced into Germany . He was at first completely successful and won several victories and penetrated to the Isar, but at last had to retreat before the Archduke Charles. However, the skill he displayed in conducting his retreat – which was considered a model for such operations – greatly enhanced his reputation, the more so as he managed to bring back with him more than 5000 prisoners.

In 1797, he again, after prolonged difficulties caused by want of funds and material, crossed the Rhine, but his operations were checked by the conclusion of the preliminaries of the Peace of Leoben between Bonaparte and the Austrians. It was at this time he discovered the traitorous correspondence between his old comrade and commander, Pichegru, and the émigré, Prince de Condé. He had already appeared as Pichegru’s defender against imputations of disloyalty, and now he foolishly concealed his discovery, with the result that he has ever since been suspected of at least partial complicity. Too late to clear himself, he sent the correspondence to Paris and issued a proclamation to the army denouncing Pichegru as a traitor.

Moreau was dismissed, and it was only when the victorious advance of Suvarov in 1799 made it necessary, in the absence of Bonaparte, to have some tried and experienced general in Italy that he was re-employed. He commanded the Army of Italy for a short time, with little success, before being appointed to the Army of the Rhine; he remained, however, with Joubert, his successor in Italy , until Novi had been fought and lost. Joubert fell in the battle, and Moreau then conducted the retreat of the army to Genoa, where he handed over command to Championnet. When Bonaparte returned from Egypt, he found Moreau at Paris, greatly dissatisfied with the Directory both as a general and as a republican, and obtained his assistance in the coup d’état of 18 Brumaire, in which Moreau commanded the force which confined two of the directors in the Luxembourg.

In reward, the First Consul again gave him command of the Army of the Rhine, with which he forced back the Austrians from the Rhine to the Isar. On his return to Paris he married Mlle Hullot, a Creole of Josephine’s circle, an ambitious woman who gained a complete ascendancy over him. After spending a few glorious weeks with the army in Germany and winning the celebrated victory of Hohenlinden (December 3, 1800), he settled down to enjoy the fortune he had acquired during his campaigns. His wife collected around her all who were discontented with the aggrandisement of Napoleon. This “Club Moreau” annoyed Napoleon, and encouraged the Royalists, but Moreau, though not unwilling to become a military dictator to restore the republic, would be no party to an intrigue for the restoration of Louis XVIII. All this was well known to Napoleon, who seized the conspirators.

Moreau’s condemnation was procured only by great pressure being brought to bear on the judges by Bonaparte; and after the verdict was pronounced, the First Consul treated Moreau with a pretence of leniency, commuting a sentence of imprisonment to one of banishment. Moreau passed through Spain and embarked for America , where be lived in relative quiet and obscurity near Trenton for about ten years.

At the outbreak of the War of 1812, he was briefly considered as commander of the American forces, but then news came of the destruction of the Grande Armée in Russia . Then, probably at the instigation of his wife, he committed the last and least excusable of the series of well-meant political errors that marked his career. Negotiations were set on foot with an old friend in the circle of republican intriguers, Bernadotte, who, being now crown prince of Sweden and at the head of an army opposing Napoleon, introduced Moreau to Tsar Alexander. In the hope of returning to France to re-establish the régime of popular government, Moreau gave advice to the allied sovereigns as to the conduct of the war, but fortunately for his fame as a patriot he did not live to invade France . He was mortally wounded while talking to the Tsar at the battle of Dresden, on August 27, 1813, and died on September 2nd, in Laun. He was buried at St. Petersburg. His wife received a pension from the tsar, and was given the rank of maréchale by Louis XVIII, but his countrymen spoke of his “defection” and compared him to Dumouriez and Pichegru.

Moreau’s fame as a general stands very high, though he was far from possessing Napoleon’s transcendent gifts. His combinations were skilful and elaborate, and his temper always unruffled when most closely pressed. Moreau was a sincere republican, though his own father was guillotined during the Terror. He was fortunate in the moment of his death, though he would have been more so had he died in America . He seems by his final words, “Soyez tranquilles, messieurs; c’est mon sort,” not to have regretted being removed from his equivocal position as a general in arms against his country.

[2] General de Division Claude Victor-Perrin, was born on December 7, 1764, at La Marche, in the Vosges. In 1781 he entered the army as a private soldier, a drummer in the Grenoble artillery regiment and after ten years’ service he received his discharge and settled at Valence. Soon afterwards he joined the local volunteers as grenadier in the 3rd Battalion de Volunteers of Drôme, and distinguishing himself in the war on the Alpine frontier. In less than a year he had risen to the command of a battalion. For his bravery at the siege of Toulon in 1793 he was raised to the rank of general of brigade. He afterwards served for some time with the Army of the Eastern Pyrenees, and in the Italian campaign of 1796-1799 he acquitted himself so well at Mondovi, Rovereto and Mantua that on January 10, 1797, he was named général de division à titre temporaire. His rank as general of division was confirmed on March 10, 1797, when he was called to lead the 8th division of the Army of Italy.

In 1798-99 Victor took part in the occupation of Piedmont, and was with his division was at the battles of Santa-Lucia, Villa-Franca (Magnano), and Alessandria. He hen endured the bloody days of the Battle of Trebbia, where he was wounded. At the end of the campaign he was present at the Battle of Santa Margherita, at Fossano, before returning to France . After commanding for some time the forces in the department of La Vendée, he was again employed in Italy , where he did good service against the Papal troops, and he took a very important part in the Battle of Marengo. In 1802 he was governor of the colony of Louisiana for a short time, in 1803 he commanded the Batavian army, and afterwards he acted for eighteen months (1805-1806) as French plenipotentiary at Copenhagen.

On the outbreak of hostilities with Prussia (the War of the Fourth Coalition) he joined the V Army Corps, under Marshal Jean Lannes, as chief of the general staff. He distinguished himself at the battles of Saalfeld and Jena, and at Friedland he commanded the I Corps in such a manner that Napoleon made him marshal.

After the peace of Tilsit he became governor of Berlin, and in 1808 he was created Duke of Belluno. In the same year he was sent to Spain , where he took a prominent part in the Peninsular War (especially against Blake at Espinosa, and later at Talavera, Barrosa and Cádiz), until his appointment in 1812 to a corps command in the invasion of Russia . Here his most important service was in protecting the retreating army at the crossing of the Berezina River.

He took an active part in the wars of 1813-1814, until in February of the latter year he had the misfortune to arrive too late at Montereau-sur-Yonne. The result was a scene of violent recrimination and his supersession by the emperor, who transferred his command to Gérard. His amour-propre thus wounded, Victor now transferred his allegiance to the Bourbon dynasty, and in December 1814 received from Louis XVIII the command of the second military division. In 1815 on the return of Napoleon from exile in Elba Victor accompanied the king to Ghent, and on the second restoration, following Waterloo, he was made a peer of France . He was also president of a commission which inquired into the conduct of the officers during the Hundred Days, and dismissed Napoleon’s sympathizers. In 1821 he was appointed war minister and held this office for two years. In 1830 he was major-general of the royal guard, and after the July Revolution of that year he retired altogether into private life. His death found him at Paris, on March 1, 1841.

[3] Adjudant General Jacques Blondeau. Born at Châteauneuf-en-Auxois on January 12, 1776, he enrolled in the Dragons de la Reine in 1788. From 179, he was under-Lieutenant in the 2nd grenadier battalion of Cote d’Or, and then rifles captain in 1793, and adjudant-général chef-de-bataillon, too. He fought with the Army of the Alps from 1794 to 1795, and later transferred to the Army of Italy. On October 15, 1795, he was promoted Adjudant Général Chef de Brigade commanding the Cavalry Staff in Joubert’s division, being wounded at Rivoli (1797). On December 1796, during the clash at San Michele, he bravery earned him a saber of honor and an Official Award letter. In 1799 often had staff duties with Victor, returning, in 1800 to fight in Italy , where he remained until October 12, 1808, when he was promoted general of brigade. He was made Officer of the Legion d’Honneur on June 14, 1804, then Baron of the Empire on the first day of 1813. Blondeau died at Paris on March 30, 1841.

[4] General de Brigade François (Francis) Argod, born May 15, 1759. By 1786, he was an NCO in the regiment Royal Champagne. In 1793, was at the siege of Toulon and then participated in the Italian campaigns. In Italy he was named Chief of Staff of the 8th Infantry Division. During the clash of Verona, he received promotion on the battlefield as général-de-brigade (March 26). On April 22, 1799, he received from the Directory, an honorary saber, with a letter of congratulations. At Cassano, he was badly wounded, from which he died on April 27, 1799.

[5] The 3rd Polish battalion of the 2nd Legion was deployed in the Advance Guard of Victor’s division. It attacked, and then repulsed Austrian counterattacks. It fought continually during the whole day, losing many soldiers before being forced to retreat. Captain Kozlowski and Lieutenant Zielinski were killed, and some 400 Polish soldiers were wounded, taken prisoners, or lost their lives. (See Chodzko Léonard, Histoire des Legions Polonaises en Italie sous le commandement du général Dombrowski, Barbezat, Paris 1829.)

[6] Général de brigade Jean-Joseph-Magdelaine Pijon. Born in 1758, he was named provisional general of brigade ( December 3, 1794) and effectively so from June 13, 1795, he commanded the 1st Brigade of the 1st Division of the Advance Guard of the Army of Italy. He took part in the whole 1796 campaign, remaining in Italy until 1799. At Magnano ( April 5, 1799,) he was seriously wounded, dying some days after.

[7] Chef de Brigade Georges Mouton, born on February 21, 1770, at Phalsbourg. He was made Chef de Brigade, May 26, 1798 (99e demi-brigade d’Infanterie) ; Chef de Brigade, July 14, 1799 (3e demi-brigade d’Infanterie); Colonel, September 24, 1803 (3e Régiment d’Infanterie) ; General of Brigade, February 1, 1805; General of Division, October 5, 1807; and Count of the Empire, September 19, 1810. He died on November 27, 1838, in Paris. Mouton was named maréchal de France in 1831, and Peer of France in 1833, having distinguished himself during the Revolutionary Wars and, particularly, at Jena (1805), Essling (1809) and in Russia . He was a Liberal representative from 1828 to 1830, and was charged with the general command of the National Guard in 1830. At Waterloo, June 1815, he led the VI Corps of the Armée du Nord.

[8] Baron Jacques-Antoine de Chambarlhac de Laubespin, born August 3, 1754, and made Chef-de-Brigade, May 28, 1794 (117e Demi-Brigade de Bataille), and Chef-de-Brigade, in 1796 (75e Demi-Brigade d’Infanterie). On November 15, 1796, he became a provisional Général de brigade, a substantive Général de brigade on December 6, 1796, and Général de division on July 28, 1803. He was made Commander of the Legion d’Honneur on June 14, 1804, Baron of the Empire, June 30, 1811, and he died, February 5, 1826.

[9] Chef-de-Brigade Morel took the place of promoted General Francois-Felix Vignes. Morel was detached as a Brigadier and found his death in the fighting of 26 March 1799. Born, October 5, 1769 , Chef-de-Brigade, October 28, 1795 (208e demi-brigade de bataille), Chef-de-Brigade, January 21, 1797 (56e demi-brigade d’Infanterie), General-de-Brigade, February 5, 1799, and killed at the clash of Legnago, March 26, 1799.

[10] Some sources indicate a direct participation at the Pastrengo combats by the 15e Regiment de Chasseurs a Cheval, while Jomini and Gachot listed this unit as in Victor’s division. The same discrepancy could be observed regarding the 13e Régiment de Chasseurs à Cheval, listed with Montrichard. Probably the two cavalry regiments could have been inserted in a special cavalry reserve under the command of General Beaumont and deployed at the Army HQ flanks (or, if preferred, with Delmas’ division). As for the 15e Chasseurs the Chef-de-Brigade after Pastrengo was Chef-de-Brigade Louis Lepic.  Lepic was born on September 20, 1765, enrolled in the Dragoons Rgt. Lescure in 1781, and in 1792, he was made a brigadier in the King’s Constitutional Guard. In March 1793, he was transferred to the 21e Chasseurs à cheval, as chef-d’escadron. With that rank he transferred to the 15e Chasseurs à Cheval, which was in the armée de l’Ouest from 1793 to 1796; then in Italy from 1796 to 1801. He was promoted Chef-de-Brigade on March 26, 1799 (15e Régiment de Chasseurs a Cheval) an award acquired on the battlefield after having suffered 7 saber wounds at Pastrengo. Lepic was made Major-Colonel on March 21, 1805 (Grenadiers à Cheval of the Guard), Colonel on April 8, 1813 (2e Régiment de la Garde d’Honneur), general of brigade on February 13, 1807, and general of division on February 9, 1813. He was made Commander of the Legion d’Honneur on June 26, 1809, and Baron of the Empire on May 3, 1809. He died on January 7, 1827. The flag of the 15e Chasseurs bore the honors of: Verone 1799, Friedland 1807, and Alba-de-Tormes 1809.

[11] The future 27th Dragoon Regiment. Created in 1674 and named Royal-Normandie in 1762, it became the 19e Régiment de Cavalerie in 1791, and the 18e Régiment de Cavalerie in 1792. Finally in 1803, the Regiment became the 27e Régiment de Dragons). Chef-de-Brigade Denis Terreyre, was Colonel in 1803; born October 5, 1756, Chef-de-Brigade, July 30, 1794, General-de-Brigade, November 14, 1806,Commander of the Legion d’Honneur, December  25, 1805, Baron of the Empire, June 29, 1806, and died, February 14, 1823.

[12] Général de division Jacques-Maurice Hatry was born at Strasbourg in 1740. At the outbreak of the Revolution, he was a colonel. On November 27, 1793, was made Général de brigade and provisionally also “de division”. On January 28, 1794, he took command of a division of the armée de la Moselle under Moreau. He was protagonist in the armées du Nord (until December 1794), de Sambre-et-Meuse ( December 21, 1794 to March 1, 1795), des Ardennes and de la Moselle, at the Battle of Fleurus and at the blockade of Luxembourg , where he made prisoner a garrison 12,000 men strong. In the armée de Sambre-et-Meuse during the 1796 campaign (but from March 10 to September 21, 1796 he was with the armée de l’Intérieur), he was named General in Chief of the armée de Mayence on January 8, 1797, and then, considered an able organizer, he was the substitute for Joubert in command of the troops deployed in the Batavian Republic  (August 20, 1798 to January 9, 1799). In mid-January 1799, he transferred his baggage to Italy , joining his old chief, Moreau, with the task of organizing an army reserve for the armée d’Italie. At the end of that troubled year, in December, he was elected as a Member of the Senate. Hatry died in Paris on November 30, 1802.

[13] Baron François-Nicolas Fririon (1766-1840), was made Général de brigade on July 17, 1800,becoming Général de division on July 21, 1809.

[14] Comte Henri-François-Marie Charpentier (1769-1831), was a provisional Général de brigade from April 5, 1799 (Battle of Magnano), and confirmed at that rank on July 30, 1799. On February 16, 1804 he became Général de division.

[15] Baron Jean-Baptiste Solignac, was born in Milhau (Aveyron) on September 18, 1773. He entered the service as a private in the Vermandois regiment in 1790. From August to November 1792, he was a lieutenant, and then Captain in the 2nd battalion of the Pyrénées-orientales Regiment, formed at Montpellier. He was aide-de-camp for General Voulland, then adjudant-général chef-de-brigade (in Year II). He was at the 8th Territorial Division (Marseille). When Solignac was in Paris in 1795, he knew General Bonaparte, after which he found himself in the armée d’Italie. Adjudant Général and, from 1799, Chef-de-Brigade of the Piedmontese 3rd Line Infantry Demi-Brigade (with 2 battalions), then the 1st Piemonte (Piedmont) and the 3rd Oneglia (Oneille); the 2nd battalion, Regina (Queen) wasn’t at front but on garrison duties. Solignac was confirmed as a provisional Général de brigade on April 11, 1799, a rank in which he was officially confirmed on the Christmas Day. He was forced to retire in 1806, but recalled by Napoleon on April 20, 1807. In 1808 he was sent to Portugal , where he took the command of Loison’s advance guard in the Alentejo (at Evora). Solignac became Baron of the Empire while he was in Spain and, on November 17, 1808, he was made Général de division. He died in Paris in 1850.

[16] At the Battle of Vérona, chef de bataillon Roguet, by order of General Moreau, marched against Santa Lucia village, a very important position, pushed out the Austrians and fortified in it, but he was seriously wounded in the leg by a rifle-shot.

Roguet, at the riots in the Oneglia and Tanaro valleys, during period of insurgency, dispersed the insurgents and occupied the town and the valley of Oneglia, cleared the Tanaro valley, and raised the siege of Pieve, capturing the insurgents’ artillery. Then he took prisoner the chief of the revolt, with his staff, re-established the line of communication with Genoa and with the rest of the French army, and reached General Moreau, at Ceva, who named him on the battlefield, Chef de brigade of the 33e demi-brigade. This unit, some time later, fought with bravery at Fossano, 2nd Novi, Coni, and on the Var.

Chef-de-brigade François Roguet (1770-1846), whose promotions, commands, and awards were as follows : August 29, 1803, general-de-brigade; June 14, 1804, Commander of the  Legion d’Honneur ; 1805, commander 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, VI Corps; 1806-1807, commander of a brigade of the 1st Infantry Division, VI Corps, and taken prisoner at Friedland (1807); 1809-1813, Colonel-en-second of the Grenadiers de la Garde Imperiale; July 24, 1811, general of division; January 15, 1812, commander of the 2nd Guard Infantry Division, in the Armée d’Espagne, and then in the Grande Armée; 1813, commander of the 4th (then 6th) Young Guard Infantry Division; December 4, 1814, Count of the Empire; 1814, Colonel-en-second of Royal Grenadiers; 1815, Colonel-en-second of Guard Infantry.

[17] Chef-de-Brigade Antoine-Francois Brenier de Montmorand, was wounded April 4, 1799, and April 17, 1799. Born 12 November 1767; Chef-de-Brigade, September 1, 1795 (14e Demi-Brigade d’Infanterie de Ligne) ; Chef-de-Brigade, January 1, 1797 (63e Demi-Brigade d’Infanterie de Ligne); General-de-Brigade, June 15, 1799; General of Division, March 26, 1811; Grand Officer of the Legion d’Honneur, December 18, 1813; Baron of the Empire, February 12, 1812 ; died, October  8, 1832.

[18] Chef-de-Brigade Jean-Jacques Laverand. Colonel in 1803.

[19] Général Maurice-Ignace Frésia baron d’Oglianico (Italian) from a noble Piedmontese family, he was born in Saluces (Saluzzo in the Stura), August 4, 1746. Admitted to the Turin Military Academy in October 1758, he became cornet in a dragoon regiment, in the service of King of Sardinia, on April 17, 1766, and rose to captain on August 7 of the same year, major on September 27, 1787, lieutenant-colonel of the Chablais regiment (of dragoons) on August 3, 1790, and finally to colonel of the same regiment on March 15, 1793. During the war between Savoy-Piedmont and France , Frésia fought in the ranks of the Piedmontese army. Frésia continued to give evidence of devotion to its prince until the peace of Cherasco; but when Charles-Emmanuel of Savoy gave up, in 1796, withdrawing himself to Sardinia, Frésia, was pressed to offer his services to France . He accepted and went to the French army in Italy . In 1799, he led a cavalry brigade at Verona and suffered an unlucky defeat at Verderio, where he was taken prisoner. Returning soon thereafter to the French army, Frésia continued to take part in brilliant successes, was named brigadier general (13 Germinal, Year X). In Year XI he went to Montpellier to organize the Legion of the South, composed of Piedmontese he knew well. Created a member of Legion-d’Honneur on the 19 Frimaire, Year XII, he was named Knight of the Order. In Italy he spent the campaigns of Year XIV and 1806, under the orders of Masséna. Frésia reached the rank of major-general on June 3, 1807, commanding a unit of foreign cavalry at Friedland. In December of the same year, he accepted the command of the cavalry of the 2nd Observation Corps of the Gironde, with whom he entered Spain .

After the Capitulation of Baylen, he was made prisoner. With his return to France , Napoleon appointed him Baron of the Empire, and charged him, in 1809, with an important mission close to the Tuscany court. Then he was put at the head of the cavalry regiments organized in Italy . Then, returning to the Peninsula, he took command of the 4th Military Division of the Kingdom of Spain. After the death of Admiral Villaret-Merry, Frésia obtained the provisional government of Venice, and in 1813, he made the Saxon campaign at the head of a division of cavalry. He passed again to Piedmont to take again the command of one of the divisions in the reserve army which was organized in this country and, on February 1, 1814, was charged, to defend the city and the “ Riviera” of Genoa. Admitted to retirement on December 24, 1814, and naturalized as a French on December 7, 1815, he resided in Paris, where he died in 1826.

[20] Former Cavalleggeri del Re and Savoia cavalleria merged together.

[21] Former Piemonte Reale and Savoia cavalleria merged together.


Placed on the Napoleon Series: March 2007



Military Index | Battles Index ]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *