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The 1799 Campaign in Italy

The 1799 Campaign in Italy: The Summer’s Pause June – August 1799

The Situation on 24 June

By Enrico Acerbi


Austrian Avantgarde

Brigade General major Freiherr Josef Philipp von Vukassovich     

VII Combined Battalion Grenz Regiment Warasdiner of Varazdin – 1 battalion


II Battalion Grenz Regiment of Banat (I/13th Grenzer Regiment) – Siebenbürgen-Wallachen


III Battalion Grenz Regiment of Ban at (II/ 12th Deutschbanater Grenzer Regiment) Major Otto Zedzwitz – ½ battalion


KK  52nd Erzherzog Palatin Anton Viktor


I – II  Battalions. Commander: Graf Johann Nepomuk Khuen de Belasi

K.K. 9th Hussar Regiment FML Johann Nepomuk Graf Erdödy de Monyorókerek (Erdödy  Husaren) 3 squadrons


Russian Cossacks Detachment (squadron.)


Hussars Brigade General major Friedrich Freiherr von Seckendorff –


K.K. 5th Hussar Regiment 5 squadrons


K.K. 9th Hussar Regiment FML Johann Nepomuk Graf Erdödy de Monyorókerek
(Erdödy  Husaren) 4 squadrons


First Line

Brigade General major Johann Graf Alcaini –


K.K.  19th Hungarian Infantry Regiment Freiherr Jozsef Alvinczy de Berberek


I – II – 2/3 III Battalions – Commander: Freiherr Carl Adorjan

K.K.  34rd Hungarian Infantry Regiment 


(the old Esterházy regiment) I – II – ½ III Battalions – Commander: Commander:  Oberst Johann Hillinger

K.K. Grenadier bataillon Freiherr Carl von Görschen


Second Line – Reinforcements from Kaim’s Division (Turin) – Jume 24


Brigade General major Graf Joseph Mittrowsky


K.K.  32nd Hungarian Infantry Regiment Graf Samuel Gyulai


Commander:  Oberst Franz Posztrehowsky von Millenburg – (I-II-Battalions)

K.K.  8th Infantry Regiment (former Huff Regiment)


Commander:  Obst Johann Schröckinger von Neidenberg (I-II-III Battalions) – I and II Battalions.

K.K. 1st Light Dragoon Regiment “Emperor” Kaiser Franz II 


Commander:  Oberst Franz Freiherr von Pilati (4 squadron.)

Alexandria Garrison

Feldbrigade General major Oberst Ludwig Wolff de la Marseille


I Battalion K.K.  9th Infantry Regiment (former Clerfayt) Commander: Obst Ludwig Wolff de la Marseille


K.K. Grenadier bataillon Graf Otto von Hohenfeld


K.K.  58th Infantry Regiment Freiherr Peter von Beaulieu – one battalion


Remnants of I – II Battalions. Commander: Freiherr Joseph von Zeegraedt

K.K. 3rd Light Dragoon Regiment FM Erzherzog Johann Baptist Chevauxleger Division ½ Squadron


Reserve: On the left bank of the Tanaro

Feldbrigade General major Friedrich Bellegarde (brother)


K.K.  33rd Infantry Regiment Graf Anton Sztaray – I, II and III Battalions.


Commander: Oberst Johann Kalnássy de Kalnáss

K.K. Grenadier Bataillon Oberleutnant Carl Soudain


K.K. 5th Hussar Regiment 3 squadron


Pursuing the Armée de Naples

Macdonald’s Armée de Naples was retreating along the Via Emilia, uncertain whether to defend the Duchies (Parma and Modena) or to drive up to Appennines to link with the Army of Italy. The first to recover in Liguria was General  Lapoype. He arrived too late to fight at the Trebbia and withdrew too late to find the Bobbio passage free. Russain General  Veletzky blocked the passage and Lapoype’s troop had to fight hard to open a way through the mountains. [1]

Macdonald reached the main body of the army at Borgo San Donnino, on June 21 in the early morning. From there he gave orders to march towards Bologna. Montrichard marched to Parma and forced Prince Hohenzollern to leave the city without a fight. Watrin, Rusca and Dąbrowsky took a defensive position on the right bank of the River Taro, waiting the for the reserve troops (the former Olivier’s Division now led by Adjudant Lacroix) to seize Reggio and clear the bank of the Enza Creek. Victor was the quickest of all; he left the army pointing towards Fornovo and, then, turning back near the Pontremoli Passes. The Austrians (Ott and his vanguard) reached Borgo San Donnino on the same day, just after the French evacuation, and made some reconnoissances till the Taro (the river was impossible to ford, as the rains had turned it in a powerful flood).

Reggio Emilia

Detachment General major Johann Graf von Klenau und Freiherr von Janowitz


Jäger Korps Freiherr Constantin d’Aspre  6 companies       


K.K. 4th Light Infantry Battalion Bach Commander:  Major Johann Nepomuk Freiherr von Bach


8th Hussar Régiment (later Nauendorff) – 4 squadrons.



8th Hussar Régiment (later Nauendorff) – 4 squadrons


Borgo San Donnino (today Fidenza) – Parma

Division General major Carl Peter Ott de Batorkéz 


K.K. Light Battalion #15 Oberst Bonaventura Mihanovic (Croatian-slavonian)    


VI Battalion Grenz Regiment Banat


VII Combined Battalion Grenz Regiment Warasdiner of Varazdin


Bussy Freiwillige Jägers zu Pferd (Chasseurs a Cheval) – 8 squadrons


Casalmaggiore Po Bridgehead

Gruppe General major Friedrich Xavier Fürst Hohenzollern-Hechingen



General major Niklaus Joszef Pálffy ab Erdöd


K.K. 3rd Light Infantry Battalion Am-Ende  Commander: Oblt (Lieut. Col.) Carl Freiherr von Am Ende



II Battalion Banal Grenz Regiment or I Battalion 10th Banal Regiment of Glina  cmdr. Oberst Daniel (Danilo) von Oreskovic


I Battalion of 4th Grenz Regiment Carlstädt-Szluiner (Croat)


Oberst Vincenz Knesevich Freiherr von Saint-Helena


K.K. 2nd Hussar Régiment Erzherzog Joseph Anton (3 Division – 6 squadron.)                


Commander: Oberst Vincenz Freiherr Knesevich

II Division ObstLt. Gabriel von Hertellendy – III Division 1st Major Emmerich Dobay – IV Division 2nd Major  Ignaz baron Splenyi


The Army of Naples rallied at Reggio on June 22. The lack of superior Officers (almost all wounded or prisoners near Piacenza) forced MacDonald to disband the vanguard and Rusca’s units, which were used to  reinforced Watrin and Dąbrowsky units. Montrichard was the rearguard with the task of protecting the retreat. Suvorov, having learned about Bellegarde’s defeat, stopped the army and moved it back, towards Alexandria. He left General Ott to control the French movement, with the support of Hohenzollern and Klenau. On June 23,  General Dąbrowsky disengaged himself by driving towards the mountains, to Vezzano and Castelnovo. Watrin and Lacroix marched against Modena, also abandoned by the Imperial garrison, and deployed along the Secchia Creek. The three generals were replaced by Montrichard, who remained to guard the Taro passage.  Calvin’s  brigade marched towards Sassuolo, Lacroix to Formigine and Maranello, while Montrichard blocked the Rubiera Bridge. General Ott, now supported by Klenau troops, attacked the French rearguard at Sassuolo, in order to cut off the Appennines passage to Pistoia. Calvin did not resist very long, forcing Macdonald to send there his reserve, Lacroix, to stop the Austrians. Lacroix acted very well, not only regaining the control of the road to Tuscany, but also capturing about 600 prisoners of the garrison (the 7th Varasdiner Croatian Battalion and one Bussy squadron.). This little clash, called Sassuolo, allowed the safe retreat of the Armée de Naples. Only Montrichard, detached to Bologna, remained in the (now) “enemy” territory of the lost Cisalpine Republic. 

Situation of the Armée de Naples on June 25 at  Fivizzano (Appennines)

Commander: Général de Division Etienne-Jacques-Joseph-Alexandre Macdonald
Chief-of-Staff : General Victor Berthier
Adjudants-généraux: Pierre-Edme Gauthrin, Sarrazin, Grandjean, Cambray, Blondeau.
Brigadiers : Jean-Baptiste Carvin, dit Calvin, chef de brigade à l’Armée de Naples

Avantgarde Brigade: Jean-Baptiste (Andrè) Carvin called Calvin 

15th Light Infantry Demi-Brigade Chef-de-Brigade  provisoire  Jean Claud Desailly


11th Line Infantry Demi-Brigade Chef-de-brigade provisoire  Marc-Antoine Coban) Vabre 


11th Hussars Regiment Chef-de-Brigade baron Pierre Ismert         


1st Division – Général François Watrin        


Adjudant-général  Jean Sarrazin

Light artillery half company             


Cavalry Brigade François Guerin d’Etoquigny


7th Chasseurs-à-Cheval Regiment     Chef Marie-Benoit-Antoine-Joseph Bussiere De Lamure     


19th Chasseurs-à-Cheval Regiment   Chef-de-Brigade  Louis-Urbain Bruë


25th Chasseurs-à-Cheval Regiment  (3 Squadrons) Chef-de-Brigade  François Guerin d’Etoquigny


Brigade Adjudant-général Pierre-Edme Gautherin or Gauthrin (Gautrin)


73th Line Infantry Demi-Brigade Chef-d-Bg. Armand-Nicolas Vouillemont de Vivier 


97th Line Infantry Demi-Brigade Chef-de-Brigade  Claude Nérin  – I and II Battalions                  


Brigade Chef Jacques Darnaud


12th Line Infantry Demi-Brigade Chef-de-brigade François Vergez          


30th Line Infantry Demi-Brigade Chef-de-brigade Jacques Darnaud o d’Arnaud


2nd Polish Division: General Jan Henrik Dąbrowski
Chef-de-Legion General  Jan Henryk Dąbrowski (Chef Maciej Forestier – prisoner after the Trebbia)
(Adj-Gen. – Adiutanci) – Jan Dembowski,  Paweł Tremo, Major Pflugbeile

Artillery and sappers

1st Polish Legion – provisional Chef Jan Strzałkowski (took command at Genoa in July) [2]

I Infantry Battalion 1st Polish Legion – (Chef Szymon Białowiejski) – vice Jan Konopka                    


II Infantry Battalion 1st Polish Legion Chef  Józef Chłopicki                                             


III Infantry Battalion 1st Polish Legion Chef Ignacy Zawadzki       


Grenadiers infantry battalion 1st Polish Legion Chef Kazimierz Małachowski will be replaced by  Major Antoni Downarowicz


Chasseurs infantry battalion 1st Polish Legion – (Chef Ignacy Jasiński) will be replaced by Major Walenty Borowski          


Cavalry Division Lancers (Uhlans) 1st Polish Legion (Chef-de-brigade Andrzej Karwowski)


Brigade Chef-de-Brigade Jérôme-Joseph Goris

55th Line Infantry Demi-Brigade Chef-de-Brigade François-Roch baron Ledru des Essarts     


III/55e was in Ancona


8th Light Infantry Demi-Brigade Chef-de-Brigade  Jacques-François Brun                                   


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


3rd Division: Général  Joseph-Ëlie-Desiré Perruquet de Montrichard
Brigadiers: General Bertrand Clauzel
Adjudants-généraux: Pierre Louis Marie Joseph Puthod  – Pierre-Augustin Hulin (was at Bologna garrison until the June’s end)

Artillery Company                




1st Regiment de Cavalerie Chef-de-Brigade  Pierre Margaron       


12th Dragoons Regiment Chef-de-Brigade  Joseph Pages


1st Cisalpine Hussars Regiment Chef-de-Esc. Angelo Lechi – I squadron. 


1st Squadron Cisalpine Dragoons Regiment  Chef-de-Brigade  Pietro Luigi Viani           


5th Light Infantry Demi-Brigade Chef-de-Brigade  Antoine Chatagnier    


27th Light Infantry Demi-Brigade II battalion


3rd Line Infantry Demi-Brigade Chef-de-Brigade Pierre Martilliere         


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


68th Line Infantry Demi-Brigade I Battalion –


4th Reserve Division – Adj. Général Pamphile Lacroix [3] 


Light artillery half company             


62nd Line Infantry Demi-Brigade – I and II Battalions Chef-de-brigade Claude-Louis Gudin


78th Line Infantry Demi-Brigade Chef-de-Brigade  Pierre-Etienne Petitot


16th Dragoons Regiment Chef-de-Brigade  provisoire François Marie Clement de la Ronciere


19th Dragoons Regiment Chef-de-Brigade  Pierre Geraud


Already detached units, they left the plain on June 22 to reach Pontremoli and Cento Croci pass.

Division: Général Claude Victor Perrin
Général de brigade « a titre provisoire » Henri-François-Marie Charpentier

Avantgarde brigade  Général Henri-François-Marie Charpentier

93rd Line Infantry Demi-Brigade –  Chef-de-brigade a.t.p. Charles-Sebastien Marion


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


Général de brigade  baron Charles-Louis-Dieu Donné Grandjean

5th Line Infantry Demi-Brigade Chef-de-Brigade Louis-Hyacinthe Le Feron       


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


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


III Battalion 5th Line Infantry Demi-brigade


The Armée de Naples remained in the Appennines until the middle month of July, when it begun its withdrawal “par l’aile droit” into the Ligurian territory.


[1] General  Veletzky had one Russian infantry battalion and 50 Karacsay Dragoons entrenched in Bobbio. As for Suvorov Lapoype lost 500 soldiers (??), dead or wounded, and 103 prisoners; the Russians lost 69 men (23 dead and 46 wounded).

[2] The 1st Polish Legion completed its reorganization in July receiving some artillery crews left by Montrichard on the Appennines before the Trebbia, the Milanese Depot personnel, wounded Officers and soldiers of the 2nd Legion. All unfit personnel was transferred to Nice by ships. Chef de bataillon Zagorski had the task to organize the new 2nd Legion Depot at Nice, major Au that of the 1st Legion, captain Stuart the artillery depot and captain Potrykowski that of cavalry. With this organization, the 1st Legion reached again the number of 2500 troopers, cavalry included.

[3] François-Joseph Pamphile de Lacroix, vicomte Born at Aimargues (Gard), on June 1, 1774, he entered the service on May 12, 1792, in the 14e régiment d’infanterie, the former Forez, as a 1st lieutenant, fighting in Champagne and Belgium. For his barvery, in 1793, he was called on duty in the Staff of the armée du Nord, under Dampierre. In this occasion he became very close to the général de brigade Macdonald, commander of the régiment de Picardie, as officier général. For ten years he followed and supported Macdonald, till the 1799 campaign, distinguishing himself at the siege of Terracina, where he suffered a wound in the left thigh. There he was named chef de bataillon, fighting also at Capua and Naples, where he was promoted to the rank of adjudant-général. After the Trebbia, he was charged with the command of the Reserve division (former Watrin) and distinguished himself during the night attack against Sassuolo. In 1800 he was at Bard (fortress) tracing a causeway which surrounded the fort and allowed the French to bypass the main road. He was also at Marengo and, when, in 1801, Macdonald had a command in Switzerland, he was called to command the vanguard, with which he opened the Splügen pass path. In 1802 he was at Santo Domingo, where he took part in the Port-au-Prince capture, receiving another wound. Then, finally, he officially became General of brigade. But it was destiny that Lacroix in the moment of his promotions would always had been called to superior command. So, in the island, when the fresh General de brigade knew General Boulet had been wounded, he had to take command of the division. Returned in France (1803) he received the membership of the Légion-d’Honneur, and in the same year the commander rank. He was after in the Netherlands and then at Ulm, Germany and Friuli in Italy with his brigade. In 1808, June 24, the Emperor made a Baron of him and promoted him as chef d’état-major de l’armée de Naples, distinguishing, in  1809, in the campaigns against the anglo-sicilians troops and against the local insurgents (briganti). He asked then for a dismissal to reanch France, had some troubles with the Imperialty and was emprisoned at Montpellier. Recalled on duty with the first Restoration, Lacroix, for few days under the Bourbons, was recalled also by Napoleon, becaming the Chief od Staff of the 2nd Corps with the rank of lieutenant-général titulaire. After Waterloo, Napoléon ordered him to stay at Charleroi in order to organize the traffic of the retreat.Then he retired. However he was again recalled on duty in 1820, by his personal friend Latour-Maubourg, and sent to Grenoble as Chief of the 7th territorial division. Passed through the 1821 riots he became Viscount on August 10, 1822. He died in 1841.

Placed on the Napoleon Series: August 2008

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