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Military Subjects: Organization, Strategy & Tactics


A Heavy Price for the Glory of the Empire: Losses in Regimental Commanders and Staff Personnel of Napoléon’s Grande Armée  

By Eman Vovsi

To reflect the most reliable data on loses that were sustained by colonels as well as adjudant-commandants during the major battles of the First Empire, several sources were absorbed and put together[1].  As a result, there are some discrepancies in the table below, which does not necessarily depict the exact information from the original figures provided by Danielle & Bernard Quintin in their famous Dictionnaire des colonels de Napoléon (Paris, 1996).  Also, only officers of the French natural extraction were put in the table, with no allies or foreign commanders.  The following table was composed in decreasing order of loses; of all mortally wounded, only those who died within a week or so, were counted[2].  

Legend: m.w = mortally wounded

Leipzig , 16-19 October 1813  Adjudant-commandants Hugues, Levasseur, Monestier, Robert
  Colonel Camescasse  142nd Line Infantry Regiment
  Colonel Chauveau
General staff of the artillery, III Corps of the Reserve Cavalry
  Colonel Magaud (m.w.) 29th Light Infantry Regiment
  Colonel Maleszewski     Regiment of the Vistule Infantry
  Colonel Montigny 25th Dragoons Regiment
  Colonel Royer 3rd Chasseurs à Cheval Regiment
  Colonel Sennegon  155th Line Infantry Regiment
  Total: 11  
Wagram, 5-6 July 1809 

Adjudant-commandants Ducommet (m.w., died 9 July), Dupont, Magnac (died 12 July)

  Colonel Delga (m.w.)    2nd Line Infantry Regiment
  Colonel Gallet  9th Line Infantry Regiment[3]
  Colonel Horiot 23rd Light Infantry Regiment
  Colonel Huin 13th Line Infantry Regiment
  Colonel Laborde 8th Hussars Regiment
  Colonel Leduc   19th Chasseurs à Cheval Regiment
  Colonel Oudet (m.w.) 17th Line Infantry Regiment
  Total: 10  
La Moscowa, 5-7 September 1812  Adjudant-commandant Dupont d’Erval  
  Colonel Demay  General staff of the artillery
  Colonel Désirat 11th Chasseurs à Cheval Regiment
  Colonel Ledard (m.w.) 6th Chasseurs à Cheval Regiment
  Colonel Massy 4th Line Infantry Regiment
  Colonel Méda (m.w. at Schewardino, 5 Sept., died 8 Sept.)  1st Chasseurs à Cheval Regiment
  Colonel Pelgrin (m.w.)  2nd Horse Artillery Regiment
  Colonel St.-Vincent General Staff of artillery
  Total: 8  
Eylau, 7-8 February 1807  Adjudant-commandants Mac-Cheehy and Michel  
  Colonel Bourbier 11th Dragoons Regiment
  Colonel Lacuée  63rd Line Infantry Regiment
  Colonel Lemarois  43rd Line Infantry Regiment
  Colonel Silbermann (m.w.) 53rd Line Infantry Regiment
  Total: 6  
Waterloo, 18 June 1815   Adjudant-commandant Chasseriau (m.w. died 26 June)  
  Colonel Aubrée (m.w. died 26 June) 11th Line Infantry Regiment
  Colonel Cobert (m.w.)  5th Cuirassiers Regiment
  Colonel Lacroix (m.w.) 2nd Cuirassiers Regiment
  Colonel Mallet 3rd Chasseurs à pied de la Garde  
  Colonel Rignon 51st Line Infantry Regiment
  Total: 6  
Friedland, 14 June 1807 Adjudant-commandants Pelissard and Roussot  
  Colonel Faure-Lajonquière (m.w.)  76th Line Infantry Regiment
  Colonel Forno 2nd Horse Artillery Regiment
  Total: 4  
Austerlitz, 2 December 1805  Colonel Morland           Major Chasseurs à Cheval de la Garde
  Colonel Mazas 14th Line Infantry Regiment
  Colonel Castex 13th Light Infantry Regiment
  Total: 3  
Iena, 14 October 1806  Colonel Barbanègre            9th Hussars Regiment
  Colonel Houdart-Lamotte  36th Line Infantry Regiment
  Colonel Marigny 20th Chasseurs à Cheval Regiment
  Total: 3  
Essling, 21-22 May 1809  Adjudant-commandant Ransonnet[4]  
  Colonel De Brancas (m.w.) 11th Cuirassiers Regiment
  Colonel Richard  46th Line Infantry Regiment
  Total: 3  
Chiclana-Barossa, 5 March 1811  Colonel Moranzin (m.w.)  General Staff of artillery
  Colonel Autié  8th Line Infantry Regiment
  Colonel Maingarmaud 96th Line Infantry Regiment
  Total: 3  
Krasnoe, 16-17 & 19 November 1812 Colonel Juillet (m.w.)  111th Line Infantry Regiment
  Colonel Bouvier  General Staff of engineers
  Colonel Fondzielski (m.w.) 3rd Vistula Legion
  Total: 3  
Lützen, 2 May 1813 Adjudant-commandant Masson  
  Colonel Lamour  22nd Line Infantry Regiment
  Colonel Larcilly (m.w.) 13th Line Infantry Regiment 
  Total: 3  
Ligny, 16 June 1815 Colonel Dubalen 64th Line Infantry Regiment
  Colonel Laurède (m.w.) 63rd Line Infantry Regiment
  Colonel Maury 71st Line Infantry Regiment
  Total: 3  
Bussaco, 27 September 1810  Colonel Amy 6th Light Infantry Regiment
  Colonel Meunier 31st Light Infantry Regiment
  Total: 2  
Raab, 14 1809   Colonel Thierry 23rd Light Infantry Regiment
  Colonel Bohn 7th Chasseurs à Cheval Regiment
  Total: 2  
Arapiles (or Salamanca), 22 July 1812 Adjudant-commandant Durel (m.w., died 28 July)[5]  
  Colonel Molard  6th Light Infantry Regiment
  Total: 2  
Polotsk, 17-18 August 1812  Colonel Aubry 19th Line Infantry Regiment
  Colonel Mayot 37th Line Infantry Regiment
  Total: 2  
Vitoria, 21 June 1813  Colonel Foulon 28th Light Infantry Regiment
  Colonel Gilliard  General Staff of Artillery
  Total: 2  
Kulm, 13 August 1813 Colonel Autran  7th Light Infantry Regiment
  Colonel Quandalle (m.w.)  13th Light Infantry Regiment
  Total: 2  
Auerstädt, 14 October 1806  Colonel Higonett              108th Line Infantry Regiment[6]
Heilsberg, 10 June 1807 Colonel Perrier                  53rd Line Infantry Regiment
Medina del Rio, 14 July 1808 Colonel Piéton-Prémalé     22nd Chasseurs à Cheval Regiment

 Eckmühl, 22 April 1809 

Colonel Sachs  14th Chasseurs à Cheval Regiment
Valutina-Gora, 19 August 1812  Colonel Thoulouze  12th Line Infantry Regiment 
Maloyaroslawetz, 24 October 1812 Colonel Penant  35th Line Infantry Regiment
Dresden, 26-27 August 1813 Colonel-major Deshayes 2nd Chasseurs à pied de la Garde
Defense of Brême, 13 October 1813 Colonel Thuillier  Commandant d’armés[7]
Hanau, 30 October 1813 Colonel Ferran  22nd Light Infantry Regiment
Montmirail, 11 February 1814 Colonel-major Malet 2nd Chasseurs à pied de la Garde
Reims, 15 March 1814   Colonel-major de Belmont  3rd Regiment de Gardes d’



[1] See, e.g., A. Martinien, Tableaux par corps et par batailles des officiers tués et blessés pendant les guerres de l’Empire, 1805-1815 (Lavauzelle: Paris, 1890); Alain Pigeard, L’Armée Napoléonienne, 1804-1815 (Ed. Curandére, 1993), 855-85.

[2] For example, adjudant commandant Duveyrier who was mortally wounded at Friedland, 14 June 1807, died after almost a month, on 13 July; so he could be considered as wounded; see in Martinien, op. cit.,27.

[3] Newly promoted to Colonel Andre Gouy, who assumed the command, died of wounds 21 July.

[4] Died on 8 July; A. Martinien, 27.

[5] Died on 12 September, A. Martinien, 28.

[6] Died on 31 December; A. Martinien, 27.

[7] Ibid., 60.


Placed on the Napoleon Series: January 2008

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