Augustin Tuncq

Last updated

Augustin Tuncq
Born27 August 1746
Conteville
Died9 February 1800 (1800-02-10) (aged 53)
Paris
Allegiance France
French Republic
Service/branch French Army
Years of service1762–1800
Rank Général de division
Battles/wars War in the Vendée
Rhine Campaign of 1796
RelationsBrutus Tuncq

Augustin Tuncq, born in Conteville (Somme) on 27 August 1746 and died in Paris on 9 February 1800, served in the French military during the reign of the House of Bourbon and was a general of the French Revolutionary Wars. Most notably, he commanded Republican forces during the War in the Vendée and successfully defended Chalot from Vendean attack. He was a severe critic of his commander, Jean Antoine Rossignol, who later had him arrested and returned to Paris for trial. Accused by Jacques Hébert, he was saved from conviction only by the fall of the Hébertists, and the execution of Hébert himself. He subsequently commanded the coastal defenses at Brest, and was a divisional commander in Pierre Marie Barthélemy Ferino's column of the Army of the Rhine and Moselle during the Rhine Campaign of 1796. After the campaign he tried several times to retire; he died of injuries from a carriage accident in Paris in 1800.

Contents

Family

Born on 27 August 1746 in Conteville, Somme, he was the son of a weaver, Jean Tuncq, and his wife Marie-Francoise Trogneux (or Trongneux). He married Marie-Francios Pelagie Chefeville, of Liancourt, Oise, in St. Philippe du Roule, Paris, on 26 November 1789. The couple had three children. One, Brutus, became a battalion chief by 1848. [1]

Military Service

Tunq entered the royal army as a private in 1762, first as a volunteer in the Regiment of Provence, and was a sergeant on 1 January 1768. [2] He deserted on 30 June 1770, [1] yet by 1773, he was a rider in the provost marshal's guard. When it was decommissioned on 19 October, he joined the guard of the General Provost (13 March 1774). In 1780, he became a captain in the Legion of the Pyrenees. By 1789 he was a captain in the National Guard. [2]

Service during the French Revolution

19th century representation of the Battle of Lucon Bataille de Lucon.jpg
19th century representation of the Battle of Luçon

In June 1793, during the French Revolution, he was sent to fight in the War in the Vendée, where he replaced General Claude Sandoz in Luçon, who had been removed for flight. Upon this appointment, he was promoted to the rank of brigadier general. [2] He accused his superior, General Jean Antoine Rossignol, the commander of the Army of the Coasts of La Rochelle, of incompetence. Rossignol removed him from command, but on his day of departure, the Vendéen insurgents attacked the city. Upon orders of the representatives on mission fr:Jean François Marie Goupilleau de Fontenay and François Louis Bourdon then ordered him to temporarily reinstate his command. With 6,000 men, on 14 August, he defeated Gigot d’Elbée's superior force of 35,000 in the Battle of Luçon and he subsequently held both Luçon and Chantonnay. [3] Consequently, supported by the powerful representatives, his victory earned him the rank of major general. [1]

Injured after falling off a horse, he gave up his army to his second in command, general of division René François Lecomte, so he could receive treatment for his injuries at La Rochelle, but on 5 September, the division was crushed by d’Elbée's 20,000 men at the Battle of Chantonnay. Lecomte had not taken any precautions in building the defenses and left without issuing appropriate orders. [1]

Rossignol took advantage of Lecomte's poor leadership to insure Tuncq's removal, placing him under arrest on 12 September. Sent to Paris, Tuncq vigorously defended himself before the military tribunal. [4] He narrowly escaped the guillotine, but was acquitted after the case against him fell apart: in early 1794, Jacques Hébert and his colleagues fell from power and Hébert himself was executed. [5] Tuncq was reinstated in his position in November 1794. [1]

Service in the Rhineland

"In 1795, he was assigned to the army at Brest and took command of the 4th Division in Nantes. During this assignment, Josnet de Laviolais reported to the military authorities that he was unfit; general Hoche described him as an immoral man without integrity or talent." Exonerated by a military tribunal, he was assigned to the 15th Division at Amiens, but the local authorities rejected him. He requested retirement, but was called to active duty on 4 March 1796 as a divisional commander of the second division of Ferino's Column of the Army of the Rhine and Moselle. [1]

On 7 March 1797, he was arrested on unknown charges, and acquitted by the War Council on 8 August and reintegrated into the army on 9 September 1797; he was employed by the 15th division until 21 August 1799. He died in Paris at the Hospital of Val-de-Grâon on 9 February 1800, of injuries received in a riding accident. [6]

In 1797, he published additional papers on his difficulties in the Vendee. [7]

Related Research Articles

François Séverin Marceau French general

François Séverin Marceau-Desgraviers was a French general of the Revolutionary Wars.

War in the Vendée part of the War of the First Coalition

The War in the Vendée was a counter-revolution in the Vendée region of France during the French Revolution. The Vendée is a coastal region, located immediately south of the Loire River in western France. Initially, the war was similar to the 14th-century Jacquerie peasant uprising, but quickly acquired themes considered by the Jacobin government in Paris to be counter-revolutionary, and Royalist. The uprising headed by the newly formed Catholic and Royal Army was comparable to the Chouannerie, which took place in the area north of the Loire.

Henri de la Rochejaquelein French officer

Henri du Vergier, comte de la Rochejaquelein was the youngest general of the Royalist Vendéan insurrection during the French Revolution. A commander-in-chief of the Catholic and Royal Army at the age of 21, he is regarded as one of the most courageous officers in French military history.

Louis dElbée French military leader

Maurice-Joseph-Louis Gigost d'Elbée was a French Royalist military leader. Initially enthusiastic about the Revolution, he became disenchanted with the disestablishment of the Catholic Church and retired to his estates in Beaupreau. He was the second commander in chief of the Royal and Catholic Army formed by Royalist forces of the Vendean insurrection against the Republic and the French Revolution.

Battle of Luçon battle

The final Battle of Luçon was fought on 14 August 1793 during the French Revolutionary Wars, between forces of the French Republic under Augustin Tuncq and Royalist forces under Gigot d’Elbée. The engagement on 14 August, fought near the town of Luçon in Vendée, France, was actually the conclusion of three engagements between the Vendean insurgents and the Republican French. On 15 July, Claude Sandoz and a garrison of 800 had repulsed 5,000 insurgents led by d'Elbee; on 28 July, Augustin Tuncq drove off a second attempt; two weeks later, Tunq and his 5,000 men routed 30,000 insurgents under the personal command of Francois-Athanese Charette.

Jean Antoine Rossignol French general

Jean Antoine Rossignol, was a general of the French Revolutionary Wars.

The Army of the West was one of the French Revolutionary Armies that was sent to fight in the War in the Vendée in western France. The army was created on 2 October 1793 by merging the Army of the Coasts of La Rochelle, the so-called Army of Mayence and part of the Army of the Coasts of Brest. In 1793 the army or its component forces fought at Second Châtillon, First Noirmoutier, La Tremblaye, Cholet, Laval, Entrames, Fougères, Granville, Dol, Angers, Le Mans and Savenay. After the main Vendean army was crushed, the revolt evolved into guerilla warfare and there were few pitched battles. In 1794 Louis Marie Turreau tried to suppress the rebellion with extremely brutal methods using the infamous infernal columns. Calmer heads finally prevailed and Turreau was recalled. On 6 January 1796, the army was absorbed into the newly-formed Army of the Coasts of the Ocean. The Army of the West came into existence a second time on 17 January 1800 and was finally suppressed on 21 May 1802.

Jean Léchelle or Jean L'Échelle briefly commanded a French army during the French Revolutionary Wars. Having served in the French Royal Army as a youth, the outbreak of the French Revolution found him employed as a fencing master. He was elected to lead a volunteer National Guard battalion which fought at Valmy and Jemappes in 1792. He earned promotion to general officer after distinguishing himself at the Siege of Valenciennes and saving a representative from an angry mob. He won such favor with the politicians and the war office that he was rapidly catapulted into command of an army in the War in the Vendée. After the capable battalion leader demonstrated his total unfitness for the post of army commander, he was just as quickly arrested and thrown into prison where he died, a probable suicide.

The Army of the Coasts of Brest was a French Revolutionary Army formed on 30 April 1793 by splitting the Army of the Coasts into this army and the Army of the Coasts of Cherbourg. The formation was first put under the command of Jean Baptiste Camille Canclaux and charged with fighting the War in the Vendée, combatting the Chouannerie and protecting the coasts of Brittany against a British invasion. After successfully defending Nantes and suffering setbacks at Tiffauges and Montaigu, Canclaux was recalled on 5 October 1793 and many of the army's soldiers were absorbed into the Army of the West. Over the next few years, Jean Antoine Rossignol, Jean-François-Auguste Moulin, Thomas-Alexandre Dumas, Lazare Hoche and Gabriel Venance Rey led the army in turn. In June–July 1795 the army crushed a Royalist invasion at Quiberon. On 5 January 1796 the formation and two other armies were merged into the Army of the Coasts of the Ocean and placed under the command of Hoche.

Charles Marie de Beaumont dAutichamp French general

Charles Marie Auguste Joseph de Beaumont, comte d'Autichamp. A brave but ponderous man, he was one of the few Royalist survivors of the War in the Vendée.

The Army of the Coasts of La Rochelle was an army of the French Revolution which was created on 30 April 1793 and responsible for defending a region from the mouth of the Loire River south to the Gironde. Despite its relatively short existence, the army fought numerous battles during the War in the Vendée including Thouars, Fontenay-le-Comte, Saumur, First Châtillon, Vihiers, Luçon, Chantonnay, Coron and Saint-Fulgent. Many of the battles resulted in Republican defeats at the hands of the Vendean Royalists. Of the two principal army commanders, Armand Louis de Gontaut, Duke of Biron was dismissed and later executed by guillotine while Jean Antoine Rossignol was a political appointee who was generally acknowledged to be incompetent. The army was absorbed by the Army of the West on 5 October 1793.

Pierre Marie Barthélemy Ferino French general

Pierre Marie Barthélemy Ferino,, was a general and politician of France. Born in the Savoy, he was the son of a low-ranking officer in the Habsburg military. In 1789, during the French Revolution, he went to France, where he received a commission in the French Army. In 1793, his troops deposed him, for his strict discipline, but he was immediately reinstated and rose rapidly through the ranks of the general staff. He helped to push the Austrians back to Bavaria in the 1796 summer campaign, and then covered Moreau's retreat to France later that year, defending the Rhine bridge at Hüningen until the last units had crossed to safety.

Antoine Philippe de La Trémoille French noble

Antoine Philippe de La Trémoïlle, Prince of Talmont was a French noble and royalist notable for his military involvement against the French Revolution.

Battle of La Tremblaye battle

The battle of La Tremblaye took place near Cholet during the war in the Vendée, and was a Republican victory over the Vendéens.

Charles Sapinaud de La Rairie general

Charles Henri Félicité Sapinaud de la Rairie was a French soldier and Vendéen general during the war in the Vendée.

Marc Armand Elisée Scherb, was a brigadier general in the French Revolutionary Wars.

René François Lecomte, born 14 May 1764 in Fontenay-le-Comte (Vendée), died on 15 October 1793 in Bressuire (Deux-Sèvres), was a general of the French Revolutionary Wars, and, in particular, the War in the Vendée.

Amédée Willot French soldier and politician

Amédée Willot, Count of Gramprez, held several military commands during the French Revolutionary Wars but his association with Jean-Charles Pichegru led to his exile from France in 1797. He joined the French Royal Army as a volunteer in 1771 and was a captain by 1787. He was elected commander of a volunteer battalion in 1792 and served in the War of the Pyrenees. Shortly after being promoted commander of a light infantry regiment Willot was appointed general of brigade in June 1793. A few months later he was denounced as a Royalist and jailed. In the light of later events, this may have been an accurate assessment of Willot's sentiments. After release from prison in January 1795, he led troops in Spain during the summer campaign. He was promoted to general of division in July 1795.

Charles Aimé de Royrand became a Vendean leader in the War in the Vendée, a revolt against the French Revolution. He joined the French Royal Army and served in an infantry regiment during the American Revolutionary War before retiring to his estates in 1780. When the Vendean insurrection broke out in 1793 he was chosen as the leader of the southern army. He led rebel forces at Luçon, Cholet and Entrames. He was fatally wounded at Entrames on 26 October and died at Baugé-en-Anjou.

The Battle of Chantonnay saw Royalist and Republican French forces clash at Chantonnay during the War in the Vendée. In the wake of his victory at Luçon, Augustin Tuncq sent 7,000 Republican troops under René François Lecomte to occupy an exposed position at Chantonnay. Reacting to the threat, 25,000 Vendeans rebels with 21 cannons led by Louis d'Elbée and Charles de Bonchamps attacked and crushed the Republicans in a four-hour struggle in which François Séverin Marceau-Desgraviers distinguished himself. Only 2,500 out of 7,500 Republicans escaped the disaster.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Samariens sous l'Empire, Augustin tuncq, 3 February2014 version. Accessed 25 February 2015.
  2. 1 2 3 Alain Gerard, La Vendee: 1789–1793, Editions Champ Vallon, 1992, p. 223.
  3. Digby Smith, The Greenhill Napoleonic Wars Data Book. Greenhill Books, 1998, p. 51.
  4. See Le général Tuncq à ses concitoyens, Augustin Tuncq, l'Antifederaliste, 1793 and Le Général Tuncq à ses Concitoyens. Galletti, imprimeur du Journal des lois de la République française, 1793.
  5. William Doyle, The Oxford History of the French Revolution, Clarendon Press 1989, pp. 260–275.
  6. (in French) Lazare Carnot, Correspondence general de Carnot, Imprimerie nationale, 1897, vol. 3, p. 118 (fn).
  7. See Augustin Tuncq, Quatrième division militaire. Liberté. Égalité. Jugement du Conseil de guerre de la quatrième division militaire, séant à Nancy qui acquitte honorablement Augustin Tuncq, général de division, de toutes les inculpations [d'abus d'autorité, d'actes violents et arbitraires dans les pays conquis et ..., impr. Guivard, 1797.