Eustache Charles d'Aoust

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Eustache Charles Joseph d'Aoust
Born(1763-02-27)27 February 1763
Douai, France
Died 2 July 1794(1794-07-02) (aged 31)
Paris, France
Allegiance Flag of France.svg France
Rank General of Division

French Revolutionary Wars

Eustache Charles Joseph d'Aoust (27 February 1763, Douai 2 July 1794, Paris) was a general officer during the French Revolutionary Wars.

Douai Subprefecture and commune in Hauts-de-France, France

Douai is a commune in the Nord département in northern France. It is a sub-prefecture of the department. Located on the river Scarpe some 40 kilometres from Lille and 25 km (16 mi) from Arras, Douai is home to one of the region's most impressive belfries. The population of the metropolitan area, including Lens, was 552,682 in 1999.

Paris Capital of France

Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris is one of Europe's major centres of finance, diplomacy, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts.

A General Officer is an officer of high rank in the army, and in some nations' air forces or marines.


He started his military career in the Old Regime army and served on the staffs of three of the early army commanders and later fought in the War of the Pyrenees against the Kingdom of Spain. On three separate occasions he commanded the Army of the Eastern Pyrenees, but he shared the fate of two previous commanders when he was arrested and guillotined by the Committee of Public Safety.

War of the Pyrenees conflict

The War of the Pyrenees, also known as War of Roussillon or War of the Convention, was the Pyrenean front of the First Coalition's war against the First French Republic. It pitted Revolutionary France against the kingdoms of Spain and Portugal from March 1793 to July 1795 during the French Revolutionary Wars.

Army of the Eastern Pyrenees

The Army of the Eastern Pyrenees was one of the French Revolutionary armies. It fought against the Kingdom of Spain in Rousillon, the Cerdanya and Catalonia during the War of the Pyrenees. This army and the Army of the Western Pyrenees were formed by splitting the original Army of the Pyrenees at the end of April 1793 soon after the war started. Shortly after the Peace of Basel on 22 July 1795, the fighting ended and the army was dissolved on 12 October that same year. Many of its units and generals were transferred to join the Army of Italy and fought under Napoleon Bonaparte in 1796.

Committee of Public Safety De facto executive government in France (1793–1794)

The Committee of Public Safety, created in April 1793 by the National Convention and then restructured in July 1793, formed the de facto executive government in France during the Reign of Terror (1793–1794), a stage of the French Revolution. The Committee of Public Safety succeeded the previous Committee of General Defence and assumed its role of protecting the newly established republic against foreign attacks and internal rebellion. As a wartime measure, the Committee—composed at first of nine and later of twelve members—was given broad supervisory powers over military, judicial and legislative efforts. It was formed as an administrative body to supervise and expedite the work of the executive bodies of the Convention and of the government ministers appointed by the Convention. As the Committee tried to meet the dangers of a coalition of European nations and counter-revolutionary forces within the country, it became more and more powerful.

Early career

Son of Eustache Jean-Marie D'Aoust, who later became a member of the National Convention, Eustache Charles d'Aoust began his military career as a second lieutenant supernumerary without pay in the Royal Regiment of Infantry on 21 April 1778 at the age of 15. He became sous-lieutenant on 14 April 1782, second lieutenant on 23 April 1786, and first lieutenant on 16 August 1789. D'Aoust was appointed aide-de-camp to Marshal Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau on 26 May 1790. He became captain and adjutant to Marshal Nicolas Luckner on 21 May 1792. He became aide-de-camp to General Armand Louis de Gontaut, Duc de Biron on 13 July 1792, and received promotion to colonel on 7 October. [1]

National Convention single-chamber assembly in France from 21 September 1792 to 26 October 1795

The National Convention was the first government of the French Revolution, following the two-year National Constituent Assembly and the one-year Legislative Assembly. Created after the great insurrection of 10 August 1792, it was the first French government organized as a republic, abandoning the monarchy altogether. The Convention sat as a single-chamber assembly from 20 September 1792 to 26 October 1795.

Second lieutenant is a junior commissioned officer military rank in many armed forces, comparable to NATO OF-1a rank.

First lieutenant is a commissioned officer military rank in many armed forces and, in some forces, an appointment.

Eastern Pyrenees

D'Aoust was provisionally appointed general of brigade in the Army of the Eastern Pyrenees on 2 June 1793. He was provisionally appointed general of division by representatives Joseph Fabre and Reymond Gaston on 7 August, and assumed command of the camp near Perpignan. [1] This was a difficult time to be a general in the eastern Pyrenees. The Spanish army captured the Fort de Bellegarde, a major fortress, when the siege ended on 24 June. Previous commander Claude Souchon de Chameron was in prison and Louis-Charles de Flers joined him when he was arrested on 6 August. Both Souchon and de Flers were guillotined in 1794 during the Reign of Terror. To make matters worse, the Spanish commander Captain General Antonio Ricardos was a capable opponent.

Perpignan Prefecture and commune in Occitanie, France

Perpignan is the prefecture of the Pyrénées-Orientales department in Southwest France. Perpignan was the capital of the former province and County of Roussillon and continental capital of the Kingdom of Majorca in the 13th and 14th centuries.

Fort de Bellegarde

The Fort de Bellegarde is a 17th-century bastion fortification located above the town of Le Perthus, in the Pyrénées-Orientales département of southern France.

Siege of Bellegarde (1793) siege

The Siege of Bellegarde commenced on 23 May 1793 and ended on 24 June 1793 when Colonel Boisbrulé's French garrison surrendered the Fort de Bellegarde to a Spanish army under the command of Antonio Ricardos. The capture of the fort gave Spain control of an important road through the Pyrenees. The siege took place during the War of the Pyrenees, part of the French Revolutionary Wars. Fort de Bellegarde is on a height overlooking the border town of Le Perthus, which lies on the modern A9 autoroute and Autovía A-7.

Believing that Ricardos' Spanish army was unstoppable, Hilarion Paul de Puget-Barbantane moved his headquarters well to the rear on 4 September 1793, putting d'Aoust in charge of Perpignan. On 11 September, Barbantane fled to Toulouse, leaving the Army of the Eastern Pyrenees without a commander. The army briefly separated into three independent divisions and d'Aoust took command of the 1st Division. On 17 September, d'Aoust won a significant victory at the Battle of Peyrestortes. He led his troops in an attack on Juan de Courten's 6,000 Spanish soldiers at the Camp of Vernet. Other French troops under Jacques Gilles Henri Goguet attacked Peyrestortes hill, where Jerónimo Girón-Moctezuma, Marquis de las Amarilas deployed his division. After heavy fighting that lasted into the night, the French inflicted a major defeat on their opponents. Spanish killed, wounded, and captured numbered at least 1,702, and 26 cannon were captured. More importantly, the Spanish never seriously threatened Perpignan again. [2] [3]

Toulouse Prefecture and commune in Occitanie, France

Toulouse is the capital of the French department of Haute-Garonne and of the region of Occitanie. The city is on the banks of the River Garonne, 150 kilometres from the Mediterranean Sea, 230 km (143 mi) from the Atlantic Ocean and 680 km (420 mi) from Paris. It is the fourth-largest city in France, with 466,297 inhabitants as of January 2014. In France, Toulouse is called the "Pink City".

Battle of Peyrestortes

The Battle of Peyrestortes saw soldiers of the First French Republic fighting troops of the Kingdom of Spain during the War of the Pyrenees. Forces from the French Army of the Eastern Pyrenees, temporarily commanded by Eustache Charles d'Aoust and Jacques Gilles Henri Goguet, defeated two divisions of the Army of Catalonia led by Juan de Courten and Jerónimo Girón-Moctezuma, Marquis de las Amarillas. This Spanish setback in an attempt to capture Perpignan marked the high point of their invasion of Roussillon.

Juan de Courten (elder) or Juan Antonio Curten Massenet or Juan Courten or Juan Curten began his Spanish military career in the War of the Austrian Succession at the age of 14. His father was a brigadier general of engineers who died in 1745. Courten fought in the Spanish–Portuguese War (1761–1763), the Invasion of Algiers in 1775, and the Great Siege of Gibraltar. He was the last Spanish governor of Oran in 1792. As a lieutenant general, he led an infantry division during the War of the Pyrenees against the First French Republic in several actions including Perpignan, Peyrestortes, Truillas, Boulou, and the Black Mountain. He was appointed Captain General of Aragon in 1795.

On 18 August, d'Aoust became subordinated to Luc Siméon Auguste Dagobert, the new army commander. A few days after the French defeat at the Battle of Truillas on 22 September, Dagobert was arrested and d'Aoust became the army commander. On 3 October, d'Aoust with 16,000 men engaged Ricardos and 15,000 Spanish troops at Le Boulou on the Tech River. The Spanish won the battle, inflicting losses 400 killed and 800 wounded on their enemies, while suffering only 300 casualties. During and after the battle, 1,500 French soldiers deserted. [4] Between 11 October and 21 November, Louis Marie Turreau became the new army commander and d'Aoust went back to command the 1st Division. D'Aoust temporarily led the army again from 22 to 27 November until the inept but politically influential François Amédée Doppet took command from 28 November to 20 December.

Luc Siméon Auguste Dagobert French general

Luc Siméon Auguste Dagobert de Fontenille was a French general of the French Revolutionary Wars.

Battle of Truillas 1793 battle of the War of the Pyrenees

The Battle of Truillas was fought on 22 September 1793 during the French Revolutionary War between the French Army of the eastern Pyrenees led by Luc Siméon Auguste Dagobert and the Spanish Army of Catalonia under Antonio Ricardos. This attempt by the French to exploit their success in the Battle of Peyrestortes ended in a Spanish victory. Part of the War of the Pyrenees, the battle was fought near the village of Trouillas in the French department of Pyrénées Orientales, 12 km southwest of Perpignan.

Le Boulou Commune in Occitanie, France

Le Boulou is a commune in the Pyrénées-Orientales department in southern France.

On 7 December, d'Aoust advanced with 10,000 troops to surprise the enemy camp at Villelongue-dels-Monts. Ricardos with 3,000 Spanish and 5,000 Portuguese soldiers, repulsed the French attack. The French counted 340 killed and wounded, and 312 missing. In addition, 26 cannon, 2 colors, and 2,000 muskets were captured by the Allies. The Allies reported only 56 casualties. [5]


This time, d'Aoust's luck had run out. Though he again assumed temporary army command on 21 December, he was recalled to Paris the next day. On 2 January 1794, Representatives Jacques Cassanyès and Gaston confirmed him as army commander. But his doom was sealed when he was arrested by order of Representatives Édouard Milhaud and Pierre Soubrany on 10 January 1794. [1] He was also denounced by his jealous rivals, Turreau and Doppet. [6] Accused of malice and disability, d'Aoust was sentenced to death by the Revolutionary Court. He was guillotined in Paris on 2 July 1794 at the age of 31 years. [1]


  1. 1 2 3 4 French Wikipedia, Eustache Charles d'Aoust
  2. Smith, pp 56-57
  3. Prats, Peyrestortes
  4. Smith, p 57
  5. Smith, p 63
  6. Prats, Banyuls

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