|Born||30 April 1760|
|Died||28 April 1837 (aged 76)|
|Rank||Général de Division|
|Battles/wars|| French Revolutionary Wars |
Joseph, comte Souham (30 April 1760 – 28 April 1837) was a French general who fought in the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars. He was born at Lubersac and died at Versailles. After long service in the French Royal Army, he was elected to lead a volunteer battalion in 1792 during the French Revolution. He was promoted to general of division in September 1793 after playing a prominent role in the defense of Dunkirk. In May 1794 with his commander absent, he took temporary command of the Army of the North and defeated the Coalition army at Tourcoing. He led the covering forces at the Siege of Ypres and participated in the successful invasion of the Dutch Republic. He spent many years in occupation duties in Holland and then his career suffered because of his association with Pichegru and Moreau. Starting in 1809 he was employed in Spain during the Peninsular War, winning the Battle of Vich where he was wounded. In army command again, he forced Wellington's army to retreat at Tordesillas in 1812. The following year he led a division at Lützen and a corps at Leipzig. He remained loyal to the Bourbons during the Hundred Days.
Souham served in the Royal French army as a private from 1782 to 1790. In 1792, having shown himself active in the cause of the Revolution, he was elected chef de bataillon of a volunteer battalion from the Corrèze. He served with his unit at the Battle of Jemappes.
By 1793, Souham had risen to the rank of général de division during the Flanders Campaign. When his army commander, Jean-Charles Pichegru fell ill, Souham assumed army command and defeated the Allied army at the Battle of Tourcoing in May 1794. He served under Pichegru in Holland (1795), but in 1799 he fell into disgrace on suspicion of being involved in Royalist intrigues. He was reinstated in 1800 and served under Jean Moreau in the Danube campaign of that year. During the French Consulate he appears to have been involved in conspiracies and was suspected with his old commanders Moreau and Pichegru of participation in the plot of Georges Cadoudal.
He was unemployed from 1800 to 1809. In the latter year a shortage of available experienced officers caused him to be put back on active duty. He was sent to Spain where he took a notable part in Gouvion St Cyr's operations in Catalonia. The actions at Vic in which he was wounded won him the title of comte de l'empire.
When Marshal Marmont had been wounded at the Battle of Salamanca in 1812, Marshal André Masséna, who was unable to assume the post himself, recommended Souham for the post. The latter was thus pitted against Wellington, and by skilful maneuvers drove the allied general back from Burgos and regained the ground lost at Salamanca.In January 1813, he was recalled to France.
In 1813, he took command of a division in Marshal Michel Ney's III Corps. At Lützen he greatly distinguished himself. Faced by the bulk of the combined Russian and Prussian armies, he bitterly defended the area around Gross-Gorschen. At the Battle of Leipzig he was wounded while leading III Corps.
After the fall of the First Empire he deserted the emperor and, having suffered for the Royalist cause, was well received by Louis XVIII, who gave him high commands. These honors Souham lost at the return of Napoleon and were regained once more after the Second Restoration. He retired in 1832, and died on 28 April 1837 in Versailles.
The Battle of Tourcoing saw a Republican French army directed by General Joseph Souham defend against an attack by an Habsburg, British, and Hanoverian Coalition army under Austrian Prince Josias of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld and Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany. The French army was temporarily led by Souham in the absence of its normal commander Jean-Charles Pichegru. Threatened with encirclement, Souham and division commanders Jean Victor Marie Moreau and Jacques Philippe Bonnaud improvised a counterattack which defeated the Coalition's widely separated and badly coordinated columns. The War of the First Coalition action was fought near the town of Tourcoing, just north of Lille in northeastern France.
François Sébastien Charles Joseph de Croix, Count of Clerfayt, a Walloon, joined the army of the Habsburg Monarchy and soon fought in the Seven Years' War. Later in his military career, he led Austrian troops in the war against Ottoman Turkey. During the French Revolutionary Wars he saw extensive fighting and rose to the rank of Field Marshal.
Jean-Charles Pichegru was a distinguished French general of the Revolutionary Wars. Under his command, French troops overran Belgium and the Netherlands before fighting on the Rhine front. His royalist positions led to his loss of power and imprisonment in Cayenne, French Guiana during the Coup of 18 Fructidor in 1797. After escaping into exile in London and joining the staff of Alexander Korsakov, he returned to France and planned the Pichegru Conspiracy to remove Napoleon from power, which led to his arrest and death. Despite his defection, his surname is one of the names inscribed under the Arc de Triomphe, on Column 3.
Marshal General Jean-de-Dieu Soult, 1st Duke of Dalmatia, was a French general and statesman, named Marshal of the Empire in 1804 and often called Marshal Soult. Soult was one of only six officers in French history to receive the distinction of Marshal General of France. The Duke also served three times as President of the Council of Ministers, or Prime Minister of France.
Jean-Baptiste Jourdan, 1st Comte Jourdan, enlisted as a private in the French royal army and rose to command armies during the French Revolutionary Wars. Emperor Napoleon I of France named him a Marshal of the Empire in 1804 and he also fought in the Napoleonic Wars. After 1815, he became reconciled to the Bourbon Restoration. He was one of the most successful commanders of the French Revolutionary Army.
Nicolas Charles Oudinot, 1st Comte Oudinot, 1st Duc de Reggio, was a Marshal of the Empire. He is known to have been wounded 34 times in battle. Oudinot is one of the Names inscribed under the Arc de Triomphe, Eastern pillar Columns 13, 14.
Étienne Jacques Joseph Alexandre MacDonald, 1st Duke of Taranto was a Marshal of the Empire and military leader during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.
Jean Victor Marie Moreau was a French general who helped Napoleon Bonaparte to power, but later became a rival and was banished to the United States.
Bertrand, comte Clauzel was a Marshal of France.
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The Army of the North or Armée du Nord is a name given to several historical units of the French Army. The first was one of the French Revolutionary Armies that fought with distinction against the First Coalition from 1792 to 1795. Others existed during the Peninsular War, the Hundred Days and the Franco-Prussian War.
The Battle of Mouscron was a series of clashes that occurred when the Republican French Army of the North under Jean-Charles Pichegru moved northeast to attack Menen (Menin) and was opposed by Coalition forces under the overall leadership of François Sébastien Charles Joseph de Croix, Count of Clerfayt. In their initial advance, the French began the Siege of Menin and captured Kortrijk (Courtrai). With Habsburg Austrian reinforcements, Clerfayt counterattacked on the 28th but Joseph Souham soon massed superior French forces and drove the Coalition troops out of the area. This Flanders Campaign action happened during the War of the First Coalition, part of the French Revolutionary Wars. The battle occurred near Mouscron, Belgium, located at the French border 9 kilometres (6 mi) south of Kortrijk and at Menen, located 11 kilometres (7 mi) west of Kortrijk.
The Siege of Ypres saw a Republican French army commanded by Jean-Charles Pichegru invest the fortress of Ypres and its 7,000-man garrison composed of Habsburg Austrians under Paul von Salis and Hessians led by Heinrich von Borcke and Georg von Lengerke. French troops under Joseph Souham fended off three relief attempts by the corps of François Sébastien Charles Joseph de Croix, Count of Clerfayt. Meanwhile, the French besiegers led by Jean Victor Marie Moreau compelled the Coalition defenders to surrender the city. The fighting occurred during the War of the First Coalition, part of the Wars of the French Revolution. In 1794 Ypres was part of the Austrian Netherlands, but today it is a municipality in Belgium, located about 120 kilometres (75 mi) west of Brussels.
Jacques Philippe Bonnaud or Bonneau commanded a French combat division in a number of actions during the French Revolutionary Wars. He enlisted in the French Royal Army as cavalryman in 1776 and was a non-commissioned officer in 1789. He became a captain in the 12th Chasseurs à Cheval Regiment in 1792. The unit fought at Valmy, Jemappes, Aldenhoven, Neerwinden, Raismes, Caesar's Camp and Wattignies, and he was wounded twice. In January 1794 he was promoted to general officer. In April 1794, he reluctantly accepted command of a division that had been cut to pieces at Villers-en-Cauchies and Troisvilles, and this at a time when failed generals often were sent to the guillotine. He led his troops at Courtrai, Tourcoing and in the invasion of the Dutch Republic. He fought in the War in the Vendée the following year, briefly leading the Army of the Coasts of Cherbourg. In the Rhine Campaign of 1796 he led a cavalry division in combat at Amberg, Würzburg and Limburg. He was badly wounded in the latter action and never recovered, dying at Bonn six months later. BONNEAU is one of the names inscribed under the Arc de Triomphe, on Column 6.
Anne Charles Basset de Montaigu, born 10 June 1751 in Versailles (Yvelines), died 8 May 1821 at Luneville was a general of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars. Tainted by his association with Charles Pichegru, he was cleared by a courts-martial in 1797, and served subsequently in the Army of the Danube and in the Grande Armée until his retirement from military service in 1811.
Éloi Laurent Despeaux commanded a combat infantry division during the French Revolution. He joined the French Royal Army in 1776 and became a non-commissioned officer by 1791 when he reentered civilian life. The following year he joined a volunteer battalion and fought at Jemappes. He was badly wounded at Famars in May 1793 and was appointed general of brigade in the Army of the North in September that year. After being wounded again he was promoted general of division in March 1794.
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.
Georg Wilhelm Baron von dem Bussche-Haddenhausen was a general officer of Hanoverian soldiers during the War of the First Coalition who famously led one of the Coalition columns at the Battle of Tourcoing. In 1743 he joined the Hanoverian military service and fought in the War of the Austrian Succession and Seven Years' War, fighting at Minden and Lutterberg. He led a battalion at Gibraltar in the American Revolutionary War. In the War of the First Coalition he led his soldiers at Valenciennes, Hondschoote, Mouscron, Tourcoing and Tournai. On 11 December 1794 while defending the Bommelerwaard in the Dutch Republic, his hand was taken off by a cannonball and he died shortly afterward.