Laurent de Gouvion Saint-Cyr
|Born||13 April 1764|
Toul, Three Bishoprics, France
|Died||17 March 1830 65) (aged|
Hyères, Var, France
|Years of service||1792–1814|
|Rank||Marshal of France|
|Battles/wars|| French Revolutionary Wars, Napoleonic Wars |
|Awards||1st Marquis of Gouvion-Saint-Cyr|
Laurent de Gouvion Saint-Cyr, 1st Marquis of Gouvion-Saint-Cyr (13 April 1764 – 17 March 1830) was a French commander in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars who rose to Marshal of France and Marquis.
The French Revolutionary Wars were a series of sweeping military conflicts lasting from 1792 until 1802 and resulting from the French Revolution. They pitted France against Great Britain, Austria and several other monarchies. They are divided in two periods: the War of the First Coalition (1792–97) and the War of the Second Coalition (1798–1802). Initially confined to Europe, the fighting gradually assumed a global dimension. After a decade of constant warfare and aggressive diplomacy, France had conquered a wide array of territories, from the Italian Peninsula and the Low Countries in Europe to the Louisiana Territory in North America. French success in these conflicts ensured the spread of revolutionary principles over much of Europe.
The Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) were a series of major conflicts pitting the French Empire and its allies, led by Napoleon I, against a fluctuating array of European powers formed into various coalitions, financed and usually led by the United Kingdom. The wars stemmed from the unresolved disputes associated with the French Revolution and its resultant conflict. The wars are often categorised into five conflicts, each termed after the coalition that fought Napoleon: the Third Coalition (1805), the Fourth (1806–07), the Fifth (1809), the Sixth (1813), and the Seventh (1815).
A marquess is a nobleman of high hereditary rank in various European peerages and in those of some of their former colonies. The term is also used to translate equivalent Asian styles, as in Imperial China and Imperial Japan.
He was born Laurent Gouvion in Toul, Three Bishoprics (now Meurthe-et-Moselle), the eldest child of Jean-Baptiste Gouvion, a tanner, and his wife Anne-Marie Mercier. He adopted the name Saint-Cyr after his mother, who had abandoned him at an early age.
Toul is a commune in the Meurthe-et-Moselle department in north-eastern France.
The Three Bishoprics constituted a province of pre-revolutionary France consisting of the dioceses of Metz, Verdun, and Toul within the Lorraine region. The three dioceses were Prince-bishoprics of the Holy Roman Empire until they were seized by King Henry II of France between April and June 1552. At the end of the Thirty Years' War, they were officially ceded to France by the 1648 Peace of Westphalia.
Meurthe-et-Moselle is a department in the Grand Est region of France, named after the Meurthe and Moselle rivers.
He went to Rome when he was eighteen in order to study painting, but, although he continued his artistic studies after his return to Paris in 1784, he never adopted the profession of a painter.
Rome is the capital city and a special comune of Italy. Rome also serves as the capital of the Lazio region. With 2,872,800 residents in 1,285 km2 (496.1 sq mi), it is also the country's most populated comune. It is the fourth most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. It is the centre of the Metropolitan City of Rome, which has a population of 4,355,725 residents, thus making it the most populous metropolitan city in Italy. Rome is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio (Latium), along the shores of the Tiber. The Vatican City is an independent country inside the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been often defined as capital of two states.
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 has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, diplomacy, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts.
Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a solid surface. The medium is commonly applied to the base with a brush, but other implements, such as knives, sponges, and airbrushes, can be used. The final work is also called a painting.
He married Anne Gouvion (Toul, 2 November 1775 - Paris, 18 June 1844) and had issue, including Laurent François, Marquis de Gouvion Saint-Cyr (30 December 1815 - 30 January 1904), married in Saint-Bouize on 17 August 1847 to Marie Adélaïde Bachasson de Montalivet (5 November 1828 - 14 April 1880), daughter of Marthe Camille Bachasson, Count of Montalivet, and had issue.
Saint-Bouize is a commune in the Cher department in central France.
Marthe Camille Bachasson, 3rd Count of Montalivet was a French statesman and a Peer of France.
In 1792 he was chosen a captain in a volunteer battalion, and served on the staff of General Custine. Promotion rapidly followed, and in the course of two years he rose to chef de brigade , général de brigade and général de division. He commanded the centre division of Jean Victor Marie Moreau's army in the Rhine Campaign of 1796, aiding in the celebrated retreat from Bavaria to the Rhine.
Adam Philippe, Comte de Custine was a French general. As a young officer in the Bourbon Royal army, he served in the Seven Years' War. In the American Revolutionary War he joined Rochambeau's Expédition Particulière supporting the American colonists. Following the successful Virginia campaign and the Battle of Yorktown, he returned to France and rejoined his unit in the Royal Army.
Chef de brigade was a military rank, equivalent to colonel, in the French Revolutionary army, in command of a demi-brigade. Both that unit and that rank were created at the same time, in 1793. The two designations disappeared just before the institution of the French Empire, in 1803, with the old designations restored.
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.
In 1798 he succeeded André Masséna in the command of the army of Italy. In the following year he commanded the left wing of Jean-Baptiste Jourdan's army fighting in Germany; when Jourdan was succeeded by Masséna, he joined the army of Moreau in Italy, where he distinguished himself in face of the great difficulties that followed the defeat of Novi. Moreau disliked Saint-Cyr for his sense of righteousness and incorruptibility. Rumours were soon spreading that Saint-Cyr was a "bad bed fellow". Moreau also accused him of not supporting his brother generals though General Ney and Davout often thanked him for support after battles. When Moreau, in 1800, was appointed to the command of the army of the Rhine, Gouvion Saint-Cyr was named his principal lieutenant, and on 9 May gained a victory over General Kray at Biberach. He was not, however, on good terms with his commander and retired to France after the first operations of the campaign.
André Masséna, 1st Duc de Rivoli, 1st Prince d'Essling was a French military commander during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. He was one of the original eighteen Marshals of the Empire created by Napoleon, with the nickname l'Enfant chéri de la Victoire.
The Army of Italy was a field army of the French Army stationed on the Italian border and used for operations in Italy itself. Though it existed in some form in the 16th century through to the present, it is best known for its role during the French Revolutionary Wars and Napoleonic Wars.
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 France 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.
In 1801 he was sent to Spain to command the army intended for the invasion of Portugal (see War of the Oranges ), and was named grand officer of the Legion of Honour. When a treaty of peace was shortly afterwards concluded with Portugal, he succeeded Lucien Bonaparte as ambassador at Madrid.
Saint-Cyr was a stoic in an age of pragmatism and glory. His refusal to sign the proclamation of congratulation for declaring the birth of the empire resulted in his name not being included in the first list of Napoleonic Marshals, while commanders such as Lannes, Bessières and Soult who had not had independent command experience were included. For the whole of his life Saint-Cyr believed that Napoleon deliberately refused him troops just to disgrace him. In 1803 he was appointed to the command of an army corps in Italy, in 1805 he served with distinction under Masséna, and in 1806 he was engaged in the campaign in southern Italy. When he returned to Paris to protest his treatment in Naples, Napoleon sent him back to his post on pain of death. He took part in the 1807 campaigns in Prussia and Poland, and in 1808, in which year he was made a count, he commanded an army corps in Catalonia; but, not wishing to comply with certain orders he received from Paris, he resigned his command and remained in disgrace till 1811.
He was still a général de division , having been excluded from the first list of marshals. On the opening of the Russian campaign, Saint-Cyr received command of the VI Corps, and on 18 August 1812 won a victory over the Russians at Polotsk, in recognition of which he was made a marshal. The Russians, under Barclay de Tolly, were burning everything as they retreated back towards Moscow, and had just burned nearby Smolensk. It was just prior to the victory at Polotsk on the banks of the Daugava river, however, that Oudinot was wounded, and thus Saint-Cyr assumed his command.
In October 1812 Saint-Cyr was driven out of Polotsk. He received a severe wound in one of the battles during the general retreat. Saint-Cyr distinguished himself at the battle of Dresden (26–27 August 1813) and in the defence of that place against the Allies after the battle of Leipzig, capitulating only on 11 November, when Napoleon had retreated to the Rhine. In this year, Saint Cyr's relation with the Emperor warmed as Napoleon commented that Saint Cyr had no match in all of the marshalate and was the equal of Napoleon himself in defence. On the day he received his long overdue baton he wrote a lengthy letter to his wife and true to his character he devoted only one line to his promotion.
On the Bourbon Restoration he was created a Peer of France, and in July 1815 was appointed War Minister, but resigned his office in the following November. During this appointment he tried to assist long-time friend and fellow marshal Michel Ney by providing him a jury of four other Napoleonic Marshals, but was disgraced when Marshal Moncey refused to even sit in it. In June 1817 he was appointed Marine Minister a pretext for him to resume the place of War Minister, which he did in September and continued to discharge till November 1819. During this time he initiated many reforms, particularly in respect of measures tending to make the army a national rather than a dynastic force. He made efforts to safeguard the rights of veteran soldiers of the Empire, organized the General Staff, and revised the code of military law and the pension regulations. He was made a marquess in 1817. Laurent de Gouvion-Saint-Cyr died on 17 March 1830 in Hyères, a town in the southeast of France.
Marshal Saint-Cyr is mentioned in Joseph Conrad's short story "The Duel" (as well as Ridley Scott's film adaptation The Duellists) as the commander of Armand d'Hubert after the second and final restoration of Louis XVIII as King of France.
The [Second] Battle of Stockach and Engen was fought on 3 May 1800 between the army of the First French Republic under Jean Victor Marie Moreau and the army of Habsburg Austria led by Pál Kray. The fighting near Engen resulted in a stalemate with heavy losses on both sides. However, while the two main armies were engaged at Engen, Claude Lecourbe captured Stockach from its Austrian defenders. The loss of his main supply base at Stockach compelled Kray to order a retreat. Stockach is located near the northwestern end of Lake Constance while Engen is 20 kilometres (12 mi) west of Stockach. The action occurred during the War of the Second Coalition, part of the French Revolutionary Wars.
The French Revolutionary Wars continued from 1799 with the French fighting the forces of the Second Coalition. Napoleon Bonaparte had returned from Egypt and taken control of the French government. He prepared a new campaign, sending Moreau to the Rhine frontier and personally going to take command in the Alps, where French forces had been driven almost out of Italy in 1799.
Joseph Souham 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.
Jean-Pierre Bachasson, Seigneur et 1er Comte de Montalivet was a French statesman and Peer of France. He was the father of Camille Bachasson, 3rd Count of Montalivet, Minister of the Interior under Louis-Philippe.
Georges Mouton, comte de Lobau was a French soldier and political figure who rose to the rank of Marshal of France.
Louis Baraguey d'Hilliers was a French Army general who fought in the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars. He was the father of Achille Baraguey d'Hilliers, a Marshal of France, and the father-in-law of General Damrémont, governor-general of Algeria.
In the First Battle of Polotsk, which took place on 17–18 August 1812, Russian troops under the command of Peter Wittgenstein fought French and Bavarian troops led by Nicolas Oudinot near the city of Polotsk, halting Oudinot's advance toward Saint Petersburg. The First Battle of Polotsk should be distinguished from the Second Battle of Polotsk which took place during the same campaign two months later.
Marshal of the Empire was a civil dignity during the First French Empire. It was created by Sénatus-consulte on 18 May 1804 and to a large extent resurrected the formerly abolished title of Marshal of France. According to the Sénatus-consulte, a Marshal was a grand officer of the Empire, entitled to a high-standing position at the Court and to the presidency of an electoral college.
The Battle of Campo Tenese saw two divisions of the Imperial French Army of Naples led by Jean Reynier attack the left wing of the Royal Neapolitan Army under Roger de Damas. Though the defenders were protected by field fortifications, a French frontal attack combined with a turning movement rapidly overran the position and routed the Neapolitans with heavy losses. The action occurred at Campotenese, a little mountain village in the municipality of Morano Calabro in the north of Calabria. The battle was fought during the War of the Third Coalition, part of the Napoleonic Wars.
Claude Juste Alexandre Louis Legrand was a French general. He commanded French divisions at several notable battles of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. He rose to senator on 5 April 1813, then Pair de France on 4 June 1814 and chevalier de Saint-Louis on 27 June 1814. He organised the defence of Chalon-sur-Saône in 1814 and died in Paris in 1815 of wounds received beside the River Berezina.
Jean Ambroise Baston de Lariboisière, also Count de Lariboisière, was a general of artillery of the First French Empire. He fought in the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars and died of fatigue at Königsberg in East Prussia on 21 December 1812, during the Grand Army's retreat from Moscow.
Nicolas Léonard Beker or Nicolas Léonard Becker or Nicolas Léonard Bagert, born 18 January 1770 – died 18 November 1840, joined the French army as a dragoon before the French Revolutionary Wars and rose in rank to become a general officer. In 1800 he married the sister of Louis Desaix, who was killed at the Battle of Marengo. He led an infantry brigade in the 1805 campaign and commanded a dragoon division in 1806 and 1807. In 1809 he became chief of staff to Marshal André Masséna but ran afoul of Emperor Napoleon and was banished from the army for several years.
Jean-Jacques Germain Pelet-Clozeau became a French general in the Napoleonic Wars and later was a politician and historian. He joined the French army in 1800 and became a topographic engineer. He joined the staff of Marshal André Masséna and was wounded at Caldiero in 1805. He served in southern Italy in 1806 and Poland in 1807. He was wounded at Ebelsberg and fought at Aspern-Essling and Wagram in 1809.
The Battle of Biberach on 9 May 1800 saw a French First Republic corps under Laurent Gouvion Saint-Cyr engage part of a Habsburg Austrian army led by Pál Kray. After an engagement in which the Austrians suffered twice as many casualties as the French, Kray withdrew to the east. The combat occurred during the War of the Second Coalition, part of the French Revolutionary Wars. Biberach an der Riss is located 35 kilometres (22 mi) southwest of Ulm.
Étienne Heudelet de Bierre joined the French army as a volunteer lieutenant in 1792. A year later he became a staff officer for a number of generals before becoming Laurent Gouvion Saint-Cyr's chief of staff in 1795. He fought under Jean Victor Marie Moreau in the 1796 campaign and fought at Kehl. He became a general officer in 1799, leading his troops at the First and Second Battles of Zurich. In April 1800 he was a brigade commander in Jean Victor Tharreau's division in Moreau's army. In December of that year he fought at Hohenlinden under Michel Ney.
In the Rhine Campaign of 1796, two First Coalition armies under the overall command of Archduke Charles outmaneuvered and defeated two French Republican armies. This was the last campaign of the War of the First Coalition, part of the French Revolutionary Wars.
Pierre Garnier de Laboissière commanded a French infantry division during the War of the Second Coalition. After enrolling in a military academy in 1769, he joined a dragoon regiment in 1772 as a sous lieutenant. In 1779 he was promoted to captain. In late 1792 during the War of the First Coalition he was given command of a cavalry regiment with the grade of colonel. While serving in the Army of the Rhine he was captured by the Prussians. After a prisoner exchange he was promoted to general of brigade in October 1793. Laboissière was promoted to general of division in February 1799. He fought at Stockach and led a division at Novi. In the summer and fall of 1799 he fought in several actions near Genoa. Later he commanded troops in Switzerland. Napoleon appointed him to the Sénat conservateur in 1802, awarded him the Commander's Cross of the Légion d'Honneur in 1804 and made him a Count of the Empire in 1808. He died in Paris in April 1809. His surname is one of the names inscribed under the Arc de Triomphe, on Column 15.
Louis Nicolas Davout
| Minister of War |
7 July 1815 – 26 September 1815
Henri Jacques Guillaume Clarke
Henri Jacques Guillaume Clarke
| Minister of War |
12 September 1817 – 19 November 1819
Marie Victor Nicolas de Fay, marquis de La Tour-Maubourg
François Joseph de Gratet, vicomte Dubouchage
| Ministers of Marine and the Colonies |
23 June 1817 – 12 September 1817