Pierre Marie Barthélemy Ferino

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Pierre Marie Barthélemy Ferino

Ferino Pierre-Marie, Musee de la Revolution francaise, Vizille.jpg

Pierre Marie Barthélemy Ferino
(Musée de la Révolution française)
Born23 August 1747 (1747-08-23)
Craveggia, Piedmont present day Italy
Died28 June 1816 (1816-06-29) (aged 68)
Paris, France
AllegianceBanner of the Holy Roman Emperor (after 1400).svg  Habsburg Monarchy until 1789
Flag of France.svg French Republic
Flag of France.svg French Empire
Flag of the Kingdom of France (1814-1830).svg Kingdom of France
Years of service 1792–1815
Rank General of Division
Battles/wars French Revolutionary WarsNapoleonic Wars
Awards Légion d'honneurCount of the Empire•Senator
Other work Military Governor of Antwerp

Pierre Marie Barthélemy Ferino, (23 August 1747, Craveggia – 28 June 1816, Paris), 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.

Craveggia Comune in Piedmont, Italy

Craveggia is a comune (municipality) in the Province of Verbano-Cusio-Ossola in the Italian region Piedmont, located about 130 kilometres (81 mi) northeast of Turin and about 20 kilometres (12 mi) north of Domodossola, on the border with Switzerland. As of 31 December 2004, it had a population of 756 and an area of 36.5 square kilometres (14.1 sq mi).

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 has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, diplomacy, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts.

French Revolution social and political revolution in France and its colonies occurring from 1789 to 1798

The French Revolution was a period of far-reaching social and political upheaval in France and its colonies beginning in 1789. The Revolution overthrew the monarchy, established a republic, catalyzed violent periods of political turmoil, and finally culminated in a dictatorship under Napoleon who brought many of its principles to areas he conquered in Western Europe and beyond. Inspired by liberal and radical ideas, the Revolution profoundly altered the course of modern history, triggering the global decline of absolute monarchies while replacing them with republics and liberal democracies. Through the Revolutionary Wars, it unleashed a wave of global conflicts that extended from the Caribbean to the Middle East. Historians widely regard the Revolution as one of the most important events in human history.


Ferino commanded the southern-most wing of Army of the Danube in 1799, and participated in the battles of Ostrach and Stockach. Napoleon awarded him the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor in 1804; in 1805, Ferino became a Senator, and in 1808, raised him to Count of the Empire. His name is engraved in the Arc de Triomphe.

Army of the Danube

The Army of the Danube was a field army of the French Directory in the 1799 southwestern campaign in the Upper Danube valley. It was formed on 2 March 1799 by the simple expedient of renaming the Army of Observation, which had been observing Austrian movements on the border between French First Republic and the Holy Roman Empire. It was commanded by General Jean-Baptiste Jourdan, 1st Comte Jourdan (1762–1833).

Battle of Ostrach

The Battle of Ostrach, also called the Battle by Ostrach, occurred on 20–21 March 1799. It was the first non-Italy-based battle of the War of the Second Coalition. The battle resulted in the victory of the Austrian forces, under the command of Archduke Charles, over the French forces, commanded by Jean-Baptiste Jourdan.

Battle of Stockach (1799) battle between French and Austrian armies

The [First] Battle of Stockach occurred on 25 March 1799, when French and Austrian armies fought for control of the geographically strategic Hegau region in present-day Baden-Württemberg. In the broader military context, this battle constitutes a keystone in the first campaign in southwestern Germany during the Wars of the Second Coalition, part of the French Revolutionary Wars.


Barthélemy Ferino was born in Craveggia, in the Vigezzo valley, near the border of the Swiss Confederation. This section was known as the Piedmont which, at the time of his birth, was under the rule of the House of Savoy. [1] His father, Bernardo Ferino, was an officer of the so-called Bender regiment and served in the Austrian military during the Seven Years' War. Barthélemy Ferino entered Austrian military service in 1768 and in 1779 he was brevetted as captain. His promotions in the Habsburg military were few. Responding to perceived inequalities, at the time of the French Revolution he moved to France and, in 1792, acquired a commission in the French army. [2]

Piedmont Region of Italy

Piedmont is a region in northwest Italy, one of the 20 regions of the country. It borders the Liguria region to the south, the Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna regions to the east and the Aosta Valley region to the northwest; it also borders Switzerland to the northeast and France to the west. It has an area of 25,402 square kilometres (9,808 sq mi) and a population of 4,377,941 as of 30 November 2017. The capital of Piedmont is Turin.

House of Savoy noble family

The House of Savoy is a royal family that was established in 1003 in the historical Savoy region. Through gradual expansion, the family grew in power from ruling a small county in the Alps north-west of Italy to absolute rule of the kingdom of Sicily in 1713 to 1720. Through its junior branch, the House of Savoy-Carignano, it led the unification of Italy in 1861 and ruled the Kingdom of Italy from 1861 until 1946 and, briefly, the Kingdom of Spain in the 19th century. The Savoyard kings of Italy were Victor Emmanuel II, Umberto I, Victor Emmanuel III, and Umberto II. The last monarch ruled for a few weeks before being deposed following the Constitutional Referendum of 1946, after which the Italian Republic was proclaimed.

Seven Years War Global conflict between 1756 and 1763

The Seven Years' War was a global conflict fought between 1756 and 1763. It involved every European great power of the time and spanned five continents, affecting Europe, the Americas, West Africa, India, and the Philippines. The conflict split Europe into two coalitions: one was led by the Kingdom of Great Britain and included the Kingdom of Prussia, the Kingdom of Portugal, the Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg, and other small German states; while the other was led by the Kingdom of France and included the Austrian-led Holy Roman Empire, the Russian Empire, the Kingdom of Spain, and the Swedish Empire. Meanwhile, in India, some regional polities within the increasingly fragmented Mughal Empire, with the support of the French, tried to crush a British attempt to conquer Bengal.

Service in French Revolutionary Wars

On 1 August 1792, he was named lieutenant colonel of the Legion of Biron, also called the Chasseurs of the Rhine, part of the Army of the Rhine under the over-all command of Philippe Custine. Ferino was named general of brigade in December, and on 23 August 1793, he became general of division, in command of the advance guard. Although he was deposed for maintaining discipline too strictly, he was immediately reinstated; he was assigned to the Army of the Moselle under the command of Jean Victor Moreau. In 1795, he was appointed Lieutenant General of the Army of the Rhine and Moselle, and in 1796, Commander of the Army of the Rhine and Moselle, Right Wing. With this force, he participated in the Battle of Landau, and helped Moreau and Jean-Baptiste Jourdan to push the Austrian army from the Rhineland into Bavaria in the 1796 summer campaign. [2] He defeated the Conde's Emigré Army at Bregenz, on Lake Constance. [1] In the subsequent Austrian resurgence, he maintained the right flank's protective cover of Moreau's main army as the French retreated through southern Germany in August and September of that year; he participated in the Battle of Schliengen. When the French withdrew after Schliengen, he defended the Rhine crossing at Hüningen, north of the Swiss city of Basel, until the last French units crossed the river to safety. [2]

Lieutenant colonel (pronounced Lef-ten-ent Kernel or Loo-ten-ent Kernel ) is a rank of commissioned officer in the armies, most marine forces and some air forces of the world, above a major and below a colonel. The rank of lieutenant colonel is often shortened to simply "colonel" in conversation and in unofficial correspondence. Sometimes, the term, 'half-colonel' is used in casual conversation in the British Army. A lieutenant colonel is typically in charge of a battalion or regiment in the army.

Adam Philippe, Comte de Custine French general

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.

Jean Victor Marie Moreau Marshal of France

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.

During the attempted royalist coup in 1797, Ferino was accused of having royalist leanings and removed from his command, but restored to active duty in 1798 as part of the Army of the Mainz (French : Armée de Mayence). He continued the rigorous discipline for which he became known and his troops maintained good order, despite the many abuses by other troops that occurred in the Rhine region. [1] In late 1798, he commanded the former Army of the Mainz, now called the Army of Observation when, in November, Jean Baptiste Jourdan assumed command and organized the army for the planned invasion of southern Germany in 1799. [2]

French language Romance language

French is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, as did all Romance languages. French evolved from Gallo-Romance, the spoken Latin in Gaul, and more specifically in Northern Gaul. Its closest relatives are the other langues d'oïl—languages historically spoken in northern France and in southern Belgium, which French (Francien) has largely supplanted. French was also influenced by native Celtic languages of Northern Roman Gaul like Gallia Belgica and by the (Germanic) Frankish language of the post-Roman Frankish invaders. Today, owing to France's past overseas expansion, there are numerous French-based creole languages, most notably Haitian Creole. A French-speaking person or nation may be referred to as Francophone in both English and French.

In the War of the Second Coalition, as commander of the I. Division of the Army of the Danube, Ferino led the division across the Rhine River at Hüningen, passed through the Duchy of Baden and marched toward Schaffhausen. He was familiar with this territory from the 1796 campaign. His division secured the right flank for Jourdan's main force for the Battle of Ostrach on 21 March 1799. Although his troops remained outside of the primary battle zone, during the retreat, a portion of his column was cut off by Archduke Charles' army, and captured. [3]

War of the Second Coalition attempt to contain or eliminate Revolutionary France

The War of the Second Coalition (1798–1802) was the second war on revolutionary France by the European monarchies, led by Britain, Austria and Russia, and including the Ottoman Empire, Portugal, Naples, various German monarchies and Sweden. Their goal was to contain the expansion of the French Republic and to restore the monarchy in France. They failed to overthrow the revolutionary regime and French territorial gains since 1793 were confirmed. In the Treaty of Lunéville in 1801, France held all of its previous gains and obtained new lands in Tuscany, Italy, while Austria was granted Venetia and the Dalmatian coast. Britain and France signed the Treaty of Amiens in March 1802, bringing an interval of peace in Europe that lasted for 14 months. By May 1803 Britain and France were again at war and in 1805 Britain assembled the Third Coalition to resume the war against France.

Schaffhausen Place in Switzerland

Schaffhausen is a town with historic roots, a municipality in northern Switzerland, and the capital of the canton of the same name; it has an estimated population of 36,000 as of December 2016. It is located right next to the shore of the High Rhine; it is one of four Swiss towns located on the northern side of the Rhine, along with Neuhausen a. Rhf., the historic Neunkirch and Stein a. Rh.

In the French withdrawal from Ostrach, he again secured the flank, and retraced his steps west toward Bodman, a small village on the furthest western point of Lake Constance, near Stockach. From there, he guarded the main army against an Austrian approach from Switzerland at the Stockach in March 1799. [4]

While maintaining a cordon between the Austrian forces approaching from Switzerland, under command of Baron von Hotze, most of Ferino's division participated in a simultaneous assault in the first hours of the engagement at Stockach. With part of Joseph Souham's Center (the II. Division of the Army of the Danube), they assaulted the Austrian left, but were stopped by overwhelming numbers. [4] Ferino tried to attack again, initiating his assault with a cannonade, followed by an attack through the woods on both sides of the road between Asch and Stockach. Two columns made two attacks, both of which were repulsed; finally, Ferino added his third column to the assault, which resulted in the Austrian reformation of the line, cannons at the center firing a heavy cannonade. Ferino could not respond, because he had run out of artillery ammunition, but his troops fixed bayonets and charged the village of Wahlwiess, capturing it despite the heavy fire and massive numbers. They were forced to relinquish the village at darkness. [3]

Relationship with Napoleon

Immediately after the coup of 18 brumaire , Napoleon appointed Ferino as commander of the 8th Division. He became a member and grand officer of the Légion d'honneur on 19 frimaire , and 25 prairial , respectively. Napoleon appointed him to the Senate of Florence, and made him a Count of the Empire in 1808, [1] and then appointed him as military governor of the Netherlands. [2] In 1813, Ferino organized the National Guard of the Netherlands. [1]

Relationship in the Restoration

As a member of the French Senate, Ferino voted to request Napoleon's abdication in 1814 and in 1815 did not participate in the Hundred Days, Napoleon's return from exile on Elba. After the restoration, Louis XVIII maintained Ferino's honors and rank, and awarded him a certificate of naturalized citizenship. [5] This allowed him to continue to sit in the new Chamber of Peers. [2] Férino died in Paris on 28 June 1816. His name is engraved on the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. [6]


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 "Pierre Marie Barthélemy Ferino" in Charles Mullié, Biographie des célébrités militaires des armées de terre et de mer de 1789 à 1850, Paris, 1852.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Whitelaw, A. "Barthélemy Ferino." The popular Conversations lexicon. London: Blackie and Sons, 1874, vol. 4, p. 330.
  3. 1 2 Jean-Baptiste Jourdan, A Memoir of the operations of the army of the Danube under the command of General Jourdan, taken from the manuscripts of that officer, London, Debrett, 1799, pp. 175–179.
  4. 1 2 Ramsey Weston Phipps, The Armies of the First French Republic, volume 5: "The armies of the Rhine in Switzerland, Holland, Italy, Egypt and the coup d'etat of Brumaire, 1797-1799," Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1939, pp. 49–50.
  5. Peter Sahlins. Unnaturally French. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2004, ISBN   0-8014-4142-0, p. 415.
  6. Mullié, Biographie.


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