Thursday, 14 November 2013

Marshal Ney, some Napoleonic French Generals and their ADC's

We have a couple of orders going out this week. The first is this party of French officers. They are 28mm from the Perry stables. Painted by me (Jon) they have been painted using the Foundry horse palette and Vallejo acrylics then washed and matt varnished.

I've photographed each officer and given you a little history to go with him.


During the "Hundred Days", Napoleon put Jérôme in command of the 6th Division of the II Corps under General Honoré Charles Reille. At Waterloo, Jérôme's division was to make an initial attack on Hougoumont, which Napoleon expected would draw in Lord Wellington's reserves, however Jérôme misunderstood the nature of his role and his division became completely engaged attempting to take Hougoumont outright.

Lieutenant-General Quiot

Member of the Legion of Honor at its creation, Quiot served with Marshal Lannes , fought at the Battle of Ulm in Hollabrunn at Austerlitz , and was named on the 27  December  1805 Colonel of the 18 thregiment of the line , at the head of which he was wounded in the battle of Jena , capturing the village Wierzen-Hellingen which supported the left wing of the Prussians . This new feat of arms earned him the Officer of the Legion of Honor decoration.

After the peace of Tilsit , Colonel Quiot followed the th Corp in Spain , and obtained the title of Baron of the Empire after the second siege of Saragossa .
In Andalusia , in 1810 , during the passage of the Sierra Morena , he attacked the Spanish division of General Lacy , entrenched in the parade Spena-Perros, which when completely defeated, gave him 800 prisoners and captured flags of the regiments Spanish guards and Jaén . 
After the Battle of Gebora , where he earned the praise of Marshal Duke of Dalmatia , he came to the headquarters of Campo Mayor and was appointed governor.When he learned that 15000 Anglo-Hanoverians, from Lisbon under the leadership of Beresford , were only three leagues away. In a few moments the whole division  ,warned by him had gathered outside the city could begin his retreat on Badajoz . Meanwhile, Quiot, after forming his regiment into three square battalions, defeated the charges of the enemy cavalry , under the protection of six pieces of light artillery. This retrograde movement, performed with great success by three battalions before an army, won the Colonel Quiot a particular witness to the satisfaction of the Duke of Treviso , and earned for him the rank of Emperor Brigadier General on 19  May  1811 . The 100 th regiment gave him a sword of honor as a token of attachment and gratitude.
In Spain , he marched against General Francisco Ballesteros , was defeated at the Battle of Albuera , where he was struck by a shot bayonet to the left thigh, then beaten in the mouth of the Guadiana river and forced to seek refuge in Cadiz .
General Quiot returned to France to take some rest, At Kulm on August 30 , tasked to attack the Prussian corps of Kleist , he had overthrown the first line of the enemy, made ​​2000 prisoners and removed four pieces of cannon, when false direction given to the troops in support compromised his entire brigade, half of which was soon put out of action. Dangerously wounded himself in the shoulder and taken prisoner of war, he was taken in Bohemia and from there to Hungary , from where he returned after the peace of 1814.
On his return to France , he successively obtained the Cross of St. Louis , the command of the department of Drôme and the Cross of Commander . With the return of Napoleon er , he asked his layoff, but at the sound of a coalition against France, he returned to duty in the st Corps of the Army of the North . He commanded the re Division first Corps of the Northern Army in 1815 ( Jean-Baptiste Drouet d'Erlon ) replacing General François Allix Vaux Count Freudeuthal . He fought throighput ​​the Waterloo campaign .

Pierre-Louis Binet de Marcognet (14 November 1765 – 19 December 1854) joined the French army in 1781 as an officer cadet and fought in the American Revolutionary War. During the French Revolutionary Wars he fought in the Army of the Rhine and was wounded at First and Second Wissembourg. After being dismissed from the army for a year and a half for having noble blood, he resumed his military career and was wounded at Biberach and Kehl. Promoted to lead the 108th Line Infantry Demi-Brigade, he was in the thick of the fighting at Hohenlinden in 1800, where he was wounded and captured.

At the start of the Napoleonic Wars, Marcognet was a general officer commanding a brigade in Marshal of France Michel Ney's corps. He led his troops at Günzburg, Elchingen, and Scharnitzin 1805. In the 1806-1807 campaign, he led his brigade at Jena, Magdeburg, Eylau, Guttstadt-Deppen, and Friedland. After Ney's corps transferred to Spain, he fought at Tamames, Alba de Tormes, Ciudad Rodrigo, Almeida, Bussaco, Torres Vedras, Casal Novo, and Fuentes de Onoro.
Marcognet commanded a division in the Italian campaign of 1813-1814, fighting at Caldiero, Boara Pisani, the Mincio, and other actions. In 1815, he led a division at Waterloo where it was broken by cavalry after an initial success. Marcognet is one of the names inscribed under the Arc de Triomphe, on Column 7.

General Louis Friant


General Louis Friant
Friant commanded the 2nd Brigade (61e and 88e Ligne) of General Desaix's division in Egypt, taking part in the Battle of the Pyramids (21 July 1798), and in Desaix's brilliant campaign in Upper Egypt. He was provisionally promoted to Général de Division on 4 September 1799, and succeeded Desaix as commander in Upper Egypt after Desaix departed to play his decisive but fatal part in the Marengo campaign. Friant took a lead role in the suppression of the great revolt in Cairo in March–April 1800. Confirmed in the rank of Général de Division and named Governor of Alexandria in September 1800, he fought the British at the Second Battlle of Aboukir (8 March 1801), and defended Alexandria through August 1801.

Repatriated with the remnants of the Army of the Orient, Friant served as an Inspector-General of Infantry in 1801-03 before joining the Corps of his brother-in-law Davout at the Camp of Bruges. There, he molded the 2ème Division, III Corps into "what arguably became the finest line division on the face of the earth" (Bowden, Napoleon and Austerlitz).

High days of the Empire

In the Ulm-Austerlitz campaign of 1805, Friant's Division earned a reputation for rapid and effective marching. This quality was put to excellent use when the Division was summoned from Vienna to reinforce the Grande Armée at Austerlitz, marching 70 miles in 46 hours and arriving just in time to counterattack the Allies at Telnice and Sokolnice on the morning of 2 December 1805. In the ferocious fighting along the Goldbach stream, Friant had three horses killed under him.
Friant was awarded the Grand Eagle of the Legion of Honor on 27 December 1805. In the 1806 campaign, at the Battle of Auerstädt (14 October 1806) in which Davout's III Corps of 26,000 men faced and defeated the Prussian main body of 63,000, Friant's Division advanced on the right, turning the Prussian left flank. The infantry of Friant and Gudin, standing in square, withstood and shattered a massive cavalry attack led by Blücher himself.
In the Polish campaign, Friant's Division fought successfully at the forcing of the Ukra River on 24 December 1806. At the Battle of Eylau, Friant's Division arrived to reinforce the French right on the morning of 8 February 1807, helping to turn a near-defeat into a stalemate. Friant suffered a gunshot wound to his right side at Eylau.
Friant was named Comte de l'Empire on 5 October 1808.
In the 1809 campaign, Friant's Division fought with distinction at Teugen-Hausen (19 April), Abensberg (21 April), Eckmühl (22 April), and Ratisbon (23 April). At the Battle of Wagram on 6 July 1809, Friant was wounded in the shoulder by a shell fragment during the successful storming of the Square Tower at Markgrafneusiedl.

Russia, Germany, France

In the Russian campaign of 1812, Friant commanded the 2e Division of Davout's I Corps. Nominated as commander of the Grenadiers à Pied de la Vieille Garde in August 1812, Friant remained at the head of his Division. He was wounded at theBattle of Smolensk (17 August) and severely wounded during the capture of Semenovskaya village at the Battle of Borodino (7 September 1812). Incapacitated and left behind at Gzhatsk, he was still there with his wounds unhealed when the retreating army returned to Gzhatsk at the end of October.
Friant returned to France to recover from his wounds in January 1813. He returned to the front in June 1813, commanding the Old Guard Division at the Battles of Dresden (26 August), Leipzig (16–19 October), and Hanau (30 October 1813).
In the 1814 campaign in France, Friant and his 1st Division of the Old Guard fought a successful defensive action against Gyulai's Austrians at Bar-sur-Aube on 24 January. Friant took part in Napoleon's surprise counter-offensive against Blücher's Army of Silesia, gaining victories at Montmirail (11 February), Château-Thierry (12 February), and Vauchamps (14 February 1814). Friant's Old Guard was the core and reserve of the Emperor's masse de manoeuvre. They were committed to battle in the bloody and indecisive clash at Craonne (7 March 1814), the reverse at Laon (9–10 March), the recapture of Reims (13 March), and the defeat at Arcis-sur-Aube, (20 March).

Waterloo and final years

His name is on the arc de triomphe inParis
During Napoleon's exile, Friant was retained as commander of the grenadiers à pied de France. In the campaign of the Hundred Days, he was Colonel-in-Chief of the Grenadiers à Pied de la Vieille Garde. His men made the final assault on Ligny as darkness fell on 16 June 1815. On 18 June, at Waterloo Friant led his Old Guard Grenadiers in the final, fateful attack on the Allied center, where he was wounded yet again.[1]

Friant retired in September 1815. He died on 24 June 1829, aged 70.

Guillaume Philibert, 1st Count Duhesme (7 July 1766, Mercurey (formerly Bourgneuf), Burgundy – 20 June 1815 near Waterloo) 


Duhesme studied law and in 1792 was made colonel of a free corps by Charles-François Dumouriez, which he raised by his own means. As commander at Roermond, he held the post of Herstal, an important passage to the Netherlands, and burned the bridge of Leau after the defeat at Neerwinden on 18 March 1793. He then crossed the Schelde and at the Battle of Villeneuve rallied the fleeing infantry (6 July), for which action he was made brigadier general.
He also contributed greatly to the victory at the Fleurus on 26 July 1794 and besieged Maastricht under Kléber, and was promoted to general of division. He fought in the Vendée in 1795, and later at the Rhine, where he forced the passage over the river on 20 April 1797 below Kehl. In 1798 he was given a command in Italy under Championnet, participated at the siege of Naples and took control of Calabria and Apulia.
In 1800, Duhesme led a corps in Napoleon's Army of the Reserve in the Marengo campaign. At first this command included the divisions of Louis Boudet and Louis Henri Loison. After a brilliant campaign that included the capture of Milan and other cities, his corps was made up of Loison, Lorge and Lapoype's divisions. When Napoleon fought Melas's Austrian army at Marengo, Duhesme's corps defended the Po valley.


Duhesme grave in Ways (Genappe,Belgium)
Duhesme was made a count and knight of the Légion d'honneur. In 1805, he led the 4th division of André Masséna's Italian Army at the Battle of Caldiero.
In 1808, Duhesme led a corps in Napoleon's ill-fated seizure of Spain. He distinguished himself in the capture of Barcelona. After he persuaded the Spanish governor to admit a convoy of sick Frenchmen, his fully armed grenadiers leaped from their stretchers and captured the castle. Later, he successfully defended the city against a Spanish blockade. In 1810, after accusations by Marshal Augereau of allowing plundering and other transgressions, he was recalled in disgrace.

In 1813, he was employed again as governor of the fortress of Kehl. He commanded a division under Marshal Victor at La Rothière, Montereau and Arcis-sur-Aube. Following Napoleon I's first abdication in 1814, he was made Inspector General of Infantry. In 1815, he joined Napoleon after his return from Elba and was made commander of the Young Guard Division of the Imperial Guard and fought at Ligny. He was mortally wounded while defending the village of Plancenoit at the Battle of Waterloo and died on 20 June 1815.

Jean-Jacques Desvaux de Saint-Maurice, baron, (26 June 1775, in Paris – 18 June 1815, near Waterloo), 
Born in an aristocratic family of the Ancien Régime, Desvaux was admitted at the Artillery School of Châlons in 1792, before joining the Army of the Alps, with which he would take part to the siege of Lyon. He then served under the command of general Jacques François Dugommier in the Army of the Oriental-Pyrenees, before being named aide-de-camp to general Saint-Rémy in January 1796 and sent to Italy. He would take part to several military engagements between 1798–1799, most noteworthy at Novi and Mincio. He becomes aide-de-camp to general Auguste de Marmont and is promoted to the rank of colonel in 1803, taking part to the siege of Ulm, where he was wounded, before being captured by the enemy at the battle of Judenburg. Set free after the Treaty of Pressburg at the end of 1805, he spent the next year serving as commander of the French artillery in Dalmatia and then Friuli. In 1809, he took part to the War of the Fifth Coalition and was promoted to brigadier general; after the end of the campaign in Austria, he was given the command of the prestigious horse artillery of the Imperial Guard. A baron of the Empire from 1810, Desvaux held his command in the Guard and was a part of the Grande Armée during the Russian Campaign and then War of the Sixth Coalition. He was promoted to general of division in November 1813 and in 1814, during the Campaign of France, he was given the command of the artillery of the Army of Lyon, under Marshal Pierre Augereau. During the Hundred Days, Desvaux joined Napoleon and was given command of the entire Guard artillery. He was killed in action at the battle of Waterloo. His name is inscribed under the Arc de Triomphe, Northern Pillar.

Marshal Ney 1st Duc d'Elchingen1st Prince de la Moskowa (10 January 1769 – 7 December 1815)

Michel Ney was born in Sarrelouis, the second son of Pierre Ney (1738–1826), a master barrel-cooper and veteran of the Seven Years' War, and of his wife Margarethe Grewelinger (1739–1791). Ney was the paternal grandson of Matthias Ney (1700–1780) and wife Margarethe Becker (d. 1767), and the maternal grandson of Valentin Grewelinger and wife Margaretha Ding.[2] His hometown at the time of his birth comprised a French-speaking enclave in a predominantly German-speaking portion of Lorraine, and Ney grew up bilingual.
Ney was educated at the Collège des Augustins, and subsequently became a notary in Saarlouis, and then overseer of mines and forges.

Military career

French Revolutionary Wars

Michel Ney as a sous-lieutenant in the Hussards de Saxe in 1792Adolphe Brune(Paris, 1802 ; Paris, 1875), 1834.
Life as a civil servant did not suit Ney, and he enlisted in the Colonel-General Hussar Regiment in 1787. Ney rapidly rose through the non-commissioned ranks. He served in the Army of the North from 1792 to 1794, with which he saw action at the Cannonade of Valmy, the Battle of Neerwinden, and other engagements. Ney was commissioned in October 1792, transferred to the Sambre-et-Meuse in June 1794, and wounded at the Siege of Mainz. Ney was promoted to général de brigade in August 1796, and commanded cavalry on the German fronts. On 17 April 1797, during the Battle of Neuwied, Ney led a cavalry charge against Austrian lancers trying to seize French cannons. The lancers were beaten back, but Ney’s cavalry were counter-attacked by heavy cavalry. During the mêlée, Ney was thrown from his horse and made a prisoner of war; on 8 May he was exchanged for an Austrian general. Following the capture of Mannheim, Ney was promoted to géneral de division in March 1799. Later in 1799, Ney commanded cavalry in the armies of Switzerland and the Danube. At Winterthur Ney received wounds in the thigh and wrist. After Ney’s recovery he fought at Hohenlinden under General Moreau in December 1800. From September 1802, Ney commanded French troops in Switzerland and performed diplomatic duties.

Ney at the battle of Kaunas in 1812 (painting by Denis-August-Marie Raffet)

Napoleonic Wars

On 19 May 1804, Ney received his Marshal's baton, emblematic of his status as a Marshal of the Empire, the Napoleonic era's equivalent of Marshal of France.] In the 1805 campaign Ney took command of VI Corps of La Grande Armée, and was praised for his conduct at Elchingen. In November 1805, Ney invaded the Tyrol, capturing Innsbruck from Archduke John. In the 1806 campaign, Ney fought at Jena and then occupied Erfurt. Later in the campaign, Ney successfully besieged Magdeburg. In the 1807 campaign Ney arrived with reinforcements in time to save Napoleon from defeat at Eylau, although the battle ended as a draw. Later in the campaign, Ney fought at Güttstadt, and commanded the right wing at Friedland. On 6 June 1808, Ney was created Duke of Elchingen. In August 1808 Ney was sent to Spain in command of VI Corps, and won a number of minor actions. In 1809 he routed an Anglo-Portuguese force under Sir Robert Wilson at Baños. In 1810 Ney joined Marshal Masséna in the invasion of Portugal, where he took Ciudad Rodrigo from the Spanish and Almeida from the British and Portuguese, brusquely defeated the British on the River Côa, and fought at Buçaco. During the retreat from Torres Vedras, Ney engaged Wellington's forces in a series of lauded rearguard actions (Pombal, Redinha, Casal Novo, Foz d'Aronce) with which he delayed the pursuing enemy forces enough to allow the main French force to retreat unmolested. He was ultimately removed from command for insubordination.

Russia to Fontainebleau

Known as "The Bravest of the Brave", Ney displayed great courage in action, above all during the retreat from Moscow, when he was reputed to have been the last Frenchman to leaveRussian soil

Ney was given command of III Corps of La Grande Armée during the 1812 invasion of Russia. At Smolensk, Ney was wounded in the neck, but recovered enough to later fight in the central sector at Borodino. During the retreat from Moscow, Ney commanded the rear-guard and was anecdotal known as "the last Frenchman on Russian soil". After being cut off from the main army, Ney managed to rejoin it, which delighted Napoleon. For this action Ney was given the nickname "the bravest of the brave" by Napoleon. Ney fought at Beresina and helped hold the vital bridge at Kovno (modern-day Kaunas), where legend portrays Ney as the last of the invaders to cross the bridge and exit Russia. On 25 March 1813, Ney was given the title of Prince de la Moskowa. During the 1813 campaign Ney fought at Weissenfels, was wounded at Lützen, and commanded the left wing at Bautzen. Ney later fought at Dennewitz and Leipzig, where he was again wounded. In the 1814 campaign in France, Ney fought various battles and commanded various units. At Fontainebleau Ney became the spokesman for the Marshals' revolt on 4 April 1814, demanding Napoleon's abdication. Ney informed Napoleon that the army would not march on Paris; Napoleon responded "the army will obey me!" to which Ney answered, "the army will obey its chiefs".
When Paris fell and the Bourbons reclaimed the throne, Ney, who had pressured Napoleon to accept his first abdication and exile, was promoted, lauded, and made a peer by the newly enthroned Louis XVIII. Although Ney had pledged his allegiance to the restored monarchy, the Bourbon court reacted coolly to his common origins.

The Hundred Days campaign

A public proclamation by Ney, dated March 1815, urging French soldiers to abandon the king and to support Napoleon.
When he heard of Napoleon's return to France, Ney, determined to keep France at peace and to show his loyalty to Louis XVIII, organised a force to stop Napoleon's march on Paris. Ney also pledged to bring Napoleon back alive in an iron cage. Napoleon, aware of Ney's plans, sent him a letter which said, in part, "I shall receive you as after the Battle of the Moskowa". Despite Ney’s promise to the King he joined Napoleon at Auxerre on 18 March 1815.
On 15 June 1815, Napoleon appointed Ney commander of the left wing of the Army of the North. On 16 June Napoleon's forces split up into two wings to fight two separate battles simultaneously. Ney attacked Wellington at Quatre Bras (and received criticism for attacking slowly,) while Napoleon attacked Blücher's Prussians at Ligny. Although Ney was criticised for not capturing Quatre Bras early, there is still debate as to what time Napoleon actually ordered Ney to capture Quatre Bras.At Ligny, Napoleon ordered General d'Erlon to move his corps (currently on Napoleon's left and Ney's right) to the Prussians' rear in order to cut off their line of retreat. D'Erlon began to move into position, but suddenly stopped and began moving away, much to the surprise and horror of Napoleon. The reason for the sudden change in movement is that Ney had ordered d'Erlon to come to his aid at Quatre Bras. Without d'Erlon's corps blocking the Prussians' line of retreat, the French victory at Ligny was not complete, and the Prussians were not routed. To be fair, Ney was d'Erlon's direct superior and Napoleon never informed Ney of his plans.
At Waterloo Ney again commanded the left wing of the army. At around 3:30 p.m., Ney ordered a mass cavalry-charge against the Anglo-Allied line. Ney's cavalry overran the enemy cannons, but found the infantry formed in cavalry-proof square formations. Ney, without infantry or artillery support, failed to break the squares. The action earned Ney criticism, and some argue that it led to Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo. Debate continues as to the responsibility for the cavalry charge and why it went unsupported. Ney's cavalry also failed to spike enemy cannon (driving iron spikes into the firing holes) while they were under French control (during the cavalry attack, the crews of the cannon retreated into the squares for protection, and then re-manned their pieces as the horsemen withdrew). Ney's cavalry carried the equipment needed to spike cannons, and spiking the cannons would probably have made them useless for the rest of the battle. The loss of a large number of cannon would have weakened the army and could have caused the Anglo-Allied force to withdraw from the battle. Ney was seen during one of the charges beating his sword against the side of a British cannon in furious frustration. During the battle he had five horses killed under him.


Marshal Ney's gravesite in Père Lachaise Cemetery.
When Napoleon was defeated, dethroned, and exiled for the second time in the summer of 1815, Ney was arrested (on 3 August 1815), and tried (4 December 1815) for treason by the Chamber of Peers. On 6 December 1815 he was condemned, and executed by firing squad in Paris near the Luxembourg Garden on 7 December 1815 – an event that deeply divided the French public. He refused to wear a blindfold and was allowed the right to give the order to fire, reportedly saying:
"Soldiers, when I give the command to fire, fire straight at my heart. Wait for the order. It will be my last to you. I protest against my condemnation. I have fought a hundred battles for France, and not one against her ... Soldiers, Fire!"
Ney's execution was an example intended for Napoleon's other marshals and generals, many of whom were eventually exonerated by the Bourbon monarchy. Ney is buried in Paris at Père Lachaise Cemetery.
 ADC Colonel Heymes

At the first Restoration , Colonel Heymès was appointed Deputy Chief of Staff to Marshal NeyHe served in the Hundred Days and fought with him at Waterloo . He survived the battle and retired after the return of the Bourbons .

  ADC Levavasseur

I couldn't find anything on this fellow. Anyone got any information please feel free to comment.

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