Home Forums Horse and Musket Napoleonic [Fr 1805] Men of ‘La Garde’ and Staff (Etat-Major).

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    Avatar photoOotKust

    Thankyou for the additions. Sans lace, got it!
    It was in my first rendition of notes I placed ‘undress’ for uniform anyway!

    Lejeunes Memoirs have been in my possession a long time, yet the English version I have is a later ‘edit’ and a poor comparison with that newly minted digitised version of 1897 translation. His prose is wonderful and reflection of his artistic brain; but his abstract errors in facts and fancy about enemy etc. irksome. Only to be expected I guess.

    The all too brief section on 1800 (Marengo campaign) interesting though as I have been to Bard; and his commentary on his personal reconnaisance behind enemy lines in 1809-

     I saw no troops whatever, so riding back I halted on a plateau commanding a view of the greater part of Comorn, of which I made a plan. I had to hurry over the last lines, however, for some horsemen had meanwhile been sent out from the town to reconnoitre my party, and the news they took back led to my work as an engineer being cut short by a sharp cannonade, draughtsman and plan being covered with dust as the balls ploughed up the ground.

    I’d forgotten he’d been trained in the Ecole Militaire as Genie; much like Bacler d’Albe functioning in his ‘given’ skills any time necessary. The memoire gives a nice replay of his final oral examinations and assignment to the Etat-Major du Genie, personally with Berthier a few days later.

    I’m guessing de Longchamps was a man of great wit and charm, educated and erudite, being adopted by Caroline and thence Murat attached for his own ‘entertainment’.

    Colbert had been Junot’s aide de camp. – yes I read while in France (musée d’ Armée perhaps) a most wonderful bio on the three talented brothers. A most underrated trio. I should post my notes from them!

    “…he also tried to insist that sous-lieutenants not be posted as AdC’s.”

    You made me think on this as I’d thought I’d seen many- however a brief scan of my ‘total Army’  OB yielded just two- one under Davout and another Duroc! The balance being lieutenants et capitaines etc.

    I must say I am enjoying the research on individuals [with the invaluable assistance of all those here…] and finding a ‘uniform that fits them’ for my purposes at least!


    Avatar photoOotKust

    Another- a model I modified from an extant Prussian general (Minifigs 25mm)  with a far too small chapeau, so I trimmed it and made him bareheaded with reconstituted putty and hair. As he wears an aiguillette he has to become ‘Garde’ or ‘Etat-Major’. Been painted a good while now and really, I need to finish as many specialist commands as possible.

    Given he has a receding hairline, and I promise it was not copied from though looks embarrassingly like his more famous namesake, except ‘white’, he is an ‘older’ officer.

    I am referencing Mathieu Dumas, Gen de Division in 1805 (52 yrs) and ordained in the Grande Armée Etat-Major-Generale department:
    [2e] Maréchal des logis General de division Dumas (Mathieu) GDV’05 CLH604. Third only to Berthier in command roles.


    His wiki bios are shockingly short on detail and across languages the French and English versions don’t even agree. One says that he ‘did well’ in 1805 and Austerlitz, whatever that means?

    Even Lenore can’t help me find him; I seem to have a degree of insearchability no matter looking up names or places…

    Horses merely stand ins for portraits!

    Wondering if there is more detail on 1805-06 to uncover. He went off to administer Naples so isn’t relevant to me beyond that!

    Thanks, d

    Avatar photoGuy Farrish

    I am not sure if you are more interested in his uniform than bio but this may be of interest re the latter:

    Souvenirs de lieutenant general comte Mathieu Dumas

    Livre Onzieme is about the period you are interested in.

    Hope it isn’t a wild goose chase!

    Avatar photoOotKust

    Thanks Guy,

    I’m quite interested in the detail of the 1805 Campaign, and in fact what he got up to as CoS to Davout as well. Memoires always welcome! I hadn’t gone that far for myself.. very potluck research I do!

    The uniform will remain as is- I decided not to carve off whatever ‘star’ was on his (Prussian) chest; knowing he was destined for the high command anyway; painted a LoH star/ ribbon as well, and in plain blue thats pretty much him done. As I said the wiki’s contradict- one states he got the GCLoH in 1805; the other 1810. Either way I’ll say that he didn’t wear it on campaign!

    cheers d

    Avatar photoHeroy

    I think your model really looks the part for Mathieu Dumas …. he was 52 with gray/silver hair at Austerlitz, whether or not he powdered.

    général de brigade Mathieu Dumas, age 48 in 1801, when named a conseiller d’état

    grades of the Légion d’honneur : IX.1803 – Consulat
    – légionnaire (ou “membre”) – awarded Mathieu Dumas 2.X.1803
    – officier – never awarded Mathieu Dumas
    – commandant – awarded Mathieu Dumas 14.VI.1804
    – grand officier
    grades of the Légion d’honneur : I.1805 – 1er Empire
    – légionnaire (ou “membre”)
    – officier
    – commandant
    – grand officier – awarded Mathieu Dumas 30.VI.1811
    – grand aigle
    grades of the Légion d’honneur : VII.1814 – 1ere Restauration
    – légionnaire (ou “chevalier”)
    – officier
    – commandant
    – grand officier
    – grand cordon – awarded Mathieu Dumas 27.X.1814
    grades of the Légion d’honneur : III.1816 – 2e Restauration
    – chevalier
    – officier
    – commandeur
    – grand officier
    – grand-croix

    In 1805, Mathieu Dumas would have worn the decoration of commandant of the Légion d’honneur – then a chest-born medal about 1.5x the size for lower grades, trimmed in gold, sometimes worn with a bow made from (or attached at the top of) the ribbon (not a small stiff “rosette” in the middle of the ribbon, nor a neck ribbon). He had been made chevalier de l’Ordre de Saint-Louis in 1786, but would be unlikely to wear the decoration during the Empire, especially as he had been one of the originators of the Légion d’honneur.

    He was made an honorary member (i.e. chosen for distinction or merit) of the Franco-American Society of the Cincinnati in 1787 – and may well have worn its eagle in 1805, below his légion d’honneur “cross”.

    Mathieu Dumas attended the coronation of Napoléon on 2 December 1804, then serving as génaral de brigade chef d’état-major du camp de Bruges (devenu 3e corps de la grande armée), under the maréchal Davout. He was already a conseiller d’état and was then named a chamballen près du prince Joseph. On 1 February he was promoted général de division. In September, he was assigned to Berthier’s staff as 2e aide-major général et maréchal général de logis de la grande armée. In this position he was responsible for the army’s camps and cantonnments and, most directly, reconnaissance and the planning of marches (together with the corps headquarters). He arrived at the army headqarters on 8 October. He also acted as the chief negotiator for the capitulation of General Mack at Ulm.

    Mathieu Dumas was usually escorted on reconnaissance by a company from the 16e dragons, under command of a captain – quite possibly the 23-year-old capitaine François-Charles d’Avranges d’Haugeranville (Berthier’s nephew, Versailles 1782 – Patis 1817). By December, he would have had a pair of gendarmes à cheval from the headquarters provost detachment as messengers.

    Mathieu Dumas’ aides de camp ….
    ● chef de bataillon d’infanterie 1er aide de camp Jean-Baptiste Larroque (Pavie, près de Toulouse 1768 – Colmar 1821)
    ● lieutenant de dragons aide de camp Charles-Pierre Picot de Dampierre (son of the revolutionary general, Paris 1779 – château de Dampierre en Champagne 1870)
    ● lieutenant en 2e d’artillerie aide de camp Aimé-Gaspard de Clermont-Tonnerre (Paris 1779 – château de Glisolles, près d’Évreaux 1865)

    Staff officers reporting to him by the time of Austerlitz were :
    ● adjudant commandant 1er sous-aide-major Louis-François du Pont d’Aybevoye de Lauberdière (Bocé/Baugé, près d’Angers 1759 – Baugé 1837)
    ● adjudant commandant 2e sous-aide-major Jean-Louis de Romeuf (Lavoûte-Chilhac, près de Lyon 1766 – blessé mortellement à Borodino 1812)
    ● capitaine adjoint d’état-major Lebrun
    ● capitaine adjoint d’état-major Vauquelin
    ● capitaine adjoint d’état-major Thomas
    ● capitaine adjoint d’état-major faisant function du ingénieur géographe Jean-Baptiste Bory de Saint-Vincent (Agen, près de Montauban 1778 – Paris 1846) – he may have transferred to the 5e dragoons by December
    ● ingénieur géographe Jean-Isidore Denayer (Belge? 1768 – Paris 1813), replacing Bory de Saint-Vincent, a professor of topography at l’école des ingénieurs géographes who Mathieu Dumas had recruited while on Davout’s staff and who was assigned the task of surveying the battlefied after Austerlitz.

    Among Mathieu Dumas’ civilian servants, his piqueur was a retired hussar NCO by the name of Monier. He would have had also at least a palefrenier, a valet and two carriage/wagon drivers.

    Avatar photoOotKust

    Thank you sincerely- way more info than I expected; along with Guys reference to his memoires, part of which I’ve already scoured…

    _not sure on the portrait however- that has dozens of references to that other fella, Genl. Thomas Alexandre Dumas… so the more mature/ late career uniform portrait (Royalist no doubt) seems more plausible? Seems to be the only one in colour and b&w versions.

    The extensive military ‘family’ also intriguing- he cites many in memoires; I know Marshals had a escouade of Gendarmerie Imperiale, escorts or Ordnance?; Davout mentions them charging and taking prisoners at Austerlitz too!

    I must copy and digest all this info.

    Merci- d

    Avatar photoHeroy

    Same engraving – set of late Consulat era “names” – published 1805/1806.

    The gendarmes at army & corps headquarters (sometimes divided among the corps and division headquarters, trains and parks), did exactly the duties of modern military police.

    The army headquarters was “short” of messengers for routine communications (ordonnances). They used dragoons early in the 1805 campaign. Murat complained. So by November Berthier had taken a share of the gendarmes from each corps.

    Division and brigade  headquarters used NCO’s or experienced rankers as ordonnances. Each regiment detailed 2-4 men for each higher HQ. Half would standby at the regiment, half at the higher HQ.

    Corps HQ’s used troopers from their attached light cavalry units as ordonnances.

    Marshals (and chief generals of independent armies) had a company of guides as escorts. As MP duties were light in his well-officered corps, Davout used gendarmes à cheval for this. Other marshals wanted somehing more “glamourous”. Iron Marshal indeed.


    Avatar photoOotKust

    Thanks again, really interesting study!

    The organisation of warfare is indeed complex and apparently expensive.

    The long association of Berthier and Dumas from the American Independence war to the Republican Wars appears a strong factor in his appointment. That they chose some of their own ‘family’ of military associates makes an interesting point- expertise of the old ‘Royalists’ cadre simply couldn’t be ignored by Bonaparte in rebuilding armies.

    While the ‘Court’ and etiquette (Lejeune/ Lebrun) get cited often in English texts, the rest of the establishment doesn’t.

    I understand such detail isn’t the vocation of the average gamer; yet modellers and vignette artists abound in such detailled models.

    Yes I agree about ‘Prince Murat’- he also pointed out to Berthier the contempt for wholesale dismounting of Dragoons ‘by the peloton’; and allowing inexperienced recruits to hold rides over ‘dismounted’ veterans. His ‘advice’ was apparently heeded and as such, at some point recruits and conscripts were shuffled to the ‘dragons a pied’ while veterans reclaimed mounts. I’m sure this ‘hidden’ feature may though be something that increased the oft-cited dissatisfaction with their ‘a pied’ performance.

    Whether this actually happened in the 1805 version or subsequent 1806 I do not see have not seen documented.

    I do wonder what part the very experienced Genl. Baraguey d’Hilliers played in this. He was after all Colonel-General des Dragons and an Inspector General of Cavalry in that right.

    thanks d

    Avatar photoHeroy

    “modellers and vignette artists abound in such detailled models”
    Ezxactly so – and also some tactical gamers.

    “dragons à pied …. Murat”
    Yes – all true.
    The original choice of who to dismount had be based on them being in the van-guard of the invasion of England, and similar to “Oudinout’s “grenadiers”. When they marched off for a continental campaign, everyone complained : Baraguey, the division commanders, the regiments’ colonels, maréchal de logis au 4e dragons Jean-Auguste Oyon (in his memoires), and most expressly Murat. The switch to riding veterans and with recent recruits walking was made per an order of 2 September.
    See : Alombert & Colin. La campagne de 1805 en Allemagne. Tome 1, page 321 et seq.

    Avatar photoOotKust

    Gratified at the confirmation!

    Of course- Alombert & Colin. La campagne de 1805 en Allemagne. The first book I requested in the library when I joined the society that is Musée d’Armée in 1984!

    While I had to fly to Paris then, now I have a digital copy, merci! I should search that more often than I do!


    Avatar photoOotKust

    hi all,

    Because you noted above Heroy that –

    Mathieu Dumas was usually escorted on reconnaissance by a company from the 16e dragons,

    my planning notes from over two years ago include :
    “E-M-G Security Body Guard- the elite company of the 21e Dragons was seconded for this duty 1 Dec 1805 or earlier and day of battle. Took part in ’round up’ of Russians in valley 3-4pm.”

    So we have multiple instances of ‘security’ corps in the Headquarters domain. Interesting to me is that both these units were from Beaumont/ Boyé III Division des Dragons.

    Gen de division de La Boninière-Beaumont who had command of the Division, permanently attached to Soults IV Corp d’armée since 1803 apparently became ill some time before Austerlitz, thus command devolved to his senior (1st) GBD Boyé, who had held that rank since 1795. This is why in generic history’s Boyé is given as ‘commander’ of the Division while he would have equally I assume handled his own brigade.

    The two Dragoon regiments mentioned, came from the (2nd) Brigade commanded by GDB Scalfort, [Real name Nicolas-Joseph Schelfauldt ou Schelfondt dit «Scalfort»] who had been GBD only 2 years.

    On a side note I found in my reseach the ‘evolution’ in command interesting- Dragoons being a much maligned corps of arms; the first iterations (peacetime shall we say) had a sole ‘Division’ of three brigades of two regiments, whilst by the time of Austerlitz this had changed in nearly all such Divisions, to only two brigades of three regiments. An economy in Generals, but again I haven’t seen any tangible reasons why. Operationally it seems effective, regardless.

    Boyé I’d note copped a verbal backlash when the dragoons attempted to but failed to counter when encircling Russian infantry attempting to escape; then Imperial ADC Gardanne personally ordered by N. took charge of the rest of the Dragoon Division (4 left) and in a confused charge they too were ‘repulsed/ routed’ by #8 O’Reilly ChevauxLeger regiment (that I also have modelled in 28mm), supported by a Kavaleriebatterien on the forward slopes after the repulse of the Allied force 4th Column/ Corps. {NB details corrected}.

    Both sides used the ‘masked’ deployment of [horse] artillery behind cavalry  in this small amphitheatre, the French being Digeons company of the Garde Artillerie Legere. Something we never see in gaming…

    These are nuances that often get ignored by historians in general writing, and gamers who slavishly stick to one ‘brand’ of depiction.


    Avatar photoHeroy

    “E-M-G Security”
    As far as I know ….

    The Correspondence shows Napoléon giving Berthier permission to take a regiment from “Beaumont’s” division early in the campaign. Mathieu Dumas identifies this as Clément’s regiment (16e dragons) in his “Souveniers”. Murat complained, and Bethier sent back the regiment by 1 December, but put a draft on the army’s gendarmes to use as messengers. He seems to have taken the elite company of colonel Mas de Polart’s 21e dragons for HQ security at this time. However, Dumas never mentions changing the company (of the 16e dragons) that he was using for security while scouting. This company did *not* make it to the battle (Dumas himself did, part way through the day), but instead the company managed to get captured by Russians due to a mistake made by their inexperienced (but un-named) captain.

    The 16e dragons had the fewest men at Austerlitz among the regiments of that arm of service, about 50 fewer than the average. The junior captaine in the 16e dragons was Bethier’s nephew, as I noted. About 4 of the other 7 capitaines commandant were wounded at and/or decorated for Austerlitz. Hence my supposition that it was d’Haugeranville who managed to get captured.

    The official report of the battle of Austerlitz has : “M[onsieur] Belle [sic *], lieutenant au 21e de dragons, commandant la compagnie d’élite au service du quartier général, a chargé à la droite avec les dragons et fait plusieurs prisonniers.”
    * Georges-Gaston-Justin Belot, dit “Belot-Gaston” (Bélesta, dans les Pyrénées près d’Andorra 1782 – tué, chef d’escadron au dragons de la garde et officier de la Légion d’honneur, à Craonne 1814)

    Avatar photoOotKust

    This company did *not* make it to the battle (Dumas himself did, part way through the day), but instead the company managed to get captured by Russians due to a mistake made by their inexperienced (but un-named) captain.


    Are you suggesting Wischau?? Where by some terrible miscarriage of events… a poor dismounted peloton of dragons was ‘left’ to be captured by the advancing enemy- surely that was the biggest ruse he pulled off?

    No-one but an imbecile would have dropped a squad in the front line, and left them to be wagonned out later… it was a set-up true and proper IMO… they probably found the poorest, smallest conscripts and evaders to enhance the key element of unrelenting over confidence that the French had had it! I bet they didn’t even have supplies to drive home the ruse, and their ‘condition’…

    I don’t think I have read any better ‘stage-managed’ retreat by a myriad of dispersed cavalry vedettes and regiments across that red-line of Wischau!

    I’m not sure why Murat had any issue with the completely separated and non-subordinate, except when ‘exchanged’ on tours, Dragoon Divisions attached to several of the Army Corps. It appears to me they operated in that separated capacity throughout the campaign, exactly the way they ‘trained’ chez Armée d’Angleterre.

    They may have notionally been in Murats ‘count’ as cavalry, but I’d doubt any operational directives when they functioned away much of the time.

    Probably… 🙂

    Avatar photoHeroy

    No, not Wishau.
    Dumas’ dragoon company’s capture happened during the night of 1/2 December.

    In general – yes, reserve cavalry were assigned to move with infantry corps, but taking a whole regiment out of action to guard the army HQ and run messages would be different, as they would usually not be available for combat. Also, there was Murat’s personality …. I do not think he recognized that Berthier essentially out-ranked him.

    Avatar photoOotKust

    No, not Wishau. Dumas’ dragoon company’s capture happened during the night of 1/2 December.


    Ok, I can honestly say I’ve never heard or read of the event- a quick scan of some of my book library (not e-books yet tho) finds nothing, not even a hint.

    I have two queries- why is such a highly placed commander doing personal recce’s? Would have thought the structure had plenty of younger men of military experience, to know and find…

    And wasn’t such a serious security risk in itself- I know the Emperor undertook his own ‘look and see’ with some near dire consequences, but he could; the knowledge carried and obviously the risk of consequences was enormous.

    Contrast this- no mounted vedettes even assigned or accompanied Soults Corps advance on Pratzen, handicapping their range of sight once upon the plateau or beyond… no doubt other battles had the same.

    On the security and intelligence front- I read time and again in Bennigsens memoires that both sides knew ‘Parleys and Armistice’ bearers were doing more ‘scouting’ than talking (ie Savary, Duroc etc.).


    Avatar photoHeroy

    essentially a daily itinerary ….

    Souvenirs du lieutenant général comte Mathieu Dumas, de 1770 à 1836
    ed. comte Christian Dumas [son fils]
    Paris : Charles Gosselin, 1839
    Vol. 3, Lvr. 11, pp. 230 et seq,

    Avatar photoOotKust

    essentially a daily itinerary …. Souvenirs du lieutenant général comte Mathieu Dumas, de 1770 à 1836 _

    OK I hadn’t quite got that far in to it… cheers !

    Avatar photoOotKust

    Another side project, and definitely in the ‘later’ camp, but one real this time being the lesser known and even less acknowledged recruits of 1806- the Gendarmes d’ordonnance (Gentlemen Couriers ??).

    Not a part of la garde, yet ‘associated’ by pay but not conditions; planned as ‘household’ couriers to N., yet eventually became members of Garde cavalry regiments under promotion/ disbandment.

    And certainly not the burly men of the Renaissance fighting!

    These self uniformed and horsed scions of the Old Regime, were formed and ‘blooded’ in the Prussian campagne, yet were marked as officers for individual service after that.

    I note that some artists have even shown them as merely ‘trooper/ chevaliers’ with carbines, yet the uniform decreed is that of officers.

    This ‘period’ illustration [trimmed] -from original at Kassel University, I think care of Napoleon Online, shows the details well.

    I’d painted an ordinary chasseur figure sample some time ago and been waiting for if, or when, I may start using some of these on command bases.

    The unfaced habit*, silver laced red scarlet veste; silver aiguillette, black cartouche belt with decoration, and silver attributes to plain shako, make a distinctive and understated uniform. *Not even red turnbacks, as that too was an attribute of la garde!

    The uniform, as the unit, existed until reorganisation of manpower in mid 1807 post Tilsit. Later resurrected in 1808 with similar manpower, but with the bright ‘bleu barbeau’ uniform depicted most of all.

    Any broader information (I left a lot of translated detail out for brevity…) appreciated,

    cheers d

    Avatar photoHeroy

    “Later resurrected in 1808 with similar manpower, but with the bright ‘bleu barbeau’ uniform”

    I think you refer to the 12 or so “officiers d’ordonnance de S.M.”, messengers for the Emperor, attached to grand equerry. They were first decreed in September 1806, but definitively organized by a decree of 1809.

    The list of the “”officiers d’ordonnance” who made the Russian campaign shows many names from old noble families : capitaines le chevalier Gourgaud, le baron de Montesquieu-Fezensac, le comte de Montmorency, le comte de Montaigu, le chevalier de Christin, le baron de Clement de Teintignies, le baron Desaix, Riqurt de Caraman, Moreton de Chabrilland, le baron de Mortemart de Rochechouart, Athalin, d’Hautpoul, le baron de Lauriston & sous-lieutenant le prince d’Arenberg.

    The “gendarmes d’ordonnance” (in green) numbered a total of 394 gendarmes (plus officers).

    Neither the “officiers d’ordonnance” nor the “gendarmes d’ordonnance” were part of the garde à cheval. The “gendarmes d’élite” (in dark blue), taken from the gendarmerie nationale, *were* part of the guards from their inception.

    Avatar photoOotKust

    My thanks.

    The continuity is sometimes confusing. I didn’t realise the discreet ’12’ was exactly that, with replacements along the way.

    I read he had a reliably regular ‘Post-man’ who delivered to him. I’m presuming between either MoW or Major-General Berthier.


    Avatar photoHeroy

    I think you mean the “estafettes de Sa Majesté” or the “service d’estafettes”.

    Rather like American pony express : special long distance dispatch riders who relied on exchanging horses to keep constantly in route at the gallop to their destination. Uniformed as shown below, carrying a sealed leather satchel marked “Dépêches de Sa Majesté l’Empereur et Roi” weighing no more than 25 lbs., they were employees of the “directeur général des postes” (le comte de Lavalette), but on campaign were considered part of Napoléon’s “cabinet”, reporting to the baron Meneval, and paid for by Napoléon’s own funds. Perhaps 7 or so employed at any one time.



    They took the shortest route – whether or not in friendly territory. By reputation former criminals and quite brutal, they often rode their horses to death and would bribe or shoot anyone who tried to impede their mission. The most famous of the riders were “Moustache”, “Clérice” & “Vidal” – all used noms de guerre to protect them and their families from intimidation, espionage and prosecution.

    There is a great sketch of Moustache:

    There was a similar, but much larger, service, using relays of special light carriages for the larger volume of army messages, reporting to army and corps headquarters.

    Avatar photoOotKust

    Haha, brilliant!

    Yes Moustache was referred to in my previous reading. Although it may have been a ‘regular’ Post of the standard army service where I confused matters.

    Thanks again !!!


    Avatar photoOotKust

    As if there aren’t enough model candidates for completion- I’m now referring to my sample figures as ‘nominees’… I decided I must complete my Marshal Soult and his two command bases- himself and his associated CoS- GDv Salligny.

    All fine so far- yet my research (in France etc.) focussed solely on higher level command and structure and I wasn’t frankly even aware of the possibility of individuals research records when I was there [1984].

    Frankly I’m still confused by lack of information on a number of the generals ADCs (A’sDC?) named but not detailled anywhere. Such as Soults ADCs-

    1. Chef de bon Lachau;
    2. Lieutenant Lameth;
    3. Lt Saint Chamans and
    4. Lt Pétiet etc.

    The first- no sign- one of this name is in Base Leonore but clearly isnt my man. He was in service and in AN12 applied for the cross- it was not awarded until November 1813!

    Lameth and Saint Chamans I have. Pétiet- cited as “officier de correspondance près le général Soult” seems covered as well.

    Apart from coming mostly from mounted regiments, I’m not even sure M.Soults second ADC is an CdeBon at all.

    Any comments? Thanks, d

    Avatar photoHeroy

    I think you can put the chief of staff in a very fine uniform and on an excellent horse…. Charles Saligny was the son of the marquis Nicolas-Louis de Salligny (1736-1819), a substantial Marnais land-holder, magistrate and later deputy in the Corps législatif. Charles had married in June 1805 Marie-Rose (dite “Rosine”) Anthoine de Saint-Joseph (1778–1859), the daughter of an extremely rich businessman and mayor of Marseille & Marie-Rose Clary, the sister of Joseph Bonaparte’s wife Julie Clary. Charles Saligny’s daughter Eugénie would marry Soult’s son Hector-Napoléon in 1825.

    Well, here is something to start off your researches…. I have not checked & cross-checked each name. And there would be a swarm of visiting aides-de-camp and messengers (from the imperial cabinet and army headquarters and from the corps’ divisions), laundresses, cantiniers & cantinières, domestiques, local guides, merchants, prostitutes, etc., etc., etc.). But it is a start.

    état-major du 4e corps de la grand armée (1805)

    commandant du corps maréchal Jean-de-Dieu Soult
    — adjudant commandant à la suite Ricard
    — aides-de-camp colonel Franceschi, chef de bataillon Hulot, chef de bataillon Lachau [?], capitaine Lebrun, lieutenant A. Lameth & lieutenant Lefebvre [?]
    — officiers d’ordonnance du maréchal sous-lieutenant Saint-Chamans & sous-lieutenant Pétiet

    chef d’état-major Charles de Saligny
    — aides-de-camp chef de bataillon Claude-Antoine Compère, capitaine Schmitt & lieutenant Joseph-Gaspard Pécou de Cherville
    — sous-chefs d’état-major adjudant commandant Mériage & adjudant commandant Lemarrois
    — officiers adjoint d’état-major chef de bataillon Guillaume, chef d’escadron Dufay, capitaine Laurain, capitaine Bagniol, capitaine Asselin & capitaine Baudin
    — officiers d’ordonnance d’état-major sous-lieutenant Billevitz & sous-lieutenant Vilezioski

    commandant l’artillerie général de brigade Lariboisière
    — aides-de-camp capitaine Henri-Antoine Bon de Lignin & capitaine Degennes
    — chef d’état-major d’artillerie colonel Demarçay
    — directeur du parc d’artillerie colonel Le Masson du Chenoy
    — sous-directeur du parc chef de bataillon Cabau
    — inspecteur du train d’artillerie [?]
    — officiers adjoint d’artillerie capitaine Pion & capitaine Lavillette

    commandant le génie colonel Poitevin
    — chef d’état-major du génie chef de bataillon Garbé
    — officiers adjoint du génie capitaine Calmet & capitaine Constantin

    commandant la gendarmerie chef d’escadron Dubignon

    vaguemestre-général chef de bataillon Armanet

    commandant du place du quartier-général [?]
    — commandant la compagnie d’escorte (tiré du 8e de hussards) capitaine [?]

    inspecteur aux revues François Lambert
    — sous-inspecteur aux revues Jean-Marie Le Barbier de Tinan
    — directeur des postes & relais [?]

    commissaire-ordonnateur Arcambal
    — commissaire de guerre Lenoble
    — commissaire de guerre Perceval
    — 4 commissaires adjoint [?]
    — directeur du viande [?]
    — directeur du pain [?]
    — directeur du fourrage [?]

    payeur principal Dauchy
    — commandant la garde du trésor brigadier-douanier [?]

    médicine en chef [?]
    — chirurgien en chef [?]
    — pharmacien en chef [?]
    — directeur de l’hôpital [?]


    Avatar photoOotKust

    Well, here is something to start off your researches….

    Cher Monsieur,

    I am red faced and embarrassed as I worry I have put you to all that work and effort!

    – – I have had most of this info since 1984- as I went to Vincenne- SHAT and personally spent a month writing notes and photocopyng a small fortune in paper from these famous archives. I read and copied Colin etc- now I have digital copies…

    However, you have a few extra pieces I did not have from C2 xxx Cartons.

    I have rejected the notion that Soults most senior ADCs would be present at all in his cadre. Both “— aides-de-camp colonel Franceschi, chef de bataillon Hulot…” were unit commanders and would not have been anywhere but with their regiments I believe- the former that of 8e Hussards- who maintained the extreme right hand flank cordon of the battlefield over night and part of the day; and Hulot being commandant of the singular Tirailleur du Pô who held the Sokolnitz ‘Chateau’ enclosed ‘garden/ park’ most of the battle.

    Thus we are left with the list I gave (ie those cited in the Returns de l’etat…) to whom I was addressing uniform status. Broadly I’m opting for the ‘regulation or second dress’ variations amongst these.

    1. “— officiers d’ordonnance du maréchal sous-lieutenant Saint-Chamans & sous-lieutenant Pétiet” – I have not before seen these two cited as ‘ordonnance’. I read in Davouts memoires his ordonnance were merely ‘dragoons’ attached for the service without specifying rank.I had considered for both men regimental uniforms however, the former had been attached to Soult since March 1804, and promoted to Lieutenant in ’05. Ditto Pétiet similar. Given the length of service and ‘permanence’ I had revised my conjecture to regulation ADC dress.
      Or perhaps for latter- an Hussar, I have some ‘tenue de fantasie’ elevated costumes? [More you don’t want to know- yes I am preparing (mostly done) a GDV Junot with ADCs who at that time was nearly always “pres de l’empereur…”].
    2. “chef de bataillon Claude-Antoine Compère” – of the famous 9e Legere! What a man to have- now he will be in regimentals!
    3. Another enigma “officiers adjoint d’état-major chef de bataillon Guillaume” – properly or not ‘Jeanguillaume– Claude François’ (one word) á la suite from the 94e Regt de Ligne. His data came from a genealogy site and Base Leonore records. Being 40 he was much older than most other officers present. See link-


    Apologies link would not take and I had to go out for an hour…


    Avatar photoHeroy

    I did note that I had not checked name by name.

    Per regulations, a sous-lieutenant could not be an aide-de-camp. So, if acting as one, he could be called an officier d’ordonnance or officier de correspondence. A sergeant doing this work would be a sous-officier d’ordonnance. A dragoon trooper would be simply an ordonnance.
    The same naming could be used for a lieutenant or capitaine over the allotted number of aides-de-camp : 6 for a corps commander, 3 for a général de division, 2 for a généal de brigade. The biggest difference was that the “official” aides-de-camp had some extra pay and substantially more allowances.

    For example, in the case of Auguste Petiet, we see in his Légion dossier :
    — 26.V.1800 entrée au service comme élève commissaire de guerre
    He is not actually in the army, but instead in the supply service.
    — 3.VI.1800 promu adjoint aux commissaires de guerre
    — 7.X.1800 adjoint à titre provisoire à l’état-major général de la armée d’Italie (confirmé 4.I.1801)
    The phrase “sous-lieutenant” does not appear. Technically, this kind of adjoint was a lieutenant’s or captain’s slot in these years. It is not clear if he was still an adjoint aux commissaires de guerre or had received a commission in the army.
    — 9.XII.1803 passé officier de correspondence près du maréchal Soult
    — 30.VIII.1804 promu lieutenant
    He is now surely in the army but still a sort of lieutenant adjoint d’état-major (which technically was a capitaine’s slot by 1804) and is thus listed in the annual État Militaire published in February 1805 as “à la suite” to the headquarters at the camp de Saint-Omar.
    — 11.II.1805 passé aide-de-camp du maréchal Soult
    He is now one of the “official” 6 aides-de-camp
    — 17.VII.1805 passé lieutenant au 8e de hussards
    So, if he didn’t actually serve with the 8e de hussards, he was once again technically an officier d’ordonnance or officier de correspondence at Austerlitz – likely uniformed as a hussar lieutenant.

    Similarly, since an officier adjoint d’état-major was technically a captain’s slot, the chef de bataillon Guillaume or Guilleaume is listed in the État Militaire published in February 1805 as “à la suite” to the headquarters at the camp de Saint-Omar. This would be Claude-François Guillaume (Saint-Claude près de Genève 1765 – Passau en Bavière 1806), son of a merchant, simple “soldat” under the ancien régime and staff officer since December 1795.
    See pages 425-426 : https://books.google.hr/books?id=5G8MtA_5V_wC
    See also : http://archives39.fr/ark:/36595/a011423563618JCq7j8/3cfed12517

    Avatar photoOotKust

    Per regulations, a sous-lieutenant could not be an aide-de-camp.

    Ok thanks- quite the variation to staffing that I didnt recognise beyond the regulated system! All the more clarity on Guillaume as you say. Sad case coming down with fever/ respiratory disease and death.

    With this knowledge I trust I will be able to recognise the ad-hoc arrangements and not be so particular about ‘unit’ uniforms for these officers in future.

    Thanks again,

    Avatar photoHeroy

    I checked Soult’s aides de camp name by name ….

    with Soult as aides de camp for the campaign in 1805

    ● adjudant commandant 1er aide de camp Étienne-Pierre-Sylvestre Ricard
    — fils d’un magistrat, né à Castres en Occitanie 31.XII.1771, adjudant-général chef de brigade provisoire 31.XII.1799, confirmé comme adjudant commandant 7.VIII.1800, à la état-major du camp de Saint-Omar 8.XI.1803, officier de la Légion d’honneur 14.VI.1804, 1er aide de camp du maréchal 11.IX.1805, général de brigade 13.XI.1806 …. mort 1843

    ● chef de bataillon aide de camp Alexandre-Joseph-Hippolyte de Lachau
    — fils d’un écuyer du roi, né à Saint-Auban nord-est d’Avignon 3.IV.1761, capitaine adjoint d’état-major à l’armée du Midi sous les ordres du général Soult 4.I.1801, aide de camp du général Soult 22.XI.1801, chef de bataillon 2.XI.1802, officier de la Légion d’honneur 14.VI.1804, commandant de la ville de Francfort 7.V.1807 …. mort 1821

    ● capitaine aide de camp Étienne Hulot
    — fils d’un charron puis le maire, né à Mazerny dans les Ardennes 15.II.1774, sous-lieutenant officier d’ordonnance près du général Soult 20.III.1799, blessé au combat d’Ostrach 21.III.1799, lieutenant 30.VI.1799, prisonnier de guerre au siège de Genoa en sauvant la vie de son général 13.V.1800, capitaine à la suite de l’armée 1.VI.1800, en liberté sur parole 10.VI.1800, échangé 9.IX.1800, revint aide de camp du général Soult 12.XI.1803, membre de la Légion d’honner 5.VIII.1804, chef de bataillon commandant les tirailleurs du Pô 1.XI.1805, grièvement blessé au Austerlitz 2.XII.18o5, officier de la Légion d’honneur 26.XII.1805, revint aide de camp du maréchal, conservant le commandement de son bataillon 5.I.1806 …. mort 1850

    ● capitaine aide de camp Louis-Bertrand-Pierre Brun de Villeret
    — fils d’un magistrat, né à Le Malzieu en Occitanie 3.II.1773, sous-lieutenant élève d’artillerie 12.III.1798, lieutenant d’artillerie 20.IV.1799, capitaine au 2e d’infanterie de ligne 23.V.1805, capitaine aide de camp du maréchal Soult 12.X.1805, membre de la Légion d’honner 14.V.1807 …. mort 1845

    ● lieutenant aide de camp Alfred-Malo-Séraphin de Lameth
    — fils du général marquis de Lameth, né à Paris 17.III.1783, lieutenant au 2e caribiniers à cheval 3.VI.1801, lieutenant aide de camp de général Soult 1.IX.1801, membre de la Légion d’honner 5.VIII.1804, capitaine aide de camp 5.I.1806, chef d’escadron aide de camp 11.VII.1807 …. tué par une guérilla en Portugal 1809

    ● lieutenant aide de camp Alfred Amand Robert de Saint-Chamans
    — fils du mestre de camp vicomte Saint-Chamans né à Clichy près de Paris 29.IX.1781, sous-lieutenant au 6e de dragons 17.II.1803, officier d’ordonnance près maréchal Soult 15.III.1804, lieutenant aide de camp 24.II.1805, capitaine aide de camp 25.XII.1805, membre de la Légion d’honner 14.III.1806, chef d’escadron aide de camp 11.VII.1807 …. mort 1848
    see front cover


    with Soult as officiers d’ordonnance for the campaign in 1805

    ● lieutenant au 8e de dragons Joseph-Marie-Xavier Lefebvre
    — fils du maréchal, né à Paris 9.III.1783, sous-lieutenant à la garde des consuls 2.IV.1802, sous-lieutenant au 8e de dragons 18.XII.1802, passé à la suite de l’éat-major de l’armée d’Hanovre 15.VIII.1803, sous-lieutenant officier d’ordonnance près du général Soult 11.XI.1803, lieutenant aide de camp du maréchal Soult 17.V.1804, membre de la Légion d’honner 5.VIII.1804, officier d’ordonnance lieutenant au 8e de dragons 21.XII.1804, rentré au 8e de dragons 24.VI.1806 …. mort au Vilna au fin de la campagne en Russie 1812

    ● lieutenant au 8e de hussards Agustin-Louis dit Auguste Petiet
    — fils du ministre de la guerre puis intendant-géneral de l’armée, né à Rennes 18.VII.1784, adjoint aux commissaires de guerre 3.VI.1800, adjoint provisoire à l’état-major de l’armée d’Italie 7.X.1800, confirmé 4.I.1801, officier d’ordonnance près du général Soult 9.XII.1803, lieutenant 30.VIII.1804, lieutenant aide-de-camp du maréchal Soult 11.II.1805, officier d’ordonnance lieutenant au 8e de hussards 17.VII.1805, membre de la Légion d’honner 14.III.1806 …. mort 1858
    in the center


    departed Soult’s staff before the campaign in 1805

    ● colonel du 8e de hussards Jean-Baptiste-Marie Franceschi
    — fils d’un plâtrier, né à Lyon 4.IX.1767, capitaine provisoire aide de camp du général Soult 28.VI.1799, confirmé capitain 1.IX.1800, chef d’escadron 19.X.1799, passé au 4e de hussards 24.VIII.1801, revint aide de camp du général Soult 16.X.1802, colonel 1er aide camp 3.XI.1803, commandant de la Légion d’honneur 14.VI.1804, passé commandant du 8e de hussards 1.II.1805, général de brigade 24.XII.1805 …. mort prisonnier de guerre à Carthagène en 1810

    Avatar photoOotKust

    Thanks again, a very thorough detail review of his cadre.
    I wonder, on the ADCs, if those who were senior remained as ‘ceremonial’ associates once detached for active service as their names remain affixed in both ‘Situation…’ documentation and Almanacs published.

    I wonder also if that ‘peerage’ and Ancien Regime contacts had something to do with the animosity shown by Lannes and Murat toward Soult? They called Davout a pr*ck for being a haughty ‘seigneur’ but I would think Soult, of whom I have little actual personal information or detail, was equally as prone?

    The Republican school didn’t quite practice ‘egalisté’ as suggested perhaps. In any event it appears to me he was competant if cautious, methodical and conscientous, and able to grasp a situation to his benefit when they occurred.

    Likened to Hollywood, he was a method actor and not a star until the years passed, not flashy and brusque always seeking attention and approbation of those in charge- exactly unlike Murat and Lannes.


    Avatar photoHeroy

    “ceremonial associates”
    Well, they remained close, Soult claiming Franceschi was his “closest friend” when eulogizing him. Hulot I think was more a “ceremonial commander” of the tirailleurs du Pô *except* when they were in combat.

    “Ancien Regime contacts”
    Soult himself was the son of a lower middle class rural notary. What I noticed most about his staff was the many other southerners – perhaps they could understand each other’s langue d’oc accents ?
    Sons of the nobility often made good aides de camp : polished, great riders, eager, confident, able to afford domestiques and uniforms and fine food, often multi-lingual, etc. Murat had many. Lannes did not live long enough to see the great uptake of the old nobility’s sons under the later empire. The ones more likely to resent them were line officers who won commissions after up to 10 years fighting the wars of the revolution. Since staff officers are resented anyway, it was likely a good idea to use them there. But not so much as adjoints. who actually had lots of bureaucratic work to do.

    Soult was quite solid, reliable. He was a fine tactician (like Lannes) and a capable adminstrator (like Suchet), but prone to theft (like Masséna). Not very political, he had a long career post-Napoléon.

    Napoléon reportedly said, “The three best of my generals were Davout, Soult and Bessières.”

    Avatar photoOotKust

    Napoléon reportedly said, “The three best of my generals were Davout, Soult and Bessières.”

    No doubt. All could be relied upon to do their duty no matter what. When he lost three of his closest friends- Desaix, Duroc and Berthier, then he became austere and withdrawn.

    I wasn’t suggesting Soults’ associations weren’t ‘real’ and more than a military family- but ceremonial in the sense that the pomp and splendour on show was limited to those ‘public’ events and displays (like formally entering a conquered state capital etc.) .

    When it came to battlefields, like in a submarine it was everyone at their post.

    I think you may underestimate Hulot?- he was as I understand a first class administrator, not unlike Soult and Davout- and the reputation and record of the Tir du Pô battalion is unmatched.

    N. didn’t trust every Italian by any means, and he was ever watchful for larceny and corruption (exc his own perhaps) so the Tirailleurs were finely maintained, via Hulot. Just as his ‘cousins’ of the Tirailleurs/ Chasseur Corse were likewise. Two of the finest legere among the French. They certainly fought and died for the Empire till 1810.

    I know PLD has taken a swing at Davout and the Camp/ Armée d’ Angleterre reporting on losses. Yet I have in my hands a Situation for Soults’ IV Corps 1805 Tirailleurs/ Chasseur Corse that cites zero losses to desertion since the march began; contrasted by not a few amongst the actual French regiments. there were inevitable dropouts due to illness and injury explained of course.

    Soults Corps, alike with Lannes and Oudinots ‘Reserve Grenadier’ Division, were far more likely to be found in the front line of contacts with the enemy- indeed both parts of the campaign started with them in actions, small by battle standards, but those at the ‘pointy end’ nonetheless. Thus these two ‘elite dare I say’ legere units suffered both marching and fighting in often atrocious weather conditions whilst also confronting the unknown enemy.

    Since staff officers are resented anyway, it was likely a good idea to use them there.

    All who appear superior to others are resented at some time or other. If not the class systems, dogma or religious elevations, behaviour takes a part.

    I wasn’t suggesting otherwise- and those in such positions, whether serving generals and officers created and elevated from success in battle, always seek to downplay possible threats to their status. Compared to the Gascons, Ney was level headed. N. deliberately created the incredible mix of martial and administrative talent around him, evoking the mysteries of the art of war, sciences and intrigue for and against everyone. His private life showed this and his public one was of many facets too.

    A recent talk about Duroc, which tells you hardly anything new actually, from the  Fondation Napoléon :

    another of those dual-role followers/ supporters without whom, he could not have succeeded as much as he did. In short- he not only used the old aristos but sensibly could not do without them, despite the loathing of indignant republicans and soldiers.


    Avatar photoOotKust

    I’m not sure who he is but he sure is ugly…

    Something of a mystery man- had to obtain a chapeau, so lost the top of his head and part of face in the cutting process. Milliput had to replace them.

    So a major reconstructive surgery, and Picasso like painting to somewhat restore facial features… but who is he?

    Unknown Etat-Major conversion

    Avatar photoHeroy
    Avatar photoOotKust

    Well perhaps… despite not being in my chain of command…

    Avatar photoHeroy

    A vignette of Kellermann being helped to the rear ? He received a ball that broke one of his legs during the 4th (out of 10 !) charges made by his division at Austerlitz.


    Avatar photoOotKust

    File this under ‘Other Leaders’

    Davout- A Character Reference

    I was asked about Davout from people who know about him, but not much after a surprise assault on history again.
    PLD launched another grenade, this time target Davout, of which I have some scepticism, despite the ‘data’ compilation… my personal conclusions were as follows.

    That is mainly from unwarranted critics. He was mistrusted and appeared cold with compatriots, not liked by the clique of Boney mates of military machismo as such in the early days and as the youngest Marshal stood up to them with his aristocratic education, panache and abilities.

    Bourienne apparently made sarcastic comments on the young General, which Buonaparte recklessly made public and got back to Davout who held a lifetime grudge- probably indifference as much as anything more caustic.

    He was devoted to his men [indeed he never failed Napoleon either], and they returned the feelings. Most of his Generals were with him nearly a decade form 1803 onward; yes he shot a few deserters, thieves and brigands. Just like Wellington. He commuted as many death sentences with clemency. He didn’t hesitate to criticise his compatriots behaviour, but he didn’t do so by writing acrid texts or memoires after the fact.

    He didn’t ‘steal’ from occupied territories by levying his own taxes (unlike Bernadotte/ Ney/ Augerau and Massena/Murat) among the rest. He did exert those pressures and levies that Napoleon made him apply but no more.

    In fact he was the near perfect political counter to hostile territories, which is why he commanded in Germany 1806-07. then Poland 07, later the Siege of Hamburg 1813 etc., where his good natured, if hard working clemency and relationship building stood him in good stead, with both Nap and the frenemies.

    Contrary to what PLD has written as ‘observations’ it will take a lot to overturn. My thoughts are he’s gone a bit on data and countering any logic with “well thats not what this says…” mentality.

    Davouts mixed reputation isn’t really clear- it is to me but then I have my own bent…hey I even like Ney!

    Contrary to what PLD has vented about Davout, he was known to look after, feed, organise, reform and support his fighting men and officers at all times. He asked a lot, but they were willing, hence the 90kms 3 days/ nights force marches from Vienna to reach Austerlitz at 0800 on the morning… and other vigorous efforts on all their parts. He shared their misery at times, but didn’t expose himself like some of the more dramatic leaders.

    I hadn’t taken a lot of interest, despite having his bio by Gallagher, until I started fully researching his actions at Austerlitz, read the reports he made, and his ‘memoires’ which are written as family notes- never meant to be published by his son or grandson did so 60 years after events. Hence why he’s been added to my 1805 Grand Armée.

    He made that victory even more probable by his aggressive and considered assaults that held back, or pinned, the Russian ‘assault columns in situ while the heights were taken 2-3 kms in their rear!

    The battle may not have been that conclusive if he hadn’t been there. And again- like Auerstedt- against a significantly greater force than his meagre one division (Friants) on hand could be expected to achieve. Davouts battleground was an ‘encounter’ amongst Napoleons set-piece affair.

    To be complete- other misunderstood characters abound- Duroc, Savary both mates of Nap; Eugene exemplary in command and leadership under Naps tutelage (look at 1812 Retreat example); Lannes stood up to Nap and spoke his mind, where others folded (ie Soult). Moreau is subject to Naps wrath because he was a loyal republican- despite his partly aristocratic background, he supported the revolution and principles.
    He neither agreed with Naps coup nor supported his Government- that was the source of problems and why he left. Etc… He apparently didn’t conspire against Nap, but he was approached by those who would, and that was enough to taint him.

    Don’t forget Ney was a student of Moreau and the Armée du Rhin. As such he was taken on as part of the ‘politics’ of melding a single fighting French Army under one leader… He was at the centre of Hohenlinden, with Grouchy, under Moreau and no pansy then either. He brought his own skills to Nap, not the other way round.

    Anyway enough for now, d

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