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French Emmanuel DE GROUCHY

French general and marshal

Source :  Jacques CHANIS

Born: on October 23, 1766 in Paris, France
Died: on May 29, 1847 in Saint-Étienne, France


Grouchy was born in Paris, the son of François-Jacques de Grouchy, 1st Marquis de Grouchy (b. 1715) and intellectual wife Gilberte Fréteau de Pény (d. 1793). His sister was Sophie de Condorcet, a noted feminist. He entered the French artillery in 1779: in 1782 he was transferred to the cavalry, and subsequently, in 1786, to the Gardes du Corps. In spite of his aristocratic birth and his connections with the court (as his father, having served as a page, was rumored to be the illegitimate son of king Louis XV), he was a convinced supporter of the principles of the Revolution, and had in consequence to leave the Guards. About the time of the outbreak of war in 1792 he became colonel of a cavalry regiment, and soon afterwards, as a maréchal de camp, he was sent to serve on the south-eastern frontier. In 1793 he distinguished himself in La Vendée, and was promoted Général de division. Grouchy was shortly afterwards deprived of his rank as being of noble birth, but in 1795 he was again placed on the active list. He served on the staff of the Army of Ireland (1796–1797), and took a conspicuous part in the Irish expedition. In 1798 he administered the civil and military government of Piedmont at the time of the abdication of the king of Sardinia, and in 1799 he distinguished himself greatly as a divisional commander in the campaign against the Austrians and Russians.

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