Empire Collections

Empire General Marchand

Reference : GLMARCHAND

Jean Gabriel Marchand, 1st Count Marchand (10 December 1765 – 12 November 1851) went from being an attorney to a company commander in the army of the First French Republic in 1791. He fought almost exclusively in Italy throughout the French Revolutionary Wars and served on the staffs of a number of generals. He participated in Napoleon Bonaparte's celebrated 1796-1797 Italian campaign.

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At the start of the Napoleonic Wars in 1805, Marchand led a brigade in the Grande Armée at Haslach-Jungingen and Dürenstein. Promoted to lead a division in Marshal Michel Ney's corps, he fought at Jena and Magdeburg in 1806. Leading an independent force, he defeated 3,000 Prussians late in the year. The following year he led his troops at Eylau, Guttstadt-Deppen, and Friedland. Napoleon bestowed honors and the rank of nobility upon him.

In 1808 Marchand went to Spain where he fought in the Peninsular War. In Ney's absence, he took command of the corps and suffered a humiliating defeat at Tamamés at the hands of a Spanish army. He went with Marshal André Masséna's abortive invasion of Portugal in 1810 and 1811 and fought at Ciudad Rodrigo, Almeida, and Bussaco. During the retreat he performed well in one rear guard action against the British and later led his division at Fuentes de Onoro.

In 1812 he commanded a division in Russia. He fought at the head of his division at Lützen, Bautzen, and Leipzig in 1813. An Austrian division defeated his independent command near Geneva in 1814. During the Hundred Days he was tasked with stopping Napoleon's march near Grenoble, but his troops went over to the ex-emperor. For this, he was later tried by the Bourbons but acquitted. His surname is one of those names inscribed under the Arc de Triomphe.