Empire Collections

General Servan de Gerbey

Reference : GLSERVAN

Empire General
Joseph Marie Servan de Gerbey (born 14 February 1741 Romans - 10 May 1808 Paris) was a French general.

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He was volunteered in the regiment of Guyenne, 20 December 1760, then became Engineering Officer, then Deputy Governor of the pages of Louis XVI, then colonel, then brigadier, on 8 May 1792. He was appointed the minister of war by the Girondin party, from May to June 1792.

He caused the formation of a camp around Paris and dismissed the Garde du Corps and the Swiss Guards, and abolished corporal punishment in the army. When he resigned, the National Assembly by decree of 13 June 1792, commended him. Appointed Minister of War a second time after 10 August, and passes, as general of division, to the chief command of the army of the eastern Pyrenees.

He deleted the eighth verse of the Marseillaise in 1792, claiming it was too religious (referring to God). Arrested during the Terror, he was released on 3 February 1795 and reinstated in the army.

Under the Consulate, he was chairman of records and Commander of the Legion of Honor. He retired on 3 May 1807. He died in Paris at the age of 67.

He was author of a draft constitution for the French army, and a History of the Gallic wars in Italy, and several military articles published in Encyclopédie Méthodique of Charles Joseph Panckoucke.

His name appears on the Arc de Triomphe, on the West side. Joseph Servan is the brother of Joseph Michel Antoine Servan.