Empire Collections

Marshal Gouvion St Cyr

Reference : MLGOUVION

Empire Marshal Laurent de Gouvion Saint-Cyr, First Marquis of Gouvion-Saint-Cyr (13 May 1764, Toul, Meurthe-et-Moselle – 17 March 1830) was a French commander in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars who rose to Marshal of France and Marquis.

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  • Pewter Gouvion St Cyr

A talented painter, soldier and musician, Gouvion Saint Cyr was a careful commander whose thoughtful and calm manner made him a good Marshal but also slowed his advancement within the French Army.

He was a little eccentric and very much a solitary man who became Colonel-General of Cuirassiers in July 1804. He commanded the Armee d'Italie during the Austrian campaign of 1805, later serving in Spain in 1808/09 but was returned to France in disgrace after abandoning his command before his replacement arrived in 1809.

In 1812 he was appointed the commander of VII (Bavarian) Corps and took over II Corps when Oudinot was wounded, becoming a Marshal for his efforts. In 1813 he commanded the defence of Dresden and held it until 11th November 1813 when he surrendered and was taken prisoner.

In 1814 he returned to France and became a peer of the Realm. He took no part in the Hundred days campaign as when he was sent to bar Napoleon's way his troops deserted to join the returned Emperor.