Charles-François du Périer Dumouriez (26 January 1739 – 14 March 1823) was a French general during the French Revolutionary Wars. He shared the victory at Valmy with General François Christophe Kellermann, but later deserted the Revolutionary Army, and became a royalist intriguer during the reign of Napoleon as well as an adviser to the British government. Dumouriez is one of the names inscribed under the Arc de Triomphe, on Column 3.
Charles François Dumouriez
General Dumouriez, painted in 1834 by Jean-Sébastien Rouillard.
|Born||26 January 1739|
Cambrai, Kingdom of France
|Died||14 March 1823 (aged 84)|
Turville, United Kingdom
|Allegiance|| Kingdom of France|
Kingdom of the French
French First Republic
Kingdom of Great Britain
|Service/|| French Army|
|Years of service||1758–1814|
|Battles/wars||Seven Years' War |
French conquest of Corsica
French Revolutionary Wars
|Awards||Order of Saint Louis |
Names inscribed under the Arc de Triomphe
|Other work||Minister of War|
Dumouriez was born in Cambrai, on the Scheldt River in northern France, to parents of noble rank. His father, Antoine-François du Périer, served as a commissary of the royal army, and educated his son most carefully and widely. The boy continued his studies in Paris at the Lycée Louis-le-Grand, and in 1757 began his military career as a volunteer in the campaign of Rossbach, where he served as a cornet in the Régiment d'Escars. He received a commission for good conduct in action, and served in the later German campaigns of the Seven Years' War with distinction (he received 22 wounds); but at the peace he was retired as a captain, with a small pension and the cross of St Louis.
Dumouriez then visited Italy and Corsica, Spain and Portugal, and his memoranda to the duc de Choiseul on Corsican affairs at the time of the Corsican Republic led to his re-employment on the staff of the French expeditionary corps sent to the island, for which he gained the rank of lieutenant-colonel. In 1767 Choiseul gave Dumouriez a military command as deputy quartermaster general to the Army of Corsica under the Marquis de Chauvelin. After this, he became a member of the Secret du Roi, the secret service under Louis XV, which gave full scope to his diplomatic skills. In 1770 he undertook a mission into Poland to the Confederation of Bar, where, in addition to his political business, he organized a Polish militia for the War of the Bar Confederation. On 23 May, his Polish soldiers were smashed by the Russian forces of General Alexander Suvorov in the Battle of Lanckorona. The fall of Choiseul (1770) brought about Dumouriez's recall. In 1772, upon returning to Paris, Dumouriez sought a military position from the marquis de Monteynard, Secretary of State for War, who gave him a staff position with the regiment of Lorraine writing diplomatic and military reports. In 1773, he found himself imprisoned in the Bastille for six months, apparently for diverting funds intended for the employment of secret agents into the payment of personal debts. During his six months of captivity Dumouriez occupied himself with literary pursuits. He was then removed to Caen, where he remained in detention until the accession of Louis XVI in 1774. Dumouriez was then recalled to Paris and assigned to posts in Lille and Boulogne by the comte de Saint-Germain, the new king's minister of war.
Upon his release, Dumouriez married his cousin, a certain Mademoiselle de Broissy, but he proved a neglectful and unfaithful husband, and in 1789 the couple separated. Madame Dumouriez took refuge in a convent. In the meantime, Dumouriez had turned his attention to the internal state of his own country, and amongst the very numerous memoranda which he sent to the government was one on the defence of Normandy and its ports, which procured for him in 1778 the post of commandant of Cherbourg, which he administered with much success for ten years. He became a maréchal de camp in 1788, but his ambition was not satisfied.
At the outbreak of the Revolution, seeing the opportunity for carving out a new career, he went to Paris, where he joined the Jacobin Club in 1789. The death of Mirabeau, to whose fortunes he had attached himself, proved a great blow. However, opportunity arose again when, in his capacity as a lieutenant-general and the commandant of Nantes, he offered to march to the assistance of the National Constituent Assembly after the royal family's unsuccessful flight to Varennes.
In 1790, Dumouriez was appointed French military advisor to the newly established independent Belgian government and remained dedicated to the cause of an independent Belgian Republic.
Minister of War, Louis Lebègue Duportail, promoted Dumouriez from president of the War Council to major-general in June 1791 and attached him to the Twelfth Division, which was commanded by General Jacques Alexis de Verteuil.
On August 24, 1792, Dumouriez wrote to his ally General François Kellermann about the void in military power within France. Within this letter, Dumouriez voices his opinions adamantly that Lafayette was a "traitor" to France after being arrested for mobilizing his army from the borders of France to Paris to protect the Royal family from revolutionaries that were dissatisfied with the monarchy of France at the time. Within this letter, Dumouriez's attachment to the Jacobin club is explicitly present as he tells Kellermann that the army was finally "purged of aristocrats". Dumouriez's loyalty to France's military which was evident within this letter was instrumental to him ascending to his future position of Foreign Minister of France from March 1792 to June 1792 and becoming a military hero for his decisive victory at Jemappes in which the newspaper Révolutions de Paris proclaimed him the liberator of the Belgians.
He then attached himself to the Girondist party and, on 15 March 1792, became the French minister of foreign affairs. Dumouriez then selected Pierre LeBrun as his first officer for Belgian and Liégeois affairs. The relationship between the Girondists and Dumouriez was not based on ideology, but rather based on the practical benefit it gave to both parties. Dumouriez needed people in the Legislative Assembly to support him, and the Girondists needed a general to give them legitimacy in the army. He played a major part in the declaration of war against Austria (20 April), and he planned the invasion of the Low Countries. His foreign policy was greatly influenced by Jean-Louis Favier. Favier had called for France to break its ties with Austria. On the king's dismissal of Roland, Clavière and Servan (13 June 1792), he took Servan's post of minister of war, but resigned it two days later on account of Louis XVI's refusal to come to terms with the National Constituent Assembly, and went to join the army of Marshal Luckner. After the émeute of 10 August 1792 and Lafayette’s flight, he gained appointment to the command of the "Army of the Centre". At the same moment, France's enemies assumed the offensive. Dumouriez acted promptly. His subordinate Kellermann repulsed the Prussians at Valmy (20 September 1792), and Dumouriez himself severely defeated the Austrians at Jemappes (6 November 1792). After these military victories, Dumouriez was ready to invade Belgium to spread revolution. He was a true revolutionary in the sense that he believed that nations which had undergone a revolution, in this instance France, should give aid to oppressed countries. As his plans were largely limited to Belgium, this tunnel vision sometimes prevented him from acting in the most logical fashion as a commander.
Returning to Paris, Dumouriez encountered popular ovation, but he gained less sympathy from the revolutionary government. His old-fashioned methodical method of conducting war exposed him to the criticism of ardent Jacobins, and a defeat would have meant the end of his career. To the more radical elements in Paris, it became clear that Dumouriez was not a true patriot when he returned to Paris on 1 January 1793 and worked during the trial of Louis XVI to save him from execution. Dumouriez had also written a letter to the Convention scolding it for not supplying his army to his satisfaction and for the Decree of 15 December, which allowed the French armies to loot in the territory they had won. The Decree insured that any plan concerning Belgium would fail due to a lack of popular support among the Belgians. This letter became known as “Dumouriez’s declaration of war”. After a major defeat in the Battle of Neerwinden in March 1793, he made a desperate move to save himself from his radical enemies. Arresting the four deputy-commissioners of the National Convention who had been sent to inquire into his conduct (Camus, Bancal-des-Issarts, Quinette, and Lamarque) as well as the Minister of War, Pierre Riel de Beurnonville, he handed them over to the enemy, and then attempted to persuade his troops to march on Paris and overthrow the revolutionary government. The attempt failed, and Dumouriez, along with the duc de Chartres (afterwards King Louis Philippe) and his younger brother, the duc de Montpensier, fled into the Austrian camp. This blow left the Girondists vulnerable due to their association with Dumouriez.
Following his defection in April 1793, Dumouriez remained in Brussels for a short time, and then traveled to Cologne, seeking a position at the elector's court. He soon learned he had become an object of suspicion among his countrymen, the royal houses, aristocracies, and clergy of Europe. In response, Dumouriez wrote and published in Hamburg a first volume of memoirs in which he offered his version of the previous year's events.
Dumouriez now wandered from country to country, occupied in ceaseless royalist intrigues, until 1804 when he settled in England, where the British government granted him a pension. He became a valuable adviser to the British War Office in its struggle against Napoleon, though the extent of his aid only became public many years later. In 1814 and 1815, he endeavoured to procure from Louis XVIII the baton of a marshal of France but failed to do so.
Dumouriez's memoirs appeared at Hamburg in 1794. An enlarged edition, La Vie et les mémoires du Général Dumouriez, appeared at Paris in 1823. Dumouriez also wrote a large number of political pamphlets.
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). . Encyclopædia Britannica. 8 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 667. The 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, in turn, gives the following references:
Joseph Marie Servan de Gerbey
| Secretaries of State for War
13 June 1792 – 18 June 1792
Pierre August Lajard
Events from the year 1739 in France.1823 in France
Events from the year 1823 in France.Armoire de fer
L'armoire de fer (French: 'iron chest') in general refers to an iron chest used to house important papers. A notable and frequent use of the term refers to a hiding place at the apartments of Louis XVI of France at the Tuileries Palace where some secret documents were kept. The existence of this iron cabinet, hidden behind wooden panelling, was publicly revealed in November 1792 to Roland, Girondin Minister of the Interior. The resulting scandal discredited the King.Army of the Moselle
The Army of the Moselle (Armée de la Moselle) was a French Revolutionary Army from 1791 through 1795. It was first known as the Army of the Centre and it fought at Valmy. In October 1792 it was renamed and subsequently fought at Trier, First Arlon, Biesingen, Kaiserslautern, Froeschwiller and Second Wissembourg. In the spring of 1794 the left wing was detached and fought at Second Arlon, Lambusart and Fleurus before being absorbed by the Army of Sambre-et-Meuse. In late 1794, the army captured Trier and initiated the Siege of Luxembourg. During the siege, the army was discontinued and its divisions were assigned to other armies.Battle of Jemappes
The Battle of Jemappes (6 November 1792) took place near the town of Jemappes in Hainaut, Belgium, near Mons during the War of the First Coalition, part of the French Revolutionary Wars. One of the first major offensive battles of the war, it was a victory for the armies of the infant French Republic, and saw the French Armée du Nord, which included a large number of inexperienced volunteers, defeat a substantially smaller regular Austrian army.
General Charles François Dumouriez, in command of an army of French Revolutionary volunteers, faced the Imperial army of Field Marshal Duke Albert of Saxe-Teschen and his second-in-command François de Croix, Count of Clerfayt. The French, who outnumbered their opponents by about three-to-one, launched a series of enthusiastic but uncoordinated attacks against the Austrian position on a ridge. At length, the French seized a portion of the ridge and the Austrians were unable to drive them away. Saxe-Teschen conceded defeat by ordering a withdrawal.
Dumouriez, intent on invading the Austrian Netherlands, advanced late in the season and attacked the Austrians with greatly superior forces. Jemappes was won by costly but effective charges against the Austrians' prepared position. Dumouriez overran the Austrian Netherlands within a month, but lost it at the Battle of Neerwinden in March. The French would not reconquer the Austrian Netherlands until the summer of 1794.Battle of Lanckorona
Two of the main battles of the Bar Confederation took place on the plains before Lanckorona. On 22 February 1771, the Bar Confederates defended Lanckorona and its Castle from the Russian army led by Alexander Suvorov. The Russians were forced to retreat after a surprising victory for the Polish army given that it was significantly outnumbered by the Russian side. The Battle of Lanckorona was the second battle before the mount of Lanckorona and one of the greatest clashes of Polish and Russian forces during the Bar Confederation. It took place on 23 May 1771 near Lanckorona when a Polish formation of 1,300 men with 18 cannons was suddenly attacked by 4,000 Russians commanded again by general Alexander Suvorov.
The second battle was lost as the new commander on the Polish side, French envoy lieutenant-colonel Charles François Dumouriez was caught off guard in an early morning attack by the Russian forces and he was unable to assemble his men. Many historians argue that it was sabotage on the part of Dumouriez as he was privately outspoken against the Polish nation and its democratic aspirations. Dumouriez was noted as calling Poles an "Asiatic nation". Antoine-Charles du Houx and Baron de Vioménil replaced Dumouriez in Bar Confederation army.
In 1793, Tadeusz Kościuszko met with Dumouriez in Belgium as he sought the help of revolutionary France for the planned uprising in Poland. A few weeks later, after losing the battle in Neerwinden, Dumouriez betrayed his own country and crossed on to Austria's side. Once there, he betrayed Poland again and passed on the plans for the Kościuszko Uprising to the Prussians who passed it on to the Russians.
Józef Pułaski and his son Casimir Pulaski were the founders of the Bar Confederation. Casimir Pulaski went on to become the "father of American cavalry as he emigrated to North America to help in the cause of the American Revolution and freedom there. He distinguished himself heroically throughout the revolution, most notably when he saved the life of George Washington and became a general in the Continental Army, and when he created the Pulaski Cavalry Legion and reformed the American cavalry.
Source: Confederation of BarBattle of Marquain
The Battle of Marquain was a conflict between the Archduchy of Austria and the Kingdom of France during the War of the First Coalition. It took place on 29 April 1792 and ended in a French defeat.Battle of Neerwinden (1793)
The Battle of Neerwinden (18 March 1793) saw a Republican French army led by Charles François Dumouriez attack a Coalition army commanded by Prince Josias of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. The Coalition army's Habsburg Austrians together with a small contingent of allied Dutch Republic troops repulsed all French assaults after bitter fighting and Dumouriez conceded defeat, withdrawing from the field. The French position in the Austrian Netherlands swiftly collapsed, ending the threat to the Dutch Republic and allowing Austria to regain control of her lost province. The War of the First Coalition engagement was fought at Neerwinden, located 57 kilometres (35 mi) east of Brussels in present-day Belgium.
After Dumouriez's victory at Jemappes in November 1792, the French armies rapidly overran most of the Austrian Netherlands. Rather than driving the Austrians to the west bank of the Rhine River, Dumouriez and the French government became preoccupied with a war with the Dutch Republic. During the breathing space offered by her enemy, Austria assembled an army under the Prince of Coburg and struck back. After a French covering force was routed by Coburg at Aldenhoven, Dumouriez began gathering his army for a counterstroke.
Coburg took up a defensive position at Neerwinden and awaited the confident Dumouriez's attack. The Coalition army was outnumbered in infantry but possessed a two-to-one superiority in cavalry. After intense fighting, Coburg's troops repulsed the attacks of the French center and right wing. When Dumouriez found that his left wing was driven off the battlefield, he began retreating. The defeat led to mass desertions from the discouraged French volunteers. In the face of the military collapse, Dumouriez negotiated a free withdrawal of French troops in return for the surrender of Belgium and Dutch territory. Soon, Dumouriez was plotting against his own government and when his plans failed, he defected to the Austrians, leaving the French army in chaos.Committee of United Belgians and Liégeois
The Committee of United Belgians and Liégeois (Dutch: Comité der Vereenigde Nederlanders en Luykenaers or Verenigd Comité der beide Natien, French: Comité (général) des Belges et Liégeois Unis) was a group of exiled rebel leaders from the failed Brabantine and Liège Revolutions (August 1789 – January 1791) who sought to create an independent Belgian republic.Fernig sisters
Félicité Fernig (1770–1841) was with her sister Théophile Fernig (1775–1819), known as one of the Sœurs Fernig (Fernig sisters); two sisters who enlisted in the French army dressed as men during the French revolutionary wars, and who were allowed to remain in service after their gender was discovered, becoming celebrities frequently mentioned in the contemporary French press.
They were born to Marie Adrienne Bassez and the military François Louis Joseph Fernig, who educated them in the use of weapons, and when the Austrians invaded France in 1792, they enlisted in the defense dressed as men and were admired for their courage. When their sex were discovered, they were allowed to remain in service, which happened in at least some cases during this period. They served during the Battle of Valmy, Battle of Jemappes, Battle of Anderlecht, and the Battle of Nerwinde. They were appointed aid-de-camp officers under general Charles François Dumouriez, and was after his treason in 1793 sentenced to exile despite their pleas that they had taken no part in his betrayal. Their exile was retracted in 1802 and they settled in Brussels, were Félicité married captain François Joseph Herman Van der Wallen.Forest of Argonne
The Forest of Argonne is a long strip of rocky mountain and wild woodland in north-eastern France, three hours east of Paris, France.
In 1792 Charles François Dumouriez outmaneuvered the invading forces of the Duke of Brunswick in the forest before the Battle of Valmy.
During World War I, the forest again became the site of intense military action. Bitter fighting between German and Allied units took place here in autumn and winter 1914, summer 1915 and autumn 1918. During the Meuse-Argonne Offensive (1918), several United States Army soldiers earned the Medal of Honor there, including Colonel Nelson Miles Holderman, Major Charles White Whittlesey, Sergeant Alvin C. York - most of them part of the "Lost Battalion", and William Henry Johnson a.k.a. "Black Death".
The World War I Montfaucon American Monument consists of a large granite Doric column, surmounted by a statue symbolic of Liberty. The monument is located twenty miles northwest of Verdun. It is not far from the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery and Memorial.Guillaume de Bonne-Carrere
Guillaume de Bonne-Carrere (13 February 1754 – 1825), French diplomat, was born at Muret in Languedoc. He began his career in the army, but soon entered the diplomatic service under Vergennes. A friend of Honoré Gabriel Riqueti, comte de Mirabeau and of Charles François Dumouriez, he became very active in the French Revolution, and Dumouriez re-established for him the title of director-general of the department of foreign affairs (March 1792). He remained at the ministry, preserving the habits of the diplomacy of the old regime, until December 1792, when he was sent to Belgium as agent of the republic, but he was involved in the treason of Dumouriez and was arrested on 2 April 1793. To justify himself, he published an account of his conduct from the beginning of the Revolution. He was freed from prison in July 1794. Napoleon did not trust him, and gave him only some unimportant missions. After 1815 Bonne-Carrere retired into private life, directing a profitable business in public carriages between Paris and Versailles.Jean-Baptiste André Ruault de La Bonnerie
Jean-Baptiste André Isidore Ruault de La Bonnerie (4 February 1744 – 13 April 1817) became a French general officer early in the War of the First Coalition and later emigrated to Habsburg Austria under which he also was a general. He joined the French Royal Army in 1760 and became a general of brigade in 1792. He commanded the French defenders during the 1792 Siege of Lille. After fighting at Maastricht and Neerwinden he followed Charles François Dumouriez and other generals in defecting to Austria. He entered Habsburg service as a colonel and became a General-major in 1804. He died in 1817 at Graz.Jean Henri Becays Ferrand
Jean Henri Becays Ferrand or Jean Marie Begais Ferrand de la Caussade (10 September 1736 – 28 November 1805) became a French general officer early in the French Revolutionary Wars and led troops during two early actions. From a noble family, he was enrolled in the French Royal Army as an officer in the Normandie Infantry Regiment. At the age of ten, he fought at Lauffeld and Bergen op Zoom in the War of the Austrian Succession. In 1760 during the Seven Years' War, he was badly wounded at Kloster Kampen. For distinguished service, he was promoted to captain.
Appointed colonel in 1791, Ferrand was made the commandant of the fortress of Valenciennes the next year. Promoted to maréchal de camp, he led the left wing at the Battle of Jemappes. He was elevated in rank to general of division in May 1793. Ordered by his turncoat superior Charles François Dumouriez to surrender Condé-sur-l'Escaut and Valenciennes, Ferrand refused to carry out his instructions. After the two-month long Siege of Valenciennes, he surrendered the city to Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany. Sometime after being paroled, he was imprisoned by the Committee of Public Safety for being from the old nobility. He avoided the guillotine and was released when the government of Maximilien Robespierre was overthrown. Napoleon Bonaparte later named him Prefect of Meuse-Inférieure but he retired in 1804, pleading bad health. His surname is one of the names inscribed under the Arc de Triomphe, on Column 4.Jemappes 1792 Order of Battle
In the Battle of Jemappes on 6 November 1792, a French army led by Charles François Dumouriez attacked and defeated an Austrian army commanded by Albert of Saxe-Teschen. Though the Austrians were outnumbered three-to-one, the victory greatly encouraged the population of the young First French Republic.Nicolas Marie Quinette
Nicolas Marie Quinette, Baron de Rochemont (September 16, 1762, Paris – June 14, 1821, Brussels) was a French politician.
He was a notary in Soissons. He was elected to the Legislative Assembly in 1791, a member of the Convention, and Member of the Council of Five Hundred, and Interior Minister.
He was a commissioner in the inquiry of Charles François Dumouriez, was captured by the Austrians, and exchanged for Madame Royale, Marie Thérèse of France, daughter of Louis XVI.In 1796, he presided from 21 November 1796 to 20 December. During the Hundred Days, on June 2, 1815, he sat in the Imperial House of Peers.Pierre-Joseph Cambon
Pierre-Joseph Cambon (10 June 1756 – 15 February 1820) was a French statesman.
Born in Montpellier, Cambon was the son of a wealthy cotton merchant. In 1785, his father retired, leaving Pierre and his two brothers to run the business, but in 1788 Pierre entered politics, and was sent by his fellow-citizens as deputy suppliant to the Estates-General, where he was mostly a spectator. In January 1790 he returned to Montpellier, was elected a member of the municipality, co-founded the Jacobin Club in that city, and on the flight to Varennes of King Louis XVI in 1791, he drew up a petition to invite the National Constituent Assembly to proclaim a Republic —the first in date of such petitions.
Elected to the Legislative Assembly, Cambon was viewed as independent, honest, and talented in the financial domain. He was the most active member of the committee of finance and was often charged to verify the state of the treasury. His analytical skills were recorded in his remarkable speech of 24 November 1791.
It was Cambon who made the initial suggestion for the state debt to be "rendered republican and uniform" and it was he who proposed to convert all the contracts of the creditors of the state into an inscription in a great book, which should be called the "Great Book of the Public Debt". This proposal was implemented in 1792 when the Great Book of the Public Debt was created as a consolidation of all the states debts.He held his distance from political clubs and even factions, but nonetheless defended the new institutions of the state. On 9 February 1792, he succeeded in having a law passed confiscating the possessions of the émigrés, and tried to arrange the deportation of non-juring priests to French Guiana. He was the last president of the Legislative Assembly.
Re-elected to the National Convention, Cambon opposed the pretensions of the Paris Commune and the proposed grant of money to the municipality of Paris by the state. He denounced Jean-Paul Marat's placards as inciting to murder, summoned Georges Danton to give an account of his ministry, supervised the furnishing of military supplies to the French Revolutionary Army, and was a strong opponent of Charles François Dumouriez, in spite of the general's great popularity.
Cambon incurred the hatred of the theist Maximilien Robespierre (see Cult of the Supreme Being) by proposing the suppression of the pay to the clergy, which would have meant the separation of church and state. His authority grew steadily. On 15 December 1792, he persuaded the Convention to adopt a proclamation to all nations in favour of a universal republic.
Although he took part in toppling Robespierre in July 1794, Cambon was targeted and pursued by the Thermidorian Reaction, and had to live in hiding in Montpellier. During the Hundred Days, he was a deputy to the lower chamber, but only took part in debates over the budget. Proscribed by the Bourbon Restoration in 1816, he died at Saint-Josse-ten-Noode, near Brussels.Pierre Henri Hélène Marie Lebrun-Tondu
Pierre-Henri-Hélène-Marie Lebrun-Tondu (27 August 1754, Noyon – 27 December 1793, Paris) was a journalist and a French minister, during the French Revolution.Siege of Condé (1793)
The Siege of Condé (8 April – 12 July 1793) saw a force made up of Habsburg Austrians and French Royalists commanded by Duke Ferdinand Frederick Augustus of Württemberg lay siege to a Republican French garrison led by Jean Nestor de Chancel. After a blockade lasting about three months the French surrendered the fortress. The operation took place during the War of the First Coalition, part of a larger conflict known as the French Revolutionary Wars. Condé-sur-l'Escaut, France is located near the Belgium border about 14 kilometres (9 mi) northeast of Valenciennes.
The Austrian victory at Neerwinden in mid-March drove the French occupation army from the Austrian Netherlands. The subsequent defection of Charles François Dumouriez shook the morale of the French soldiers and caused the politicians to suspect most generals of treason. Austria and her Coalition allies moved against the line of fortresses protecting the northeastern border of France, investing first Condé and Valenciennes soon afterward. Meanwhile, the motley French armies, composed of regulars and raw recruits and led by generals fearful of the guillotine, struggled to defend their nation.