News

Siege of Astorga, 2 July-18 August 1812

Siege of Astorga, 2 July-18 August 1812

Siege of Astorga, 2 July-18 August 1812

The siege of Astorga (2 July-18 August 1812) saw the Spanish attack the isolated French garrison of Astorga, in an attempt to support Wellington's advance to Salamanca.

Wellington attempted to put in place a number of secondary campaigns to prevent the French from uniting their much larger armies against him. One of them was for the Army of Galicia, then commanded by General Abadia, was to besiege Astorga, a move that would threaten the French troops in the Asturias, and stop them from helping Marmont, his main opponent around Salamanca.

Wellington also hoped that the siege would distract Bonnet, whose division had moved into the Asturias in mid-May, and prevent it from returning to Marmont's main army, but on this occasion Marmont ignored Napoleon's orders and called Bonnet back as soon as he realised how large Wellington's army was.

General Abadia wasn't keen on the plan, but his superior, General Castanos, was more enthusiastic. He moved to Santiago to make sure the attack got underway, but he decided not to take command of the field army, and instead gave that to General Santocildes.

Santocildes had around 15,000 men at his disposal, and the only French troops left in his area were the 1,500 men in the garrison of Astorga (two battalions from the 23rd Light and one from the 1st Line). Wellington wanted him to besiege Astorga with around 3,000-5,000 men, but send a strong force of 10,000-12,000 towards Marmont to force him to divert some troops in that direction. Instead Santoclides blockaded Astorga with most of his men, and only pushed 3,800 forward to the River Esla, where they were still too far from Marmont to worry him.

The siege itself wasn't conducted with any urgency. During June Abadia and then Castanos claimed that they didn’t have any siege guns, so the place was only blockaded. Sir Howard Douglas then reminded them that they had a number of heavy guns at Corunna, and they were finally able to bring up a proper siege train, which arrived on 2 July.

Once the guns were in place, Santocildes announced that he expected Astorga to fall within a few days. The French only had enough supplies to last until 1 August. After that they were forced onto half rations, and later onto quarter rations. News of the French defeat at Salamanca reached the garrison, but didn't convince them to surrender.

The siege came to an end just as the French were on the verge of lifting it. General Clausel, the new commander of the French Army of Portugal in the aftermath of Salamanca, was able to restore order in his army surprisingly quickly. He decided to launch a raid into Wellington's rear area, in the hope of lifting some of the pressure on King Joseph, and also to save the besieged garrisons of Toro, Zamora and Astorga. Foy's division was detached to carry out this second task. It reached Toro on 17 July, lifted the siege and destroyed the fort. Foy then moved towards Astorga, aware that its garrison was the most vulnerable. However on 18 August, having already lost 300 men, and with no idea that Foy was close by, the garrison surrendered. Castanos then withdrew back into Galicia, unwilling to risk a battle with Foy's experienced troops.

Foy reached La Baneza, sixteen miles from Astroga, on 20 August, where he discovered that the garrison had already surrendered. His cavalry reached Astorga on 21 August and found the fort intact but empty apart from seventy sick soldiers, who had been left behind. Foy then turned towards Zamora, forcing the lifting of that siege as well.

Napoleonic Home Page | Books on the Napoleonic Wars | Subject Index: Napoleonic Wars


The Siege of Burgos and Wellington’s Retreat, 1812.

This post leads on from previous ones on the Battles of Salamanca and Garcia Hernandez.

Wellington was faced with a dilemma after his army liberated Madrid. Politically he could not fall back to Salamanca, but he faced the risk of being counter-attacked by a larger French forces from more than one direction.

The French had withdrawn their garrisons to Burgos and Valencia. According to Charles Esdaile they could field at least 100,000 men against the 60,000 of Wellington’s Anglo-Portuguese army, which might be increased to 70,000 by the addition of Spanish regulars. The guerrillas were good at harassing the enemy, but they could not resist a French counter-offensive.[1]

In late August General Bertrand Clausel advanced on Valladolid, north of Madrid, intending to relieve the isolated French garrisons of Astorga, Toro and Zamora. Wellington, seeing a chance to defeat part of the French army before it concentrated against him, moved north with 21,000 men.

Wellington had taken what Esdaile describes as ‘a serious risk’[2] by moving with such a small force, but it was politically impossible for him to take more troops from Madrid. He hoped to receive support from General Fransisco Castaños’s Spanish 6th Army, which had just taken Astorgas.

In the event, the Spanish, who were short of supplies and artillery, moved slowly, and Clausel was able to retreat, taking the garrisons of Toro and Zamora with him.

Esdaile argues that Wellington should then have gone back to Madrid. He faced two French armies, and have could looked for an opportunity to win a major victory by concentrating against one of them.[3] Instead, he decided to advance on Burgos.

The city was being pillaged by guerrillas, but a well supplied French garrison of veterans occupied a strong position in Burgos Castle. Esdaile compares General Jean-Louis Dubreton, its commander, to General Armand Phillipon, who had successfully defended Badajoz in 1811 and inflicted heavy casualties on the attackers before being forced to surrender the city in April 1812.[4]

Burgos had nine heavy guns, 11 field guns and six howitzers. The garrison of 2,000 men had no permanent shelter. Frederick Myatt argues that the fortress could resist guerrillas or an army without siege guns but not an army well equipped with a siege train and engineers. [5]

However, Wellington had only three 18 pounder guns, five 24 pounder howitzers, five engineer officers, eight Royal Military Artificers, 10 assistant engineers and 81 tradesmen. His army was short of tools, although it found some French ones in the town.

Burgos was invested by the British 1st and 6th Divisions and two Portuguese brigades on 19 September. The 5th and 7th Divisions were positioned to the north-east to guard against a French attempt to lift the siege.

Wellington’s shortage of artillery meant that he had to concentrate on digging and mining, with his guns being used mainly to support assaults. An outer works, the Hornwork, was captured on the first evening of the siege, but at the cost of heavy casualties 421 Allied compared with 198 French dead, wounded and captured according to Jac Weller.[6] Seven French field guns were taken as well as 60 prisoners.[7]

An attack on the castle’s outer wall on 22 September failed, and Wellington then concentrated on mining. The miners had to operate under fire from the castle, with little support from their own guns, and it often rained.

By 29 September the miners believed that they had reached the scarp wall and a mine was detonated that evening. The subsequent attack failed after troops became lost and failed to find the breach. In the morning it was revealed that it was not a good one, and that the French were working at shoring up their defences. The mine had been detonated too far forward, as the foundations that the miners had met were ancient ones rather than the those of the wall.

The failure damaged Allied morale Myatt points out that the French had:

‘the reasonable hope that relief would arrive. The British…[were] feeling (perhaps rightly) that they were attempting a hopeless task with quite inadequate support’[8]

The British worked on a second mine. They also set up a battery 60 yards from the outer wall, which was ready by 1 October. The French moved their guns to deal with this new threat and destroyed the battery the same day. The damaged guns were withdrawn and a new position prepared that night. The French artillery destroyed it before the guns could be moved into it.

It was intended to detonate the second mine on 3 October, but problems with the rocky ground meant that it was not ready until the next day. British guns made a breach 60 feet wide in the wall, which was extended to 100 feet when the mine detonated. The British attack succeeded in taking the breach with relatively light casualties.

Preparations now began for an assault on the second wall, but these were hampered by French sorties and poor weather. The attack was planned for 17 October, but Wellington delayed it for a day as he thought that the breach made in the second wall was inadequate. A third mine was detonated underneath the church of San Roman.

The French beat off the attack on 18 October. Wellington had, according to Jac Weller, 24,000 Anglo-Portuguese troops and 10,000 Spaniards around Burgos. He was now faced with 53,000 French soldiers commanded by General Joseph Souham, who had replaced Clausel. Another French army was advancing on Madrid from Valencia.

Wellington therefore called off the siege and withdrew on the night of 21 October. The French suffered 623 dead, wounded and captured during the siege, but inflicted 2,059 casualties on the besiegers.[9]

Wellington’s rearguard fought an action against French cavalry at Venta del Pozo on 23 October. He initially hoped to make a stand along the River Carrión forty miles to the north-east of Valladolid and to join up with General Sir Rowland Hill’s corps from Madrid.

A series of engagements took place between 25 and 29 October, known collectively as the Battle of Tordesillas. The French captured the bridge over the Carrión at Palencia on 25 October and the bridge over the Duero at Tordesillas on 29 October. Wellington was therefore forced to retreat and ordered Hill to do the same

Hill had been preparing to fight a battle against the advancing French, commanded by Marshal Nicholas Soult. Instead, his rearguard fought an action against the French at Aranjuez on 30 October and he abandoned Madrid the next day. Wellington and Hill combined near Salamanca on 8 November and took up a strong defensive position. The French arrived six days later.

Soult moved to the west to threaten Wellington’s communications with Ciudad Rodrigo. Marshal Auguste Marmont had tried a similar manoeuvre in June and had been defeated after being caught on the march. Soult avoided this by staying further away from Wellington.

This left Wellington with the options of attacking a force that outnumbered him 95,000 to 70,000 or retreating. He chose to retire to Ciudad Rodrigo it started to rain heavily just after the withdrawal began.

Esdaile says that ‘the French pursuit was none too vigorous.’[10] However, the Allies still lost 6,000 killed, wounded and missing. They included Sir Edward Paget, Wellington’s newly arrived second-in-command, who was captured on 17 November. Discipline and morale broke down as the troops retreated in bad weather, echoing the retreat to Coruña in 1809.

Wellington had lost much of the ground that he had won earlier in the year. However, the Allies still held the fortresses of Ciudad Rodrigo and Badajoz, known as the keys to Spain. An army invading Spain from Portugal had to hold these, so Wellington had a better starting point for his 1813 offensive than he had possessed in 1812.

[1] C. J. Esdaile, The Peninsular War: A New History (London: Allen Lane, 2002), p. 409.


Contents

Astorga is located in the province of León, in northwest Spain. [1] Because of its location, it sat on the flank of the French army as they advanced into Spain, and then invaded Portugal. [2] The city was built into a hill, part of the Manzanal mountains [1] and therefore was provided with natural defenses. [3] The French had already been defeated once trying to take the city, in September 1809, [4] after which General La Romana repaired the walls of the city and built up its defenses. [5]


Forces [ edit | edit source ]

The French forces, part of André Masséna's army, were led by Jean-Andoche Junot. Α] Junot arrived at Astorga on March 21 with Napoleon's 8th corps, consisting of 12,000 men, including 1,200 cavalry forces. Β] Junot's forces included the Irish Legion they had joined earlier that month. ΐ] Astorga would be the first action for the Second Battalion of the Legion. ΐ] Junot placed Bertrand Clausel's division in the position Loison had held, Δ] with Solignac in support, and St. Croix to watch the rear. Α]


Napoleon general from Onsernone, Ticino: Carlo Francesco Remonda

Carlo Francesco Remonda (aka Charles-François Rémond) was born on 2.11.1761 in Comologno, Valle Onsernone in the Canton Ticino, southern Switzerland. He was the son of Pietro Antonio Remonda.

While being very young, he emigrated together with his family to France, settling in Bourges, Central France. In 1789, he entered service in the French National Guard as a simple soldier. On 25 August 1792, he became captain in the First Battalion of Volunteers, called in French “volontaires nationaux”, du Cher-Val de Loire this was a unit of the revolutionary army.

He served from 1792 to 1794 in the army of the Moselle, and on 5 April, 1794, he joined the 132nd demi-brigade of Infantry. Assigned to the army of Sambre-et-Meuse in 1794, he was transferred to the 108th demi-brigade of Infantry on 4 May, 1796.

His Swiss origins helped him to join the army of Joseph Mainoni that entered Switzerland in 1798, where he remained till 1800, and thought to have fought in Schwyz against Russian Empire troops. Unfortunately, there are no evident testimonials that Remonda managed to came back to Ticino at the difference of Mainoni, while being in Switzerland. The fact that he fought in Schwyz possibly implies that Remonda served in the First and Second Battle of Zurich.

He was promoted to the rank of Chef of Battalion on 3 August 1800 and major of the 34th Infantry Regiment on 3 November 1803. Remonda became knight of the Legion of Honour on 25 March 1804 and in 1805 he was stationed in the garrison of Mainz, Germany. Like all areas on the left bank of the Rhine, Mainz had been annexed by France and became Mayence at that time, it was the capital of the French department of Mont-Tonnerre, named after Donnersberg, being under the administration of French Prefect Jeanbon St. André.

In 1806 and 1807, he participated in Prussian and Polish campaigns and was appointed colonel, on 31 December 1806, of the 34th Infantry Regiment. From 1808 to 1813, following the French defeat at Battle of Bailen in Spain, Remonda was personally assigned by Napoleon to join the Spanish war front.


The siege of Astorga 1812. Surrender of the French troops.

He was promoted to the rank of Officer of the Legion of Honour on 10 March 1809, becoming a Commander on 17 December 1810. He was promoted to Brigadier General, on 16 August 1811, and commanded thereafter the 2nd Brigade of the 7th Infantry Division of the Army of Portugal.

Remonda was wounded, on 11 April 1812, at the Battle of Villagarcia – also known as the Battle of Llerena – which resulted with the defeat of the French army. Remonda was the last commander of the Spanish city of Astorga, a small town located in the central area of the province of León.

After the surrender of the city of Astorga in August 1812, Remonda was captured and detained at the La Coruña. He managed to escape from there by boat with other French officers arriving, after a long sailing adventure, in Santoña, near Santander. On July 16, 1813, he took command of the 2nd Brigade of the 6th Infantry Division of the Army of Spain.

It is interesting to note that Remonda was not the only commander in Spain, having Swiss origins. For example, there was also Theodor von Reding (1755 – 1809) – we shall dedicate here to him a brief description even if has nothing to do with Insubrica region. Von Reading was born in Schwyz and was raised in Switzerland where he commenced very young his military career.

At the age of 14, von Reading entered the Spanish service, becoming a captain in 1772, a lieutenant colonel in 1781, and a colonel in 1788. His troops were deployed in the Basque Country and in Navarre during the war against revolutionary France in 1793.


Theodor von Reding,
in Spanish service.
copyright: teodororeding.es

In 1793 he was promoted to Brigadier in 1795. In 1801-02, he participated in the war of Spain against Portugal. 1803-04 he became Governor of the Province of Malaga and defeated the French at the Battle of Bailén on 19 July 1808 (see above for the details on this battle).

Von Reding was promoted to Lieutenant-General and to Captain-General of Catalonia he died later as a result of injuries sustained in the Battle of Valls, on 25 February 1809. Von Reding remains well remembered presently in Spain where exists an association dedicated to his name called “Asociación Histórico – Cultural Teodoro Reding“.

Coming back to Remonda, we should say that despite having been judged by a military tribunal for the surrender of the city of Astorga, he was fully aquited in December 1813. In February 1814, he commanded the National Guard in Lyon and participated, on 11 March 1814, at the Battle of Macon against Austrians. The city of Macon was invaded by Austrian armies and liberated twice by French troops, before being permanently occupied until the fall of the Empire.

During the First Restoration, King Louis XVIII (1755-1824) made Remonda a Knight of Saint-Louis on 24 August 1814. During the Hundred Days, he was placed at the head of the departments of the Vienne and Indre in the central France on 26 March 1815, which prevented him from participating at the Waterloo Battle (18 June 1815). Remonda was finally dismissed from the service on 21 August 1815 and was naturalised French on 21 January 1818, before being admitted as a fully France citizen on 1 January 1825. He died in Paris in June 24, 1843. It is not known if he had any children.


Hospital de Órbigo to Astorga – Stage 23

Stage 23 – Hospital de Órbigo – Astorga

Total Distance – 15.0 km

Adjusted for Climb – 15.6 km (accrued ascent 125 m = .6 km)

High Point: Cruceiro Santo Toribio at 905 m (2,970 feet)

CLICK ON THE PICTURES TO ENLARGE TO FULL-SIZE

A glorious rainbow outside my window!

The evening before in Hospital de Órbigo I saw a beautiful rainbow outside of my bedroom window. The beauty of that sight put a smile on my face and pretty much summed up my stay. Re-invigorated by the beauty and history of the bridge, well-fed, with a clean-looking haircut and animated by the conversations with the lovely Brazilian hospitalera and Marta who was from Argentina, I awoke ready, in the best tradition of all peregrinos, ready for anything, but breakfast was to come first!

Breakfast at the Albergue San Miguel with (from left to right) a French couple, the Brazilian hospitalera, Marta and yours truly.

As Marta and I started out from Hospital de Órbigo we noticed that it was a clear and beautiful day. Soon we were on the Camino trail walking towards Villares de Órbigo as we chatted amongst ourselves in Spanish. Soon into the walk we had an opportunity to have a conversation with a Spanish farmer who was caring for his own individual plot of land. He had multiple crops planted and it was obvious that what he planted was for the private use of his family.

Villares de Órbigo in the background

A beautiful copse of trees on the way to Villares de Órbigo. Marta is on the left and the peregrina on the right I was to meet later further up on the camino.

The entrance to Villares de Órbigo.

The only inhabitants of Villares de Órbigo that we met that day.

I soon was separated from Marta due to her injured foot. It had been troubling her for days and she had warned me that she would not be able to keep up with my pace. I was sad to leave her but continued on until I met a peregrina from Romania. Marta and I had seen her before on the trail but we had not had an opportunity to talk to her. Her name was Maria and I was astounded to hear her tell me that she was 82 years old! She was the oldest peregrina I had ever met and although she was struggling up the hills she was determined to continue on. I could not help but admire her fortitude and determination! She could not keep up with my pace and I did lose contact with her in the hills before Santibañez de Valdeiglesia.

Maria walking on ahead of me towards Santibañez de Valdeiglesia.

Santibañez de Valdeiglesia, notice the spire of the church in the middle.

Interestingly enough when doing my historical research on Santibañez de Valdeiglesia and Villares de Órbigo I could not find and mention of the history of both villages. What I did find were descriptions of the lodgings available in both places and the fact that both villages had a church with the image of Santiago Matamorros. I did find on a Spanish website a controversial back and forth discussion about which route was the “historical” Camino. Was it the one I was on or was it the route that followed the N-120? I’ll never know and it seems that neither will the participants of that discussion. When I did arrive at Santibañez de Valdeiglesia I did not spend much time there because the church was closed and I did not see much to keep me there. I did run into a group of Spanish senior-citizens from Cartagena that started their walk from the Albergue there. Soon I was past them but was to meet up with them many times on this day.

The group from Cartagena in my wake

The path through this gentle valley

A cross and rather stiff peregrino in the distance.

That rather stiff peregrino was at a place called Cruz del Valle. Everyone stopped here to have their picture taken and to get a little rest because the way ahead was to get a little steeper.

It says something to the effect, “Here is your homage for those going to Santiago.” It’s hard to make out exactly because words have been crossed off.

I hope that I’m in better shape than he is!

The ubiquitous yellow arrow pointing the way!

The terrain that I encountered as I approached the extreme northwest corner of the Castilian Meseta was a combination of hills, fields of wheat and large-trunked, long-leafed, Chestnut trees.

A quarry for clay that can be easily seen from the air

To the west were the Montes de León and to the north was the Cordillera Cantábrica. The soil here was red and sandy because it contained minuscule traces of gold. It was the greater concentrations of gold that were found higher up in the Montes de León that the Romans mined. I saw a sign for an old mine but decided not to deviate from my path. Good thing that I didn’t because I soon made friends with a trio that consisted of an Australian husband and wife (Ian and Dena) who were travelling with Jude, an American from Kentucky. Ian and I walked ahead of Jude and Dena and we had a very nice chat as we walked together. I learned that Ian and Dena had started their Camino in León while Jude had started out in Bilbao and had taken the Camino del Norte. She told me how the Camino del Norte was not as well-marked as the Camino Francés and the terrain was steep and dangerous. It was a struggle for her to make it to Santander and she decided then and there to abandon the Camino del Norte and continue on the Camino Francés. I couldn’t blame her as I imagined what it must of been like for her early on when northern Spain was experiencing record rainfalls. Soon we noticed a slight commotion in front of us, outside of what I took to be a ramshackle building. It was La Casa de los Dioses (the House of the Gods) and the commotion was being made by the senior-citizen group that was effusively greeting Davide, the host there. Davide is an exceptionally friendly individual who has lived in a ramshackle deserted building for four years, with no running water, gas or electricity. His one and only job is to greet peregrinos and offer them refreshment and a hearty greeting.

Peregrinos arriving at La Casa de los Dioses (the House of the Gods)

Our host Davide, posing with members of the senior citizen group. One member of the group turned out to be the CEO for the brand of juice products that Davide stocked! The white T-Shirts have to logo of the juice company.

Davide doesn’t ask anything in return for bringing you “Paradise on the Camino de Santiago” but he is so sociable and he has such great snacks that I believe it would be a crime not to leave a donativo.

Here is the FaceBook page where you can make donations to La Casa de los Dioses.

Davide has quite a spread and you can have anything! Most people leave a donativo for what they have eaten or drank.

As if La Casa de los Dioses wasn’t enough excitement we were about to experience one of those surreal moments that happen on the Camino. For me it was like a scene out of one of those Westerns that Americans were so fond of in the 1960’s. To set the scene, our American/Australian group had just arrived at the Cruciero Santo Torbio – a stone cross commemorating Bishop Torbio who in the 5th century went on pilgrimage to Jerusalem and returned with a fragment of the true cross – at the cross was the Spanish group from Cartagena when suddenly in the distance – out of the blue and reminiscent of a scene from Western film – we all saw a group of horsemen (actually there was a woman amongst them) riding in our direction! The senior-citizens waved and encouraged them to pose in front of the cross with them. As this scene was unfolding in front of me I was hearing the big western-themed music that one would hear during a climatic scene in a Western film!

The Spanish group has just sighted the horsemen

Cue the Western music because here they come!

It was very exciting to see them come amongst us!

Their pose in front of the cross and the troubador that was singing Camino songs.

We saw the horses again in the next town, San Justo de La Vega. They were in an abandoned parking lot munching on some hay and attended by two riders while the rest of the group were enjoying beers in an adjoining Bar. This motivated us to seek out refreshments also! I would get an appetizer of Astorga’s substantial Roman past when we would have to cross the Roman footbridge that was in Astorga’s suburbs.

San Justo de La Vega at he bottom of the hill with Astorga in the background 5 kms away

From left to right – Myself, Dena, Jude and Ian having a refreshment break in San Justo de La Vega.

Astorga as seen from the suburbs.

Dena and Ian leading us in to Astorga. The Roman name for the town, Asturica Augusta, is in the middle of the traffic circle

We still had a steep climb in order to really be in Astorga and as soon as we finished the climb we found ourselves in the Plaza San Francisco. It was in the Convento de Francisco that St. Francis of Assisi stayed during his pilgrimage to Santiago in 1212. No doubt he also saw the adjoining foundation of a Roman villa complete with thermal baths!

This Peregrino did not walk far as we did!

At least he has a view of the iglesia de San Francisco!

I wanted my son in the United States to see that St. Francis came there.

The view from the Jardin de La Sinagoga, a park that shows the city walls that were originally Roman but have been reconstructed many, many times.

The plan of the Roman Villa.

Here you can see the floor mosaics of the villa.

My next post will amaze you with the rich history of Astorga and probably disgust you with a description of the Maragato stew that we ate just 60 meters from the Plaza San Francisco. You’ll just have to wait until tomorrow!


A Walk Through Astorga

Dena and Ian leading us in to Astorga. The Roman name for the town, Asturica Augusta, is in the middle of the traffic circle.

CLICK ON THE PICTURES TO ENLARGE TO FULL-SIZE

As you walk through (and up to) Astorga you get a tour of the history of the town. The Roman name for the town, Asturica Augusta, gives us the name of the of the bygone Astur tribe whose capital this town once was. The intersection here reminds us also that Astorga was and is located at the crossroads of the east-west Via Traiana and the north-south Via de la Plata that begins in Andalucía. This crossroads and indeed the town itself was important to the Romans because it guarded the mountain roads to the profitable mines. For peregrinos traversing both of these pilgrim routes it is no less important because it gives them an opportunity to rest and gather up their strength before climbing the imposing mountains that guard the way to El Bierzo and Galicia.

At least he has a view of the iglesia de San Francisco!

After tackling a steep incline to you are in the Plaza San Francisco and from here history tells us that Astorga was an important Christian Center. So important was it that at the height of the pilgrimage it hosted no less than 21 hospices – this impressive number of hospices was only second to Burgos. St. Francis of Assisi was a peregrino that stayed here on his way to Santiago de Compostela in 1214.

The view from the Jardin de La Sinagoga, a park that shows the city walls that were originally Roman but have been reconstructed many, many times.

The city walls seen from the Jardin de La Sinagoga remind us that Astorga was called by Pliny an urbs magnifica and being one was also heavily fortified. As you look at the walls you can picture the relentless attacks (now happily a thing of the past) that this stronghold endured be it from a Germanic tribe called the Suevi, Muslim invaders in 714, or the French during the Napoleonic Wars of the 19th century. It was this last group of invaders that destroyed much of the remaining Roman wall.

A small part of the Jardin de La Sinagoga

The Jardin de La Sinagoga (it translates to the Garden of the Synagogue) also reminds us that Astorga was once home to a thriving Jewish community. Here in 1073 a synagogue was founded to be followed by a Jewish cemetery in 1092. The number of Jewish inhabitants was such that it supported two separate Jewish neighborhoods. Why so many? It was simply because and almost unique to Astorga that Jews were welcomed and participated in all aspects of city life until their expulsion from Spain in 1492.

Plaza San Bartolomè with the Iglesia San Bartolomè in the background

A slight climb up from the Plaza San Francisco is the Plaza San Bartolomè. For us this was where we had our famous Maragato stew in the Restaurante Casa Maragato II. This plaza is noteworthy for the Roman Museum located in a Roman construction called the Ergástula that before its present-day use was utilized as an access tunnel, slave enclave and a jail.

The Ayuntamiento in the Plaza Mayor

The ornate clock of the Ayuntamiento

The Plaza Mayor is a very, very short walk and it was here that I enjoyed an espresso while taking in the magnificent Ayuntamiento with its beautiful 17th century Baroque facade (1683-1704). The clock of the Ayuntamiento features mechanical figures of a man and woman dressed in traditional Maragato costumes striking the bell every hour. Close to here you can also find remains of Roman baths, sewers and walls.

Ian with a backpack worthy of a Giant!

Next on this walking tour and north of the Plaza Mayor is the Plaza Santocildes and here Astorga’s Napoleonic past is celebrated with a majestic lion statute that reminds us of the siege of Astorga which began on March 21, 1810 when Napoleon’s 8th corps, consisting of 12,000 men, including 1,200 cavalry surrounded the city. The town was defended by Marshal José María Francisco Silvestre Santocildes y de Llanos and 2,700 Spanish Infantry. The siege was a stalemate until April 15 when 18 siege guns were delivered to the French. By the 20th, the wall of the city was breached with the French storming the city the next evening. This first attack was repulsed at the cost of 300 men. The next morning, Santocildes surrendered as the French were preparing for another attack because he had almost run out of ammunition with fewer than 30 rounds left per man and only 8 rounds of artillery. French losses were 160 men killed with 400 wounded. The Spanish defenders lost only 51 killed with 109 wounded.

The Spanish Lion trampling on the French Eagle

Very, very close to the Plaza Santocildes is Astorga’s famous Chocolate Museum (Museo de Chocolate). Alas the museum had closed and I missed it but that doesn’t mean you should miss it. At times I felt like the whole town is one large chocolate factory and believe it or not I had plenty of chocolate in my backpack after my stay in Astorga.

Antoni Gaudí’s Gothic masterpiece El Palacio Episcopal (The Bishop’s Palace) with the Catedral de Santa Maria in the background.

Notice the mixture of stone, tile, and sculpture.

My stopping point on this walk was to be the Plaza Catedral where my hotel was located and where also I had the added pleasure of seeing Antoni Gaudí’s Gothic masterpiece El Palacio Episcopal (The Bishop’s Palace). One of only three buildings designed by Gaudí outside of Barcelona, this neo-Gothic palace was designed in 1889 for his friend the Archbishop Juan Bautista Grau Vallepinós. It took twenty years to complete due to various problems including the death of the Archbishop. Today it is open for tours (alas I could not due to time constraints) and it houses the Museum of the Pilgrimage.

The construction of La Catedral de Santa Maria was begun in 1471 over the remains of an earlier Romanesque church that was at the site from 1069 to the 13th century. The church was re-built after the 1755 Lisbon earthquake and after the French occupation (1810-1812). It is said that the cathedral’s west facade (1704) and the main retablo – one of the best Renaissance pieces on the Pilgrimage Road, designed by Gaspar Becerra (1558-62), a disciple of Michelangelo and Raphael, – are not to be missed. I did have the good fortune to view and enter this beautiful cathedral the following day as I began my walk up into the mountains of León.

La Catedral de Santa Maria in the twilight.

El retablo mayor by Gaspar Becerra built from 1558 to 1562.

Next time I will devote TWO FULL DAYS to Astorga.


Siege of Astorga, 2 July-18 August 1812 - History

Willcocks, Joseph Major July 10
Totman, Joshua Adjutant July 18
Jackson, Sr., Sam Q. Master July 18
Dorman, John Surgeon July 18
Frisbee, Gideon Captain July 1 8
Huggins, Robert 1st Lieutenant July 18
Baker, Joseph 2nd Lieutenant July 18
Jackson, Jr., Sam Ensign July 18
Hendershot, Jacob S. Sergt. Major August 2
Wickham, Sam Q. Master Sgt. July 18
Seely, Sias H. Sergeant July 18
Smith, Luther Sergeant July 18
Thomas, Seneca Sergeant July 18
Jac, Josiah Sergeant July 18
Proctor, Oliver Corporal July 18
Gee, William M. Corporal August 2
Fox, Amaser Corporal July 18
Pollock, James Private July 18
Gough, John Private July 18
Prentice, Gilbert Private July 18
Mansfield, Isaac Private July 18
Curtice, Grove Private July 18
Bennett, John H. Private July 18 AWOL
Brown, Matthew Private July 18
Farnam, Joseph Private July 18
Salrs, Mordic Private July 18
Howell, Phineas Private July 18 AWOL
Haskins, Olisha Private July 18
Wilder, Michael Private July 18
Smith, William Private July 18
Smith, Timothy Private July 18
McGarvin, James Private July 18 AWOL
Averil l, David Private July 18
Instine, Dsaniel Private July 18
Jackson, William D. Private July 18
Lovett, Joseph Private July 18
Bennett, John Private July 18
Follett, Henry Private July 18
Mead, Chauncey Private July 18
Kelley, George Private July 18
Oustuhoudt, Lucas Private July 18
Piersons, David Private July 18 Wounded
Olmsted, Job Private July 18
Cafs, David Private July 18
Johnston, John S. Private July 18
Dill, Johah Private July 18 Died Aug. 16
Ingraim, William Private July 18 Wounded
Beemer, Henry Private July 18 AWOL
Fow, John Private July 18 AWOL
Felly, Ambrose Private July 18
Lockwood, John Prive July 18
Vanderburg, Jacob G Priv 18 July
McGee, James Priv August 2
McCraney, Thomas Priv August 10
Robinson, William Priv August 10
Reynolds, William Priv August 10
Philips, Daniel Priv August 10
Wilcot, Paul Priv August 10 Wounded
Conway, Samuel Priv August 10
Myers, Charles Priv August 10
Meyers, Joshua Priv August 10
McLaughlin, Laughlin Priv August 10
Scott, John Priv August 10
Gillis, Aias(?) Priv August 10
Follett, Abel Priv August 13 or 15?
McCarter, William Priv August 13 or 15?
Newland, Cornelius Priv August 22
Bradt, Janius (?) Priv July 22 AWOL
Olmsted, Enoch Priv July 22
Lepan, Anthony Priv July 22
Lane, Peter Priv July 22
Lane, Jacob Priv July 22
Gardner, George T Priv July 22

Of the seventy-four names listed one is illegible. That nameless person was sick in camp along with Charles Meyers, Joshua Meyers and John Scott. George Gardner, Samuel Jackson Sr., Silas Seely, Timothy Smith and Chauncey Mead were sick at Lewistown William Reynolds was sick at Youngstown. Two others, Peter Lane and Jacob Lane were sick at Dr. West's "on the other side of the river". William Ingram had been dangerously wounded in action with a musket ball. David Pierson's thigh had been (?) by cannon shot, and Paul Wilcot had been wounded in the side by a connon shot. Three others were absent with leave, ie. Josiah Jack, Cornelius Newland and Ambrose Kelly.


Siege of Astorga, 2 July-18 August 1812 - History

1635: Created and named Cardinal-Duc
1636: Renamed Regiment de la Marine
1791: 11e Regiment d'Infanterie
1796: 11e demi-brigade d'Infanterie de Ligne (formed from the following)
20e demi-brigade de bataille (2e Bat,10e Regt d'Inf, 2e Bat Vol de la Lozere and 2e bataillon de Chasseurs de l'Isere)
103e demi-brigade de bataille (1er Bat,52e Regt d'Inf, 1er Bat Vol de Marseille and 2e Bat Vol de Luberon)
1803: 11e Regiment d'Infanterie de Ligne

Colonels and Chef de Brigade

1791: Gestas (Sebastien-Charles-Hubert de) - Colonel
1791: Du Peloux de Saint-Romain (Louis) - Colonel
1792: Massia (Jean de) - Colonel
1796: Carvin (Andre) - Chef de Brigade
1798: Lemeille (Paul) - Chef de Brigade
1799: Vabre (Marc-Antoine Coban) - Chef de Brigade and Colonel in 1803
1805: Bachelu (Gilbert-Desire-Joseph) - Colonel
1809: Aubree (Alexandre-Charles-Joseph) - Colonel
1812: Maillart (Pierre-Nicolas) - Colonel
1815: Aubree (Alexandre-Charles-Joseph) - Colonel

Five of the above officers attained the rank of General of Brigade and above


Gestas (Sebastien-Charles-Hubert de)

Born: 2 November 1751
Colonel: 1791
General de Brigade: 20 May 1791
Died: 27 December 1793 (executed on the orders of the Military Commision of Bourdeaux)

Born: 17 December 1740
Colonel: 15 October 1792
General de Brigade: 15 May 1793
General de Division: 23 December 1793
Died: 13 July 1804

Born: 19 February 1767
Chef de Brigade: 15 March 1793 (103e demi-brigade de bataille)
Chef de Brigade: 9 December 1798 (11e demi-brigade d'Infanterie)
General de Brigade: 20 January 1799
Died: 21 January 1801 (of wounds sustained at the Battle of Pozzolo)

Vabre (Marc-Antoine Coban)

Born: 26 February 1743
Chef de Brigade: 25 May 1797 (25e demi-brigade d'Infanterie)
Chef de Brigade: 27 July 1799 (11e demi briage d'Infanterie)
Colonel: 1803 (11e Regt d'Inf)
General de Brigade: 1 February 1805
Officer of the Legion d'Honneur: 14 June 1804
Died: 4 August 1817

Bachelu (Gilbert-Desire-Joseph)

Born: 9 February 1777
Chef de Brigade: 18 January 1803 (of Engineers)
Colonel: 1 February 1805 (11e Regt d'Inf)
General de Brigade: 5 June 1809
General de Division: 26 June 1813
Officer of the Legion d'Honneur: 14 June 1804
Baron of the Empire: 29 August 1810
Died: 16 June 1849

Colonels killed and wounded while commanding the 11e Regiment d'Infanterie de Ligne

Colonel Aubree: wounded 14 July 1811, 18 June 1815, died of wounds 26 June 1815

Officers killed and wounded while serving with the 11e Regiment d'Infanterie during the period 1804-1815


Officers killed: Thirteen
Officers died of wounds: Eight
Officers wounded: Eighty-eight

Regimental war record (Battles and Combats)

1792: Armee du Var
1793: Armee du Var
1795: Loano
1796: Lonato, Castiglione, Mantoue and Pietra
1797: Rivoli, Mantua and Valvassone
1798: Civita-Castellana
1799: Modena, Tidone River,Trebbia River, Novi, Siege of Ancone
1800: Taggia, San-Giacomo and Loano
1805: Ulm and Gratz
1806: Armee de Dalmatia
1807: Armee de Dalmatia
1808: Armee de Dalmatia
1809: Sacile, Wagram and Znaim
1813: Siege of Totose
1813: Siege of Wittenberg, Dresden, Leipzig and Hanau
1814: Chambrey, St-Julien and Belfort
1815: Waterloo

Lonato 1796, Castiglione 1796 and Wagram 1809

12e Regiment d'Infanterie de Ligne

1776: Recreated with the 2e and 4e bataillons de Regiment de la Marine
1791: 12e Regiment d'Infanterie
1793: 12e demi-brigade de bataille (formed from the following)
2e bataillon, 6e Regiment d'Infanterie
9e and 12e bataillons de Volontaires de la Manche
1796: 12e demi-brigade d'Infanterie de Ligne (formed from the following)
60e demi-brigade de bataille (2e Bat,30e Regt d'Inf, 8e Bat Vol de la Cote d'Or and 12e Bat Vol de la formation d'Angers)
3e Bataillon, 70e Regt d'Inf
9e Company, Grenadiers 199e bis
1803: 12e Regiment d'Infanterie de Ligne

Colonels and Chef de Brigade

1791: De Gallup (Francois-Felix) - Colonel
1792: De Saint-Sauvier (Francois-Guillaume) - Colonel
1792: Des Brunieres (Charles-Henri) - Colonel
1794: Roland (Jacques) - Chef de Brigade
1796: Girardon (Antoine) - Chef de Brigade
1799: Vergez (Francois) - Chef de Brigade and Colonel in 1803
1806: Muller (Joseph-Antoine-Charles) - Colonel
1809: Thoulouze (Jean-Martin) - Colonel
1812: Baudinot (Henri-Aloyse-Ignace) - Colonel

Three of the above officers attained the rank of General of Brigade and above


Roland (Jacques)

Born: 20 June 1750
Chef de Brigade: 21 April 1794 (12e demi-brigade de bataille)
General de Brigade: 26 October 1793 (refused the promotion)
Died: 25 May 1810
Wounded: 25 January 1796

Born: 1 February 1758
Chef de Brigade: 14 December 1796 (12e demi-brigade d'Infanterie)
General de Brigade: 29 April 1799
General de Division: 1 February 1805
Commander of the Legion d'Honneur: 14 June 1804
Died: 5 December 1806

Born: 12 June 1757
Colonel: 30 August 1805
General de Brigade: 23 October 1806
Commander of the Legion d'Honeur: 28 August 1810
Baron of the Empire: 21 September 1808
Died: 20 June 1830

Colonels killed and wounded while commanding the 12e Regiment d'Infanterie de Ligne

Colonel Vergez: wounded 14 October 1806
Colonel Muller: wounded 26th December 1806
Colonel Thoulouze: wounded 6 July 1809 and 19 August 1812, died of wounds 21 August 1812

Officers killed and wounded while serving with the 12e Regiment d'Infanterie during the period 1804-1815

Officers killed: Fifty one
Officers died of wounds: Twenty-five
Officers wounded: Two hundred and one

Regimental war record (Battles and Combats)

1792: Anvers
1793: Aix-la-Chapelle and Tourcoing
1794: Capture of Mont-Cenis
1796: Borgo-Forte, Modene, Saint-Georges, Governolo and Arcole
1797: La Favorite, Mantoue, Tagliamento, Farentino and Terracine
1798: Civita-Castellana
1799: Naples and Isola
1800: Grisons
1805: Muhldorf and Austerlitz
1806: Auerstadt, Czarnowo and Pultusk
1807: Eylau, Deppen and Friedland
1809: Thann, Abensberg, Eckmuhl, Ratisbonne, Eugerau and Wagram
1812: Wilna, Drissa, Witepsk, Smolensk, Valoutina and La Moskowa
1813: Hambourg and Dresden
1814: Anvers. Arcis-sur-Aube and Saint-Dizier
1815: Waterloo

La Favorite 1797, Auerstadt 1806 and Wagram 1809

13e Regiment d'Infanterie de Ligne

1597: Created Regiment de Nerestang
1673: Named Regiment de Bourbonnais
1791: 13e Regiment d'Infanterie
1793: 13e Demi-brigade de bataille (formed from the following)

1er bataillon, 7e Regiment d'Infanterie
5e and 6e Bataillons Volontaires de la Gironde

1796: 13e demi-brigade d'Infanterie de Ligne (formed from the following)

49e demi-brigade de bataille (1er Bat,25e Regt d'Inf, 4e Bat Vol de Nord and 5e Bat Vol de l'Oise)
1er and 2e bataillons 29e Regt d'Inf
1er and 2e bataillons 106e Regt d'Inf
Bataillon des Federes des 83 departments
6e bataillon Volontaires de Rhone-et-Loire
2e bataillon Volontaires de la formation d'Orleans
19e bataillon Volntaires des Reserve

1803: 13e Regiment d'Infanterie de Ligne

Colonels and Chef de Brigade

1791: De Pontet (Francois-Henri) - Colonel
1792: d'Arlandes (Louis-Francois-Pierre) - Colonel
1793: Poulet (Francois-Henri) - Colonel
1795: Dejean (Jean-Antoine) - Chef de Brigade
1795: Delegorgue (Francois-Joseph) - Chef de Brigade
1799: Froment (Jacques) - Chef de Brigade and Colonel in 1803
1809: Huin (Christophe) - Colonel
1809: Larcilly (Claude) - Colonel
1813: Lucas (Jean-Guillaume) - Colonel

Two of the above officers attained the rank of General de Brigade


Arlandes de Salton (Louis-Francois-Pierre d')

Born: 10 March 1752
Colonel: 1 August 1792
General de Brigade: 20 May 1793
Died: 11 September 1793 (killed at Nothweiller after defecting to the Prussians)

Born: 26 November 1765
Chef de Brigade: 14 August 1793 (13e demi-brigade de bataille)
Chef de Brigade: 19 July 1796 (11e demi-brigade d'Infanterie)
General de Brigade: 19 October 1804
Died: 6 November 1848

Colonels killed and wounded while commanding 13e the Regiment d'Infanterie de Ligne

Colonel Huin: killed 6 July 1809
Colonel Larcilly: died of wounds 2 May 1813

Officers killed and wounded while serving with the 13e Regiment d'Infanterie during the period 1804-1815

Officers killed: Twenty-one
Officers died of wounds: Thirteen
Officers wounded: Ninety-two

Regimental war record (Battles and Combats)

1792: Spire
1793: Oberflersheim and Nothweiller
1794: Armee des Pyrenees-Orientales
1795: Le Boulou, Bellegarde and Saint-Laurent de la Mouga
1796: Armee des Cotes de l'Ocean
1797: Verone
1798: Malta and Les Pyramides
1799: Saint-Jean d'Acre
1800: Heliopolis and Cairo
1805: Caldiero
1806: Corps d'occupation de l'Isterie
1809: Oberlaybach and Wagram
1813: Bautzen, Hanau and Hocheim
1814: Mayence and Palma-Nova
1815: Corps d'Observation des Pyrenees

Verone 1797, Heliopolis 1800, Wagram 1809 and Bautzen 1813

14e Regiment d'Infanterie de Ligne

1776: Formed from the 1er and 3e bataillons, Regiment de Bourbonnais
1791: 14e Regiment d'Infanterie
1793: 14e demi-brigade de bataille (formed from the following)

2e bataillon, 7e Regiment d'Infanterie
1er and 2e bataillons Volontaires du Gard
1796: 14e demi-brigade d'Infanterie de Ligne (formed from the following)
29e demi-brigade de bataile (1er Bat, 15e Regt d'Inf, 4e Bat Vol de la Sarthe and 14e Bat Vol des Federes)
Demi-brigade de la Seine-Inferieure (9e Bat Vol de la Seine-Inferieure, 10e Bat Vol du Calvados and 10e Bat Vol du Pas-de-Calais)

1803: 14e Regiment d'Infanterie de Ligne

Colonels and Chef de Brigade

1791: Hinnisdal de Fumal (Louis-Maximlien-Fancois-Herman) - Colonel
1792: Meusnier de la Place (Jean-Baptiste-Marie-Charles) - Colonel
1792: De la Marliere (Antoine-Nicolas) - Colonel
1792: Merle-Beaulieu (Pierre-Nicolas) - Colonel
1795: Dauriere (Charles) - Chef de Brigade
1797: Porra (?) - Chef de Brigade
1797: Marchand (Jean-Gabriel) - Chef de Brigade
1797: Moreau (Jean-Claude) - Chef de Brigade
1803: Mazas (Jacques-Francois-Marc) - Colonel
1805: Savary (Charles-Joseph-Louis-Marie) - Colonel
1806: Henriod (Jean-Francois) - Colonel
1810: Esteve (Etienne) - Colonel
1814: Bugeaud de la Piconnerie (Thomas-Robert) - Colonel

Seven of the above officers attained the rank of General de Brigade and above

Hinnisdal de Fumal (Louis-Maximilien-Francois-Herman)

Born: 2 May 1751
Colonel: 25 July 1791
General de Brigade: 13 December 1791
Died: ?

Meusnier de la Place (Jean-Baptiste-Marie-Charles)

Born: 19 June 1754
Colonel: 5 February 1792
General de Brigade: 1 September 1792
General de Division: 5 May 1793
Died: 13 June 1793

Merle-Beaulieu (Pierre-Nicolas)

Born: 25 May 1738
Colonel: 9 September 1792
General de Brigade: 15 May 1793
Died: 6 April 1826

Marchand (Jean-Gabriel)

Born: 10 December 1765
Chef de Brigade: 16 June 1797 (14e demi-brigade d'Infanterie)
General de Brigade: 13 October 1799
General de Division: 24 December 1805
Grand Eagle of the Legion d'Honneur: 13 July 1807
Count of the Empire: 26 October 1808
Died: 12 November 1851

Born: 15 January 1755
Chef de Brigade: 29 October 1797 (14e demi-brigade d'Infanterie)
General de Brigade: 29 August 1803
Grand Officer of the Legion d'Honneur: 19 March 1813
Baron of the Empire: 3 May 1810
Died: 9 December 1828

Henriod (Jean-Francois)

Born: 21 October 1763
Colonel: 30 December 1806
General de Brigade: 3 July 1810
Commander of the Legion d'Honneur: 21 July 1808
Baron of the Empire: 18 March 1809
Died: 20 June 1825

Born: 11 October 1771
Colonel: 29 June 18 June 1810
General de Brigade: 25 November 1813
Baron of the Empire: 13 July 1811
Died: April 1844

Colonels killed and wounded while commanding 14e the Regiment d'Infanterie de Ligne


Colonel Moreau: wounded 26 March 1799
Colonel Mazas: killed 2 December 1805
Colonel Savary: killed 24 December 1806
Colonel Henriod: wounded 8 February 1807 and 10 June 1807

Officers killed and wounded while serving with the 14e Regiment d'Infanterie during the period 1804-1815

Officers killed: Sixty-five
Officers died of wounds: Seventeen
Officers wounded: One hundred and forty-nine

Regimental war record (Battles and Combats)


1792: Conquest of Belgium
1793: Conquest of Belgium
1795: Loano
1796: Montenotte, Dego, Lodi, Borghetto ,Mantoue and Rivoli
1797: Rivoli, Mantoue and Valvassone
1799: Mantoue, Bassignano, Novi, Bosco and Acqui
1805: Ulm and Austerlitz
1806: Jena
1807: Eylau and Heilsberg
1808: Tudela
1809: Monzon, Alcanz and Maria-de-Huerve
1810: Astorga
1811: Tortosa and Tarragona
1812: Capture of Urgal
1813: Biar, Castalla and Ordal
1813: Lutzen, Bautzen, Dresden and Wachau
1814: Arcis-sur-Aube
1815: Conflans and L'Hopital

Rivoli 1797, Austerlitz 1805 and Eylau 1807

15e Regiment d'Infanterie de Ligne


1597: Created Regiment de Balagny de Montluc
1762: Regiment de Bearn
1791: 15e Regiment d'Infanterie
1793: 15e Demi-Brigade de Bataille (formed from the)

1er bataillon, 8e Regiment d'Infanterie
3e bataillon Volontaires de l'Allier
1er bataillon Volontaires de la Gironde
4e bataillon Volontaires d'Indre-et-Loire
1796: 15e demi-brigade d'Infanterie de Ligne (formed from the following)
68e demi-brigade de bataille (2e Bat, 34e Regt d'Inf, 2e Bat Vol Loir-et-Cher and 13e Bat Vol des Reserves)

1803: 15e Regiment d'Infanterie de Ligne

Colonels and Chef de Brigade


1791: Castellane (Michel-Ange-Boniface-Marie de) - Colonel
1791: Myon (Jean-Charles de) - Colonel
1792: Varennes (Marie-Louis de) - Colonel
1793: Dauriere (?) - Colonel
1796: Faure (?) - Chef de Brigade and Colonel in 1803
1804: Reynaud (Hilaire-Benoit) - Colonel
1808: Dein (Paul-Louis-Marie) - Colonel
1813: Levavasseur (Charles-Amable) - Colonel

Two of the above officers attained the rank of General de Brigade


Varennes (Marie-Louis de)

Born: 19 August 1736
Colonel: 5 February 1792
General de Brigade: 15 May 1793
Died: 18 August 1814

Born: 9 June 1772
Colonel: 6 April 1804
General de Brigade: 11 May 1808
Commander of the Legion d'Honneur: 14 June 1804
Baron of the Empire: 28 January 1809
Died: 25 December 1855

Colonels killed and wounded while commanding the 15e Regiment d'Infanterie de Ligne


Colonel Reynaud: wounded 14 July 1807
Colonel Levavasseur: wounded 20 July 1813

Officers killed and wounded while serving with the 15e Regiment d'Infanterie during the period 1804-1815


Officers killed: Thirty-six
Officers died of wounds: Twenty
Officers wounded: One hundred and seven

Regimental war record (Battles and Combats)


1792: Siege of Lille
1796: Armee du Nord
1799: Armee de Hollande
1800: Biberach and Hohenlinden
1807: Friedland
1808: Saragosse, Rio-Secco, Evora and Vimeiro
1809: La Corogne, Port-Martin and Oporto
1810: Astorga, Bussaco and Sobral
1812: Salamanca
1813: San-Millan, Sorauren and Bidassoa
1813: Bautzen, Wurschen, Leipzig and Hanau
1814: Vauchamps, Bar-sur-Aube, Reims and Fere-Champenoise

16e Regiment d'Infanterie de Ligne


1776: Created from 2e and 4e Bataillons Regiment de Bearn
1791: 16e Regiment d'Infanterie
1793: 16e demi-brigade de bataille (formed from the following)

2e bataillon,8eRegiment d'Infanterie 2e bataillon Volontaires de la Haute-Marne
3e bataillon Volontaires du Cantal
2e bataillon Volontaires de la Haute-Marne

1796: 16e demi-brigade d'Infanterie de Ligne (formed from the following)

110e demi-brigade de bataille ( 2e Bat, 55e Regt d'Inf, 6e and 7e Bat Vol de la Meurthe)
2e and 3e bataillons demi-brigade de l'Yonne

1803: 16e Regiment d'Infanterie de Ligne

Colonels and Chef de Brigade


1791: Blottefiere (Pierre-Louis de) - Colonel
1792: De la Combe (Jacque-Hyacinthe Leblanc) - Colonel
1795: Gillot (?) - Chef de Brigade
1796: Grandjean (Balthazard) - Chef de Brigade
1797: Beltz (?) - Chef de Brigade
1800: Mabiez deLatour deRouville (Jean-Joseph) - Chef de Brigade and Colonel in 1803
1807: Marin (Jacques-Bartelemy) - Colonel
1809: Gudin des Bardelieres (Pierre-Cesar) - Colonel
1812: Lamotte (Pierre-Louis) - Colonel

Four of the above attained the rank of General de Brigade


Blottefiere (Pierre-Louis de)

Born: 16 November 1746
Colonel: 25 July 1791
General de Brigade: 26 October 1792
Died: 22 April 1819

Grandjean (Balthazard)

Born: 26 January 1760
Chef de Brigade: 13 June 1795
General de Brigade: 29 August 1803
Commander of the Legion d'Honneur: 14 June 1804
Died: 3 December 1824

Marin (Jacques-Barthelemy)

Born: 24 August 1772
Colonel: 10 september 1807
General de Brigade: 19 June 1809
Officer of the Legion d'Honneur: 6 May 1809
Baron of the Empire: 3 December 1809
Died: 30 August 1830

Gudin des Bardelieres (Pierre-Cesar)

Born: 30 December 1775
Colonel: 18 July 1809
General de Brigade: 11 January 1812
Baron of the Empire: 14 February 1810
Died: 13 February 1855

Colonels killed and wounded while commanding the 16e Regiment d'Infanterie de Ligne

Colonel Gudin: wounded 6 July 1809 and 25 October 1811

Officers killed and wounded while serving with the 16e Regiment d'Infanterie during the period 1804-1815

Officers killed: Thirty-five
Officers died of wounds: Eleven
Officers wounded: One hundred and twenty six

Regimental war record (Battles and Combats)


1792: Siege of Namur
1793: Siege of Maestricht, Namur and Siege and capture of Furnes
1794: Boeschequepe, Siege and capture of Menin, Tourcoing, Siege of Ypres and I'lle de Casandra
1796: Wetzlar, Bamber, Forcheim, Neukirchen and Wolfering
1797: Wurtzberg, Giessen and Neuwied
1799: Offenbourg
1800: Stockach, Engen, Biberach, Erbach, Ampfing and Hohenlinden
1805: Trafalgar
1809: Neumarck,Ebersberg, Aspern Essling, Wagram and Znaim
1809: Siege of Rosas and Girone
1810: Capture of fort Olivio, Siege of Tarragone and Mont-Serrat
1811: Siege of Sagonte, Battle of Sagonte, Siege of Valence, Alicante and Saint-Felipe
1813: Lutzen, Bautzen, Wurschen, Dresden and Leipzig
1814: La Rothiere, Vauchamps, Fere-Champenoise and Paris


Hohenlinden 1800, Wagram 1809 and Sagonte 1811

17e Regiment d'Infanterie de Ligne


1597: Created Regiment du Bourg de Lespinasse
1635: Regiment d'Auvergne
1791: 17e Regiment d'Infanterie
1793: 17e demi-brigade de bataille (formed from the following)

1er bataillon, 9e Regiment d'Infanterie
2e bataillon, Volontaires de l'Indre
3e bataillon, Volontaires de la Seine-Inferieure

1796: 17e demi-brigade d'Infanterie de Ligne (formed from the following)

33e demi-brigade de bataille (1er Bat, 17e Regt d'Inf, 5e Bat Vol de la Sarthe and 1er Bat Vol colonial Port-au-Prince)
178e demi-brigade de bataille (2e Bat, 99e Regt d'Inf, 6e Bat Vol du Nord and 7e Bat Vol de la Seine- Inferieure)
Demi-brigade d'Eure et Landes (3e Bat Vol de l'Eure, 5e Bat Vol des Landres and 6e Bat Vol de Haute-Garonne)

1803: 17e Regiment d'Infanterie de Ligne

Colonels and Chef de Brigade


1791: Dumas de Saint-Martin () - Colonel
1793: Botta (Pierre-Paul) - Chef de Brigade
1794: Clere (?) - Chef de Brigade
1796: Bord (?) - Chef de Brigade
1800: Trebout (?) - Chef de Brigade
1803: Conroux (Nicolas-Francois) - Colonel
1805: Lanusse (Pierre) - Colonel
1808: Romeuf (Jacques-Alexandre) - Colonel
1809: Oudet (Jacques-Joseph) - Colonel
1809: Vasserot (Louis) - Colonel
1813: Susbielle (Francois) - Colonel
1814: Gueurel (Nicolas-Noel) - Colonel

Four of the above officers attained the rank of General de Brigade and above

Botta (Pierre-Paul)

Born: 3 May 1741
Colonel: 1 September 1793
General de Brigade: 16 July 1795
Died: 28 July 1795 (of wounds sustained at the attack on Fort Penthievre)

Conroux (Nicolas-Francois)

Born: 17 February 1770
Chef de Brigade: 2 October 1802 (17e demi-brigade d'Infanterie)
General de Brigade: 24 December 1805
General de Division: 31 July 1809
Commander of the Legion d'Honneur: 22 June 1807
Baron of the Empire: 27 November 1808
Died: 11 November 1811 (of wounds sustained at Combat at Ascain)

Born: 21 November 1768
Colonel: 26 December 1805
General de Brigade: 17 July 1808
General de Division: 1 October 1808 (in the service of Naples)
General de Division: 4 August 1813 (in the service of France)
Commander of the Legion d'Honneur: 14 May 1813
Baron of the Empire: 26 April 1810
Died: 3 May 1847

Born: 3 March 1771
Colonel: 21 September 1809
General de Brigade: 18 May 1813
Died: 8 December 1840

Colonels killed and wounded while commanding the 17e Regiment d'Infanterie de Ligne

Colonel Conroux: wounded 2 December 1805
Colonel Lanusse: wounded 10 June 1807
Colonel Oudet: wounded 20 April 1809, died of wounds 6 July 1809
Colonel Vasserot: wounded 17 August 1812 and 29 November 1812
Colonel Susbielle: wounded 30 August 1813

Officers killed and wounded while serving with the 17e Regiment d'Infanterie during the period 1804-1815

Officers killed: Forty three
Officers died of wounds: Thirty six
Officers wounded: Two hundred and fifteen

Regimental war record (Battles and Combats)

1792: Valmy and Jemmapes
1793: Maubeuge and Wattignies
1794: Fleurus and Blockade of Mayence
1797: Diersheim
1799: Pastrengo, Magnano, Vaprio, Zurich Trebbia River, Novi, Genola and Mondovi
1801: Senegal
1805: Austerlitz
1806: Auerstadt and Golymin
1807: Eylau and Heilsberg
1809: Braga, Thann, Eckmuhl, Aspern-Essling and Wagram
1812: Smolensk, La Moskowa, Wiasma and Krasnoi
1813: Dresden, Kulm, Teplitz and Stettin
1814: Berg-op-Zoom and Coutrai
1815: Waterloo


Austerlitz 1805, Auerstadt 1806 and La Moskowa 1812

18e Regiment d'Infanterie de Ligne

1776: Created from 2e and 4e bataillons Regiment d'Auvergne
1776: Renamed Regiment de Gatinais
1781: Renamed Royal-Auvergne
1791: 18e Regiment d'Infanterie
1796: 18e demi-brigade d'Infanterie de Ligne (formed from the following)

5e demi-brigade de bataille (1er Bat, 3e Regt d'Inf, 1er Bat Vol de Doubs and 4e Bat Vol Seine- Inferieure)
24e demi-brigade de bataille (2e Bat 12e Regt d'Inf, 3e Bat Vol de la Somme, 10e Bat Vol de Reserve, 2e and 4e Bat Vol de Requisition d'Amiens)
45e demi-brigade de bataille (1er Bat, 23e Regt d'Inf, 1er Bat Vol des Basse-Alpes and 1er Bat Vol de la Lozere)

1803: 18e Regiment d'Infanterie de Ligne

Colonels and Chef de Brigade


1791: Tourville (Charles-Bertin-Gaston Chapuis de) - Colonel
1792: Fontbonne (Alexandre-Louis de) - Colonel
1796: Fugieres (Jean-Urbain) - Chef de Brigade
1798: Boyer (Henri-Jacques-Jean) - Chef de Brigade
1799: Morangies (Jean-Baptiste Molette) - Chef de Brigade
1801: Ravier (Jean-Baptiste-Ambroise) - Chef de Brigade and Colonel in 1803
1809: Pelleport (Pierre) - Colonel
1813: Sauset (Louis-Antoine) - Colonel
1813: Maury (Jean-Pierre) - Colonel
1814: Woirol (Theophile) - Colonel

Six of the above officers attained the rank of General de Brigade and above


Tourville (Charles-Bertin-Gaston Chapuis de)

Born: 4 January 1740
Colonel: 25 July 1791
General de Brigade: 12 July 1792
Died: 22 October 1809

Fontbonne (Alexandre Louis de)

Born: 13 June 1750
Colonel: 12 September 1792
General de Brigade: 8 March 1793
General de Division: 13 June 1795
Died: 8 April 1796 (asassinated)

Born: 8 February 1752
Chef de Brigade: 21 March 1795 (69e demi-brigade d'Infanterie)
Chef de Brigade: 25 May 1796 (18e demi-brigade d'Infanterie)
General de Brigade: 23 March 1798
Died: 17 December 1813

Morangies (Jean-Baptiste Molette)

Born: 24 November 1758
Chef de Brigade: 13 May 1799 (18e demi-brigade d'Infanterie)
General de Brigade: 24 May 1801
Commander of the Legion d'Honneur: 14 June 1804
Baron of the Empire: 1 January 1813
Died: 21 May 1827

Ravier (Jean-Baptiste-Ambroise)

Born: 31 December 1766
Chef de Brigade: 27 April 1801 (18e demi-brigade d'Infanterie)
General de Brigade: 30 May 1809
Commander of the Legion d'Honneur: 25 December 1805
Baron of the Empire: 2 August 1808
Died: 19 November 1828

Born: 26 October 1773
Colonel: 30 May 1809
General de Brigade: 12 April 1813
Baron of the Empire: 15 August 1809
Died: 15 December 1855

Colonels killed and wounded while commanding the 18e Regiment d'Infanterie de Ligne

Chef de Brigade Morangies: wounded: 17 May 1799, 25 July 1799 and 21 March 1801
Colonel Ravier: wounded 7 February 1807 and 3 May 1809
Colonel Sausset: wounded 18 October 1813

Officers killed and wounded while serving with the 18e Regiment d'Infanterie during the period 1804-1815


Officers killed: Thirty-eight
Officers died of wounds: Twenty-six
Officers wounded: Two hundred and forty-eight

Regimental war record (Battles and Combats)

1792: Jemmapes
1796: Dego, Lonato, Castiglione, Saint-Georges, Caldiero, Arcole and Tarvis
1797: Rivoli
1798: Fribourg, Alexandrie, Chebreiss and Pyramides
1799: Saint-Jean de Acre, Mont-Tabor and Aboukir
1805: Hollabrun and Austerlitz
1806: Jena
1807: Eylau, Heilsberg and Friedland
1809: Ebersberg, Vienne, Essling, Wagram and Znaim
1812: Smolensk, La Moskowa and Krasnoe
1813: Dresden, Leipzig and Hanau
1814: Magdebourg, La Rothiere and Montereau
1815: Surbourg and Strasbourg

Rivoli 1796, Austerlitz 1805 and La Moskowa 1812

19e Regiment d'Infanterie de Ligne

1597: Created from the Garde a Pied de Lesdiguieres and Regiment de Bonne
1762: Regiment de Flandre
1791: 19e Regiment d'Infanterie
1793: 19e demi-brigade de bataille (formed from the following)

1er bataillon, 10e Regiment d'Infanterie
2e bataillon Volontaires du Mont-Blanc
3e bataillon Volontaires des Basse-Alpes

1796: 19e demi-brigade d'Infanterie de Ligne (formed from the following)

45e demi-brigade de bataille (1er Bat, 23e Regt d'Inf, 1er Bat Vol des Basse-Alpes and 1er Bat Vol de la Lozere)
180e demi-brigade (1er and 2e bataillons)

1803: 19e Regiment d'Infanterie de Ligne

Colonels and Chef de Brigade

1791: Montmorin-Saint-Herem (Louis-Victor-Hippolyte-Luc) - Colonel
1792: Dattel de Lutanges (Louis-Alexandre) - Colonel
1792: Leyris des Ponchets (Charles-Joseph-Paul) - Colonel
1793: Long (Marie-Auguste-Jean-Chrysostome de) - Colonel
1795: Verne (Pierre-Francois) - Chef de Brigade
1796: Rainard (?) - Chef de Brigade
1797: Giraud (?) - Chef de Brigade
1800: Regis-Manset (Benoit) - Chef de Brigade and Colonel in 1803
1809: Aubry (Joseph-Emmanuel) - Colonel
1812: Trupel (Jean-Aimable) - Colonel

Two of the above officers attained the rank of General de Brigade


Leyris des Ponchets (Charles-Joseph-Paul)

Born: 19 July 1756
Colonel: 29 June 1792
General de Brigade: 8 March 1793
Died: 25 October 1824

Verne (Pierre-Francois)

Born:14 October 1756
Chef de Brigade: 29 March 1794 (19e demi-brigade de bataille)
General de Brigade: 21 December 1794
Died: 15 November 1796 (mortaly wounded at Arcole)

Colonels killed and wounded while commanding the 19e Regiment d'Infanterie de Ligne


Colonel Aubry: wounded 5 July 1809 and killed 18 August 1812
Colonel Trupel: wounded 16 October 1813

Officers killed and wounded while serving with the 19e Regiment d'Infanterie during the period 1804-1815


Officers killed: Fifty-eight
Officers died of wounds: Twelve
Officers wounded: One hundred and seventy

Regimental war record (Battles and Combats)


1792: Valmy and Jemmapes
1793: Nerwinden and Wattignies
1795: Loano
1796: Mondovi, Borgehetto, Siege of Mantoue, Lonato, Castaglione, La Favorite, Caldiero and Arcole
1798: Malte, Pyramides, El Arisch, Jaffa, Mont-Tabor, Aboukir and Heliopolis
1807: Siege of Dantzig
1809: Wagram
1810: Astorga, Busaco and Torres-Vedras
1812: Jacobouwo, Polostk and Borisow
1813: Dresden and Leipzig
1814: Brienne, Monterau and Bar-sur-Aube
1815: Waterloo

Jemmapes 1792, Heliopolis 1800 and Wagram 1809

20e Regiment d'Infanterie de Ligne


1776: Created from two bataillons Regiment de Flandre
1791: 20e Regiment d'Infanterie
1793: 20e demi-brigade de bataille (formed from the following)

2e bataillon, 10e Regiment d'Infanterie
2e bataillon Volontaires de la Lozere
2e bataillon Volontaires de Chasseurs de l'Isere

1796: 20e demi-brigade d'Infanterie de Ligne (formed from the following)

179e demi-brigade de Bataille (1er Bat, 102e Regt d'Inf, 6e Bat Vol de Paris and 7e Bat Vol de l'Oise)
1er bataillon 176e demi-brigade de bataille
1er bataillon 119e demi-brigade de bataille
8e bataillon Volontaires du Bas-Rhin
2e bataillon Volontaires de Valenciennes
11e bataillon Volontaires de la Haute-Saone
11e bataillon Volontaires de Fedres

1803: 20e Regiment d'Infanterie de Ligne

Colonels and Chef de Brigade

1791: Desbordes (Charles-Etienne-Marguerite) - Colonel
1793: Duprat (Hyacinthe-Roger) - Colonel
1794: Maron (?) - Chef de Brigade
1796: Cathol (?) - Chef de Brigade
1800: Guestadt (?) - Chef de Brigade
1802: Cassan (Louis-Pierre-Jean-Aphrodise) - Chef de Brigade and Colonel in 1803
1811: Esnard (Jacques-Henry) - Colonel

Two of the above officers attained the rank of General de Brigade and above

Duprat (Hyacinthe-Roger)

Born: 20 November 1732
Colonel: 14 January 1793
General de Brigade: 24 June 1793
General de Division: 13 December 1793
General Duprat was stripped of his rank on the 14 April 1794 and later became
Chef de Brigade: 7 December 1795 (42e demi-brigade d'Infanterie)
Died: ?

Born: 23 April 1771
Chef de Brigade: 30 December 1802 (110e demi-brigade d'Infanterie)
Chef de Brigade: 30 May 1803 (20e demi-brigade d'Infanterie)
General de Brigade: 6 August 1811
Baron of the Empire: 15 August 1810
Died: 20 January 1852

Colonels killed and wounded while commanding the Regiment d'Infanterie de Ligne


Colonel Esnard: wounded 12 February 1814 and 14 March 1814

Officers killed and wounded while serving with the 20e Regiment d'Infanterie during the period 1804-1815


Officers killed: Eleven
Officers died of wounds: Eleven
Officers wounded: Seventy-one

Regimental war record (Battles and Combats)


1793: Armee des Alpes
1794: Armee d'Italie
1795: Armee d'Italie
1796: Borghetto, Mantoue, Lonato and Castiglione
1797: Armee de Sambre et Meuse
1799: Armee du Rhin
1800: Engen and Mosskirch
1801: Porto-Ferrajo
1805: Caldiero
1811: Capture of Tarragone and Cuidad-Real
1812: Capture of Valencia
1813: Lutzen, Wurschen, Bischoffewerda, Leipzig and Hanau
1813: Caldiero, Saint-Michel, Rovigo and Lamena
1814: Mincio, Bourg, Macon and Lyon
1815: Conflans

Bibliography


Charavay J. and N. Les Generaux morts pour la Patrie 1792-1815 Paris 1893 Vol one and 1908 Vol two.

E-M de Lyden. Nos 144 Regiments de Ligne Paris N.D.

Deprez E. Les Volontaires Nationaux (1791-1793) Paris 1908.

Garcin M. La Patrie en danger (histoire des bataillons de Volontaires 1791-1794)
Rhone 1991.

Historique des Corps de Troupes de l'Armee Francaise Paris 1900.

Martinien A. Tableaux par Corps et par Batailles des Officiers tues et blesse pendant les guerres de l'Empire 1805-1815 Paris 1899.

Mullie M.C. Biographie des Celebrites militaires des Armes de Terre et de Mer
2 Vols Paris 1851.

Quintin D. and B. Dictionnaire des Colonels de Napoleon Paris 1996.

Six G. Dictionnaire Biographique des Generaux et Amiraux Francais de la Revolution et de l'Empire 1792-1814 Paris 1934.