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Casabianca, Raphael

CASABIANCA, RAPHAEL, Comte de (1738-1825), French general, was descended from a noble Corsican family. In 1769 he took the side of France against Genoa, then mistress of the island. In 1793, having entered the service of the revolutionary government, he was appointed lieutenant-general in Corsica in place of Pascale Paoli, who was outlawed for intrigues with England. For his defence of Calvi against the English he was appointed general of division, and he served in Italy from 1794 to 1798. After the 18th of Brumaire he entered the senate and was made count of the empire in 1806. In 1814 he joined the party of Louis XVIII., rejoined Napoleon during the Hundred Days, and in 1819 succeeded again in entering the chamber of peers.

His nephew, Louis de Casabianca (1762-1798), entered the French navy, served in the convoy of the French troops sent to aid the revolted American colonies, and took part in various naval actions off the North American coast. He became captain in 1792, represented Corsica in the Convention, and then received command of the Orient, which at the battle of the Nile bore the flag of Admiral Brueys. When the latter was killed, Casabianca, though badly wounded, fought the burning ship to the end, and perished with most of the crew. His son, Giacomo Jocante, a boy of ten years of age, refused to leave the ship and died in trying to save his father. This heroic act was the subject of several poems, including the well-known ballad by Mrs. Hemans.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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