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Lefebvre-Desnoettes, Charles, Comte

LEFEBVRE-DESNOETTES, CHARLES, COMTE (1773-1822), French cavalry general, joined the army in 1792 and served with the armies of the North, of the Sambre-and-Meuse and Rhineand-Moselle in the various campaigns of the Revolution. Six years later he had become captain and aide-de-camp to General Bonaparte. At Marengo he won further promotion, and at Austerlitz became colonel, serving also in the Prussian campaigns of 1806-1807. In 1808 he was made general of brigade and created a count of the Empire. Sent with the army into Spain, he conducted the first and unsuccessful siege of Saragossa. The battlefield of Tudela showed his talents to better advantage, but towards the end of 1808 he was taken prisoner in the action of Benavente by the British cavalry under Paget (later Lord Uxbridge, and subsequently Marquis of Anglesey). For over two years he remained a prisoner in England, living on parole at Cheltenham. In 1811 he escaped, and in the invasion of Russia in 1812 was again at the head of his cavalry. In 1813 and 1814 his men distinguished themselves in most of the great battles, especially La Rothiere and Montmirail. He joined Napoleon in the Hundred Days and was wounded at Waterloo. For his part in these events he was condemned to death, but he escaped to the United States, and spent the next few years farming in Louisiana. His frequent appeals to Louis XVIII. eventually obtained his permission to return, but the " Albion," the vessel on which he was returning to France, went down off the coast of Ireland with all on board on the 22nd of May 1822.

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

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