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Pajol, Claude Pierre

PAJOL, CLAUDE PIERRE, Count (1772-1844), French cavalry general, was born at Besanfon. The son of an advocate, he was intended to follow his father's profession, but the events of 1780 turned his mind in another direction. Joining the battalion of Besangon, he took part in the political events of that year, and in 1791 went to the army of the Upper Rhine with a volunteer battalion. He took part in the campaign of 1792 and was one of the stormers at Hochheim (:793). From Custine's staff he was transferred to that of Kleber, with whom he took part in the Sambre and Rhine Campaigns (1794-96). After serving with Hoche and Massena in Germany and Switzerland (1797-99), Pajol took a cavalry command under Moreau for the campaign on the upper Rhine. In the short years of peace Pajol, now colonel, was successively envoy to the Batavian Republic, and delegate at Napoleon's coronation. In 1805, the emperor employed him with the Hght cavalry. He distinguished himself at Austerlitz, and, after serving for a short time in Italy, he rejoined the gnuidc tinnec as a general of brigade, in time to take part in the campaign of Friedland. Next year (1808) he was made a baron of the Empire. In 1809 he served on the Danube, and in the Russian War of 181 2 led a division, and afterwards a corps, of cavalry. He survived the retreat, but his health was so broken that he retired to his native town of Besangon for a time. He was back again in active service, however, in time to be present at Dresden, at which battle he played a conspicuous part. In 1814 he commanded a corps of all arms in the Seine Valley. On the fall of Napoleon, Pajol gave in his adhesion to the Restoration government, but he rejoined his old master immediately upon his return to France. His (I) corps of cavalry played a prominent part in the campaign of 181 s, both at Ligny and in the advance on the Wavre under Grouchy. On receiving the news of Waterloo, Pajol disengaged his command, and by a skilful retreat brought it safe and unbeaten to Paris. There he and his men played an active part in the actions which ended the war. The Bourbons, on their return, dismissed him, though this treatment was not, compared to that meted out to Ney and others, excessively harsh. In 1S30 he took part in the overthrow of Charles X. He suppressed, sternly and vigorously, emeutes in Paris in 1831 and 1832, 1834 and 1839. A general, and a peer of France, he was put on the retired list in 1842, and died two years later.

His son, Count Charles Paul Victor Pajol (1821-1891), entered the army and had reached the rank of general of division when he was involved in the catastrophe of Metz (1S70). He retired in 1877. Besides being a good soldier, he was a sculptor of some merit, who executed statues of his father and of Napoleon, and he wrote a life of his father and a history of the wars under Louis XV. (Paris 1881-1891).

See Count C. P. V. Pajol: Pajol general en chef (Paris, 1874); Thomas, Les Grands cavaliers du premier empire (Paris, 1892); and Choppin, in the Journal des sciences militaires (i8go).

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

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