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Souham, Joseph, Count

SOUHAM, JOSEPH, COUNT (1760-1837), French soldier, was born at Lubersac on the 30th of April 1760, and served in the French army as a private from 1782 to 1790. In 1792, having shown himself active in the cause of the Revolution, he was elected commandant of a volunteer battalion, and by 1793 he had risen to the rank of general of division. He served with credit under Pichegru in Holland (1795), but in 1799 fell into disgrace on suspicion of being concerned in Royalist intrigues. He was reinstated in 1800 and served under Moreau in the Danube campaign of that year. During the Consulate he appears to have been involved in conspiracies, and along with his old commanders Moreau and Pichegru was disgraced for alleged participation in that of Georges Cadoudal. He regained his rank, however, in 1809, took a notable part in Gouvion St Cyr's operations in Catalonia, and won the title of count by his conduct at the action of Vich, in which he was wounded. In 1812 Marshal Massena, in declining the command of Marmont's army which had just been defeated at Salamanca, recommended Souham for the post. The latter was thus pitted against Wellington, and by his skilful manoeuvres drove the English general back from Burgos and regained the ground lost at Salamanca. In 1813 he distinguished himself again at Liitzen and at Leipzig (when he was wounded). At the fall of the First Empire he deserted the emperor, and having suffered for the Royalist cause was well received by Louis XVIII., who gave him high commands. These Souham lost at the return of Napoleon and regained after the Second Restoration. He retired in 1832, and died on the 28th of April 1837.

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

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