TWO FRENCH GENERALS SAINT-HILAIRE (Louis Vincent Joseph Le Blond de, 1766-1809, General de Division, 1799, from 1808 Count of the French Empire) and MONARD (Jean Baptiste Nicolas de, 1750-1831, General de Brigade, 1793, General of the French Empire, 1803)

Discharge Certificate Signed by both, in French with translation, granting leave to retire home ("à ses foyers") on half-pay ('réforme'), "to Philippe Lemay ... of Company No. 1, 1st Battalion, native of Collé [sic, Collinée] ... Côtes du Nord, aged 26 years ... who has served from the 27th April 1793 to the 5th Complementary Day Year 8 [22nd September 1800], on which date he was fully discharged as being no longer fit to continue in service", on provisional pay "until his Retirement Pension be set by the Ministry of War", giving Lemay's Summary of Service, beginning "in the former Walsh's Regiment now part of the 47th Half-Brigade the 17th April 1793. Took part in the campaigns of the Years 2, 3 and 4 with the army of the United Côtes de Brest and Cherbourg ... Year 7 with the army of the Alps and Year 8 with the army of Italy. Received a gunshot wound to his Left Knee the 1st Vendémiaire [23rd September 1799]" and on "the 8th [30th September] took part in the withdrawal from Pignerolles in Piedmont", there follow the signatures of the 47th's Administrative Council (7, including three Captains), and in either margin "St Hilaire" as General commanding the 8th Division, and "Monard" as the Division's "Inspecteur aux Revues", with their stamps, overleaf is an interesting record, signed "Cochois" as Quarter-Master Treasurer, of 5 francs 50 centimes paid to Lemay in respect of "Linen & Footwear", and that he has received his normal pay for the last five months of Year 8, printed with a pleasing typeset border and manuscript additions, at the top is a woodcut trophy showing Marianne holding a staff bearing a cap of liberty, 11" x 13½", Marseille, 5th Complementary Day Year 8, 22nd September very slightly rubbed at folds and marked at one place in fold on verso, one stamp faint, but an attractive document

Saint-Hilaire, a cavalry cadet at the age of 11, knew rapid promotion and at 29 was a general of brigade. A brave leader, he died of wounds from a cannonball at Aspern-Essling. Napoleon had promised him the rank of marshal, and ordered his remains to be interred at the Panthéon, next to Lannes, who had commanded the centre in the same battle. His name is inscribed under the Arc de Triomphe.
Monard was also a fine cavalry officer. After the battle of Valmy (20th September 1792) Kellermann wrote how, at the head of his regiment, Monard had contributed to the victory by protecting a crucial flanking march, "a remarkable example of what a small cavalry body can do under a good commander". However, after a serious fall when in action (1793), he transferred to important posts at home, both civil and military, in particular as an inspector of cavalry and later as an inspector in chief. Twice he was imprisoned as a suspect against the republic - for a few days in 1793 and no less than five months in 1796. He retired in 1815 after 52 years' service.
The term "Half-Brigade" ("Demi-Brigade") was introduced to avoid the associations of "Regiment". Regiments had been commonly named after members of the aristocracy, in this case Walsh's, one of the famous Irish regiments in the service of France. Napoleon restored the term "Regiment" in 1803.

Item Date:  1800

Stock No:  55487      £375

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