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Serurier, Jean Matthieu Philibert, 1742-1810

 

Dates

  • Existence: 1742 - 1819

Jean-Mathieu-Philibert Sérurier, 1st Count Sérurier (8 December 1742 – 21 December 1819) led a division in the War of the First Coalition and became a Marshal of the Empire under Emperor Napoleon. He was born into the minor nobility and in 1755 joined the Laon militia which was soon sent to fight in the Seven Years' War. After transferring into the regular army as an ensign, he was wounded at Warburg in 1760. He fought in the Spanish-Portuguese War in 1762. He married in 1779 after a promotion to captain. A newly minted major in 1789, the French Revolution sped up promotion so that he was colonel of the regiment in 1792. After leading Army of Italy troops in a number of actions, he became a general of brigade in 1793 and a general of division the following year.

Sérurier led a division in Napoleon Bonaparte's Italian campaign of 1796, except during bouts of illness. He especially distinguished himself at the Battle of Mondovì and the Siege of Mantua. In 1799, he again fought in Italy during the War of the Second Coalition at Verona, Magnano and Cassano, being captured in the latter action. After being paroled, he supported Napoleon's rise to political power in the Coup of 18 Brumaire in late 1799. The apex of his career occurred on 19 May 1804 when Napoleon appointed him a Marshal of the Empire. His active military career over, Sérurier served in the French Senate and was ennobled by Napoleon. In 1814 as the First French Empire was crumbling, he burned all the many flags captured by the French armies. His troops called him the "Virgin of Italy" for his rigorous standards of discipline and honesty in an army known for generals who enriched themselves by plundering the conquered territories. His surname is one of the names inscribed under the Arc de Triomphe, on Column 24.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Jean Matthieu Philbert Serurier letter

Mss 813609
 Collection
Identifier: Mss 813609
Scope and Contents Letter from Jean Matthieu Philbert Serurier of Paris, France to Mr. Freminville in Paris, asking his opinion on where to place recuperating officers.