General Charles Luc Paulin Clément Borrelli

Chief of staff of the Army of Spain and in 1812 of the Cavalry Reserve

Born: December 20, 1771

Place of Birth: Villefort, Lozère, France

Died: September 25, 1849

Place of Death: Paris, France

Arc de Triomphe: BORRELLI on the south pillar


The son of a receiver general, Charles Luc Paulin Clément Borrelli first joined the army as a sous-lieutenant in the hussars of the Legion of the Alps in February of 1793. He began serving with the 13th and then 14th Chasseurs à Cheval and the Army of the West. That September Borrelli was wounded and promoted to lieutenant. In 1796 he was sent to the Army of Italy where in 1797 he was promoted to capitaine and in 1798 he began serving with the staff. Near the start of 1799 Borrelli requested and received time off to travel to Paris and when his time off expired he did not rejoin the army and he was therefore put on non-activity. In November he was transferred to the navy to work in the depot of recruits at Antwerp. At the end of 1800 he returned to the army and in 1801 he became an aide-de-camp to General Lacuée.

In 1805 Borrelli was promoted to chef d'escadrons and for the campaign that year against the Third Coalition he was placed with V Corps. He fought at Hollabrunn in November where he was wounded and then he served at the Battle of Austerlitz in December. Borrelli took part in the War of the Fourth Coalition against Prussia and Russia and in 1808 he was promoted to adjudant commandant, a rank similar to colonel. Called to Spain, he was named deputy chief of staff of the Army of Spain and he took command of Madrid.

Borrelli left Spain in 1812 to take part in the campaign against Russia where he served as deputy chief of staff of the Cavalry Reserve commanded by Marshal Murat. During the campaign he served at Witepsk, Smolensk , and Borodino and a few days after Borodino he was promoted to général de brigade. Having survived the retreat from Russia, in January of 1813 Borrelli was named chief of staff of the cavalry of the Grande Armée and in April he was named a Baron of the Empire. That July he joined VI Corps and then in August he joined Marshal Gouvion Saint-Cyr's XIV Corps at Dresden. Borrelli remained in Dresden until the city was forced to surrender in November and at that time he was taken prisoner.

Returned to France in june of 1814, Borrelli was named a Knight of Saint Louis and put on non-activity. When Napoleon returned from exile to resume power for the Hundred Days in 1815, Borrelli was appointed chief of staff of the National Guard of Paris. Borrelli was promoted to lieutenant general on July 6th, but this promotion was annulled after the Second Restoration.


Updated August 2020

© Nathan D. Jensen