General Jean-Baptiste-Nicolas-Henry Boyer

Cavalry officer who was mortally wounded at Leipzig

Born: July 9, 1775

Place of Birth: Belfort, Territoire de Belfort, France

Died: October 30, 1813

Cause of Death: Mortally wounded

Place of Death: Leipzig, Germany

Arc de Triomphe: BOYER, J. on the east pillar


The younger brother of Pierre Boyer, Jean-Baptiste-Nicolas-Henry Boyer first joined the army as a volunteer in the 12th Battalion of Doubs in December of 1793. Sent to the Army of the Rhine, he remained with them until 1796 when he was sent to the Army of Italy. While in Italy Boyer joined the 50th of the Line and in September he was commissioned as a sous-lieutenant and he became an aide-de-camp to General Lannes. Boyer went on to serve at the Battle of Arcola that November where he was badly wounded in the head, but in recognition of his service General Bonaparte promoted him to lieutenant on the battlefield. In September of 1797 Boyer was named a capitaine in the 4th Chasseurs à Cheval and he was sent to the Army of the West. He next traveled to Holland in 1799 where he served at Bergen, and then he returned to Paris where he took part in Napoleon's coup of 18 Brumaire. Boyer received a promotion to chef d'escadrons not long afterwards, and he then served with the Army of the Rhine, participating in the Battle of Hohenlinden in December of 1800.

Boyer continued his cavalry career and he began serving with the 22nd Dragoons in 1803 at the camp of Boulogne. The following year he was named a Commander of the Legion of Honor. When the Grande Armée moved against Austria in 1805, Boyer's unit became part of Marshal Lannes' V Corps. He served throughout the campaign and he fought at Ulm and Austerlitz. The next year he took part in the campaign against Prussia, fighting at Prentzlow in October and Pultusk in December. In January of 1807 Boyer was appointed a major in the 10th Hussars. He was later named commander at Sélestat in charge of the cavalry depot of V Corps.

In October of 1809 Boyer was placed in charge of Bavarian troops and the following year he was named a Knight of the Order of Military Merit of Bavaria. In 1811 he was employed at Toulon and then in 1812 he named chief of staff of the division of the lesser German princes. For the campaigns in Germany of 1813, Boyer served in II Cavalry Corps until that September when he was promoted to général de brigade and he took command of the cavalry of General Lauriston's V Corps. Boyer fought at the Battle of Leipzig and he led his men in a charge at the corresponding combat at Freybourg, losing his leg in the process. He was transported to Leipzig for medical treatment where he died eleven days later.


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Updated March 2016

© Nathan D. Jensen