General Jean Antoine Dejean

Commander of Marseille and Bouches-du-Rhône during the Empire

Born: November 25, 1765

Place of Birth: Chalabre, Aude, France

Died: November 6, 1848

Place of Death: Brunoy, France


Volunteering to join the army during the Revolution, Jean Antoine Dejean was elected a lieutenant in the 1st Battalion of Volunteers of Aude in November of 1791. Sent to the Army of the Pyrenees, he was promoted to capitaine in March of 1792 and chef de bataillon in March of 1793. When the army was split apart, Dejean was sent with the Army of the Eastern Pyrenees. In August of 1793 he fought at Corneilla-la-Rivière where he was wounded in the right leg and only a few days later the representatives of the people promoted him to chef de brigade. Later that year Dejean fought at Peyrestortes and then in May of 1794 he served at Boulou. Continuing to fight, in August he fought at the foundry of Saint-Laurent de la Mouga and then in November he was first soldier to enter the fort of Figuières. The next day Dejean was named commander of Figuières. After peace was achieved with Spain, he joined the Army of Italy. In July of 1796 Dejean took command of the 11th of the Line, in August he fought at Castiglione , and then in September he fought at Roveredo. In 1797 he served in the Tyrol under General Joubert. Next Dejean joined the expedition to Egypt but when the fleet stopped at Malta he remained there with General Vaubois. The French were forced to surrender Malta in September of 1800, and Dejean returned to France afterwards.

During the peace that followed, Dejean was employed in the camp of Saint-Omer. In 1804 he was promoted to général de brigade and named commander at Cologne. In 1805 Dejean was named commander of arms at Marseille and commander of Bouches-du-Rhône, a position he would hold for several years until Napoleon's abdication in 1814. After Napoleon's abdication, the restored Bourbons named Dejean a Knight of Saint Louis. When Napoleon resumed power in 1815 for the Hundred Days, Dejean was placed in command of Lille. After Napoleon's second abdication, the restored Bourbons assigned Dejean to command the arms at Perpignan.


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Updated April 2018

© Nathan D. Jensen