General Théobald Dillon

Irish born general who was massacred by his own panicked troops in April of 1792

Born: July 22, 1745

Place of Birth: Dublin, Ireland

Died: April 29, 1792

Cause of Death: Assassinated

Place of Death: Lille, France


The brother of Arthur Dillon, Théobald Dillon began his military career as a cadet in the Dillon Regiment in 1762. The next year he was commissioned as a sous-lieutenant. Thirteen years later in 1776 Dillon was promoted to lieutenant and then only two years after that he was promoted to capitaine. Next he served in the American Revolutionary War, in particular taking part in the attack of Grenada and the siege of Savannah in 1779. The following year Dillon was promoted to mestre de camp in the Dillon regiment. Rewards followed for Dillon as he was named a Knight of Saint Louis in 1781 and he was authorized to carry the decoration of Cincinnatus in 1785. In 1788 he officially took command of his family's regiment as its colonel.

After the onset of the Revolution, in August of 1791 Dillon was promoted to maréchal de camp. He was stationed in garrison at Valenciennes and then at Lille and employed with the Army of the North. During this time he also took on as an aide-de-camp a young Dupont. In April of 1792 Dillon was sent with a detachment of troops from Lille to Tournai, but his troops panicked at Baisieux. Despite his calm and Dupont's attempts to protect him, he was massacred by his own soldiers and then mutilated in the ensuing chaos. This event is sometimes referred to as the Pas-de-Baisieux.


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Updated March 2018

© Nathan D. Jensen