General Jean Parfait Friederichs

Colonel of the 2nd Fusiliers of the Guard who became a général de division and was mortally wounded at Leipzig

Born: June 11, 1773

Place of Birth: Montmartre, Paris, France

Died: October 20, 1813

Cause of Death: Mortally wounded

Place of Death: Leipzig, Germany

Arc de Triomphe: FRIEDERICHS on the east pillar


Joining the army at the end of 1789, Jean Parfait Friederichs left the army at the end of 1791. The following July he was back as a capitaine in the 1st National Federated Battalion. Friederichs went on to serve in the Army of the North and the Army of the West and then in May of 1793 he became a lieutenant colonel in the 14th Battalion formed at Orléans. He resigned from his position in May of 1796. In 1799 Friederichs took command of the 1st Auxiliary Battalion of Gironde and then in early 1800 he and his men joined the 17th of the Line and served in the Army of the Rhine. That June he joined the 49th of the Line and served with the Army of Holland and in December he fought at the combat of Lauf where he was wounded by a shot to the right hip and taken prisoner. Friederichs was released in March of 1801.

Friederichs was promoted to chef de bataillon in December of 1803 and he joined the 36th of the Line and trained with the Army of the Coasts of the Ocean. In 1805 when the Grande Armée turned east to confront the threat of the Third Coalition, Friederichs was named a chef de bataillon in the Grenadiers à Pied of the Imperial Guard. He served throughout the campaign of 1805 and then in May of 1806 he was appointed a major. Friederichs next served against Prussia in 1806 and at the start of 1807 he was promoted to colonel-major of the 2nd Fusiliers of the Guard. In March of 1807 he was given the honor of taking the flags captured at the Battle of Eylau to Paris.

In 1808 Friederichs was sent to Spain and that May he served against the insurgents at Madrid. In 1809 he was named a Baron of the Empire and he then served in Germany during the Danube campaign. Friederichs fought at the Battle of Aspern-Essling in May and a few weeks later he was named a Commander of the Legion of Honor. In July he was promoted to général de brigade and employed in Legrand's division and he fought as part of this division at the Battle of Wagram . That August Friederichs took command of a brigade of Carra Saint-Cyr's division and in 1810 he was employed at Boulogne as commander of the arrondissement of Dunkirk.

In September of 1810 Friederichs returned to Germany to take command of a brigade. In 1811 he assumed command of the 2nd Brigade of Dessaix's 4th Division, and he led this brigade into Russia for the campaign of 1812. Friederichs fought at Mohilew in July and then at the Battle of Borodino in September. Friederich's commander Dessaix was wounded at Borodino, and before long Friederichs was promoted to général de division and he took over command of the 4th Division. He survived the retreat from Russia and then in 1813 he took command of the 22nd Infantry Division in Marshal Marmont's VI Corps. Serving throughout the campaign of 1813, Friederichs fought at the Battle of Leipzig in October. During that battle he was wounded badly enough that his left thigh was amputated by the doctors. He died at the hospital of Leipzig two days later from his wounds.


Updated March 2017

© Nathan D. Jensen