General Pierre Dominique Garnier

Pierre Dominique Garnier
General of the French Revolution who often served in Italy

Born: December 19, 1756

Place of Birth: Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhône, France

Died: May 11, 1827

Place of Death: Nantes, France

Arc de Triomphe: GARNIER on the south pillar


The son of a mason contractor, Pierre Dominique Garnier enlisted as a soldier in the Beauce infantry regiment in 1773. He left the army in 1779 and from 1780 to 1787 he served as a volunteer in the dragoons of Guadeloupe. In 1788 Garnier returned to France where he established himself as an architect and then in 1789 he became a capitaine in the National Guard of Marseille. In 1792 he became a lieutenant colonel in the 2nd Battalion of Federals of Marseille and on August 10th he led his battalion in the attack on the Tuileries where he was wounded by a saber blow. A month later Garnier was commissioned into the regular army as a sous-lieutenant and sent to serve with the Army of the Alps. In October the representatives of the people with the Army of the Alps promoted Garnier to lieutenant colonel of the 11th Battalion of Chasseurs and later that month he was sent to Corsica. In January of 1793 Garnier joined the Army of the Rhine and he served at Rülzheim, Jockgrim, Rheinzabern, and Germersheim. That September he was promoted to général de brigade and then in November and December he served at the Siege of Toulon . After the conclusion of the siege, the representatives of the people at Toulon promoted Garnier to général de division.

Garnier was next called to the Army of Italy in April of 1794 where he took command of the left division and served at the action of Saorgio. In 1795 he commanded a division under Masséna and in June he won at Bagna and in July retook Issondo. Garnier was not included in a reorganization of the army and so he quit his command in August but in October he was given command of a division in the Army of the Alps. The next month he joined the Army of Italy again where in 1796 he suppressed the insurrection of the Barbets. Garnier commanded a division off and on during the campaign of 1796 and in March of 1797 he was named commander at Nice. After serving in the 8th military division later that year and into 1798, in July of 1798 he was named commander of the départements of Basses-Alpes and Alpes-Maritimes. In 1799 he served with the Army of Naples where in May he became commander of arms at Rome. In September of that year Garnier defeated the Neapolitans at Monte-Rotondo but not long after he was forced to surrender Rome. Garnier went on to serve in the Army of Italy under Suchet in 1800 and then in June he began commanding the département of Alpes-Maritimes again.

In 1801 Garnier quit his command and he was not employed again until 1809 when he took command of the 4th Reserve Division at Ghent. From August of 1811 to March of 1812 he served as commander of arms at Barcelona and then he retired in July of 1812. However, in 1813 Garnier returned to activity again as commander of arms in the Illyrian Provinces. During this time he served as commander at Laibach, he evacuated Fiume, and he served at Parma and Turin. Named commander at Blaye in March of 1814, Garnier retired from the army at the end of 1814. The restored Bourbons named him a Commander of the Legion of Honor and a Knight of Saint Louis.


Updated February 2021

© Nathan D. Jensen