General Jean Pierre Gauthier-Clerc

Cavalry officer who commanded dragoons before joining the 2nd Lancers of the Imperial Guard in 1813

Born: February 23, 1765

Place of Birth: Septmoncel, Jura, France

Died: June 14, 1821

Place of Death: Marnes, France

Arc de Triomphe: GAUTHIER-CRC on the west pillar


After enlisting as a dragoon in April of 1783, ten years later Jean Pierre Gauthier, also known as Leclerc, was commissioned as a sous-lieutenant. Serving with the Army of the Western Pyrenees, in March of 1794 he was promoted to lieutenant and a month later he was promoted to capitaine. In September of 1795 Gauthier-Leclerc joined the Army of the West and towards the end of 1796 he joined the Army of Italy. In 1798 he joined the Army of the Orient and he took part in the expedition to Egypt where in September of 1799 he was promoted to chef d'escadrons. When the British disembarked at Abukir in March of 1801 Gauthier-Leclerc fought them and distinguished himself, for which he received a saber of honor from General Menou.

After returning to France at the end of 1801, in 1803 Gauthier-Leclerc joined the Army of the Coasts of the Ocean and in 1804 he was named an Officer of the Legion of Honor. He served on campaign with the Grande Armée in 1805 and he was wounded at the Battle of Austerlitz. In 1806 he was appointed major of the 9th Dragoons and he served with the Grande Armée that year too.

In March of 1809 Gauthier-Leclerc was promoted to colonel of the 11th Dragoons. Sent to Spain, in March of 1810 he took command of 9th Dragoons and he became a Baron of the Empire. Later that year Gauthier-Leclerc joined the headquarters staff and then in August of 1811 he was named colonel of the 25th Dragoons. He continued to serve in Spain in 1812.

In 1813 Gauthier-Leclerc was named major of the 2nd Lancers of the Imperial Guard and he served in Saxony. That December he was promoted to général de brigade. During the defense of France of 1814, in February he joined Saint-Germain's division and at the end of March he joined Roussel d'Hurbal's heavy cavalry division. The restored Bourbons named Gauthier-Leclerc commander of the département of Vaucluse and in April of 1815 he served at Avignon under the Duke of Angoulême. In June of 1815 he served with the National Guard of the Army of the Alps under Marshal Suchet. Gauthier-Leclerc retired from the army in October of 1815.


Updated February 2022

© Nathan D. Jensen