General Nicolas Philippe Guye

Nicolas Philippe Guye
Officer who served Joseph Bonaparte from 1806-1813 and who served in the Young Guard at Waterloo

Born: May 1, 1773

Place of Birth: Lons-le-Saunier, Jura, France

Died: July 15, 1845

Place of Death: Saint-Dié, France


Joining the 35th Infantry in May of 1792, Nicolas Philippe Guye first served with the Army of the Alps. In May of 1793 he was promoted to lieutenant in the 2nd Battalion of Côte-d'Or and then he began serving with the Army of the Eastern Pyrenees. Guye's promotion to capitaine came in January of 1794 and then at the end of 1795 he transferred to the Army of Italy. In 1798 he joined the Army of England and in 1799 when the British attacked the isles of Saint-Marcouf he was wounded in the left leg. Guye finished the year in Holland and then towards the end of the year 1800 he served in the Army of the Rhine.

In November of 1803 Guye was promoted to chef de bataillon in the 4th of the Line. After training at the camp of Saint-Omer, his unit served as part of Marshal Soult's IV Corps for the campaign of 1805 against the Third Coalition. Guye fought at the Battle of Austerlitz in December where he was wounded. In 1806 he became a major of the Corsican legion in service of Joseph Bonaparte in Naples and then in 1807 he was promoted to colonel and he became an aide-de-camp to King Joseph. Also in 1807 and 1808 Guye served in Calabria under Lamarque, and in 1808 he was also named a Commander of the Royal Order of the Two Sicilies.

In June of 1808 Guye began to organize the premier Neapolitan light infantry regiment and he also passed into Spanish service to continue serving Joseph Bonaparte who had become King of Spain. In 1809 he organized the Spanish 1st of the Line regiment and he served as colonel of voltigeurs of the Spanish Royal Guard. In January of the next year Guye was promoted to maréchal de camp and named governor of the province of Seville. In 1811 he began serving as governor of the province of Guadalajara and in February of 1812 he defeated Empecinado at Siguenza. Guye was then named Marquis of Rio Milanos. In July of 1813 he took command of the infantry of the Spanish Royal Guard and the next month he was wounded at the combat on the Bidassoa. For the defense of France of 1814, Guye served in the Young Guard division formed at Châlons and then in February he took command of the 14th Brigade of the National Guard under Compans. In March he was named an Officer of the Legion of Honor and at the end of the month he served at the Battle of Paris where his left leg was fractured by a shot.

The restored Bourbons named Guye a Knight of Saint Louis but also put him on non-activity. After Napoleon resumed power in 1815 for the Hundred Days, Guye was given command of a brigade of the Young Guard in Duhesme's division. He served on the campaign in Belgium in June and he fought at the Battle of Waterloo. During the battle Duhesme and his deputy Barrois were wounded and Guye took command of the division only to be wounded himself while defending Plancenoit. Guye was placed on non-activity at the Second Restoration and he finally retired in 1825.


Updated March 2023

© Nathan D. Jensen