General Pierre Garnier de Laboissière

Cavalry officer who distinguished himself during the French Revolutionary Wars

Born: March 11, 1755

Place of Birth: Chassiecq, Charente, France

Died: April 14, 1809

Place of Death: Paris, France

Arc de Triomphe: LABOISSIERE on the east pillar


The son of a noble seigneur who was also a cavalry captain, Pierre Garnier de Laboissière entered the military school of Paris in 1769. Three years later he left as a sous-lieutenant and joined the Custine dragoons and in 1779 he was promoted to capitaine. After the onset of the French Revolution, in 1791 Laboissière joined the 2nd Chasseurs à Cheval and then in 1792 he began serving with the Army of the Rhine. That August he was named lieutenant colonel of the regiment and then in September he took three hundred Austrians prisoner at the combat of Spire. In December Laboissière was promoted to chef de brigade of his unit. In March of 1793 he began fulfilling the duties of a général de brigade but he was not promoted to général de brigade until that October. In July of 1794 Laboissière commanded a brigade in Gouvion St. Cyr's division and served at the attack of July 2nd. On July 13th he was fighting at Trippstadt when he and his men charged and he was taken prisoner by the Prussians.

Laboissière was exchanged in April of 1795 and in June he joined the Army of the Rhine and Moselle. That December he fought at the combat of Roth where he was wounded by a shot to the right shoulder. In October of 1796 Laboissière served with the rear guard at Biberach and then a few weeks later he fought at Schliengen. In 1797 he began commanding the cavalry of a division and during 1797 and 1798 he served with the Army of the Rhine, the Army of Germany, and the Army of Mainz. In February of 1799 Laboissière was promoted to général de division and sent to the Army of Italy. While serving in Italy he fought in the center at the disastrous Battle of Novi in August. Laboissière next fought at Bosco in October and then Novi again in November and then he began serving with the left wing of the Army of Italy.

After the French victory at the Battle of Marengo, Laboissière took command of the cavalry of the Army of Italy under General Masséna. Later he commanded cavalry in the Army of Grisons. As war was resumed that winter, in late November Laboissière crossed the Splügen Pass despite snow and avalanches and then in January of 1801 he crossed Mount Abrica. After peace was signed he was put on non-activity temporarily and then named inspector general of cavalry. In August of 1803 Laboissière was elected to the Senate by the département of Charente. Over the next few years he represented other cities in the Senate and in 1804 he was named a Grand Officer of the Legion of Honor. In 1805 Laboissière received the honor of being named a chamberlain of the emperor and in 1807 he took command of the 4th Legion of National Guards of Reserve at Versailles. In 1808 he was named a Count of the Empire and in March of 1809 he was named commander of Strasbourg. Laboissière was also named commander of the cavalry of Marshal Masséna's corps, but he did not take the position due to his failing health. He died the next month.


Updated January 2020

© Nathan D. Jensen