General François-Joseph-Pamphile de Lacroix

Général de brigade who spent much of his career in Italy and was chief of staff to II Corps in 1815

Born: June 1, 1774

Place of Birth: Aimargues, Gard, France

Died: October 16, 1841

Place of Death: Versailles, France

Arc de Triomphe: LACROIX, P. on the west pillar


Initially joining the National Guard of Montpellier during the French Revolution, François-Joseph-Pamphile Lacroix became an officer when he was commissioned as a sous-lieutenant in the 14th Infantry in May of 1792. Sent to serve in Champagne and Belgium, he was promoted to lieutenant to February of 1793. In 1794 Lacroix served in Souham's division and later that year he was named an aide-de-camp to Macdonald. Two years later he served in Holland and received a promotion to capitaine.

In 1798 Captain Lacroix was sent to the Army of Italy and that August he was wounded by a ball to the left thigh at the action of Terracine. A month later he received a promotion to chef de bataillon. The following year Lacroix served with the Army of Naples, was promoted to chef de brigade, and served at Capua and the Trebbia. In April of 1800 he joined the Army of the Reserve and then distinguished himself at the attack on Fort Bard in May and at the Macdonald in June. Later that year Lacroix took command of the advance guard of the Army of Grisons.

At the end of 1801 Lacroix was designated for the expedition to Saint-Domingue as chief of staff to General Boudet. After arriving in Saint-Domingue, he fought at the action of Port-au-Prince where he was wounded by a shot to the hip. Six weeks later Lacroix received a promotion to général de brigade and also fought at Pierrot. In January of 1803 he was named commander of Tortuga Island but then in March he set off to return to France.

After returning to France, General Lacroix was sent to the camp of Utrecht where he served in Grouchy's division and was named a Commander of the Legion of Honor. When war broke out in 1805, he and his division served as part of II Corps and served at Ulm and then in the Frioul. The next year Lacroix was sent to serve in Italy with the II Corps where he would remain for a number of years. In 1808 General Lacroix was named a Baron of the Empire but then relieved for having struck his aide-de-camp, a Captain Mirdonay from an old noble family. Lacroix was sent to Ancona to serve under General Lemarois and then in 1809 he became chief of staff to the Army of Naples before being put on leave.

Lacroix returned to military service in April of 1811 when he took command of a brigade of Dessaix's division in the Corps of Observation of the Elbe. The following year he took command of a brigade serving at Erfurt in Germany and then took command of Mecklembourg. In January of 1813 Lacroix was named commander of the 2nd Brigade of Maison's 1st Division. He and his men were sent to Mainz, but he continued on to Lyon without the permission of the Ministry of War. Lacroix was arrested and taken before a military commission which ultimately decided to relieve him of command. Therefore he took no part in the campaigns in Germany of 1813 or the defense of France of 1814.

After Napoleon's abdication in 1814, the Bourbon government restored Lacroix's rank and named him a Knight of Saint Louis but did not give him a job. Napoleon escaped from Elba in 1815 for the Hundred Days and Lacroix rallied to him. Lacroix was given the job of chief of staff of General Reille's II Corps of the Army of the North and he served in this position during the campaign that June. After Napoleon's second abdication, Lacroix was returned to non-activity by the Bourbons.


Updated October 2016

© Nathan D. Jensen