General Jean-Gérard Lacuée

Jean-Gérard Lacuée
Minister of the Administration of War during the late Empire

Born: November 4, 1752

Place of Birth: Hautefage, Lot-et-Garonne, France

Died: June 14, 1841

Place of Death: Paris, France


The son of a lieutenant of the seneschal of Agen, Jean-Gérard Lacuée entered the army in 1768, training for the artillery. In 1772 he was commissioned as a sous-lieutenant and then in 1777 he was promoted to lieutenant. 1783 saw Lacuée promoted to capitaine, and then his next notable career event came at the dawn of the Revolution when he was named a member of the committee of reorganization of the army. In 1791 he was elected the second of nine deputies of Lot-et-Garonne to the Legislative Assembly and he served as a member of the military committee.

In April of 1792 Lacuée resigned his rank from the military, but in September of that year he was appointed a colonel and sent on a mission to the Pyrenees. When he returned to Paris in October, he briefly served as interim Minister of War, replacing General Servan, before the new Minister of War was appointed. That December Lacuée became Servan's chief of staff and then in February of 1793 he was promoted to maréchal de camp. Lacuée next followed Servan to the Army of the Pyrenees and then the Army of the Western Pyrenees when the former army was split in two. However, Lacuée was marked as a federalist and relieved of duty that May and then finally retired in February of 1795. Only a few months after his retirement, Lacuée was brought back into the army as a général de brigade and assigned to the Army of the Eastern Pyrenees. Later in 1795 he became a deputy of Lot-et-Garonne in the Council of Agents and a member of the Institute.

In 1800 Lacuée again served as interim Minister of War for two brief periods. The following year he was named a Councilor of State, and then he became president of the war section of the Council of State. In 1804 Lacuée was appointed governor of the École Polytechnique and then in 1805 he was promoted to général de division. In 1806 he became director general of reviews and conscription and then in 1807 he was appointed the Minister of State. Lacuée rose further, becoming the Count of Cessac in 1808 and receiving the Grand Eagle of the Legion of Honor in 1809. He continued to fulfill administrative duties, being named Minister of the Administration of War in 1810 and fulfilling that position for a few years. Lacuée opposed the war against Russia of 1812 and retired after that disastrous expedition.

Towards the end of the defense of France of 1814, in late March Lacuée accompanied Empress Marie-Louise to Blois. After he learned of Napoleon's abdication at Fontainebleau, he left the empress. The restored Bourbons named Lacuée the inspector general of infantry at Angers and he launched a proclamation of fidelity to the Bourbons. When Napoleon returned to power in 1815 for the Hundred Days, Lacuée stayed away and occupied himself with agriculture and literature.


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Updated October 2015

© Nathan D. Jensen