General Jean Fabre de Lamartillière

Commander of the artillery of a number of the armies of the Revolution

Born: March 10, 1732

Place of Birth: Nîmes, Gard, France

Died: March 27, 1819

Place of Death: Paris, France

Arc de Triomphe: LAMARTILLIÈRE on the west pillar


Born into a successful family, Jean Fabre de Lamartillière entered the army as a sous-lieutenant of artillery in 1757. He served throughout the Seven Years War and was promoted to lieutenant in 1762. Lamartillière was then sent to Guadeloupe in 1764 and he remained there for four years, returning to France in 1768. In 1772 he was promoted to capitaine and then in 1781 he was recognized as a Knight of Saint Louis. Lamartillière received a promotion chef de brigade just a year before the Revolution, in 1788.

After the Revolution got underway and war was declared, in October of 1792 Lamartillière was named colonel of the 5th Foot Artillery and commander of the artillery of the Army of the Pyrenees. When in 1793 the army was split into two armies, he took command of the artillery of the Army of the Eastern Pyrenees. That June he fought at Thuir, in August he was promoted to général de brigade, and then in September he fought at and was wounded at Peyrestortes. In 1794 Lamartillière directed the artillery for the sieges of Fort Bellegarde, Roses, and the Fort of Trinity where he was wounded. That November he fought at the Battle of Montagne Noire where he was again wounded. Next Lamartillière seized Figuières, received a promotion to général de division, and then was named inspector of the 5th arrondissement of artillery when peace was concluded with Spain in the summer of 1795.

Lamartillière returned to an active command in February of 1797 when he took command of the artillery of the Army of the Rhine, replacing General Eblé. In 1798 he took command of the artillery of the Army of Mainz, and then in 1799 he took command of the artillery of the Army of the Danube and served at Stockach. Joining the Army of Switzerland, he served at the Battle of Zurich in September of 1799. That December Lamartillière was sent to Italy to command the artillery of the Army of Italy. For the campaigns in Italy of 1800, Lamartillière served under General Suchet.

In 1801 Lamartillière was appointed commander of the artillery of the Army of Gironde, but he refused the position, instead becoming a member of the central committee on artillery and inspector general of artillery. The following year Lamartillière became a senator and retired from the army, and for a time he served as vice president of the senate. In 1804 he was honored as a Grand Officer of the Legion of Honor and then in 1806 he organized the National Guard of the 11th and 12th military divisions to defend Rochefort and the coasts of Gironde. Further rewards followed, for in 1810 he was named a Count of the Empire.

Lamartillière was never a strong supporter of Napoleon, and so when Napoleon abdicated in 1814 Lamartillière easily served the restored Bourbons. The Bourbons named him a Peer of France and when Napoleon retook power in 1815 for the Hundred Days, Lamartillière stayed away. After the second Bourbon Restoration, Lamartillière took part as a peer in the trial of Marshal Ney, where he voted for death.1



Updated August 2015

© Nathan D. Jensen