General Marie-Xavier-Joseph Lefebvre

The son of Marshal Lefebvre who died during the retreat from Russia

Born: March 9, 1785

Place of Birth: Paris, Paris, France

Died: December 15, 1812

Cause of Death: Fatigues of war

Place of Death: Wilna, Russia


The son of Marshal Lefebvre, Marie-Xavier-Joseph Lefebvre followed his father into a military career. In 1802 at age seventeen he joined the Consular Guard as a sous-lieutenant and an aide-de-camp of General Bessières. Lefebvre's time with Bessières was short-lived for at the end of that year he was assigned to the 8th Dragoons. In 1803 he was named an aide-de-camp to General Soult and in 1804 he received a promotion to lieutenant and he continued to work with Soult at the camp of Saint-Omer.

Lefebvre served under Marshal Soult for the campaign against the Third Coalition of 1805. In June of 1806 he returned to the 8th Dragoons as a lieutenant and then in January of 1807 he was promoted to capitaine and assigned to the 9th Hussars. Later that year Lefebvre returned to his father as an aide-de-camp and joined the Chasseurs à Cheval of the Imperial Guard. He remained in this position until June of 1809 when he was promoted to chef d'escadrons in the 23rd Chasseurs à Cheval. However, only a few months later Lefebvre again became an aide-de-camp to his father. In 1810 he was sent to the general staff of the Army of Portugal and he was promoted to général de brigade.

For the campaign against Russia of 1812, Lefebvre was assigned to serve under Marshal Ney. He participated in the campaign but died during the retreat in December at Wilna. His death caused his father Marshal Lefebvre to request to be relieved from duty and the marshal took no part in the campaigns of 1813.1



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Updated January 2017

© Nathan D. Jensen