General Jean-Thomas-Guillaume Lorge

Cavalry general who distinguished himself during the Revolution and later served in Spain and Saxony

Born: November 22, 1767

Place of Birth: Caen, Calvados, France

Died: November 28, 1826

Place of Death: Chauconin, France

Arc de Triomphe: LORGE on the north pillar


Initially joining the army as a student and then a dragoon in 1785 the regiment of Dauphin, Jean-Thomas-Guillaume Lorge left the army in 1791. The next year he returned as a capitaine in the 1st Battalion of Lombards and served with the Army of the Ardennes. Lorge served at the affair of Malines, Gerpinne, and the camp of Tombe and he was then promoted to général de brigade in September of 1793. In May of 1794 he fought at the combat of Montigny-le-Tilleul and then the next month he served at the Battle of Fleurus . With the reorganization of the army that followed, Lorge joined Marceau's division in the Army of the Sambre and Meuse. Next he blockaded Namur, served at the Battle of the Ourthe, and then went on to serve in October at Aldenhoven and Coblentz. In September of 1795 Lorge served at the crossing of the Rhine at Urdingen under General Kléber.

Lorge saw plenty of action in the campaigns of 1796, first joining Colaud's division and then serving at Altenkirchen and Uckerath in June. Next he served under Marceau at the Siege of Mainz and then in September he fought at Altenkirchen again. In 1797 Lorge briefly served in the Army of the Rhine before returning the Army of the Sambre and Meuse and serving at Neuwied in April. The next year he served in Switzerland and he took Sion that May. Remaining in Switzerland, in 1799 he joined Mesnard's division in the Army of Switzerland and he seized Steeg and served at Feldkirch in March. A promotion to général de division followed in April and Lorge then took command of a division of the right wing under General Férino. That September he took part in the Battle of Zurich and he distinguished himself as the first to enter the city. Continuing to campaign, Lorge won at Diessenhofen that October. In late 1799 he took command a division of the right wing of the Army of Germany under General Lecourbe. Leading a division of the right wing into battle, Lorge served at Engen, Messkirch, and Memmingen in May. Afterwards, General Moncey sent Lorge to the Army of Italy.

After the end of hostilities in 1801, General Lorge was given command of the 26th military division. When France went to war with the Third Coalition in 1805, Lorge was briefly assigned to the Army of the North. After the defeat of the Third Coalition, he returned to command the 26th military division. Next Lorge was given command of a cavalry division in Marshal Mortier's VIII Corps in November of 1806, and then in May of 1807 he took command of the 5th Division of Dragoons.

In 1808 General Lorge was sent with his division to Spain where they became part of Marshal Soult's II Corps. In January of 1809 Lorge and his men served at the combats of Prieros and then the Battle of Corunna . That March he again saw action, serving at Chaves and then Carvalho. In 1810 Lorge took command of a division of cavalry from the Confederation of the Rhine that was serving in Spain. The next year he was named a Baron of the Empire and then recalled to France.

As the Grande Armée prepared for the Russian campaign of 1812, Lorge was given command of the 7th Heavy Cavalry Division of the reserve. He participated in the Russian campaign and then in 1813 he was given command of a division of light cavalry of the III Cavalry Corps. Serving in Saxony in 1813, Lorge fought at Gross-Beeren in August, Dennewitz in September, and then Leipzig in October. Next he served on the Rhine attempting to prevent the Allied powers from entering France and he successfully repulsed Tchernischeff in January.

After Napoleon's abdication and the Bourbon Restoration, Lorge was named commissary of the king to negotiate the return of French prisoners of war with Spain and Portugal. He was also rewarded as a Knight of Saint Louis and a Grand Officer of the Legion of Honor. Lorge did not participate in the Hundred Days of 1815 when Napoleon briefly resumed power.


Updated June 2016

© Nathan D. Jensen