General Pierre Margaron

Pierre Margaron
Cavalry general who fought at Austerlitz and Jena as part of IV Corps

Born: May 1, 1765

Place of Birth: Lyon, Rhône, France

Died: December 16, 1824

Place of Death: Paris, France

Arc de Triomphe: MARGARON on the north pillar


Pierre Margaron first joined the French army in August of 1792 when he became a capitaine in the legion of Ardennes. That December he was elected a lieutenant colonel in the same unit and then in April of 1793 he was promoted to chef de brigade. However, that July Margaron was suspended. Reinstated in 1795, he was sent to the Army of the North. In 1796 Margaron served with the Army of the Sambre and Meuse and then in 1798 he transferred to the Army of Italy where he took command of the 1st Cavalry Regiment. Action followed in 1799 when Margaron fought at the Battle of Novi where he was wounded by a ball. Nevertheless Margaron kept fighting and he was serving at Fossano when his right leg was broken in battle.

In 1803 Margaron was promoted to général de brigade and sent to the camp of Saint-Omer to command a brigade of light cavalry. The following year he was rewarded as a Commander of the Legion of Honor, and then in 1805 when the Grande Armée marched to war his light cavalry brigade became part of Marshal Soult's IV Corps. Serving throughout the campaign that year, Margaron fought at Austerlitz where he was wounded by two shots. The next year Margaron returned to France but then he returned to Germany to take command of his brigade shortly before the Prussian campaign. Once again leading his brigade, he fought at Jena and Nossentin before taking command of the 1st Brigade of Sahuc's 4th Dragoon Division. With this new command, Margaron fought at Biezun in December and then Mohrungen in January.

Later in 1807 General Margaron was designated for the Army of Portugal. Over the following months he won at Leiria and took Thomar before fighting at the Battle of Evora in July of 1808. The next month he commanded the cavalry at the Battle of Vimeiro and afterwards he returned to France to command a cavalry depot. Margaron was then sent back to the Spanish Peninsula in January of 1809 and that month he was also named a Baron of the Empire. He returned to France at the end of the year.

Margaron was named commander of département of Haute-Loire in 1810 where he would remain until the Russian campaign of 1812. For that campaign in 1812 he took a staff position with the army. Margaron was continuing to serve with the staff in 1813 in Saxony when he was promoted to général de division in August.

After Napoleon's abdication in April of 1814, the restored Bourbons named Margaron a Knight of Saint Louis and an inspector general of gendarmerie. When Napoleon returned from exile in 1815 for the Hundred Days, he placed Margaron in charge of the cavalry depots of two military divisions. After Napoleon's second abdication, the once again restored Bourbons put Margaron on non-activity. In 1816 Margaron was allowed to resume his military career.


Updated May 2023

© Nathan D. Jensen