General Louis Henri René Meynadier

Aide-de-camp to General Vignolle who frequently served as a chief of staff and frequently served under Marmont during the empire

Born: February 8, 1778

Place of Birth: Saint-André-de-Valborgne, Gard, France

Died: July 3, 1847

Place of Death: Paris, France

Arc de Triomphe: MEYNADIER on the west pillar


Joining the army during the French Revolution, Louis Henri René Meynadier volunteered to join the 1st Battalion of Gard in September of 1791. The next year he served with the Army of the Alps and then in May of 1793 he was elected capitaine of the 2nd Battalion of Volunteers of Gard. Sent to the Army of the Eastern Pyrenees, Meynadier distinguished himself in the combats on July 17th and September 7th. Next he fought at Rivesaltes and then he fought at the combat of Peyrestortes where he was wounded by the blast of a shell. In February of 1794 Meynadier began working with the inspector generals of artillery with the Army of the Eastern Pyrenees and then in October he was fighting when he was wounded and taken prisoner. Released in January of 1795, Meynadier was next employed as a commissaire. In June of 1796 he left the army and returned to his home.

Three years after leaving the army, Meynadier returned to the army in June of 1799 as a capitaine in the 1st Auxiliary Battalion of Lozère. He served with the Army of Italy in 1799 and 1800 and then in 1801 he began an aide-de-camp to General Vignolle. Also during 1801 Meynadier joined the Army of Holland where he remained until 1803 when he began serving at the camp of Utrecht. In September of 1805 he was assigned to the II Corps and he remained with them throughout the campaign of 1805. In September of 1806 Meynadier was promoted to chef de bataillon while still serving as aide-de-camp to General Vignolle. He was next sent to Dalmatia for the next few years and then in 1809 he served in Germany. Returning to Dalmatia, in 1810 Meynadier was named colonel of the Croatian Regiment of Ottochatz but he also retained his duties as an aide-de-camp to General Vignolle.

For the campaign against Russia in 1812, Meynadier was named chief of staff to Marshal Mortier. After surviving the retreat, in February of 1813 he became chief of staff of Roguet's division in the Imperial Guard. That May Meynadier became chief of staff of the Imperial Guard, in August he was named a Knight of the Iron Crown, and in September he was named a Baron of the Empire. Promoted to général de brigade in November, Meynadier then became chief of staff to Marshal Marmont's VI Corps. He took part in the defense of France of 1814 and he served at the Battle of Paris in March. In April of 1814 Meynadier took part in Marmont's defection at Essonnes.

With the restoration of the Bourbons to power in France, Meynadier was named lieutenant commander in the guard of the corps of the king, company Ragusa. Named a Knight of Saint Louis and later a Count, he was promoted to lieutenant general and chief of staff of the house of the king. When Napoleon returned from exile, Meynadier accompanied Louis XVIII to Béthune and then dismissed the house of the king and afterwards he returned to Paris. Napoleon gave Meynadier command of the 1st Brigade of the 23rd Infantry Division commanded by General Dessaix in the Army of the Alps. That July Meynadier served at the combat of Cluse and then Marshal Suchet authorized him to return home. With the Second Restoration of the Bourbons, Meynadier resumed his military career.


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Updated April 2020

© Nathan D. Jensen