General Joseph Hélie Désiré Perruquet de Montrichard

Joseph Hélie Désiré Perruquet de Montrichard
General who served at the Battle of the Trebbia and then in Dalmatia during the empire

Born: January 24, 1760

Place of Birth: Thoirette, Jura, France

Died: April 5, 1828

Place of Death: Strasbourg, France

Arc de Triomphe: MONTRICHARD on the north pillar


After entering the artillery school of Metz in August of 1781, in 1782 Joseph Hélie Désiré Perruquet de Montrichard transferred to the artillery school at Besançon. In 1783 he was commissioned as a sous-lieutenant and he joined the artillery regiment at Strasbourg. In 1786 Montrichard was promoted to lieutenant and then in 1791 he was promoted to capitaine. He served at Metz and then Besançon and then in 1793 he joined the Army of the Rhine and was promoted to chef de bataillon. In 1795 Montrichard was promoted to chef de brigade and in June of 1796 he was ordered to prepare for the crossing of the Rhine at Strasbourg. Later that month he played an important part in the crossing and then two months later he was promoted to général de brigade. Next Montrichard served at the crossing of the Lech and then in September he was ordered to protect the retreat of General Moreau at Ulm. In October he served at the combat of Schliengen and then in November he served at the defense of Kehl. In April of 1797 Montrichard began serving in the division of Girard dit Vieux and then at the end of the year he became chief of staff of the Army of Mainz. Montrichard was next designated for the Army of England and then the Army of Italy, and in October of 1798 he replaced Suchet as chief of staff of the Army of Italy under Joubert's command. He occupied Alexandria in December and then in February of 1799 he was promoted to général de division. Taking command of the right wing of the Army of Italy, Montrichard served at Pastrengo in March and then Magnano in April. He next served as commander at Bologne before rejoining Macdonald's army. In June Montrichard lifted the blockade of Bologne and the fort of Urbin and then he served at the Battle of the Trebbia .

In April of 1800 Montrichard took command of the 2nd Division of Lecourbe's corps in the Army of the Rhine. That May he served at Stockach, Messkirch, and Memmingen and then in June he served at Hoechstaedt. Later in June Montrichard took command of the 2nd Division and he served at the combat of Neuburg. Once hostilities resumed in the winter, he crossed the Inn at Neufeuern in December and then battled the Austrians at Götzing, Salzbourg, and Kremsmunster. After peace had been obtained, in late 1801 Montrichard began serving in Switzerland. In 1802 he was sent to command the French troops in the Batavian Republic and then in 1803 he was sent to Breda, the camp of Nimègue, and Hanover. Montrichard's next major career movements were to pass to Italy as commander of the French and Italian troops in the Papal States and then command a division of the army employed in Naples. In December of 1805 he was suspended from his functions and put on non-activity for having levied a contribution of 100,000 piastres on the March of Ancona.

In January of 1808 Montrichard returned to duty by joining the Army of Dalmatia under General Marmont. He took command of the 1st Division and in May of 1809 he served at Göspich. After the army reunited with Napoleon's forces in Austria, Montrichard was given command of the isle of Lobau after the Battle of Wagram . That November he took command of the 2nd Division of the Army of Illyria at Zara where he remained until December of 1810 when he was recalled to France. Montrichard was once again put on non-activity until April of 1812 when he was ordered to organize a division in the Frioul. In 1813 he was sent back to Illyria to take command of the 2nd Division and in April he was named commander of Ragusa. Montrichard held Ragusa until the end of January of 1814 when he was forced to surrender the city. By the terms of the surrender he was taken prisoner and transported to Ancona. After the Bourbon Restoration, Montrichard was placed on non-activity but also named a Knight of Saint Louis. He did not take part in the Hundred Days in 1815 and he retired later that year.


Updated February 2020

© Nathan D. Jensen