General Jean-René Moreaux

Commander of the Army of the Moselle in 1794 and 1795

Born: March 14, 1758

Place of Birth: Rocroi, Ardennes, France

Died: February 10, 1795

Cause of Death: Illness

Place of Death: Thionville, France

Arc de Triomphe: MOREAUX on the east pillar


Enlisting in the infantry regiment of Auxerrois in 1776, Jean-René Moreaux initially served as a fusilier before he became a grenadier. Before long he was sent to serve during the American Revolutionary War and in December of 1778 he fought at the affair of Saint Lucia where he was wounded by a shot to the right leg. Returning to France, in 1779 Moreaux resigned from the military and then moved to Rocroi where he established a successful business constructing buildings.

After the dawn of the Revolution, Moreaux joined the National Guard of Rocroi as a major in September of 1789. In 1791 he was elected a lieutenant colonel of the 1st Battalion of Volunteers of Ardennes. Sent to Thionville, Moreaux helped defend the city from August to October of 1792. Next he was sent to Longwy, and then in May of 1793 he was promoted to général de brigade in the Army of the Moselle. Moreaux was placed under General Pully's command in the Vosges corps and he served as commander of the camp of Ketterich. In July he and his men seized Leimen, but he was wounded in the attempt. However, a promotion to général de division followed only a week later. In September Moreaux replaced Pully as commander of the Vosges corps and he was then repulsed at Pirmasens. Later that month he was named commander of the Army of the Moselle, but he refused the position, citing his health. Nevertheless, Moreaux continued to serve in the Army of the Moselle.

In January of 1794 General Moreaux and his forces captured Kaiserslautern and then Kreutznach. Next he took command of three divisions that formed the right wing of the Army of the Moselle. That June Moreaux was named interim commander of the Army of the Moselle and he fulfilled this role before being named provisional commander of the Army of the Moselle. In July he led his men to victory at Trippstadt and then in August he won at Pellingen. Moreaux and the Army of the Moselle went on to seize Trèves, Birkenfeld, Oberstein, Kirn, Trarbach, Kreutznach, Bingen, and Coblentz by the end of October. In November he seized the fort of Rheinfels, and then in December he began to direct the Siege of Luxembourg. During that siege, Moreaux visited the sick soldiers but then contracted a fever and succumbed to it in February of 1795.


Updated August 2015

© Nathan D. Jensen