General Paul Alexis Dubois


Général de division of cavalry who was killed at Roveredo



Born: January 27, 1754

Place of Birth: Guise, Aisne, France

Died: September 4, 1796

Cause of Death: Killed in action

Place of Death: Roveredo, Italy

Arc de Triomphe: DUBOIS on the south pillar




The son of a brewer, Paul Alexis Dubois had a long history with the army before the Revolution. After enlisting in the infantry at Cambrai in 1770, he left the service in 1775 but then rejoined it in 1776. Dubois served in a number of cavalry regiments before the Revolution, finally in the Chasseurs à Cheval of Normandy in 1788. In March of 1791 he was promoted to sous-lieutenant and a year later he was promoted to lieutenant. In August of 1792 Dubois received a promotion to capitaine, in September he served at the Battle of Valmy, and then in November he distinguished himself at the Battle of Jemappes . Two months later he was promoted to lieutenant-colonel in the 17th Dragoons and he then assumed the role of deputy chief of staff of the Army of Ardennes at the Siege of Maastricht. After the abandonment of the siege, Dubois returned to his unit with the Army of the Moselle. That May he joined the Army of the Rhine and he was promoted to chef de brigade of the 1st Hussars of Liberty by the representatives of the people, but he remained with the 17th Dragoons. Only a few months later in August he was again promoted by the representatives of the people, this time to the rank of général de brigade. In November he assumed command of a brigade of cavalry in the advance guard of the Army of the Rhine, but then in December he was taken before a military commission for suspected remarks. However, he was acquitted and sent to the Army of the Moselle.

Now with the Army of the Moselle, in December of 1793 Dubois commanded the advance guard at Woerth where he was wounded by grapeshot to the right leg. In March of 1794 the representatives of the people promoted him to général de division and named him commander of cavalry of the Army of the Moselle. Shortly thereafter Dubois was sent to the Army of the North where he took command of a cavalry division of the right wing under Jacques Ferrand. In May he was sent to Maubeuge with his division and then he joined the army formed on the Sambre River. Dubois and his men charged the enemy on June 16th and then again at Chapelle de Herlaimont on June 21st. He next participated in the Battle of Fleurus and then when the armies were reorganized he took command of the cavalry of the newly formed Army of the Sambre and Meuse. That July Dubois defeated the Austrians near Braine l'Alleud and then he seized the Abbey of Florival. In October he took part in the Battle of Aldenhoven and then in November he went on leave for two months. After his return in early 1795, Dubois was suspended by the representatives of the people for his disagreements with the commander-in-chief General Jourdan. He was called to Paris and then in May he was sent to the command the cavalry of the Army of the North. Dubois left the Army of the North in July to conduct a detachment to the Army of the Coasts of Cherbourg and then in September he was assigned to the Army of the Coasts of Cherbourg, only to return to the Army of the North in October.

In May of 1796 Dubois was asked to join the Army of Italy since General Laharpe had been killed. Dubois joined the army in August and he took command of the 1st Cavalry Division under General Kilmaine. That September he fought at the Battle of Roveredo where he won the battle with a brilliant cavalry charge. However, during the charge he was hit by three balls, and as he lay dying he told General Bonaparte, "I die for the Republic, make that I have time to know if the victory is complete."


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Updated August 2017

© Nathan D. Jensen