General Joseph Jean Baptiste Albert
Born: August 28, 1771
Place of Birth: Guillestre, Hautes-Alpes, France
Died: September 7, 1822
Place of Death: Offenbach, Germany
Arc de Triomphe: ALBERT on the east pillar
The son of a notary, Joseph Jean Baptiste Albert volunteered to join the 1st Battalion of Hautes-Alpes on December 1st, 1791. Two weeks later he was elected lieutenant and then his unit was sent to the Army of the Alps. At the end of 1793 Albert became an aide-de-camp to General Guieu and he followed Guieu to the Army of the Eastern Pyrenees in January of 1794. He next became an aide-de-camp of General Robert at the end of 1794. Following that, Albert received a sabre and pistols of honor for his good conduct and he presented to the Directory some of the flags taken from the Spanish. In 1796 Albert joined the Army of Italy and that October he was promoted to capitaine and he became aide-de-camp to General Augereau. In 1797 he served in the Army of Germany and in 1798 he was promoted to chef de bataillon. The next year he served with the corps of observation of the South and then at the end of 1799 he returned to Augereau's side as an aide-de-camp. Albert served in the French-Dutch army in 1800 and 1801 and he was promoted to chef de brigade at the end of the 1801.
During the peace that followed, Albert served in the camp of Bayonne and in 1804 he became deputy chief of staff of the camp of Brest. In 1805 he became the premier aide-de-camp of Marshal Augereau and he served in this capacity during the campaign of 1805. In 1806 Albert was still serving as aide-de-camp to Augereau and he served at Battle of Jena in October and the Battle of Golymin in December. In January of 1807 he was promoted to général de brigade and employed in Augereau's VII Corps and then in February he was wounded at the Battle of Eylau. From March to May he served under Marshal Lefebvre at the Siege of Danzig .
In April of 1809 General Albert took command of a brigade in Tharreau's division for the Danube campaign. He fought at the Battle of Aspern-Essling in May and then the Battle of Wagram in July. Afterwards Albert was named a Knight of the Iron Crown in August and then a Baron of the Empire in 1810. Over the next few years he served in military divisions and in February of 1812 he was elected to the Corps Législatif by the arrondissement of Embrun but he did not take the position. For the Russian campaign of 1812, Albert took command of the 1st Brigade of Legrand's 6th Division in Marshal Oudinot's II Corps. He served throughout the campaign and fought at Jaboukowo in July. During the retreat he was promoted to général de division five days before the Battle of the Berezina, and during that battle he was wounded by a ball to the head.
For the campaign in Germany in 1813, Albert took command of the 10th Division of Marshal Ney's III Corps. He served at the Battle of Bautzen and then at Hainau. That August Albert was named a Grand Officer of the Legion of Honor and he served at Buntzlau. After the Battle of Leipzig he joined the V Corps. In December of 1813 Albert joined Marshal Macdonald's XI Corps and during the defense of France he fought at Châlons-sur-Marne and then at La Ferté-sour-Jouarre.
After Napoleon's abdication and the Bourbon Restoration, Albert was given command of the 19th military division at Lyon and named a Knight of Saint Louis. In January of 1815 he became an aide-de-camp to the Duke of Orléans. When Napoleon escaped from exile and returned to France, Albert accompanied the duke to Lille and then returned to Paris. Napoleon gave Albert command of the 16th Infantry Division in the Army of the Rhine and Albert served at the combats of Surbourg and Lampertheim at the end of June. In July Albert took part in the defense of Strasbourg, and after the Second Restoration he again became an aide-de-camp to the Duke of Orléans.
- Divry, Arnauld. Les Noms Gravés sur l'Arc de Triomphe. Paris: L'Harmattan, 2017.
- Six, Georges. Dictionnaire Biographique des Généraux & Amiraux Français de la Révolution et de l'Empire (1792-1814). 2 vols. Paris: Gaston Saffroy, 2003.
Updated March 2018
© Nathan D. Jensen