General Pierre BanelFriend to Lannes who was killed at the onset of the first Italian campaign at Cossaria
Born: July 30, 1766
Place of Birth: Lectoure, Gers, France
Died: April 13, 1796
Cause of Death: Mortally wounded
Place of Death: Cossaria, Italy
Arc de Triomphe: BANEL on the south pillar
A native of Lectoure, Pierre Banel's military career began when he became a soldier in the regiment of Vintimille in 1784. Four years later he was a corporal, and in June of 1792 he joined the 2nd Battalion of Volunteers of Gers and was elected an officer alongside his friend Jean Lannes. A year later Banel was serving as the lieutenant colonel of the 7th Battalion of Aude. September of 1793 was a busy month for Banel. As a member of the Army of the Eastern Pyrenees, he fought at the combat of Orles and later at Peyrestortes , and afterwards he was rewarded with a promotion to chef de brigade in October. That December Banel took part in the attack at the camp at Villelongue and then was promoted to général de brigade.
For the first half of 1794 Banel served in Pérignon's division, taking part in the fighting at Montesquieu and Llobregat. Joining Augereau's division, he took part in combat of Bezalu that June, and then fought well at the Battle of Montagne Noire in November. 1795's notable events for Banel started in March when Banel was a witness at the wedding of his friend Jean Lannes.1 Later that year he fought at Bascara and Fluvia before transferring to the Army of Italy that September. With the Army of Italy he commanded Augereau's 2nd Brigade and was wounded by a shot at Loano . On April 4th of 1796, Banel took command of Augereau's 3rd Brigade from Rusca, and barely more than a week later he was killed in action at Cossaria.
- Margaret Chrisawn, The Emperor's Friend: Marshal Jean Lannes, (Westport: Greenwood Press, 2001), 14.
Updated March 2014
© Nathan D. Jensen