General Vital-Joachim Chamorin
Born: August 16, 1773
Place of Birth: Bonnelles, Yvelines, France
Died: March 25, 1811
Cause of Death: Killed in action
Place of Death: Campo-Maior, Portugal
Arc de Triomphe: CHAMORIN on the south pillar
Vital-Joachim Chamorin began his military career by enlisting in the regiment of Champagne in 1788. With the Revolution underway, in 1792 he served with the Army of the South and served at Nice. In 1793 he joined the Army of Italy and fought at Sospello, and then in July he joined the 6th Battalion of Volunteers of Hérault. Switching to the Army of the Eastern Pyrenees, Chamorin served in the siege of Campredon and then received a promotion to sous-lieutenant. The next year Chamorin fought at the camp of Boulou and was wounded in the left leg by grapeshot, but he received a promotion to capitaine on the field of battle.
Captain Chamorin next transferred to the Army of the Rhine, where he would spend the next few years. In March of 1796 he served in the Haute-Loire against some rebels, and then in the latter half of the year he joined the Army of Italy, notably fighting at Arcola in November. In 1798 Chamorin served with the Army of Rome, participating in the combats at Frosinone and Chateau Saint-Elme.
In March of 1800, Chamorin became aide-de-camp to General Sauret, but two months later he joined the newly formed Army of the Reserve as an aide-de-camp to General Watrin. With General Watrin, he served at Ivrée in May and then was wounded by a shot to the right hip at the Battle of Montebello. Despite this injury, he went on to fight a few days later at Marengo. On Christmas Day of that year Chamorin fought at Pozzolo where he was again wounded, this time by a shot to the right side. He was again rewarded on the field of battle, this time being promoted to chef d'escadrons.
In 1801, Chamorin followed General Watrin to the Isle of Elba, where he took part in successfully repulsing two attempted landings by the British, the first in May and the next in September. Next Watrin was sent to Saint-Domingue so Chamorin also traveled to Saint-Domingue, but after Watrin's death from illness, Chamorin returned to France.
Back in France, Chamorin was placed with the 3rd Cuirassiers. When war broke out in the fall of 1805, Chamorin was transferred to the Grenadiers à Cheval as a chef d'escadrons. Over the following years, he fought at Austerlitz, Jena, Hoff, and Eylau. Shortly after Eylau he left the Imperial Guard to become the colonel of the 26th Dragoons in Klein's division, and then in May his division was commanded by Latour-Maubourg. In June he fought at Heilsberg and was wounded by a shot to the right leg, but like earlier in his career he continued on and fought at the Battle of Friedland a few days later.
In November of 1808, Colonel Chamorin and his unit entered Spain, serving at Burgos, Calahorra, and Tudela that month. The next month he was rewarded as a Commander of the Legion of Honor. In January of 1809 he fought at Uclès and Trixillo, and then the following month he was made a Baron of the Empire. Continuing to fight, that March he fought at Medellin , then in July at Talavera , and in November at Ocana . In 1810 Chamorin won at Ignojoza in April and then at Azuaga in December.
1811 started busy for Colonel Chamorin. He took part in the sieges of Olivenza and Badajoz before fighting at the Battle of Gebora in February. On March 5th he received a promotion to général de brigade for his services, but he was not to enjoy this rank for long, for later that month he was killed leading his men into battle at Campo-Maior.
- Six, Georges. Dictionnaire Biographique des Généraux & Amiraux Français de la Révolution et de l'Empire (1792-1814). 2 vols. Paris: Gaston Saffroy, 2003.
Updated February 2014
© Nathan D. Jensen