General Pierre-Clément de Champeaux

Noble cavalry officer who was mortally wounded at Marengo

Born: May 24, 1767

Place of Birth: Courbon, Côte-d'Or, France

Died: July 28, 1800

Cause of Death: Mortally wounded

Place of Death: Milan, Italy

Arc de Triomphe: CHAMPEAUX on the south pillar


Pierre-Clément de Champeaux came from a military family as his father was the commander at the fort of Hendaye. Pierre-Clément initially went to the military school at Tiron and then in 1782 he was allowed to go to the royal military school at Paris as a gentleman cadet. In 1785 he was commissioned as a sous-lieutenant and left the school.

In 1792, with the Revolution well underway, Champeaux was promoted to lieutenant and then given command of a company of guides in the Army of the Rhine. That September he was promoted to capitaine, and then a month later he was promoted to chef d'escadrons in the 10th Chasseurs à Cheval. In March of 1793 Champeaux was again promoted, this time to chef de brigade, but things took a turn for the worse in November. That month he was suspended from his command for being a noble and then taken away to Auxerre and thrown in prison. After a year in prison, Champeaux was finally released.

Even though he was again free, Champeaux did not rejoin the army in his grade until 1796. In March of 1797 he took command of the 7th Hussars in the Army of Italy, and then in June he took command of the 22nd Gerndarmerie Division at Grenoble.

Champeaux's next major command came in 1800 when he joined the Army of the Reserve. Promoted to général de brigade that March, he took command of the 1st and 8th Dragoons. At the Battle of Marengo in June, Champeaux charged with his brigade at the start of the battle and was hit in the chest by a shot. Knocked from his horse, he was still alive and transported to Milan, where he died over a month later from his wounds.


Updated January 2014

© Nathan D. Jensen