General Claude Louis ChouardColonel of the 2nd Cuirassiers who became a général de brigade of heavy cavalry
Born: August 15, 1771
Place of Birth: Strasbourg, Bas-Rhin, France
Died: May 15, 1843
Place of Death: Nancy, France
Arc de Triomphe: CHOUARD on the east pillar
Entering the artillery school of Metz in September of 1789, Claude Louis Chouard ended up leaving the artillery and in 1791 he joined the 1st Battalion of Volunteers of Bas-Rhin as a lieutenant of grenadiers. The following January he joined the cavalry as a sous-lieutenant in the 9th Cavalry and he joined the Army of the Rhine. In March of 1793 Chouard was serving at Alzey when he was wounded by a sabre blow to the left arm, but only a few weeks later he was promoted to capitaine. Throughout the years of 1794 through 1798 he served on the Rhine, in the Vendée, and in Germany. In November of 1798 Chouard was named an aide-de-camp to General Delmas and then in April of 1799 he was promoted to chef d'escadrons on the battlefield of Magnano. The next month he became an aide-de-camp to General Moreau and he went on to serve before Alexandria. In April of 1800 Chouard returned as an aide-de-camp to Delmas in the Army of the Rhine and that July he served at the action of Landshut.
Once peace was achieved, Chouard joined the 1st Carabiniers. When the Grande Armée confronted the Third Coalition in 1805, Chouard served on the campaign and he fought at the Battle of Austerlitz where he was wounded by four sabre blows and a shot of grapeshot. At the end of the month he was promoted to colonel of the 2nd Cuirassiers in La Houssaye's brigade. Chouard next served on the campaign against Prussia in 1806 and then the winter campaign in Poland in 1807. In May of 1807 Chouard's unit became part of Doumerc's brigade in Nansouty's division and he led his men into battle at the Battle of Friedland in June. The next year he became a Baron of the Empire.
In 1809 when Austria attacked French allies, Chouard continued to command the 2nd Cuirassiers as part of Doumerc's brigade in Nansouty's division. He served throughout the Danube campaign and he fought at Ratisbon and the Battle of Wagram . In 1810 Chouard briefly retired but he then returned to command his regiment, and in 1811 he was promoted to général de brigade and sent to Cologne. For the campaign against Russia of 1809, Chouard assumed command of the 2nd Brigade of Carabiniers as part of General Defrance's division. He fought at the Battle of Borodino where he was wounded by two shots of grapeshot. In 1813 Chouard took command of a brigade of the 2nd Division of Dragoons but he requested leave due to poor health. He returned to the army in October of 1813 as a major serving with the dragoons of the Imperial Guard. For the defense of France of 1814, Chouard commanded the levée en masse of the département of Bas-Rhin and he then defended Langres.
After Napoleon's abdication and the Bourbon Restoration, Chouard was named a Commander of the Legion of Honor and a Knight of Saint Louis. He was on leave when Napoleon escaped Elba and resumed power for the Hundred Days. Napoleon initially placed Chouard with the Army of the Moselle but then gave him command of two regiments of the National Guard of the département of Haut-Rhin. After Napoleon's second abdication and the Second Restoration, Chouard retired from the army.
Updated October 2018
© Nathan D. Jensen