General Louis-Fursy-Henri CompèreGénéral de brigade who served in the Army of the North during the Revolution and in Italy during the Empire
Born: January 16, 1768
Place of Birth: Péronne, Somme, France
Died: March 27, 1833
Place of Death: Paris, France
The older brother of Claude-Antoine Compère, Louis-Fursy-Henri Compère first joined the army in 1784 as a cannonier in the artillery regiment of Grenoble. At the beginning of the Revolution in July of 1789 he left the army to join the National Guard of Péronne. Two years later in September of 1791 Compère was elected a capitaine in the 4th Battalion of Volunteers of the Somme. Sent to serve in the Army of the North, he fought at the Battle of Wattignies in October of 1793 where he was promoted to lieutenant colonel. In January of 1794 Compère was promoted to chef de brigade and placed in charge of the advance posts of Douai and then four months later in May he was was promoted to général de brigade in Bonnaud's division. That month he served under General Moreau at the Battle of Tourcoing where he seized Wattrelos. Compère next joined Moreau's division in September and he then went on to serve at the sieges of Venloo and Nimègue.
Compère remained with the Army of the North until 1797 when he joined the Army of the Sambre and Meuse. Once part of that army, he served in Olivier's division and took part in the crossing of the Rhine at Neuwied in April. Compère spent 1798 with the Army of England and then in 1799 he joined the Army of the Danube. Serving under General Vandamme, he fought in March of 1799 and had his left leg shattered by a shot.
Compère did not see action again for quite some time and in June of 1801 he was named commander of the Invalides of Avignon. In 1802 he was briefly put on non-activity before being sent to the Army of Italy. In 1804 Compère was named a Commander of the Legion of Honor, and then when war reached Italy in 1805 he took command of the 1st Brigade of Gardanne's 1st Division in the Army of Italy. He served on the campaign that fall and that October he served during the attack on Verona. In 1806 Compère joined Partouneaux's division and he was then given command of the advance guard of General Reynier's II Corps in the Army of Naples. Serving against Naples, he won at Bosco in March and then fought at Campo-Tenese. That July Compère fought at Sant-Eufermia where his right arm was shattered by a ball. He was taken prisoner and had his arm amputated in an attempt to save his life.
Compère was released in September of 1806 but due to his wound he was no longer considered for an active command. In March of 1807 he was promoted to général de division and then admitted to retirement. However, in 1809 Compère was authorized to transfer to the service of Naples. There he was named governor of Gaeta and commander of the 1st territorial division of the Kingdom of Naples. Compère remained in that post until 1814 when he quit the service of Naples and returned to France.
Updated March 2016
© Nathan D. Jensen