General Jean-Antoine David
Born: November 9, 1767
Place of Birth: Arbois, Jura, France
Died: September 14, 1799
Cause of Death: Mortally wounded
Place of Death: Alkmaar, Holland
Arc de Triomphe: DAVID on the north pillar
Enlisting in the infantry regiment of Forez in November of 1781, Jean-Antoine David served aboard Argonaute on campaign in 1782. He purchased a leave from the army in 1783 but then rejoined the army in October of 1784 when he joined the dragoons of Languedoc. After the onset of the Revolution, David was sent to the Army of the North and he served on campaign in 1792. That December he was promoted to sous-lieutenant of cavalry in the Legion of Nord, and then in May of 1793 he was promoted to lieutenant. Next David served on the staff of the Army of the Eastern Pyrenees under General Dagobert, and in August of 1793 he distinguished himself in the fighting at the camp of Perche. Only a few days later he again distinguished himself at Olette and then on September 21 he seized the camp of Prades. In March of 1794 David was promoted to général de brigade.
In 1795 David was named commander of Carcassonne and then sent to the army of Italy. He served in General Macquard's division before falling ill and then traveling to Nice to recover. In April of 1796 he rejoined the Army of Italy, now led by the up and coming General Bonaparte, and David rejoined Macquard's division. He served at Coni at the end of April and then in May he took command of the 7th Hussars and 22nd Chasseurs under General Kilmaine. The next month David's forces were detached to serve under General Sérurier. After serving through the remainder of the campaign, in February of 1797 David was employed under General Dumas and then in March he served under General Joubert. David traveled to Paris later that year to take part in the coup of 18 Fructidor.
General David was next sent to the Army of Holland to serve under General Brune. While there he served in Vandamme's division and when the British invaded he worked to repulse them. David fought at the head of the advance guard at the Battle of Krabbendam where he was wounded by a shot to the head and had his right arm shattered by a cannonball. He survived for a few days but then succumbed to his wounds on September 14, 1799.
- Six, Georges. Dictionnaire Biographique des Généraux & Amiraux Français de la Révolution et de l'Empire (1792-1814). 2 vols. Paris: Gaston Saffroy, 2003.
Updated October 2016
© Nathan D. Jensen