General Jacques Desjardin
Born: February 18, 1759
Place of Birth: Angers, Maine-et-Loire, France
Died: February 11, 1807
Cause of Death: Mortally wounded
Place of Death: Landsberg, Poland
Arc de Triomphe: DESJARDINS on the east pillar
The son of a wagon driver, Jacques Desjardin first entered the military service in late 1776 at age 17. By 1788 he had only risen to become a sergeant, but when the Revolution got underway he would rise quickly. In February of 1790 Desjardin became the chief instructor of the National Guard at Angers, and two years later he became the lieutenant colonel in command of the 2nd Battalion of Volunteers of Maine-et-Loire. Sent to the Army of the North, that November he served at Jemappes and Namur.
In 1793 Desjardin received a promotion to général de brigade and served in Jacques Ferrand's division at Maubeuge. In March of 1794 he became commander of Maubeuge and was promoted to général de division. The next month Desjardin seized Beaumont and linked up with the Army of Ardennes, and then in May he commanded the right wing of the Army of the North. Next Desjardin took command of the Army of Ardennes and led it until the dissolution of that army in September. Without his army, he was next given command of a division in the Army of the Sambre and Meuse.
In April of 1795 General Desjardin commanded the 1st Division during the Siege of Luxembourg until that city finally surrendered. Afterwards, he took command of the 2nd Division of the Army of the North at Mons and then became commander of Bruges. In 1796 Desjardin led his division into Belgium and later rejoined the Army of the Sambre and Meuse. Late that year his division joined the Army of Holland, where he would remain until 1801.
In 1804 General Desjardin was given command of the 1st Division of the camp of Brest and he became a Commander of the Legion of Honor. When war broke out in 1805, his division became the 1st Division of Marshal Augereau's VII Corps. The the following year he fought at Jena, Kolozomb, and Golymin and then in 1807 he fought at Eylau where he was mortally wounded and his division was wiped out.
- Six, Georges. Dictionnaire Biographique des Généraux & Amiraux Français de la Révolution et de l'Empire (1792-1814). 2 vols. Paris: Gaston Saffroy, 2003.
Updated May 2014
© Nathan D. Jensen