General Jean Siméon DomonCavalry officer who served at Jena, Eylau, Friedland, Wagram, Borodino, Ligny, and Waterloo
Born: March 2, 1774
Place of Birth: Maurepas, Somme, France
Legion of Honor: Grand Officer
Imperial Nobility: Baron
Died: July 5, 1830
Place of Death: Paris, France
Arc de Triomphe: DOMON on the east pillar
Joining the army as a volunteer in the 4th Battalion of Somme in September of 1791, Jean Siméon Domon was elected a sous-lieutenant the same day. He served with the Army of the North for the next few years and in 1792 he served at Courtrai, the siege of Lille, and at the Battle of Jemappes . Next Domon served at Anderlecht and then at Aix-la-Chapelle. In May of 1793 he was promoted to lieutenant and then the next month he was promoted to capitaine. A year later Domon was named an aide-de-camp to General Compère and then he served at the attack of Néchin where he was wounded by a shot to the right hand. In November of 1794 he took part in the siege of Nimègue and then over the following months he served at the crossing of the Waal, Appeldorn, the chateau of Loo, Greveborn, Telegen, Oldenzaal, and the chateau of Bentheim. Domon joined the Army of the Rhine in 1795 and then in 1796 he joined the Army of the Sambre and Meuse. The following year he served at the crossing of the Rhine at Neuwied in April. In March of 1799 Domon was serving with the Army of the Danube and he fought at Liptingen where he was wounded in the left leg by the blast of a shell. Two months later he was promoted to chef d'escadrons by General Masséna. Domon rejoined the Army of the Rhine in 1800 and served with them until 1801.
During the peace that followed, Domon first served in garrison at Metz. In 1803 he served at Hanover and then at the end of the year he was sent to the camp of Montreuil to join the 3rd Hussars. When the Grande Armée marched east to face the Third Coalition in 1805, Domon served in Marshal Ney's VI Corps. That October he fought at the Battle of Elchingen where he was wounded in the neck by a ball. The next year Domon took part in the campaign against Prussia and he served at the Battle of Jena. In January of 1807 he joined the 7th Hussars as part of the Cavalry Reserve of the Grande Armée. He fought at the Battle of Eylau in February and then the Battle of Friedland in June. At the end of 1807 Domon served in garrison at Ruremonde.
In April of 1809 Domon was promoted to colonel in second of the 7th Hussars. He served on the Danube campaign that year and at the Battle of Wagram and at Znaim. In August Domon was given command of the 8th Hussars. In 1810 he was employed with the corps of observation of Holland and he was named a Baron of the Empire. For the campaign against Russia of 1812, Domon served as part of Piré's brigade in Bruyère's division in the I Cavalry Corps. Domon fought at Ostrowno in July, in August he was promoted to général de brigade, and in September he served at Borodino. During the retreat from Russia, he was named a lieutenant general in the service of Naples and captain of the guards of the king, Marshal Murat. In 1813 Domon followed Marshal Murat to rejoin the Grande Armée in August and he took command of a brigade of light cavalry. Later that month he fought at Loewenberg on the Bober where he was wounded by a shot to the right thigh. When Murat returned to Naples at the end of October, Domon followed him back to Italy. In January of 1814 Murat defected to the Allies in a misguided attempt to keep his throne, and Domon resigned his position and returned to France. In March of 1814 Domon was attached to the Imperial Guard.
After Napoleon's abdication and the Bourbon Restoration, Domon was promoted to lieutenant general by the restored Bourbons. Nevertheless, when Napoleon escaped from exile and returned to power for the Hundred Days, Domon rallied to him. In June of 1815 Domon was given command of the 3rd Division of Light Cavalry serving as part of Vandamme's III Corps. That month he served before Charleroi and then at the Battle of Ligny. Two days later he fought at the Battle of Waterloo where he charged Bülow's men to delay Bülow's march to reach the battlefield. During this charge Domon was wounded. After the loss at Waterloo he brought his division back to Paris and crossed the Loire. In August Marshal Macdonald sent Domon to Montpellier to dismiss five regiments of the Army of the South, but later that year Domon was exiled from Paris as a suspected Bonapartist and he was ordered to go to Péronne. Domon later returned to favor and resumed his military career.
Updated April 2018
© Nathan D. Jensen