General Jean Philippe Raymond DorsnerCommander of the artillery of the Army of the Rhine in 1794 and the artillery of VII Corps in 1805
Born: January 23, 1750
Place of Birth: Strasbourg, Bas-Rhin, France
Died: June 4, 1829
Place of Death: Neuwiller, France
Arc de Triomphe: DORSNER on the north pillar
The son of a lawyer, Jean Philippe Raymond Dorsner enrolled in the artillery school of Bapaume in November of 1767. The following May he was named a lieutenant in the artillery regiment of Toul. In 1779 Dorsner was promoted to capitaine and he served in the army on the coasts of Normandy and Brittany.
After the onset of the Revolution, in 1791 Dorsner was named a Knight of Saint Louis. In 1792 he was promoted to capitaine of a company of horse artillery and he joined the Army of the Rhine. That October Dorsner was again promoted, this time to lieutenant colonel, and then in November he was named deputy director of the arsenal of Strasbourg. In September of 1793 he was promoted to général de brigade and he went on to serve at the defense of the lines of Wissembourg later that year. Another promotion followed, for in January of 1794 Dorsner was promoted to général de division and he took command of the artillery of the Army of the Rhine. That December he served at the Siege of Mainz. In 1795 Dorsner was named inspector general of artillery and inspector of the 12th arrondissement of artillery.
Once peace was obtained, in 1803 Dorsner commanded the artillery of the camp of Bayonne. That December he took over command of the artillery of the camp of Brest and then in 1804 he was named a Commander of the Legion of Honor. When the Grande Armée marched east to confront the Third Coalition in 1805, Dorsner took command of the artillery of Marshal Augereau's VII Corps and he served throughout the campaign that year. In September of 1806 he asked to retire from the army but his request was not immediately granted. He served on the Prussian campaign until November 12th when General Senarmont arrived to replace him. Dorsner was sent to to command Erfurt and then Hamelin. In 1808 he was named a Baron of the Empire and officially retired. He was recalled to activity temporarily in August of 1809 to command the artillery at Wesel, but he was authorized to return to retirement two months later.
Updated August 2017
© Nathan D. Jensen