General Jean-Etienne-Benoît DupratGénéral de brigade whose brother was guillotined during the Revolution and who was killed at Wagram
Born: March 21, 1752
Place of Birth: Avignon, Vaucluse, France
Died: July 6, 1809
Cause of Death: Killed in action
Place of Death: Wagram, Austria
Arc de Triomphe: DUPRAT on the east pillar
A silk merchant before the Revolution, Jean Étienne Benoît Duprat was from Avignon and serving as a colonel of the Papal troops in Avignon when the Revolution caused Avignon to be reunited with France in 1791. He supported the Revolution and Avignon's return to France, and with Avignon back in French control he became chief of the legion of the National Guard of Vaucluse. Meanwhile his younger brother Jean Duprat was an active politician who had become a member of the National Convention. In 1793 Duprat's younger brother was executed during the Reign of Terror and Duprat himself was imprisoned and only released after the coup of 9th Thermidor brought down Robespierre.
In February of 1795 Duprat was named a chef de brigade in the Army of Italy, but ten months later he was suspended after the arrest of his friend Rovère who had promoted the royalist insurrection that was stopped by General Bonaparte with a "whiff of grapeshot". In January of 1797 Duprat was finally reintegrated as a chef de brigade but not employed. Hoping to make himself useful, he volunteered to serve with General Berruyer in the Army of Italy in 1797, and then with General Kellermann in 1798. In late 1798 Duprat was officially employed again and he joined the Army of the Danube in March of 1799. That month he went on to fight at Stockach. The next year he joined the Army of the Rhine and served in Vandamme's division, forcing the Fort of Hohentwiel to surrender and fighting at Messkirch. At the end of the year he became chief of staff to Richepanse's division.
1801 saw Duprat put back on non-activity, so in 1802 he accompanied the younger Kellermann on an inspection of the cavalry in the Army of Italy. In 1803 he was employed in the camp of Saint-Omer and then in 1804 he became an Officer of the Legion of Honor. In 1805 Colonel Duprat worked in the 15th military division before joining Marshal Kellermann's corps in the Army of the Reserve in September. A year later he became chief of staff to the Army of the Reserve.
Duprat's next major assignment came in 1809 when he joined II Corps in Germany for the Danube campaign. He was appointed chief of staff to Tharreau's 1st Division. On July 4th of that year Duprat was promoted to général de brigade, but two days later he was killed by a shot at the Battle of Wagram around noon.
Updated August 2017
© Nathan D. Jensen