General Pierre-Joseph du Chambge d'ElbhecqCommander of the Army of the Western Pyrenees during the summer of 1793
Born: January 2, 1733
Place of Birth: Lille, Nord, France
Died: September 1, 1793
Cause of Death: Fatigues of war
Place of Death: Saint-Jean-de-Luz, France
Arc de Triomphe: D'ELBHECQ on the west pillar
A career soldier of noble birth, Pierre-Joseph du Chambge d'Elbhecq first joined the army as a musketeer in 1754. In 1757 he was named a capitaine in the regiment of Bouillon and then in 1759 he began to serve in Germany during the Seven Years Wars. The following year d'Elbhecq was appointed a major. In 1767 d'Elbhecq was promoted to colonel and not long thereafter he took command of the regiment of Bouillon. In 1771 he was recognized as a Knight of Saint Louis and then in 1784 he was promoted to maréchal de camp.
At the dawn of the Revolution, d'Elbhecq was selected to be a substitute deputy to the Estates General, representing the nobility of Lille. When Baron Noyelles resigned in December of 1789, d'Elbhecq filled his spot and took a position on the center left. As France began to be threatened by foreign powers, he traveled to Dunkirk in 1791 and at the end of the year he was promoted to lieutenant general. D'Elbhecq served with the troops of Marshal Rochambeau in early 1792 but then resigned shortly thereafter. However, in March of 1793 he returned to the army as commander of the 3rd and 4th military divisions. Only two months later d'Elbhecq was named commander-in-chief of the Army of the Western Pyrenees. He took command of the army in July but died in September due to over-exerting himself.
Updated August 2015
© Nathan D. Jensen