General Jean-Louis-François FauconnetCavalry general who served at Antwerp for a number of years
Born: December 24, 1750
Place of Birth: Revigny, Meuse, France
Died: October 22, 1819
Place of Death: Lille, France
Arc de Triomphe: FAUCONNET on the north pillar
A gendarme before the Revolution, Jean-Louis-François Fauconnet first joined the gendarmes of Artois in 1766. Four years later he obtained the rank of sous-lieutenant and then in 1776 he joined the gendarmes of Monsieur. In 1781 Fauconnet was promoted to lieutenant and then in 1788 he joined the carabiniers. After the onset of the Revolution, in 1792 Fauconnet was promoted to capitaine and over the next two years he served in the Army of Belgium, the Army of the Moselle, and the Army of the North. In 1794 he was promoted to chef de brigade of the 6th Dragoons and he joined the Army of the Sambre and Meuse.
Two years later Fauconnet joined the Army of the Rhine and he was wounded at the first crossing of the Rhine at Korck in June of that year. Two days later he served at Renchen and then less than two weeks later he received a promotion to général de brigade. When General Beaupuy was killed in action October, Fauconnet took over command of his Beaupuy's 5th Division in the Army of the Rhine. Three months later he returned to command of a brigade in the 5th Division. In September of 1797 Fauconnet was accused of being in contact with émigrés and removed from his position, spending the next few years without a command.
Fauconnet was finally allowed to return to the army after the establishment of the Consulate and in March of 1800 he joined the Army of the Rhine again. That summer he took command of the reserve of General Grenier's left wing. When hostilities resumed in the winter, Fauconnet served as part of Hardy's division at the Battle of Hohenlinden. In 1802 he was employed in the 7th military division and then in 1802 he served in the 4th military division. At the end of 1803 Fauconnet went to the camp of Saint-Omer where he was employed in the cavalry reserve and then in 1804 he was named a Commander of the Legion of Honor.
As the Grande Armée shifted to the east to fight the Third Coalition in 1805, Fauconnet initially served in the heavy cavalry but then he was appointed commander of a brigade of light cavalry attached to Marshal Lannes' V Corps. With his brigade, that October he served at Albeck and then seized an enemy convoy. After the conclusion of the campaign, Fauconnet swapped commands with General Lasalle, with Fauconnet taking command of a brigade of General Klein's 1st Dragoon Division. In January of 1807 Fauconnet was promoted to général de division and employed as commander of the cavalry depot formed at Breslau. The next year he was sent to serve at Antwerp where he remained for the remainder of the First Empire. After Napoleon's abdication in April of 1814, Fauconnet returned to France the next month. The restored Bourbons gave Fauconnet a command at Lille, and then when Napoleon returned to power in 1815 for the Hundred Days he ordered Fauconnet to organize the National Guard at Dunkirk. However, Fauconnet declined the command and retired from the army.
Updated August 2016
© Nathan D. Jensen