General Raymond Aimery Philippe Joseph de Montesquiou-Fezensac
Born: February 26, 1784
Place of Birth: Paris, Paris, France
Died: November 18, 1867
Place of Death: Tours, France
Arc de Triomphe: MONTESQUIOU-FAC on the east pillar
The son of General Philippe André François de Montesquiou-Fezensac who served during the French Revolution, Raymond Aimery Philippe Joseph de Montesquiou-Fezensac followed his father's footsteps by embarking on a military career. In 1804 at age twenty he enlisted as a soldier in the 59th of the Line and he served in the Army of the Coasts of the Ocean. The following year Fezensac was promoted to sous-lieutenant and then he served in the Grande Armée on the campaign in Austria that year. That October he served at Gunzbourg and around Ulm, and afterwards he served in the Tyrol.
In 1806 Fezensac took part in the campaign against Prussia, serving at Jena that October. The next year he was promoted to lieutenant and he served at Eylau, but then in March he was taken prisoner by Russian hussars. Transported back to Russia as a prisoner of war, Fezensac was only released in July of 1807 after the signing of the Treaty of Tilsit. After returning to France, he married the daughter of General Clarke the Minister of War, and in March of 1808 he was appointed aide-de-camp to his father-in-law.
October of 1808 saw Fezensac detached from Clarke's office to serve with Marshal Ney for a period of time. In February of 1809 he was promoted to capitaine and then in March he was recalled to France to serve in Marshal Berthier's staff. Fezensac took part in the Danube campaign that year and he was wounded by a shot to the knee at the Battle of Aspern-Essling . That fall he was made a Baron of the Empire and promoted to chef d'escadrons before he returned to Clarke's side to serve as an aide-de-camp.
In 1811 Fezensac was sent on a mission to Marshal Macdonald and the Army of Catalonia. The next year he was detached from the Ministry of War again to serve as an aide-de-camp to Marshal Berthier for the Russian campaign of 1812. Fezensac took part in the campaign and after the Battle of Borodino he was promoted to colonel of the 4th of the Line since the former colonel had been killed at the battle. Serving under Marshal Davout during the retreat from Russia, he fought at Krasnoe and the Berezina.
In March of 1813 Fezensac received a promotion to général de brigade, having enlisted only nine years earlier. He was given command of the 2nd Brigade of Maison's 16th Division. The next month he joined Dufour's division, and then during the campaign he served under Vandamme at Hamburg. That August Fezensac was commanding a brigade of Philippon's division when he fought at Kulm before falling back to Dresden. He took part in the defense of Dresden until the city was finally forced to surrender in November of 1813 and he was taken prisoner.
Fezensac was finally released after the restoration of the Bourbons in 1814, and he was given command of a brigade of infantry in garrison at Paris. When Napoleon resumed power in 1815 for the Hundred Days, Fezensac did not take part in the events. Afterwards he continued to lead a successful military career and in 1832 he became Duke of Fezensac and a Peer of France. In 1838 he was sent to Madrid as an ambassador and ten years later in 1848 he finally retired from the army.
- Six, Georges. Dictionnaire Biographique des Généraux & Amiraux Français de la Révolution et de l'Empire (1792-1814). 2 vols. Paris: Gaston Saffroy, 2003.
Updated March 2022
© Nathan D. Jensen