General Albert-Louis-Emmanuel de FoulerCavalry general and equerry to the Empress Josephine and Emperor Napoleon
Born: February 9, 1769
Place of Birth: Lillers, Pas-de-Calais, France
Died: June 17, 1831
Place of Death: Lillers, France
Arc de Triomphe: FOULER on the north pillar
Initially entering the service of the king as a page at the Petite Écurie at Versailles in 1786, Albert-Louis-Emmanuel de Fouler joined the army the next year. Commissioned as a lieutenant before the Revolution, he remained in France during the Revolution despite his noble birth. In 1791 Fouler was promoted to lieutenant, and the following year he was promoted to capitaine and served in the Army of the North under Marshal Luckner. Next he became an aide-de-camp to General Pully and then he went on to serve in the Army of the Center and the Army of the Moselle.
When the armies were reorganized in 1794, Fouler joined the Army of the Sambre and Meuse. In 1796 he fought at Schweinfurt where he was wounded by a shot to the right foot. Fouler went on to join the Army of Mainz in 1799 and then was appointed a capitaine in the 19th cavalry in March of 1799. Just two months later he was fighting near Mainz when he was taken prisoner at Meinbischoffsheim by the Szekler Hussars. That November he was exchanged and then promoted to chef d'escadrons in the 21st Chasseurs à Cheval. After a short stint with the Army of Italy, Fouler was promoted to chef de brigade of the 24th Cavalry in October of 1800 and sent to serve in Holland. The next year he took command of the 11th Cavalry.
Fouler rose to more prominence in 1804 when he was named an equerry to the Empress Josephine and placed in charge of the other equerries. When war broke out in 1805, he served in d'Hautpoul's division and distinguished himself at the Battle of Austerlitz. In 1806 Fouler took part in the campaign against Prussia, and at the end of the year he was promoted to général de brigade and placed in Espagne's 3rd Division of Cuirassiers. In June of 1807 he fought at the Battle of Heilsberg where he was wounded by a lance blow.
General Fouler spent the next two years in Germany and became the Count of Relingue in 1808. In 1809 he took command of the 2nd Brigade of Espagne's division, and after Austria attacked that spring, he served during the Danube campaign. Fouler saw intense combat at the Battle of Aspern-Essling in May where his commander General Espagne was killed. Fouler himself was wounded by multiple sabre blows and taken prisoner, only being released in July after hostilities had ended.
Fouler was next sent to form new cavalry regiments for the reserve of the Army of Spain. In 1810 he briefly took command of a brigade of dragoons in Spain before he was recalled to serve as an equerry to the Emperor Napoleon. Placed in charge of the other equerries, Fouler would remain in the position until Napoleon's abdication in 1814. During the defense of France in 1814, Fouler fought at Saint-Dizier in March and was promoted to général de division on the same day.
After Napoleon's abdication, the restored Bourbons briefly put Fouler on non-activity but then confirmed his rank, gave him a new command, and named him a Knight of Saint Louis. Nevertheless, when Napoleon returned from exile and resumed power in 1815 for the Hundred Days, Fouler rallied to him and was named a Grand Officer of the Legion of Honor. Fouler resumed his duties as equerry to the Emperor until Napoleon's second abdication, and afterwards he retired to Lillers.
Updated June 2015
© Nathan D. Jensen