General Louis Marie Levesque de La FerrièreFrequently wounded cavalry officer who served in many campaigns
Born: April 9, 1776
Place of Birth: Redon, Ille-et-Vilaine, France
Died: November 22, 1834
Place of Death: Paris, France
Arc de Triomphe: LQUE DE LA FERRIERE on the west pillar
The son of a merchant, Louis Marie Levesque de La Ferrière first joined the army in July of 1791 when he joined the cannoniers of the National Guard of Vannes. He was promoted to lieutenant in the National Guard but in 1793 he was commissioned as a sous-lieutenant in the regular army's 99th Infantry. Serving with the Army of the Moselle, in November of 1793 Levesque de La Ferrière fought at Kaiserslautern where he was wounded and taken prisoner, but then rescued the same day. In March of 1794 he was promoted to lieutenant and he served at Charleroi. That June Levesque de La Ferrière served at the Battle of Fleurus and then in July he joined the Army of the Sambre and Meuse. In 1795 he was named an aide-de-camp to General Monet and in 1797 he was promoted to lieutenant. In 1798 Levesque de La Ferrière served with the Army of England and at the end of 1799 he began serving in the guides of General Hédouville with the Army of the West. When General Brune took command of the army in 1800, Levesque de La Ferrière was promoted to chef d'escadrons in the guides. His next move came when General Bernadotte sent him on a mission to Paris to announce the pacification of the Vendée to the First Consul. Afterwards, Levesque de La Ferrière returned to serving as a guide with the Army of the West.
In 1802 Levesque de La Ferrière joined the 1st Hussars and in 1803 he joined the 2nd Hussars in the Army of Hanover. He took part in the campaign of 1805 and he served at the Battle of Austerlitz. Just before the campaign against Prussia of 1806, Levesque de La Ferrière was appointed major in the 3rd Hussars. He went on to serve at the Battle of Jena where he was wounded by grapeshot and then served at the Battle of Eylau in February of 1807. A month after Eylau Levesque de La Ferrière was promoted to colonel of the 3rd Hussars, serving in Colbert's brigade in Marshal Ney's VI Corps. That June he served at Guttstadt and then the Battle of Friedland.
Named a Baron of the Empire in 1808, Levesque de La Ferrière was sent to Spain as part of VI Corps and in November he served at the Battle of Tudela. In August of 1809 he fought at the pass of Banos where he was lightly wounded by a shot and then in November he fought at Alba de Tormès where he was wounded by a shot to the left arm. Continuing to serve in Spain, Levesque de La Ferrière fought at Miranda de Corvo in March of 1811 where he was wounded by two shots, one to the left hand and the other to the right arm. In the meantime he was recognized as a Knight of the Order of the Reunion and a Knight of the Iron Crown and in May of 1811 he was promoted to général de brigade.
Levesque de La Ferrière returned to France in the summer of 1811 where he worked at the cavalry depots of the 12th military division. In October he took command of the cavalry of the Army of the North in Spain. For the campaign in Saxony in 1813, Levesque de La Ferrière served as major in the Grenadiers à Cheval of the Imperial Guard. In August he served at the Battle of Dresden and then the Battle of Kulm where he was wounded. Continuing to fight, in October Levesque de La Ferrière was wounded by a ball to the right heel at the Battle of Leipzig and then multiple sabre blows to the shoulder and left arm at the Battle of Hanau. In November he received a promotion to général de division and in December he took command of the 3rd Cavalry Division of the Old Guard serving under Marshal Mortier.
Fighting in Champagne in 1814, in January Levesque de La Ferrière served at the combats of Chaumont and Bar-sur-Aube and then in February he fought at Champaubert , Montmirail , Château-Thierry, and Vauchamps . The next month he served at Reims and was named a chamberlain of the Emperor. On March 7th of 1814 Levesque de La Ferrière fought at the Battle of Craonne where his right shoulder was injured by a ball and his left leg was carried away by a cannonball, ending his active career.
The restored Bourbons named Levesque de La Ferrière inspector general of cavalry of the 13th and 22nd military divisions and a Knight of Saint Louis. In December of 1814 he was named commander of the cavalry school at Saumur. During the Hundred Days in 1815, Levesque de La Ferrière represented Maine-et-Loire in the Chamber and he was named a Peer of France. Afterwards he was put on non-activity and he retired in 1818.
Updated January 2021
© Nathan D. Jensen