General Joseph Antoine Marie Michel MainoniGeneral who was badly wounded at Marengo and then commanded Mantua
Born: September 29, 1754
Place of Birth: Lugano, Switzerland
Died: December 12, 1807
Cause of Death: Wounds never fully healed
Place of Death: Mantua, Italy
Arc de Triomphe: MAINONI on the south pillar
The son of a merchant, Joseph Antoine Marie Michel Mainoni enlisted in the army in September of 1790 and in 1792 he was serving as a capitaine in the Army of the Vosges. That August he was unanimously elected as lieutenant colonel of the 6th Battalion of Volunteers of Bas-Rhin. In 1793 Mainoni served at the defense of Mainz and in April he was wounded in the leg during a night sortie of the garrison. In May of 1794 the representatives of the people promoted him to chef de brigade. Two years later in 1796 Mainoni took command of the 44th of the Line and he joined the Army of the Rhine. He distinguished himself at Biberach that October and continued to serve with the Army of the Rhine through 1797. In 1798 Mainoni served with the Army of Switzerland and he battled the enemy at Stanz. That November he was promoted to général de brigade. In March of 1799 Mainoni joined Lecourbe's division and on the 16th he was beaten and taken prisoner at Schuls. Five months later he was exchanged for Austrian General Auffenberg. Mainoni immediately rejoined the army and in September he served under Soult at the crossing of the Linth during the Battle of Zürich .
In March of 1800 Mainoni joined the Army of the Reserve and he took command of the 28th of the Line as part of the advance guard under General Lannes. At the end of May more troops were added to his unit, an Italian battalion and a Swiss battalion. Serving in Watrin's division, Mainoni fought on the right bank of the Po on June 6th and then at the Battle of Montebello on June 9th. A few days later he participated in the Battle of Marengo and as night approached he was badly wounded. In 1801 Mainoni was employed in the Cisalpine Republic and in 1803 he was promoted to général de division. He took command of the troops at Mantua, a position he would hold until his death in 1807 from the wounds he had received at Marengo. Mainoni was named a Commander of the Legion of Honor in 1804.
Updated April 2018
© Nathan D. Jensen