General Claude Marie Meunier
Born: August 4, 1770
Place of Birth: Saint-Amour, Jura, France
Died: April 14, 1846
Place of Death: Paris, France
Arc de Triomphe: MEUNIER, C. on the south pillar
Joining the 10th Battalion of Volunteers of Jura in August of 1792, Claude Marie Meunier was named a capitaine a week later. He was sent to serve with the Army of the Rhine and in October of 1793 he was wounded by a shot to the left thigh. Meunier remained with the Army of the Rhine into 1795 until he joined the Army of Italy that year. In 1798 he joined the Army of the Orient and he took part in the expedition to Egypt. In January of 1799 Meunier began serving with the guides on foot and in February of 1800 he was promoted to chef de bataillon.
Having returned to France, in 1802 Meunier was placed with the Chasseurs à Pied of the Consular Guard. In 1803 he was named colonel of the 9th Light and he began serving with Rouyer's brigade in Dupont's division. Also during that year he married the daughter of the painter Jacques Louis David. When the Grande Armée marched to war in 1805, Meunier took part in the campaign and that October he served at Albeck, Elchingen , and Herbrechtingen. The next month he fought at the Battle of Dürenstein . In 1806 Meunier participated in the campaign against Prussia and he was wounded by grapeshot to the chest at the action of Halle. He went on to serve at Nossentin in November and then Braunsberg in February of 1807. After the campaign resumed later that year, Meunier served at the Battle of Friedland.
Meunier next joined Ruffin's division and he was sent to Spain in September of 1808. He served at Medellin in March of 1809 and then in July he served at the Battle of Talavera where he was wounded by two shots, one to the head and the other to the left leg. Promoted to général de brigade in January of 1810, Meunier joined I Corps in May of that same year. In September of 1811 he took command of the 1st Brigade of Conroux's 1st Division of I Corps and in February of 1812 he served at the combat of Los Poblaciones.
In 1813 Meunier served as part of Charpentier's division in XI Corps in Saxony. He fought at the Battle of Leipzig where he was wounded by a shot to the right arm. The next month Meunier was promoted to général de division and he was authorized to return to France to recover from his wounds. Ready for action again before long, in December he took command of the 1st Division of the Young Guard. During the defense of France, Meunier fought at Brienne in January, at La Rothière in February, and at Craonne and Laon in March.
After Napoleon's abdication and the Bourbon Restoration, Meunier was named a Knight of Saint Louis and initially given a position before being put on non-activity. He rallied to Napoleon upon Napoleon's return from Elba and he was given command of a division of the Young Guard. Meunier commanded this division near Paris and then in the Army of the Loire before being put on non-activity by the restored again Bourbons. He resumed his career in 1816 and finally retired in 1835.
- Divry, Arnauld. Les Noms Gravés sur l'Arc de Triomphe. Paris: L'Harmattan, 2017.
- Six, Georges. Dictionnaire Biographique des Généraux & Amiraux Français de la Révolution et de l'Empire (1792-1814). 2 vols. Paris: Gaston Saffroy, 2003.
Updated January 2021
© Nathan D. Jensen