General Louis-Antoine Choin de Montgay MontchoisyGeneral of the Revolution who served in Switzerland and later commanded at Genoa
Born: June 21, 1747
Place of Birth: Grenoble, Isère, France
Died: June 14, 1814
Place of Death: Genoa, Italy
Arc de Triomphe: MONTCHOISY on the north pillar
A career soldier, Louis-Antoine Choin de Montgay Montchoisy joined the royal artillery in 1765. He served in the Guard of the King from 1767 to 1777 and then in 1778 he was named a capitaine of colonial troops. The next year Montchoisy joined the volunteers of Nassau-Siegen and he was appointed a major. He went on to serve under Rochambeau in the American Revolutionary War for the next few years, finally returning to France at the end of 1783. Next Montchoisy joined the 1st Chasseurs à Cheval and he was named a Knight of Saint Louis. In 1788 he was appointed major of the Royal Chasseurs of Provence.
After the onset of the Revolution, Montchoisy became colonel of the 68th Infantry in November of 1791. In 1792 he served under General d'Harville and then later under General Dumouriez. In March of 1793 Montchoisy was promoted to maréchal de camp but after Dumouriez's defection and the suspicion cast upon General d'Harville, Montchoisy was arrested alongside d'Harville. He was released in August of 1793 but remained under suspicion and was only allowed to return to the army in 1795.
Free to serve again, Montchoisy joined the Army of the Interior in June of 1795. He was promoted to général de division in September of that year and then the next month he participated in putting down the revolt of 13 Vendémiaire where General Bonaparte fired his "whiff of grapeshot" to stop a mob from overthrowing the Directory. The next year Montchoisy was sent to the Army of the Alps as inspector general of the Army of the Alps and the Army of Italy. In February of 1796 he took command at Lyon but then in May he was relieved from command, being suspected of favoring royalists.
Montchoisy had to wait a number of years to return to service again, this time returning as a général de division in April of 1799 and being sent to the Army of Danube. He served in Switzerland, commanding a division throughout the year and into 1800. In 1801 his command was designated as part of the Army of Grisons and then he took command of the troops stationed in Switzerland. October of 1801 saw Montchoisy recalled to france for coming under suspicion of dealing with the Swiss patriot Alois von Reding. Back in France Montchoisy was named inspector of reviews. In 1803 he was designated to go to Réunion but he did not go to that island, instead taking command of the 18th military division. In 1803 he was recognized as a Commander of the Legion of Honor and then in 1805 he took command of the 28th military division at Genoa. He remained in this post for the remainder of his life and he was honored as a Baron of the Empire in February of 1813.
Updated June 2016
© Nathan D. Jensen