General Gabriel Gaspard Achille Adolphe Bernon de Montélégier
Born: January 6, 1780
Place of Birth: Romans, Drôme, France
Died: November 2, 1825
Place of Death: Bastia, France
Arc de Triomphe: MONTÉLÉGIER on the south pillar
The son of a general, Gabriel Gaspard Achille Adolphe Bernon de Montélégier joined the army by volunteering to join the 7th Hussars in May of 1798. After joining the expedition to Egypt, he served at the Battle of the Pyramids where he was wounded. General Bonaparte was impressed by the young soldier and commissioned him as a sous-lieutenant on the battlefield and gave him a new position as aide-de-camp to General Bon. In 1799 Bernon de Montélégier served as an aide-de-camp to General Davout and that February he was wounded by two saber blows at the combat of Luxor. Two weeks later he was promoted to lieutenant and then in July he served at the Battle of Abukir. In 1800 Bernon de Montélégier was taken prisoner by the British.
In 1802 Bernon de Montélégier was employed by the Ministry of War and promoted to capitaine. The next year he joined the staff of the 19th military division and then in 1805 he joined Gazan's division. Taking part in the campaign against the Third Coalition that year, Bernon de Montélégier served at Ulm and then in November he was taken prisoner at Krems. In April of 1806 he became an aide-de-camp to Marshal Lefebvre and during the War of the Fourth Coalition he served at Jena and Pultusk before being wounded at the combat of Marienwerder in February of 1807. Three months later he received a promotion to chef d'escadrons.
In 1808 Bernon de Montélégier followed Marshal Lefebvre to Spain where he served at Durango, Espinosa, and Almaraz. In 1809 he served in Germany where he served at Abensberg, Schärding, Eckmühl, Ratisbon, and Innsbruck and in May he was promoted to colonel. That June Bernon de Montélégier was named a Knight of the Military Order of Bavaria and in December he became a Baron of the Empire.
Returning to Spain in 1810, Bernon de Montélégier was employed at Pamplona and in 1811 he took command of the 26th Dragoons. He served at the Battle of Salamanca in 1812 and in the first half of 1813 he was promoted to général de brigade and he served at the Battle of Vitoria . Next Bernon de Montélégier was sent to Saxony where he took command of the 2nd Brigade of Milhaud's 6th Heavy Cavalry Division in August. Seeing action, he fought and was wounded at the Battle of Leipzig and then during the retreat he served at Hanau.
In January of 1814 Bernon de Montélégier took command of a brigade of Briche's 3rd Dragoon Division and he fought at the combat of Rambervillers and the Battle of Brienne. In February he served at Mormant. After Napoleon's abdication and the Bourbon Restoration, Bernon de Montélégier was named an aide-de-camp to the Duke of Berry. During the Hundred Days, he followed the Duke of Berry to Ghent and remained loyal to the Bourbons. Afterwards, he continued a successful military career.
- 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 July 2021
© Nathan D. Jensen