General Louis François Félix Musnier de La Converserie
Born: January 18, 1766
Place of Birth: Longueville, Pas-de-Calais, France
Died: November 16, 1837
Place of Death: Paris, France
Arc de Triomphe: MUSNIER on the west pillar
The son of a cavalry officer, Louis François Félix Musnier de La Converserie entered the military school of Paris in 1780 as a gentleman cadet. The following year he was commissioned as a sous-lieutenant and then in 1782 he was assigned to the infantry regiment of Piedmont. In 1788 Musnier received a promotion to lieutenant and then he was promoted to capitaine in 1792. That year he became an aide-de-camp to General Lamorlière. Next Musnier served in the Army of the Coasts of Cherbourg and then in 1795 he was promoted to chef de bataillon in March and then chef de brigade in September. In 1796 he served in the Army of the North and then he later served in the Army of Holland. Musnier was sent to the Army of Italy in October of 1798 and the next month General Joubert ordered Musnier to take an ultimatum to the court of Turin. In December Musnier was promoted to général de brigade and in January of 1799 he took over as chief of staff of the Army of Italy. In May of 1799 he was named commander at Coni and then in March of 1800 he joined the Army of the Reserve. With the Army of the Reserve, Musnier took command of the advance guard of Boudet's division. In this position he served at the crossing of the Sesia in May and then in June he served at the action at Piacenza and the Battle of Marengo. That December he fought at Pozzolo as part of Watrin's division.
Once peace was obtained, Musnier was employed in the 15th military division at Rouen where he would remain for a number of years. In February of 1805 he was promoted to général de division. Musnier finally got a new position in February of 1807 when he was named inspector of depots but later that year he returned to the 15th military division. However, this time it wasn't for long, as he was sent to Spain as commander of a division of Marshal Moncey's corps. In 1808 Musnier served at the Battle of Tudela before partaking in the Siege of Saragossa. In 1809 he began serving under Suchet and he fought at Maria and Belchite in June. The following year Musnier occupied Flix and Mora in April and then he served at the Siege of Lérida until its conclusion in May. Next he took part in the Siege of Mequinenza from May to June, and later that year he won at Ulldecona and Vinaros. In 1811 Musnier was named a Baron of the Empire and at the end of the year he served at the Siege of Valencia. In June of 1813 he served at the relief of Tarragona and then he seized the fort of Requena.
In August of 1813 Musnier obtained a leave and returned to France. He was sent to Besançon and then ordered to inspect the Swiss frontier and organize the National Guard. For the defense of France of 1814, Musnier hoped to organize resistance in the département of Ain but before he could do much he was forced to evacuate Bourg en Bresse and fall back to Lyon. At Lyon he repulsed the Austrians and then he took command of an infantry division under Marshal Augereau. Musnier defended la Croix-Rousse at Lyon and then in February he won at Meximieux. In March he advanced against the Russians but then fell back towards Lyon. Musnier was next repulsed at the combat of Mâcon and then he served at the combat of Saint-Georges and the Battle of Limonest. In 1815 when Napoleon returned to power for the Hundred Days, Musnier served as inspector general of infantry for the 10th, 11th, and 20th military divisions. Afterwards he retired from the military.
- 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 March 2020
© Nathan D. Jensen