General Gabriel Neigre
Born: July 28, 1774
Place of Birth: La Fère, Aisne, France
Died: August 8, 1847
Place of Death: Villers-sur-Marne, France
Arc de Triomphe: NEIGRE on the north pillar
The son of a sergeant in the artillery regiment of Metz, Gabriel Neigre was an adopted child of the regiment. In 1790 he enlisted and in 1792 and 1793 he served in the Army of the Center and then the Army of the Moselle. In 1794 Neigre was promoted to capitaine, he served at the blockade of Mainz, and he joined the Army of the Rhine. Six years later at the end of the year 1800 he distinguished himself at the crossing of the Inn River.
In 1802 Neigre was promoted to chef de bataillon and in 1803 he was named deputy director of artillery at Strasbourg. Later that year he was named deputy director of the artillery park of the Army of the Coasts of the Ocean. Neigre served with the Grande Armée on campaign in 1805 and then in April of 1806 he became a major in the 3rd Foot Artillery. However, just a few months later he was named director of the artillery park of the Cavalry Reserve. Neigre served with the army on campaign and in 1807 he was promoted to colonel and attached to the staff of the reserve artillery. In 1808 he briefly served as artillery director at Toulouse before taking command of the artillery at Danzig.
In June of 1809 during the Danube campaign, Neigre was named director of the artillery park of the Army of Germany. After the war was over, he was named a Baron of the Empire. In 1810 Neigre was named director of the artillery at Antwerp and in 1811 he became director of the artillery at Metz. For the Russian campaign of 1812, he served as director general of the artillery parks of the Grande Armée. After returning from Russia, Neigre was promoted to général de brigade in January of 1813 and then in March he was named director of artillery parks of the Army of the Elbe. That November he was promoted to général de division.
After Napoleon's abdication and the Bourbon Restoration, Neigre was named a Knight of Saint Louis but also put on non-activity. When Napoleon returned from exile and resumed power for the Hundred Days in 1815, Neigre was named director general of the artillery parks of the Army of the North. During the Battle of Waterloo as the French were routed towards the end of the day, Neigre distinguished himself with his efforts to save the artillery. Afterwards he became commander-in-chief of the artillery of the Army of the Loire.
- Six, Georges. Dictionnaire Biographique des Généraux & Amiraux Français de la Révolution et de l'Empire (1792-1814). 2 vols. Paris: Gaston Saffroy, 2003.
Updated May 2019
© Nathan D. Jensen