General Louis Ordonneau
Born: July 23, 1770
Place of Birth: La Rochelle, Charente-Maritime, France
Died: September 29, 1855
Place of Death: Autouillet, France
Arc de Triomphe: ORDONNEAU on the west pillar
The son of an innkeeper, Louis Ordonneau first worked as a merchant's clerk before joining the National Guard of Bordeaux in 1789. In 1791 he was dismissed and in September of 1792 he traveled to Paris and joined the 1st Battalion of Butte-des-Moulins as a grenadier. Ordonneau changed units a few times over the next few months but he ultimately served with the Army of the North. In February of 1793 he was promoted to sous-lieutenant and that December he began serving near General Duhesme. Five months later in April of 1794 Duhemse made Ordonneau an aide-de-camp. The next month Ordonneau served at the combat of Thuin and then at Landrecies where he was wounded by grapeshot to the right leg. As the army was reorganized, Duhesme and Ordonneau joined the Army of the Sambre and Meuse. In July of 1794 Ordonneau fought at Braine-le-Comte where he was wounded by a shot to the left leg and then in September he served at the Siege of Maestricht where he was wounded by a pistol shot to the head. Ordonneau went on to serve with the Army of the Rhine and Moselle and in April of 1797 he was distinguished at the second crossing of the Rhine.
In 1798 Ordonneau was sent to Italy where he served in the Army of Italy, the Army of Rome, and then the Army of Naples. In January of 1799 he fought at the action of Naples where he was again wounded and General Championnet promoted him to chef d'escadrons on the battlefield. Ordonneau next served in the attack of Andria in March and then in June he was employed with the Army of the Grand Alps. He served in the attack of the camp of Bussoleno and he seized the citadel of Pignerol. In June of 1800 Ordonneau fought at the action of Cremona where he was wounded by a saber blow to the left eye. A few days later he served at the crossing of the Adda. Later that year Ordonneau joined Duhesme's division and in December he fought at Neukirchen where he saved the division. In 1802 he received a saber of honor and then he was employed as an aide-de-camp to Duhesme in the 19th military division for the next few years.
As the War of the Third Coalition got underway in 1805, Ordonneau followed Duhesme to serve in Italy. That October he distinguished himself at San Michele and the Battle of Caldiero . In 1806 and 1807 Ordonneau served in the Army of Naples. In 1808 he was sent to the Army of Catalonia to serve in the staff and he served in Spain for many years. In 1811 Ordonneau served at the Siege of Tarragona and in the following time he served at the pass of Ordal and Villafranca. In June of 1813 he was promoted to général de brigade and in September he joined Maurice-Mathieu's 1st Division in Marshal Suchet's Army of Catalonia. In January of 1814 Ordonneau was sent to Lyon to take part in the defense of France where he served in Musnier's division under Marshal Augereau. The next month he fought at Bourg-en-Bresse where he was wounded by a shot to the right leg and he then seized Lons-le-Saulnier. In March he fought at Mâcon where he was wounded in the right shoulder and he went on to fight at Saint-Georges and Limonest later that month.
After Napoleon's abdication, the restored Bourbons named Ordonneau a Knight of Saint Louis and gave him command of the isle of Ré.
- Six, Georges. Dictionnaire Biographique des Généraux & Amiraux Français de la Révolution et de l'Empire (1792-1814). 2 vols. Paris: Gaston Saffroy, 2003.
Updated April 2019
© Nathan D. Jensen