General Pierre-Louis-François Paultre de Lamotte
Born: February 3, 1774
Place of Birth: Saint-Sauveur, Yonne, France
Died: June 6, 1840
Place of Death: Meaux, France
Joining the army during the Revolution in 1792, Pierre-Louis-François Paultre de Lamotte initially served as a sous-lieutenant in the 24th Infantry. That year he served in the Army of the North and was promoted to lieutenant, and then in March of 1793 he became an aide-de-camp to General Hédouville. Six months later Paultre de Lamotte returned to his unit after d'Hédouville was suspended due to his noble birth, and then in May of 1794 Paultre de Lamotte was promoted to capitaine. In 1795 he served in the Army of the Rhine and Moselle and at the end of the year he again became an aide-de-camp to the reinstated General d'Hédouville. Paultre de Lamotte served in the Army of the West and then the Army of the Coasts of the Ocean, all the while continuing to work under d'Hédouville. He was promoted to chef de bataillon in February of 1798 and he then followed d'Hédouville to Saint-Domingue in 1798 and back to France in 1799. Paultre de Lamotte continued to serve under d'Hédouville in the Army of the West and he received a promotion to chef d'escadrons in February of 1800.
In 1803 Paultre de Lamotte's mentor d'Hédouville was named ambassador to Russia and Paultre de Lamotte followed him there. During his diplomatic career, Paultre de Lamotte undertook missions to Constantinople, the Crimea, and the coasts of the Black Sea. In late 1803 he returned to France where he was named a major in the 12th Chasseurs à Cheval, and Paultre de Lamotte served in the Army of the Coasts of the Ocean until 1805. When the army was renamed the Grande Armée and went to war in 1805, Paultre de Lamotte remained with the 12th Chasseurs à Cheval. After serving on campaign with the army in 1805 and 1806, he was promoted to colonel of the 9th Cuirassiers on December 31st, 1806. He continued to serve with the army and then in 1808 he and his men joined the Army of Germany. When Austria attacked in 1809, Paultre de Lamotte served during the Danube campaign, and he fought at the Battle of Wagram in July where he was wounded in the left leg by the blast of a shell. He remained with the Army of Germany and in 1811 he was promoted to général de brigade and sent to Cologne.
At the end of 1811 Paultre de Lamotte was given command of a brigade of General Defrance's 4th Division of Cuirassiers. In 1812 this unit became part of the II Cavalry Corps and Paultre de Lamotte served on the campaign against Russia that year. He fought at the Battle of Borodino in September and then survived the retreat to make his way to France. In January of 1813 Paultre de Lamotte was put on leave for reasons of health but by May he recovered enough to rejoin the army and take command of a brigade of Pajol's division in the I Cavalry Corps. After serving in the campaign of Germany of 1813, in 1814 during the defense of France Paultre de Lamotte commanded the levée en masse in the département of Marne. After Napoleon abdicated in April of 1814, Paultre de Lamotte served in Royal Guard and he was named a Knight of Saint Louis. When Napoleon returned from exile to resume power for the Hundred Days in 1815, Paultre de Lamotte escorted the king to the border and then stayed in France, refusing to involve himself in events.
- Six, Georges. Dictionnaire Biographique des Généraux & Amiraux Français de la Révolution et de l'Empire (1792-1814). 2 vols. Paris: Gaston Saffroy, 2003.
Updated January 2017
© Nathan D. Jensen