General Jean Baptiste Pelletier
Born: February 16, 1777
Place of Birth: Éclaron, Haute-Marne, France
Died: May 27, 1862
Place of Death: Versailles, France
Arc de Triomphe: PELLETIER on the north pillar
The son of a clerk, Jean Baptiste Pelletier was commissioned as a sous-lieutenant at the artillery school of Châlons in June of 1793. A month later he was promoted to lieutenant and sent to the 2nd Foot Artillery in the Army of the Rhine, but then in September he joined the Army of the North. Pelletier was promoted to capitaine in April of 1794 and then in 1795 he was employed in the 17th military division. He served with the Army of Italy from 1796 to 1801.
In June of 1804 Pelletier was promoted to chef de bataillon and appointed deputy director of artillery at Toulouse. Two months later he joined the 7th Foot Artillery and then in December of 1805 he took command of the artillery of the reserve of the Army of the North. In August of 1806 Pelletier was named major in the 8th Foot Artillery and then he commanded the artillery of Wittenberg. In June of 1807 he fought at the Battle of Friedland as commander of the artillery of Verdier's division. Within a few weeks Pelletier received a promotion to colonel and he was appointed director of artillery at Warsaw. In 1808 he was named a Baron of the Empire and in 1809 he passed to the service of the Grand Duchy of Warsaw as a général de brigade. That year he served against Austria in Poland.
In 1812 Pelletier took command of the artillery and engineers of Poniatowski's V Corps for the campaign against Russia. He took part in the campaign and during the retreat he was taken prisoner in early November at the combat of Wiazma. In the meantime he was named a Knight of the Military Order of the Grand Duchy of Warsaw.
Pelletier returned to France in August of 1814 and he re-entered French service as a général de brigade. The restored Bourbons named him a Knight of Saint Louis but also put him on non-activity. Pelletier rallied to Napoleon for the Hundred Days of 1815 and he was given command of the artillery of General Reille's II Corps. He served on the campaign in June and fought at the Battle of Waterloo. 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 January 2021
© Nathan D. Jensen