General Joseph Marie Pernety
Born: May 19, 1766
Place of Birth: Lyon, Rhône, France
Died: April 29, 1856
Place of Death: Paris, France
Arc de Triomphe: PERNETY on the south pillar
The son of a receiver general, Joseph Marie Pernety entered the military school of Tournon in 1777. Joining the artillery in 1781, the next year he entered the artillery school of Metz. In 1783 he was commissioned as a lieutenant in the artillery regiment of La Fére and the next year he joined the artillery regiment of Grenoble. In 1791 Pernety was promoted to capitaine and in 1793 he joined the Army of Italy. In April of 1794 he took part in the expedition of Saorgio. Still with the Army of Italy in 1796 and 1797, Pernety commanded the artillery park at the Siege of Mantua , the Battle of Bassano , the Battle of Arcola , and the Battle of Rivoli . Promoted to chef de bataillon after Rivoli, he served with the Army of England in 1798. That July Pernety took command of the artillery of the expedition to Ireland but in October he was taken prisoner when the British took his ship, Hoche. Released on parole in March of 1799, in 1800 he joined the 8th Foot Artillery and in May he was given command of the artillery of Watrin's division in the Army of the Reserve. Participating in Napoleon's second Italian campaign, Pernety served at Montebello and Marengo in June. Later he served as director of artillery at Geneva.
In October of 1802 Pernety was promoted to colonel of the 1st Foot Artillery. That same month he took command of the artillery of Ney's expedition to stabilize the situation in Switzerland. Pernety returned to the 1st Foot Artillery in April of 1803 and in 1804 he was employed in the Army of the Coasts of the Ocean and named deputy chief of staff of artillery. In 1805 he was promoted to général de brigade and he commanded the artillery school of Grenoble before joining the Grande Armée in September to serve as commander of the artillery of Marshal Soult's IV Corps. Pernety didn't remain in this position for long, for in October he became chief of staff of the artillery of the Grande Armée under General Songis. During the campaign of 1805 he served at Ulm and the Battle of Austerlitz. For the war against the Fourth Coalition in 1806 and 1807, Pernety served at the Battle of Jena before taking command of the artillery of Jérôme Bonaparte's IX Corps. He went on to serve at the sieges of Neisse and Breslau and in 1807 he was rewarded with a promotion to général de division.
In 1808 Pernety was appointed inspector general of artillery and in early 1809 he organized the artillery at Toulon for a naval expedition. With war brewing with Austria, he took command of the artillery of Marshal Masséna's IV Corps. During the Danube campaign that followed Pernety served at Ebersberg, Vienna, the isle of Lobau, and the Battle of Wagram . In 1810 he was named commander of the artillery of the Army of Germany and a Baron of the Empire. He also received the Grand Cross of the Order of Maximilian of Bavaria.
For the campaign against Russia of 1812, Pernety took command of the artillery of Marshal Davout's I Corps. He fought at the Battle of Borodino where he contributed to the taking of the redoubts. After returning from Russia, in 1813 Pernety was awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of the Reunion. In August of 1813 he took command of the artillery of Marshal Gouvion St. Cyr's XIV Corps and he served at the Battle of Dresden. Next Pernety took command of the artillery of the Army of Silesia under Marshal Macdonald and he served at the Battle of Leipzig and the Battle of Hanau in October. In November he served under
- 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