General Jean-Joseph-Magdelaine Pijon

Général de brigade who was mortally wounded at Magnano

Born: September 7, 1758

Place of Birth: Lavaur, Tarn, France

Died: April 5, 1799

Cause of Death: Mortally wounded

Place of Death: Isola della Scala, Italy

Arc de Triomphe: PIJON on the south pillar

Jean-Joseph-Magdelaine Pijon first joined the military when enlisted in the regiment of Condé in 1777. Taking part in the campaign of 1778, he was on the ship Le Duc de Bourgogne and wounded at the naval Battle of Ushant that year. When the Revolution got underway, in 1792 he joined the 1st Battalion of Volunteers of Haute-Garonne. Later that year he became a lieutenant colonel in his battalion and was sent to the Army of Italy.

In Italy Pijon distinguished himself during the attacks on the camp of Authion in June of 1793. A few months later he was promoted to chef de bataillon, and then at the end of the year he was promoted to chef de brigade. In May of 1794 he distinguished himself in the attack on Mont Cenis, and then again at the combat at Carcare that September. That December he was promoted to général de brigade and then a few months later he joined Sérurier's division.

Continuing to serve in Italy, in 1796 when General Bonaparte took command Pijon was with Laharpe's division. That March he occupied Voltri but then fell sick and had to hand his command off to Cervoni. After recovering, Pijon joined Masséna's division and fought with them until he was surrounded and taken prisoner in early August. At the end of the month he was freed, and he immediately went back into action. That September he seized Cazano after a bloody fight, fought at Roveredo, avoided being taken prisoner at Cerea, and fought at the Battle of Saint-Georges. In December Pijon was named commander of Pavia.

In 1798 General Pjion was designated for the Army of England but instead he went to Switzerland where he served under General Brune. He took part in the fighting at Fribourg and then attacked Neuenegg but was forced to retreat when the enemy launched a counterattack. Next he followed General Brune to Italy and joined Victor's division. While there, he contributed to the victory at Sainte-Lucia but then was mortally wounded at Magnano on April 5th.


Updated prior to 2014

© Nathan D. Jensen