General André Poncet
Born: July 30, 1755
Place of Birth: Pesmes, Haute-Saône, France
Died: July 23, 1838
Place of Death: Monmirey-le-Château, France
Arc de Triomphe: PONCET on the north pillar
A career soldier, André Poncet enlisted in the infantry regiment of Auvergne in 1771 at age fifteen. In 1780 he was promoted to sergeant and he would remain in this rank until the arrival of the Revolution. With the Revolution getting underway, in 1791 Poncet was made a Knight of Saint Louis and promoted to sous-lieutenant. The next year he was promoted to capitaine in the 18th Infantry and he and his men served in the Army of the North. Two years later Poncet was promoted to général de brigade in the Army of the North, and he fought at Beaumont and Erquelines that spring. That June he took command of the 2nd Brigade of Montaigu's division and fought at Fleurus where he led his men in retaking the heights of Anderlues.
With the reorganization of the army that followed, Poncet was employed in the Army of the Sambre and Meuse and then promoted to général de division. In December of 1794 he took command of the 7th Division, and the following year he served at the blockade of Mainz. After a brief stint with the Army of the Rhine, he returned to the Army of the Sambre and Meuse to command a division.
For the campaigns of 1796, Poncet served under General Marceau before Mainz and then at the crossing of the Rhine at Neuwied. That July he laid siege to the fortress of Ehrenbreitstein and remained there until mid-September. The next month he was sent to command a corps on the Sarre, but he was then accused of excessive requisitions at Coblentz. Poncet's division was dissolved into other units and he was named commander at Venloo, never to hold an active command again. He fulfilled administrative positions until he was formally retired in 1811.
- Six, Georges. Dictionnaire Biographique des Généraux & Amiraux Français de la Révolution et de l'Empire (1792-1814). 2 vols. Paris: Gaston Saffroy, 2003.
Updated June 2016
© Nathan D. Jensen