General Louis Joseph Auguste Gabriel Saint-Laurent
Born: June 29, 1763
Place of Birth: Dunkirk, Nord, France
Died: September 1, 1832
Place of Death: Paris, France
Arc de Triomphe: ST LAURENT on the south pillar
Born into a noble family, Louis Joseph Auguste Gabriel Saint-Laurent's first military record was when he became a lieutenant in the artillery regiment of Metz in 1781. In 1782 and 1783 he served in the French squadron on the coasts of Spain. Years later in 1789 Saint-Laurent was finally promoted to capitaine in the 2nd Foot Artillery and then in 1791 he served in garrison at Besançon. Next he served with the Army of the Interior from 1792 to 1793 and then he joined the Army of the West. In March of 1794 Saint-Laurent was promoted to chef de bataillon and appointed deputy director of artillery at Strasbourg. In early 1795 he was promoted to chef de brigade and then named director of artillery at Rennes. The next year Saint-Laurent served as director of the artillery park of the Army of the Interior before serving in the 1st military division. After briefly serving as director of artillery at Paris at the end of 1797, he joined the Army of England in January of 1798. Saint-Laurent went on to serve in the Army of Mainz, the Army of the Danube, the Army of the Rhine, and the Army of Grisons.
In August of 1803 Saint-Laurent was promoted to général de brigade and in November he took command of the artillery school of Rennes. The following June he took command of the artillery school of La Fère. In 1805 Saint-Laurent was named a Knight of the Iron Crown and he served as director of artillery of Paris again. When the Grande Armée marched east to confront the Third Coalition that year, Saint-Laurent went with them and served with the artillery park. After the conclusion of the campaign he commanded the artillery at Vienna. In 1806 he was named director general of the artillery park of the Grande Armée and in 1807 he was promoted to général de division.
In August of 1809 Saint-Laurent took command of the artillery of the Army of the North under Marshal Bernadotte. The next month he was named director general of the artillery park of the Army of the North. In 1810 Saint-Laurent became a Baron of the Empire and he inspected the artillery of coastal cities. The next year he went to Spain to serve as director of material and in October of 1812 he became commander-in-chief of the artillery of the Army of the North in Spain. In May of 1813 Saint-Laurent took command of the artillery under Prince Eugene in Italy, a position he held until June of 1814.
The restored Bourbons named Saint-Laurent a Knight of Saint Louis and a Grand Officer of the Legion of Honor. He retired in December of 1814 but returned to activity during the Hundred Days when Napoleon resumed power in 1815. During that time Saint-Laurent served as inspector general of artillery of the costs of La Rochelle. Afterwards, he retired from the army again.
- 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