General Alexandre-Séraphin-Joseph Sparre
Born: September 6, 1736
Place of Birth: Lille, Nord, France
Died: September 17, 1799
Place of Death: Auxerre, France
Arc de Triomphe: SPARRE on the north pillar
A career soldier of Swedish descent, Alexandre-Séraphin-Joseph Sparre joined the French army at a young age by joining the Royal Swedish Regiment. In 1754 he obtained the rank of colonel, and two years later he was named the colonel of the Royal Swedish Regiment. Sparre went to to serve in the Seven Years War in Germany and he was made a Knight of Saint Louis in 1762. In 1770 he was promoted to maréchal de camp and the following year he received the Grand Cross of the Order of the Epée. Sparre resigned from the Royal Swedish Regiment in 1783 and the next year he was promoted to lieutenant general.
After the arrival of the Revolution, General Sparre was given command of the 18th military division in April of 1791. In September of 1792 he was placed in charge of the camp of Châlons and the army forming there, and then in October he led these troops to join Dumouriez's Army of the Ardennes. That December Sparre was sent to command the 6th military division, but the following March he was called to Strasbourg to command a division. In September of 1793 he made a failed attempt to cross the Rhine at Kehl, and a week later he was suspended from his command. Sparre was reintegrated in his rank in 1795 and he retired three years later.
Please see the Appendix about the name Sparre on the Arc de Triomphe.
- Six, Georges. Dictionnaire Biographique des Généraux & Amiraux Français de la Révolution et de l'Empire (1792-1814). 2 vols. Paris: Gaston Saffroy, 2003.
Updated July 2014
© Nathan D. Jensen