General Jean-Baptiste-Alexandre Strolz

Cavalry officer who served as aide-de-camp to Joseph Bonaparte for a number of years

Born: August 6, 1771

Place of Birth: Belfort, Territoire de Belfort, France

Died: October 27, 1841

Place of Death: Paris, France

Arc de Triomphe: STROLTZ on the south pillar

Joining the army during the Revolution, Jean-Baptiste-Alexandre Strolz served with the 1st Chasseurs à Cheval in the Army of the Moselle in 1793 and 1794. In June of 1794 he fought at the Battle of Fleurus , and afterwards when the army was reorganized he was assigned to the Army of the Sambre and Meuse. That August Strolz was employed in General Kléber's staff and then in September he was commissioned as a sous-lieutenant in the 16th Chasseurs à Cheval and also appointed an aide-de-camp to Kléber. Strolz remained with the Army of the Sambre and Meuse for the next few years and received a promotion to lieutenant on Christmas Day of 1796.

In May of 1798 Strolz became an aide-de-camp to General Hatry and the following month he received a promotion to capitaine. The next year Strolz was promoted to chef d'escadrons, and then in 1800 he became an aide-de-camp to General Moreau. Serving under Moreau, Strolz negotiated the armistice of Parsdorf in July of 1800 and then went on to fight at the Battle of Hohenlinden in December. During the years of peace that followed, Strolz returned to the 16th Chasseurs à Cheval until 1803 when he was appointed major to the 19th Chasseurs à Cheval.

When the War of the Third Coalition began in 1805, Strolz was serving in Italy. That October he became the deputy chief of staff to Marshal Masséna and then he fought at the Battle of Véronette where Masséna promoted him to colonel on the battlefield. In 1806 Strolz began to serve under Joseph Bonaparte in the Kingdom of Naples and that year he organized and took command of the Lancers of the Neapolitan Guard. Two years later in 1808 he was named a Commander of the Order of Two Sicilies and an aide-de-camp to King Joseph Bonaparte. Before long Joseph was called by Napoleon to be King of Spain and Strolz followed Joseph to the Spanish Peninsula.

As events did not play out as well as hoped for by the French, Strolz took an active command in the campaigns. In July of 1809 he commanded a brigade of light cavalry under Marshal Victor at the Battle of Talavera , and the next month he served at Almonacid. Joseph didn't hesitate to recognize Strolz's services, naming him a Knight of the Royal Order of Spain and then a commander of the same order. In 1811 Strolz was promoted to lieutenant general in the service of Spain and he continued to serve in Spain throughout the difficult years of Joseph's reign.

As the French withdrew from Spain, in January of 1814 Strolz was reintegrated in the French army as a général de brigade. He remained as an aide-de-camp to Joseph Bonaparte throughout the defense of France and accompanied him to the Battle of Paris in March. After Napoleon's abdication and the Bourbon Restoration, Strolz was recognized by the Bourbons as a lieutenant general and Knight of Saint Louis, but he was also put on non-activity. When Napoleon returned from exile in 1815 for the Hundred Days, Strolz rallied to him and was named commander at Strasbourg. That June he took command of the 9th Division of II Cavalry Corps under General Exelmans and he led them into action at Fleurus, Velizy, and Rocquencourt. After Napoleon's second abdication Strolz was put on non-activity, but many years later in 1831 he began a successful career in politics.


Updated September 2015

© Nathan D. Jensen