General Jean-Baptiste-Cyrus-Marie-Adélaïde de Timbrune de Thiembronn Valence
Born: September 22, 1757
Place of Birth: Agen, Lot-et-Garonne, France
Died: February 4, 1822
Place of Death: Paris, France
Arc de Triomphe: VALENCE on the north pillar
Of noble birth, Jean-Baptiste-Cyrus-Marie-Adélaïde de Timbrune de Thiembronn Valence began his military career in 1772 when he entered the artillery school at Strasbourg. By 1779 he had risen to the rank of capitaine and was appointed aide-de-camp to Marshal Vaux for the expedition to England that never occurred. Over the next years he married the daughter of Madame de Genlis and by 1789 he was the colonel of the Chartres Dragoons. With the calling of the Estates-General that year, Valence was elected a deputy of the nobility for the city of Paris.
As the Revolution got underway, Valence took command of the 1st Carabiniers in 1791. That year he was honored as a Knight of Saint Louis and then in December he was promoted to maréchal de camp. Sent to Strasbourg to command, in August of 1792 he was promoted to lieutenant general and then served under Kellermann at the Battle of Valmy. Afterwards Valence joined the Army of the Ardennes and served under Dumouriez, and during that time he led his men in seizing Dinant, Charleroi, and Namur. When Dumouriez was absent temporarily, Valence would take command of the army as an interim commander. In March of 1793 Valence commanded the right at Neerwinden where he was wounded. The next month when Dumouriez fled France, Valence fled with him.
During Valence's time in exile, he traveled to England and the United States before finally residing in Hamburg. After Napoleon took power and issued a general amnesty for those who had fled during the Revolution, Valence returned to France.
In 1805 Valence was appointed a senator, and in 1807 he became commander of the reserve at Grenoble. Valence resumed a more active career when in September of 1808 he took command of the 3rd Polish Division of IV corps and went to Spain.
At the end of 1811 General Valence was sent to Germany to command the 5th Cuirassier Division in preparation for the campaign to Russia. Valence's division became part of Nansouty's I Cavalry Corps and he served throughout the campaign and fought at Mohilew.
In 1814 Valence became the secretary of the senate and after Napoleon's abdication the Bourbons made him a Peer of France. When Napoleon returned for the Hundred Days, Valence rallied to him and that June he helped to defend the left bank of the Seine. After the Second Restoration of the Bourbons, they removed him from the Chamber of Peers and forcibly retired him. In 1816 his daughter married General Gérard.
- Six, Georges. Dictionnaire Biographique des Généraux & Amiraux Français de la Révolution et de l'Empire (1792-1814). 2 vols. Paris: Gaston Saffroy, 2003.
Updated May 2014
© Nathan D. Jensen