General Louis VallinCavalry general and brother-in-law to General Daumesnil
Born: August 16, 1770
Place of Birth: Dormans, Marne, France
Legion of Honor: Grand Officer
Imperial Nobility: Baron
Died: December 25, 1854
Place of Death: Paris, France
Arc de Triomphe: VALLIN on the east pillar
The son of a postmaster, Louis Vallin first joined the army as a grenadier in the National Guard of Dormans in August of 1792. The next year he served as a capitaine in the 8th Battalion of Requisition of Marne and then in January of 1794 he took command of the battalion. Vallin fought at the Battle of Fleurus in June of 1794 and when the army was reorganized he joined the Army of the Sambre and Meuse and went on to serve at the Siege of Maestricht. In 1796 Vallin joined the expedition to Ireland as an aide-de-camp to General Hardy. After that failed expedition, he served in the Army of the Rhine in 1797 and the Army of England in 1798. In April of 1798 Vallin was promoted to chef d'escadrons in the 2nd Hussars and then he was designated for the next expedition to Ireland. As part of the second wave of troops, Vallin was serving with Hardy aboard Hoche but their ship was captured by the British before they could land in Ireland. Vallin was exchanged and he passed to the Army of Switzerland with Hardy and then in 1800 he served with the Army of the Rhine.
During the peace that followed, Vallin served in Hanover and he was appointed major of the 4th Hussars. He remained in Hanover and in 1807 he was promoted to colonel of the 6th Hussars. Next Vallin was sent to serve in the Army of Italy and he took part in the campaign of 1809. He fought at Sacile in April of 1809 where he was wounded by two sabre blows and then he fought in May at the crossing of the Piave where he was wounded by another sabre blow, this time to the right wrist. In June Vallin served in Dessaix's brigade and then in July he joined Berckheim's brigade and served at the Battle of Wagram . A month later he named a Baron of the Empire. In May of 1810 Vallin married Angélique Saubade Garat, daughter of the Director General of the Bank of France. Two years later this made Vallin a brother-in-law to General Daumesnil when Daumesnil also married a daughter of Director Garat.
Vallin took part in the campaign against Russia of 1812, serving in Chastel's division. During the retreat, in December he was promoted to général de brigade by Napoleon at Smorgoni. Vallin next took command of the advance guard of the army under Prince Eugene and he remained in this position until April of 1813. He then rejoined Chastel's division, now part of I Cavalry Corps, for the campaign in Saxony and he served at the action of Halle in April of 1813. Vallin joined IV Cavalry Corps in October and then in December he took command of the 2nd Regiment of the Guards of Honor. For the defense of France Vallin served at the depot of Versailles and remained there throughout the campaigns.
After Napoleon's abdication and the Bourbon Restoration, Vallin was given command of a brigade of cavalry. In March of 1815 he was put at the disposition of the Duke of Berry but he resigned his command and rallied to Napoleon who had returned from exile. Vallin was given command of the 1st Brigade of Maurin's 7th Cavalry Division of General Gérard's IV Corps. He served on the campaign in Belgium that June and he commanded the division at the Battle of Wavre because General Maurin had been wounded at Ligny. After the French loss of the Battle of Waterloo, Vallin served in the rear guard until the army reached Paris. He then fought at Rocquencourt on July 1st, 1815. Vallin continued to have a successful military career after the second Bourbon Restoration.
Updated August 2017
© Nathan D. Jensen