General Louis Joseph Vichery
Born: September 20, 1767
Place of Birth: Frévent, Pas-de-Calais, France
Died: February 22, 1841
Cause of Death: Apoplexy
Place of Death: Paris, France
Arc de Triomphe: VICHERY on the north pillar
The son of a wool merchant, Louis Joseph Vichery first entered the service of France in 1781 in the corps of Montréal. He left the service in 1787 and then in 1790 he entered the service of Belgium. The following year Vichery served with the Parisian National Guard and then in June of 1792 he joined the 1st Belgian Battalion as a sergeant. Serving with the Army of the North, he was promoted to sous-lieutenant in November of 1792. In October of 1793 Vichery became an aide-de-camp to General Dumonceau and then in February of 1794 he joined the 5th Battalion of Tirailleurs. Two months later he served with the staff of General Souham and then in 1796 he left Belgian service to begin service in Holland. In July of 1797 Vichery was promoted to lieutenant colonel and then in the following months he embarked on the ships in the harbor of Texel that were intended to go to Ireland, but ultimately the expedition was abandoned.
In 1799 Vichery served in the Army of Holland then in 1800 and 1801 he served with the French-Dutch army. He was promoted to colonel in 1803 and then in 1805 he served on the campaign against Austria as Dumonceau's chief of staff in the 3rd Division of Marmont's II Corps. In March of 1807 Vichery was named an aide-de-camp to the King of Holland, Napoleon's brother Louis, and the next month he was promoted to général-major. In 1809 he served in the Army of Brabant and in 1810 he served in Molitor's division before being sent to Spain.
Vichery returned to French service in November of 1810 as a général de brigade and he took command of a brigade in the IX Corps of the Army of Spain. In May of 1811 he served at the Battle of Fuentes de Oñoro . Vichery continued to command a brigade in different corps in Spain and in February of 1812 he joined the Army of the South in Andalusia. That June he defeated the guerrillas at Alcancin. In February of 1813 Vichery distinguished himself at the combat of Siguenza in Spain where he took 1000 men prisoner and was wounded. Three months later he was promoted to général de division and then he was recalled to Germany. Once in Germany, Vichery took command of the 50th Infantry Division in Marshal Davout's XIII Corps assigned to defend Hamburg. He remained in Hamburg until the city's eventual surrender well after Napoleon's abdication in 1814.
During the first Bourbon Restoration, Vichery was named commander at Dunkirk and a Commander of the Legion of Honor. After Napoleon escaped exile and resumed power in 1815 for the Hundred Days, Vichery was named commander of the 13th Division of General Gérard's IV Corps. That June he fought at the Battle of Ligny and then Wavre and afterwards he served under Vandamme before Paris. He then left the army and was forcibly retired by the Bourbons.
- Divry, Arnauld. Les Noms Gravés sur l'Arc de Triomphe. Paris: L'Harmattan, 2017.
- Six, Georges. Dictionnaire Biographique des Généraux & Amiraux Français de la Révolution et de l'Empire (1792-1814). 2 vols. Paris: Gaston Saffroy, 2003.
Updated August 2017
© Nathan D. Jensen