General François-Jean WerléGénéral de brigade who was killed at Albuera
Born: September 6, 1763
Place of Birth: Soultz, Haut-Rhin, France
Legion of Honor: Commander
Imperial Nobility: Baron
Died: May 16, 1811
Cause of Death: Killed in action
Place of Death: Albuera, Spain
Arc de Triomphe: WERLE on the west pillar
François-Joseph Werlé first joined the military by enlisting in the infantry in 1781. In 1789 he obtained a leave and then in 1790 he joined the National Guard of Soultz. The next year Werlé joined the 1st Battalion of Volunteers of Haut-Rhin where he was elected a lieutenant. Serving with the Army of the Rhine, Werlé was promoted to capitaine in 1792 and was wounded in the right shoulder in action. In 1794 he served at Fleurus , joined the Army of the Sambre and Meuse, and fought at the battles of the Ourthe and the Roer.
1797 saw Werlé becoming an aide-de-camp to Lefebvre and receiving a promotion to chef de bataillon. In 1799 he served with the Army of the Danube, distinguishing himself at Ostrach in March and receiving a promotion to chef de brigade the same day. The next year Werlé served with the Army of Italy, and then in 1801 he fought Piedmontese insurgents at San-Martino.
During the years of peace that followed, Werlé was employed in the 2nd military division and then the Army of Hanover, where he was promoted to général de brigade. In 1804 he became a Commander of the Legion of Honor and then when war broke out in 1805 he was given command of the 2nd Brigade of the Drouet's division in I Corps. Werlé took part in the campaign in Austria that year and fought at the combat of Golling in October. For the Prussian campaign of 1806, Werlé fought at Schleiz and Halle in October and then Lubeck in November. The next January he fought at Mohurgen before being replaced by Gérard in March.
General Werlé returned to an active command in October of 1808 when he joined the 2nd Division of IV Corps of the Army of Spain. That year he was also made a Baron of the Empire. In 1809 he fought at Almonacid and in 1810 he seized the chateaus of Motril and Almunejar. In 1811 Werlé was commanding the reserve at the Battle of Albuera when he was killed.
Updated April 2014
© Nathan D. Jensen