Aune, Léon

b. 7 February 1774, Aix

d. 23 February 1803, Paris

Known as Léon, called by Bonaparte "the second grenadier of France". "Born in Aix (Bouches-du-Rhône) in 1774, according to most biographers, or in Arles on 7 February 1777 according to his brevet and his marriage certificate. A soldier in the 11th infantry regiment (formerly La Marine), on 12 March 1792, successively incorporated into the 21st and 32nd demi-brigades in 1793 and 1796, Aune was promoted second lieutenant in the 32nd on 22 December 1799, second lieutenant in the Foot Grenadiers of the Consular Guard on 20 February 1800, received a sabre and a musket of honour on 29 March 1800 for brilliant actions, became lieutenant on 2 December 1802 ... In reply to the letter of thanks which he sent for his weapons of honour, the First Consul said to him 'My brave comrade ... you are the bravest grenadier in the army after the death of the brave Bénezette.' Bonaparte desired that, even after his death, Léon Aune should be included in the promotions of the Legion of Honour. His name figured as a chevalier among those of 24 September 1803, and as an officer among those of 14 June 1804 ... Léon Aune's sabre of honour is at the Musée de l'Armée, to which it was given by M. Gabriel Cottreau. The Carnet de la Sabretache of April 1895 (p. 156-165) gave a drawing of it, with a notice by M. Cottreau. See also Arthur Lévy: Napoléon Intime, p. 386." Bouvier, F. Bonaparte en Italie, 1796, 1899, p. 664-5.

Aune joined the army using the name Léon. Distinguished at Montenotte, Dego, Lodi (where he won a sword of honour), Borghetto, Lonato, San Giorgio (September 1796), and Bassano. At Marengo. Napoleon had him taught to read and write so that he could be promoted. He died of pneumonia. See Balteau, J. and others. Dictionnaire de biographie française, 1933-, vol 4, p. 645-6. This article takes its information from Cottreau's biography and from Roguet's Mémoires. It also states that 1774 is a more likely date of birth than 1777.

See also Lumbroso, A. Correspondance de Joachim Murat, 1899. Much of the information about Aune seems to come from Roguet, F. Mémoires militaires du lieutenant général comte Roguet (François), colonel en second des grenadiers à pied de la Vieille Garde, pair de France, 1862.

Not listed in Michaud. Biographie universelle ancienne et moderne, 1843-?.

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