Bertrand, Henri-Gratien

b. 28 March 1773, Châteauroux, Indre

d. 31 January 1844, Châteauroux, Indre

Joined the Paris National Guard in 1792. On 16 July 1793, entered the engineer school at Mézières. A year later he was sent to the army of the Sambre and Meuse. Met Bonaparte in Italy in 1797. Took part in the Egyptian campaign, where he commanded the engineers of Bon's division. Promoted general of brigade on 6 September 1800. Returned to France in 1801. Became ADC to Napoleon in 1804. At Ulm, Austerlitz, Jena. Promoted general of division on 30 May 1807. Served at Friedland. Married Fanny Dillon on 16 September 1808, and was created count on the 21st. Followed Napoleon to Spain in November. Given command of the engineers of the Army of Germany in March 1809. Constructed the bridges over the Danube for the battles of Essling and Wagram. In 1811 appointed governor of the Illyrian provinces. In 1813 he commanded first in Italy, then in Saxony. Fought at Lutzen, Bautzen, Dennewitz, and, at the time of Leipzig, guarded the bridges at Lindenau. Also fought at Hanau, and on 18 November was appointed Grand Marshal of the Imperial Palace to replace Duroc. From then he was Napoleon's constant companion, following him to Elba and to Saint Helena. Attended Napoleon until the moment of his death, and was one of the executor's of his will. On returning to France, he lived in retirement until the revolution of 1830, when he became commander of the Ecole Polytechnique. He retired in 1832, though he then served as a deputy for the Indre. In 1840, when it was decided to return Napoleon's body to France, he went to Saint Helena with the Prince of Joinville to supervise the exhumation and journey back. At the ceremony at which Napoleon's coffin was placed in Les Invalides, it was Bertrand who placed on it the sword that Napoleon had worn at Austerlitz, which had been destined to be given to Napoleon's son, but was never delivered to him. Source: Balteau, J. and others. Dictionnaire de biographie française, 1933-, vol. 6, pp. 270-2.

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

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