Bourcet, Pierre-Joseph

b. 1 March 1700, Usseaux or Yseaux (Dauphiné)

d. 14 October 1780, Grenoble

At the beginning of his career he was an artillery officer, then an engineer officer. He was in Italy in 1733-35, and took part in the sieges of the citadels of Milan, Novara, and Mirandola. Also captured the castle of Borgoforte. In Germany under de Maillebois in 1741, while still only a lieutenant. Between 1742 and 1744 he served in the Dauphiné. In Italy again in 1745-6 where he fought in the county of Nice, at the actions of Montalbano, Villefranche, and Col de l'Assiette. He was promoted lieutenant-colonel on 1 January 1745, colonel on 1 January 1747, and brigadier of infantry on 1 January 1748. During 1749-56 he served in the Dauphiné, working on the survey for a map of the frontier, then as director of fortifications. In 1756-7 he campaigned in Germany as an artillery commander and was at Rossbach, under Soubise. On 10 February 1759 he was promoted maréchal de camp, and the year after was principal member of the commission which had the task of setting the boundary between French territory and that of the Kingdom of Sardinia. In 1761 he commanded the engineers on the Lower Rhine. In 1762 he was promoted lieutenant-general, made commander of the Order of St Louis, and in 1763 was given command of the fortifications of Toulon. In 1769, the year of Napoleon's birth, he served in Corsica. His work Principes de la guerre de montagne dates from about 1766, but was not printed until 1888, and was never published. Sources: Balteau, J. and others. Dictionnaire de biographie française, , vol. 6, p. 1422; Michaud. Biographie universelle ancienne et moderne, 1843-?, vol. 5, pp. 290-1.

No biography in Bouvier, F. Bonaparte en Italie, 1796, 1899.

Amur leopards

A personal interest, and nothing to do with history.

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They are perhaps the most endangered animals in the world -- there are only about 30 left in the wild. They desperately need help from humankind. See www.amur-leopard.org.

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