Dupas, Pierre-Louis

b. 13 February 1761, Evian (Haute-Savoie)

d. 6 March 1823, château of Ripaille, near Thonon

"Soldier in the Piedmont Dragoons (Sardinian army) on 1 March 1775, then passed to the service of Geneva on 30 March 1784. Left as a quartermaster in 1786. Soldier in the Swiss regiment of Châteauvieux, in the French service, on 1 August 1787. Fought in Corsica. Member of the Paris National Guard (district of Saint-Eustache) on 13 June 1789, and took part in the storming of the Bastille. Grenadier in Estrapade battalion on 3 September 1789. Lieutenant-colonel of the 6th Division of Foot Gendarmes on 1 August 1792. Adjutant-Major in the Allobroge Legion on 13 August 1792. Promoted captain on 1 December 1792, and chef de bataillon on 1 August 1793. At siege of Toulon. Served in the Army of the Pyrenees until 1795 with Allobroges, which had become the 4th Light, and was later the 27th Light. After the Italian campaign he went to Egypt on 11 May 1798, still with the 27th. Chef d'escadron commanding the General-in-Chief's foot guards [escort] on 13 June 1798. Commander of the 68th demi-brigade on 12 January 1799. Commander of the citadel of Cairo on 8 February 1799. Returned to France on 22 September 1801. Senior Adjutant of the Palace of the Tuileries on 19 March 1802. Colonel of the Mamelukes on 2 May 1803. General of Brigade on 29 August 1803. Deputy governor of the castle of Stupinis, in Piedmont, on 23 September 1804. Commanded a brigade of grenadiers under Oudinot at Austerlitz. General of Division on 24 December 1805. Commander of the Legion of Honour on 14 June 1804. Created count on 11 February 1809. Retired on 13 September 1813. Died at the château of Ripaille, near Thonon, on 6 March 1833 [sic]. His name is inscribed on the Arc de Triomphe, on the south side. A pencil portrait of him, by Dutertre, is in the Museum of Versailles. There is another in the biography of him by André Folliet and Dubouloz-Dupas.

In 1811, General Dupas had married a certain Mademoiselle Raimond, niece of General Hulin. He had received a sabre of honour for having been among the first to cross the bridge at Lodi, and in consequence had become a member of Legion of Honour by right on the creation of the order. Dupas also had a medal as 'Vainqueur de la Bastille' for having distinguished himself at the attack on the fortress with the French Guards." Bouvier, F. Bonaparte en Italie, 1796, Paris, 1899, p. 656.

Son of Gaspard and Antoinette Pélissier, he joined the regiment of Piedmont (in the service of the King of Sardinia) as a dragoon at the age of fourteen years. In 1784, he transferred to the service of the Republic of Geneva, became an NCO, and bought himself out in 1786. He then entered the French service in the Swiss regiment of Châteauvieux, which was garrisoned in Corsica. Having returned to Paris in 1788, he was at the storming of the Bastille the following year, and, on 3 September, entered the Parisian National Guard. He left this on 25 April 1791 to become lieutenant-colonel in the legion of gendarmerie called "The Conquerors of the Bastille". Then, after the declaration of "la patrie en danger" he obtained permission from the Minister of War, Servan, to go and serve in the Allobroge Legion as adjutant-major. He thus took part in the invasion of Savoy (1792-93), and was for a short time ADC to General Carteaux at the siege of Toulon. Having returned to his unit after the dismissal of his general, he was with the Army of the Eastern Pyrenees in the Val d'Aran. With the Army of Italy, after the peace with Spain, he was at the crossing of the Po, distinguished himself at Lodi, where his conduct won him a sword of honour, in the expedition to Livorno, where he commanded a battalion of grenadiers, and at the siege of Mantua. He received four wounds from firearms at the battle of Caldiero (12 November 1796), and another wound at Angiari (14 January 1797). Having made the journey to Egypt, he became chef de bataillon with Bonaparte's guides, was appointed chef de brigade, and commanded the citadel of Cairo, which he defended for 34 days in 1800, with no means of defence apart from 200 wounded soldiers. Having returned to France after the evacuation of Egypt, he was appointed senior adjutant of the Palace of the Government, became colonel of the Mamelukes on 2 May 1803, and general of brigade on the following 29 August. Senior commander of the Channel Coasts between the Seine and the Somme during the period of preparations at Boulogne, he became Commander of the Legion of Honour on 14 June 1804, commander of one of the brigades of Oudinot's corps in the Grande Armée in 1805, and distinguished himself at Austerlitz, where his brigade made 5,000 Austrians surrender, he was appointed general of division and received the Grand Sash of the Order of the Golden Lion of Bavaria at the Peace of Pressburg.

In Prussia and Poland in 1806-7 he took part in the siege of Stralsund and fought at Friedland, where he was mentioned in despatches as "having rendered the greatest services". He went to command a division a Stettin, then at Hamburg and in the Hanseatic towns. He was made a Knight of the Order of the Iron Crown on 25 December 1807, Count of the Empire on 29 January 1809, served with the Grande Armée during the campaign of 1809, at Passau, Ratisbon, Essling and Wagram. Having returned to France after the peace of Vienna, he remained in reserve until 1813, and was then called to command the 42nd division in the Corps of Observation at Mainz. his infirmities obliged him to return to France, and he was invalided out on 25 November 1813. He retired to his château of Ripaille, at Thonon, and died there on 6 March 1823. He had married a niece of General Hulin in 1811.

Heroism had been the dominating trait in his character, and his soldiers had nicknamed him "le général Z'en avant!". In Cairo, he had said "that he had no alternatives but capitulation or death, and consequently he had to stop at death". A statue was raised to him in Evian on 1 September 1901. Source: Balteau, J. and others. Dictionnaire de biographie française, Paris, 1933-, vol. 12, pp. 311-2.

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

Two biographies of Dupas are listed in Caldwell, R. J. The Era of the French Revolution: A Bibliography of the History of Western Civilization, 1789-1799, New York, 1985.

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