Lusignan, Franz Joseph

b. 23 June 1753, Jaca, Aragon

d. 23 December 1832, Eiwanowacz, Moravia

"Marquis, Feldzeugmeister, and Knight of the Order of Maria Theresa ... Born into an old Spanish family. At 18 years old, he became a cadet in IR Ferraris, and at the beginning of the War of the Bavarian Succession he was a captain in the newly-formed Galician Freicorps Potocki. With its reduction, he returned to his former regiment, and in 1781 to IR Bender, no 41. In January 1789, Lusignan was promoted to major. He was at that time in the Netherlands fighting the rebels. The Austrian advanced troops were before Rochefort near Liège, and on 24 March 1790 the enemy advanced, 4,000 strong, in three columns. Major Lusignan was at Humain with his detachment, and no sooner received news of the advance of the enemy, than he decided to advance towards him and attack him. He carried out this task with a squad of 400 men, attacked the insurgents with determination, and threw them back to Rochefort, inflicting on them great losses. For this feat of arms, Lusignan was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Order of Maria Theresa in the 23rd promotion (of 19 December 1790). In the battle of Jemappes (6 November 1792) he was already serving as a lieutenant-colonel. At the action at Bivier l'Ageau (2 December 1792) he was taken prisoner with 200 men of his regiment. Having been exchanged, he distinguished himself in 1794 at Merzig, which place he defended against superior enemy forces for a whole day on 6 May. In June, in recognition of this feat of arms, he was made colonel and commander of IR Klebeck, no. 14. He served with this in the army of the Rhine, and distinguished himself again at the capture of the Hartenberg before Mainz, at the capture of Nekarau at Mannheim (18 October) and at the defence of Edisheim (in December). In 1797, he served in Italy with his regiment. At the attack on Rivoli (14 January 1797) he commanded the first column, and eluded capture with much difficulty. In 1799, already a General-Major, he distinguished himself again at Torre di Garofoli (16 May 1799). Attacked by the enemy in superior numbers, he linked with five Russian battalions under Bagration, which were at San Giuliano, and drove the French over the Bormida and back to Marengo. Finally, at the battle of Novi (15 August 1799), under a heavy rain of cannon-balls, he and his brigade attacked the heights lying before them with great bravery and made themselves masters of the position. However, already three-times wounded, he had his horse shot from under him, and was captured. The troops, however, in order soon to rescue their commander, continued to fight courageously, and inflicted heavy losses on the fleeing enemy. In January 1801, Lusignan was promoted Feldmarschall-Lieutenant, and in the following year became Inhaber of IR no. 16. Lusignan fought again in the campaigns of 1805 and 1809. In the

latter year, at Hausen (19 April), he again showed the courage of which he had so often given proof, but was badly wounded in the head, and in consequence of this went into retirement on 29 May 1809 as Feldzeugmeister. He was to enjoy his retirement for another 23 years, then died at the age of 79 on his estate at Eiwanowacz in Moravia." Wurzbach, C., von. Biographisches Lexikon des Kaiserthums Oesterreich, 1856-91, vol 16, p. 167-8.

Amur leopards

A personal interest, and nothing to do with history.

Amur leopard conservation logo

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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