Barthélemy Louis Joseph Schérer


Barthélemy Louis Joseph Schérer

Barthélemy Louis Joseph Schérer (December 18, 1747 - August 19, 1804), born in Delle, near Belfort was a French general.

Schérer served in the Austrian army before the Revolution, but defected to France in 1775. In 1780 Schérer became a major in an artillery regiment stationed in Strasbourg. He entered Dutch service in 1785 as a major in the "légion de Maillebois". In 1790 he was released from Dutch service with the rank of lieutenant-colonel.

He returned to France in 1791 and in 1792 was made a captain in the 82nd Infantry Regiment, serving as aide-de-camp to general Despretz–Crassier at Valmy. In 1793 he served as a senior aide-de-camp to general de Beauharnais on the Rhine. In 1794, Schérer was promoted to the rank of "général de division" and commanded a division in the Army of the Sambre and Meuse, serving with distinction at Aldenhoven. On May 3, he married Marie Françoise Henriette Caroline Müller in a civil ceremony at Delle in the Franche-Comté. On November 3, 1794, he was named commander of the Army of Italy before his transfer to command the Army of the Eastern Pyrenees on March 3, 1795. On June 14 Schérer commanded 12,000 men in battle at Fluvia against 28,000 Spanish troops.

On August 31, 1795 he was again send to Italy to replace Kellerman as commander-in-chief of the Army of Italy. As commander of the Army of Italy, Schérer won the battle of Loano (22-24 November 1795) against an Austrian army but then failed to exploit his advantage. He was relieved of the command of his army on February 23, 1796 and replaced by Bonaparte.

He was then unemployed for a number of months until being named Inspector-General of Cavalry, first of the Army of the Interior and then of the Army of the Rhine and the Moselle. He served as French Minister of War from July 22, 1797 to February 21, 1799. Schérer was then given command of the Army of Italy once again, but unable to stop the Russo-Austrian advance he was defeated by Kray at Pastrengo (March 26), Verona (March 30) and Magnano (April 5). Forced to retire behind the river Mincio, he surrendered command to Moreau. Because of his loss of Italy he was forced to appear before a committee of inquiry; after securing an acquittal, he retired to private life on his estate at Chauny in Picardy, where he died in 1804.

External links

* [http://www.delle.fr/tourisme/scherer.html website of the city of Delle about Schérer]
* [http://wars175x.narod.ru/bgr_schrr_e.html Barthélemy Louis Joseph Schérer (1747-1804) The Encyclopedia of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars]


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