Duc de Trevise
talented and brave, Edouard Mortier was one of those rare soldiers
who refused a promotion to general - only to have it reoffered later
and then go on to win a marshalship.
had risen through the ranks of the National Guard and served as
a captain of volunteers at Jemappes,
Namur, Neerwinden, Fleurus and
was offered a generalship in 1797 but did not accept it until two
years later when, after Zurich, he made an almost immediate jump
to general of division.
1803, he oversaw the occupation of Hanover and the next year accepted
his marshal's baton and took over the Imperial Guard infantry.
the Austerlitz campaign, Mortier
won great acclaim for his courageous handling of a small force of
men at Durrenstein.
5000 men were left behind by Marshal
Murat's careless pursuit of the Russians after Ulm
and found themselves attacked by some 40,000 enemy troops. Mortier's
men fought tenaciously and extricated themselves from the suicidal
position. Both sides lost some 3000 men.
Austerlitz he took over V Corps and a year later commanded VIII
Corps conquest of Hanover and Hesse. More battles followed including
Saragossa, Ocana and Badajoz.
led the Young Guard into battle at Borodino
and then took over administration of the enemy capital, where he
refused to follow an order to blow up the fire-ravaged city on the
the retreat, he fought at Krasnoe
and Beresina and in the 1813
Campaign saw action at Lutzen,
1814 defence of France saw
him involved in several of the major clashes.
joined Napoleon Bonaparte upon
his return from exile, but illness stopped him having any hand in
the 100 Days' Campaign.
next service was an unwilling one, where he had to serve at Marshal
Ney's court martial. He was no doubt pleased when the court
1834, Mortier was made Minister of War, but died a year later -
killed by a bomb at a parade.