Boniface de Castellane


Boniface de Castellane

Esprit Victor Elisabeth "Boniface" de Castellane, Marquis de Castellane (March 21, 1788 - September 16 1862) was a Marshal of France.

First Empire

De Castellane entered the French army on the day of the coronation of Napoléon I of France (December 2, 1804) as an enlisted soldier in the 5th Light Infantry Regiment. In February 1806 he was promoted to 2nd lieutenant in the 7th Dragoons. The same month he was transferred to the 24th Dragoons with whom he served in the Kingdom of Naples. In 1808 de Castellane followed general Georges Mouton into Spain as an aide-de-camp. When Napoléon returned to Germany in 1809, de Castellane follwoed and in that campaign he fought at Abensberg, Eckmühl, Ratisbon, Aspern-Essling and Wagram.

Promoted to captain in 1810 he further served Mouton, by now count of Lobau, as aide-de-camp and he accompagnied him into Russia where he served at Vitebsk, Smolensk and Borodino. In October 1812 he was made aide-de-camp of general Narbonne and was present at Krasnoi and the crossing of the Beresina. Promoted to major, he served in the personal protection detail of the emperor during the retreat. De Castellane was promoted to command of the 1st Regiment Garde d'Honneur in June 1813. During the German campaign he fought at Dresden.

Restoration and July Monarchy

In 1822 de Castellane was given command of a regiment of hussars of the Royal Guard. In 1823 he was serving in Spain but he was recalled in 1827 for his opposition to Ferdinand VII's politics of revenge. In 1824 he was made maréchal de camp. In 1829 he was made an inspector-general of infantry. De Castellane was part of the French army sent to secure Belgium's new found independence. In this campaign he commanded the 1st brigade of the 2nd division. He served in the siege of Antwerp in 1832. In 1833 de Castellane was promoted lieutenant-general and given command of the division of the Pyrénées-Orientales and in 1835 of the 21th military division. Appointed a Peer of France in 1837, de Castellane was sent to Algeria as inspector-general. In 1838 he returned to his old post in the Pyrenees.

Revolution, Republic and Second Empire

In February 1850 de Castellane was given command of the 42th military division at Bordeaux. Later to this was added the 44th and 45th divisions centered at Nantes and Rennes. Later that year he was sent to the 6th military divisdion at Lyon. In January 1852 he was named a senator and in December that year he was given the dignity of Marshal d'Empire.


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