Beauharnais, Eugene de, Viceroy of Italy (1781-1824).
French general. Principal wars: French Revolutionary (1792-1799) and Napoleonic Wars (1800-1815). Principal battles: Marengo (near Alessandria) (1800), the Raab, Wagram (1809), Borodino, Maloyaroslavets (near Kaluga) (1812), Lutzen, Mockern (1813).
Born September 3, 1781 in Paris, the son of Vicomte Alexandre de Beauharnais, a revolutionary general guillotined during the Terror (1794), and Josephine Tascher de la Pagerie, whose second husband was Napoleon Bonaparte; he entered the army as an aide-de-camp to Bonaparte and served in the Italian (1796-1797) and Egyptian (1798-1799) campaigns; his service as aide to Bonaparte during the coup d'etat of 18th Brumaire (November 9, 1799) and at Marengo (June 14, 1800) made his fortune; he was created a prince of the empire, an archchancellor of state, promoted to general, and made colonel general of the chasseurs of the Guard (1804); he was then appointed viceroy of Italy (1805) and was adopted by Napoleon (1806); he was made commander of the Army of Italy (1809) and served in the Danube campaign; he was defeated by the Austrians at Sacile (April 16) and Caldiero (near Verona) (April 29-30) but recovered and won an engagement at San Daniele (May 11); he then won a notable victory at the Raab (June 14), which Napoleon described as "a granddaughter of Marengo and Friedland," and fought at Wagram (July 5-6); during the Russian campaign (1812) he led the largely Italian IV Corps with distinction at Borodino (September 7) and Maloyaroslavets (October 24-25); during the retreat from Russia he was given command of the army by Murat, who abandoned the army and fled to Naples (January 18, 1813); in the 1813 campaign he played a major role in the victory at Lutzen (May 2) and was then sent to organize the defense of Italy; he won another victory at the Mincio (February 8, 1814) but was finally forced to conclude the armstice of Schiarino-Rizzino (April 16) with Austria and Naples, which ended the war in Italy; he then retired to Munich to live at the court of his father-in-law, the King of Bavaria; he was created Prince of Eichstadt and the Duke of Leuchtenberg and lived quietly in Munich until his death on February 21, 1824.
Eugene was a brave, energetic commander and a talented administrator; he was well liked by his soldiers and respected by his colleagues; Napoleon, who had educated him as a soldier and a statesman, loved him dearly and remarked, "Eugene never caused me the least chagrin." <BL>
Sources: Beauharnais, Eugene, Memoires et correspondance. Paris, 1858-1860. Connely, J., Napoleon's Satellite Kingdoms. New York, 1965. Six, G., Dictionnaire biographique des generaux et amiraux francais de la Revolution et de l'Empire (1792-1814), Vol. 1. Paris, 1934-1938.
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|Author:||Hawkins, Vincent B.|
|Publication:||The Harper Encyclopedia of Military Biography|
|Article Type:||Reference Source|
|Date:||Jan 1, 1992|
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