Marshal Jean Baptiste Jourdan

The Hat Maker Who Became Marshal


Jourdan (zhoor-dan'), Jean Baptiste, marshal, born at Limoges, France, April 29, a 1762; died Nov. 23, 1833. He was the son of a surgeon and studied for the army, and in 1778 fought under Count d’Estaing in the war for American independence. In 1784 he returned to France and opened a millinery store in his native city, but became a captain of the national guard at the beginning of the French Revolution.

He distinguished himself under Dumouriez, and in 1793 defeated the Austrians at Wattignies and the next year at Fleurus. He v was less successful the next two years, meeting defeat at Amberg and at Wurzburg, but in 1799 secured command of the army of the Danube, and was defeated at Ostrach by Archduke Charles. In 1800 he was made governor of Piedmont by Napoleon, and Louis XVIII. raised him to the dignity of a count. He was minister of foreign affairs during the July Revolution.

Great Military Commanders of the Napoleonic Wars