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"Question re: 23rd Line and 8th Light at Wagram" Topic


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tvlamb31 May 2018 8:55 a.m. PST

There were two battalions of each of theses regiments in the Army of Italy under Eugene and two more in XI Corps. Does anyone know which battalions were in each? The 4th battalions would have been conscripts; the rest were veterans. And by this time only the 1st battalion was supposed to carry colors. I expect the Army of Italy had the senior battalions (at about 50% srength) and the colors, but can't confirm.
Thanks.

Artilleryman31 May 2018 9:45 a.m. PST

I have checked my sources and found the said units in Marshal Marmont's XI Corps. The 8th Leger and 23rd Ligne made up Delzons' Bde in Clauzel's 2nd Division and according to Bowden they were the 1st and 2nd battalions in both cases.

Gill puts 2 battalions of the 23rd Ligne in the Army of Italy and specifically says they were the 3rd and 4th. The 8th Leger also have 2 battalions there and again are noted as the 3rd and 4th.

Hope that helps

Jcfrog Supporting Member of TMP31 May 2018 11:17 a.m. PST

4th bn do not have to be conscripts( rencent),it depends when they were formed.

Le Breton31 May 2018 1:19 p.m. PST

23e de ligne – 1er juillet 1809

dépôt à Genève (7e division militaire) – capitaine quartier-maître trésorier Alexis-Jacques Gaignot (1773-1850)
--- 5e bataillon : 2 compagnies à la 17e demi-brigade provisoire de réserve à Alexandrie, 2 compagnies au dépôt (conscrits du département de l'Aude, en Occitanie)

colonel Jean-Frédéric Minal (1765-1817) *
--- 1e bataillon : commandant vacant – armée de Dalmatie, 2e division
--- 2e bataillon : chef de bataillon Louis-Joseph-Léonard Desalons (1771-1830), blessé au Wagram – armée de Dalmatie, 2e division
* À Wagram : 11e corps (Marmont), 2e division (Clauzel)


major Joseph Terrier (1765-1850) **
--- 3e bataillon : chef de bataillon Victor-René Vernet (1766-1834) – armée d'Italie, 2e division
--- 4e bataillon : commandant vacant – armée d'Italie, 2e division
** À Wagram : 5e corps (Macdonald), 2e division (Lamarque)

Le Breton31 May 2018 3:25 p.m. PST

8e léger – juillet 1809

dépôt à Genève (7e division militaire) – capitaine quartier-maître trésorier Bouzeau
--- 5e bataillon : 2 compagnies à la 17e brigade provisoire de réserve à Alexandrie, 2 compagnies au dépôt (conscrits du département de la Corrèze, en Occitanie)

major Charles Crosse (1772-1827) *
--- 1e bataillon : chef de bataillon Jean-Baptiste Bois (1773-1843), blessé à Wagram
--- 2e bataillon : chef de bataillon Jean-François Margerit (1762-1824)
* À Wagram : 11e corps (Marmont), 2e division (Clauzel)

colonel Antoine-Alexandre Julienne de Belair (1775-1838) **
--- 3e bataillon : chef de bataillon Alyre-Gilbert de Bletterie (1770-1832)
--- 4e bataillon : chef de bataillon Jean-Baptiste Latour (1768-1842), blessé à Wagram
** À Wagram : 6e corps (Grenier), 3e division (Pacthod)

Note :
At Wagram, the colonel à la suite du 8e léger Jean-Francois-Auguste Sarraire (1772-1810) commanded with distinction, according to his Légion d'honneur dossier, a provisional formation under général de division Pacthod. Soon after the battle, he appears to take command of his regiment, replacing the colonel Julienne de Belair.

tvlamb01 Jun 2018 4:49 a.m. PST

Gentlemen,
Many thanks for the excellent information.

And obviously these 4th battalions were experienced troops unlike most of the 4th battalions present at Wagram. II Corps was made up primarily of 4th battalions who I've always thought raw conscripts at the start of the campaign though stiffened by some of the best units in the entire army – 10th Legere, 57th Line, Tirailleurs du Po & Tirailleurs Corses.

There are several regiments in the Army of Italy that had 4 battalions present, all seriously under strength implying long campaigning/experience but the rest of the 4th battalions seem to be green. Were any of the 4th battalions in II Corps or 4th Division of III Corps other than conscripts?

Le Breton01 Jun 2018 8:52 a.m. PST

I think you might have to go unti-by-unit to answer this. FOr example ….

For the 7e régiment d'infanterie légère (4e bataillon – chef de bataillon Thomas) in the 3e corps (Davout), 4e division (Puthod), the story is a bit complicated.

It was not exactly a "battalion of conscripts", but was composed of the remainder of the original 3e bataillon (which had been used to top up the 1er & 2e bataillons in March 1807), the returning elite companies that came back from Oudinot's reserve formation in September 1808 and conscripts who had been upwards of a year in training. I do not think it would have any different capability or "rating" than the first 3 battalions.

The 5e bataillion was in July 1809 a true dépôt batailion without elite companies and 3 chasseur compagnies with the 12e demi-brigade de réserve à Neufbrisach and 1 chasseur compagnie et the dépôt at Huningue in Alsace (5e division militaire).

tvlamb02 Jun 2018 7:06 a.m. PST

Again, many thanks.

One of these days I'll have to learn enough French that I can go to the best source material myself.

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