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"Capitaine Pierre-Julien Hamon" Topic

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MarbotsChasseurs24 Dec 2021 1:33 p.m. PST

Hello everyone,

I have been working on an article on Capitaine Pierre Hamon's career. Today, two hundred fifteen years ago, he received a devasting wound to the right part of his face that would end his career at the Combat on Sochocin on 24 December 1806. Below is Hamon dressed in grande tenue of the Capitaine commanding the 1e Carabiners of the 7e Légère. Thanks to the help of Mr. Dawson, details such as four buttons on his cuffs can be found.

I appreciate the help of TMP members Michman and von Winterfeldt for help with research on his early career.


Hamon's service record from Base Leonore. Lierneur's report can be seen on the back page (second page)


Hamon's service record from 2Yb552


SHaT198424 Dec 2021 1:39 p.m. PST

Excellent work mike!

MarbotsChasseurs24 Dec 2021 2:54 p.m. PST

Thanks, Dave, but my spelling of devastating is horrible, haha.

The surgeon-majors reports are always more detailed than the basic he was shot in the jaw from the service records on the front.

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP24 Dec 2021 3:04 p.m. PST

Incredible what folk can survive. In a pre antibiotics era, with limited surgical knowledge and maxillo-facial surgeons just a distant future it is just incredible he did not immediately die from infective complications, or later malnutrition and aspiration. Loss of the anterior tongue means no articulation. You can vocalise with your larynx, but, without your tongue, forget most consonants of speech.

I got off lightly, with the same thing that got Michael Douglas (it is a huge problem right now and all down to HPV) but at least I still have most of my tongue, jaw bone and some neck glands (some)……..what this chap must have gone through 200 years ago……..

MarbotsChasseurs24 Dec 2021 3:38 p.m. PST


I appreciate you sharing your experience!

The 7th Corps operational journal reported that the Captain of Carabiniers was killed in action. The severity of his wound no doubt made everyone presume he would die. It came down to the skill of the regiments' surgeon-major and sous-aides that he survived and his toughness of character. However, what quality of life he had, later on, is debatable even though he lived for another 25 years.

SHaT198424 Dec 2021 4:24 p.m. PST

Very similar to Louis Etienne Dulong de Rosnay of 15eme Legere (amongst other commands) link

whose right arm wound, with obvious infection and disablement of the arm, didn't stop him advancing himself at every turn. Amazing people…

von Winterfeldt25 Dec 2021 12:16 a.m. PST

I am admiring your work, top notch research and nicely presented, you achieve in creating a human being behind a name and show the suffering of such soldiers, they had to live with the pain and handicap of such wounds.
Yes it is amazing what injury and treatment people ccould survive and still do.

MarbotsChasseurs25 Dec 2021 12:48 p.m. PST

von W,

As you have seen the rough draft of my article, I am grateful for your comment. I hope one day to publish it, but for now, my focus is to help bring the story of soldiers' experiences that I find.


Dr. Larrey's memoirs are great for describing wounds, the treatments, and how men recovered.

SHaT198405 Feb 2022 1:37 p.m. PST

In my cursive roll around the universe, or at least the tangible internet I visit, I came back to your Blog and re-read this and earlier posts.

I see you have the added contradiction of 'illustrated' uniforms to contend with as we've discussed a few times here.

I see Capt. Hamon by your illustration in bearskin (ourson) as is reasonable for 1807. By 1809 you are citing the regiments Carabinier companies in shakos instead. While I can see this happened it is unusual for this army to give up elite 'decorations', but perhaps the ourson was a cumbersome headgear in view of their very active legere role.

Have you discovered when this regimental uniform transition occurred? Given the 3 years of campaigns, [1805-1807] followed by their 'garrison' inside German states till '09, I'm sure the 'clean up' of the regiments uniforms and equipment wasn't too distant from the '07 campaign period itself.

I haven't yet got this far in my translating Davouts Memoires and reports.

I also hadn't seen the articles pages by D.Davin on 10e legere you posted back in 2020, apologies if you had pointed me there and I had overlooked them?
Do you also have the first pages of that article (Nov 2020)? As you know I'm extremely concentrated on the 10eme, when in fact there are few 'early Empire' uniforms known or illustrated, other than that I had posted earlier by B.Zix in my TMP link

Looking forward to new information, I'm sure we all do.

MarbotsChasseurs05 Feb 2022 6:51 p.m. PST


Mr. Dawson helped me with the uniform details for Capit. Hamon. He also added that the regimen would have worn a 4 button cuff, which was in fashion at the time. I could be wrong, but I believe I asked Mr. Dawson about the bearskins for 1809 and he said the regiment was in shako and the colpack that is commonly shown in illustrations is not real for the regiment. I need to ask him again to reconfirm.

However, Capit Cordeux of the 15e Legere in his letters home to his brother mentions wearing a bearskin in 1811 for his very expensive uniform.

I believe I posted everything I have on the 10e Legere. Frederic Berjaud article has more details I believe as it was created by Mr. Davin.

I will let you know if I find any information out on uniforms.


Bernard180907 Feb 2022 3:30 a.m. PST

La faute est très souvent commise.

On dit bonnet d'oursin et non pas d'ourson!

Ayez une pensée émue pour tous ces adorables petits oursons…

Michman07 Feb 2022 4:03 a.m. PST

Cher Bernard,

It was "oursin" in the era, but – for good or evil – "ourson" was also used from the late 19th century.

Dictionnaire de la langue française
Tome 3 [1873]
OURSON (our-son) s. m.
1. Le petit de l'ours.
2. Bonnet à poil.
3. L'ours noir d'Amérique.

Le Dictionnaire de l'Académie française
Huitième Édition. Tome 2 [1932]
OURSON. n. m.
Le petit d'un ours.
Il se disait aussi du bonnet à poil. Voyez OURSIN.

And in any case, if small errors in French are being corrected, it will not be long before my many, many errors in English come under equal scrutiny.

Bien fort amicalement,
- Michman

Bernard180907 Feb 2022 8:16 a.m. PST

OURSIN, n. m.

XVIe siècle, ursin. Dérivé d'ours.
☆1. Anciennt. Fourrure d'ours. Bonnet d'oursin ou, ellipt., oursin, bonnet à poils des grenadiers (on disait aussi Ourson).
☆2. ZOOL. Animal marin de l'embranchement des Échinodermes, à la coquille calcaire hérissée d'épines, qui vit dans le sable ou sur les rochers, et dont les glandes reproductrices sont comestibles. L'oursin est parfois appelé châtaigne ou hérisson de mer.

Afin de ne pas se faire d'ennemis chez madame Brigitte Bardot, il est préférable d'utiliser le terme "bonnet d'oursin"! LOL
Cela évite de fait tout malentendu, et de plus il faut savoir que le bonnet d'oursin était fabriqué soit en ours, soit en poils de chèvre noire angora (très présente en France pendant tout le XVIIIe)!


SHaT198407 Feb 2022 2:06 p.m. PST

No doubt gentlemen I have in fact worn un 'petits oursons… brun' on my head when I was younger.

You would think after devouring Rousellot and Bucquoy for decades that I'd at least have the spelling correct. My apologies.

I'd be happy to be chastised by Mme Brigitte Bardot.

Mike- thanks I'm not surprised by the revelations to come, -just wondering how such a massive subject can be handled in 'manageable' amounts- a volume would be excessive in size and price and mere mortals would never get them.

I see his drip feeding information and his 2015 booklet on colours and swatches- though the pdf seems poorly constructed as the shades almost merge to black.

Regards gentlemen

Bernard180907 Feb 2022 10:06 p.m. PST

Dictionnaire de la langue française
Tome 3 [1873]
OURSON (our-son) s. m.
1. Le petit de l'ours.
2. Bonnet à poil.
3. L'ours noir d'Amérique.

Grand merci à Michman pour cette passionnante discussion!

Je ne connaissais pas cette troisième signification du XIXe siècle du mot "ourson"!
Ourson = L'ours noir d'Amérique. Ça, c'est super intéressant!
Comme quoi, on en apprend tous les jours! Même sur sa langue maternelle…
Et c'est sûrement cette définition du mot "ourson" de l'époque qui permet de comprendre l'expression "bonnet d'ourson".


SHaT198408 Feb 2022 2:11 a.m. PST

But isn't that the point?
I understood these were much made from imported ~Canadienne skins?

SHaT198408 Feb 2022 3:13 p.m. PST


In your and others historical records searching you note the contradictions of service time, injuries, convalescence and 'retirement' from regiments.

Found this brief section of memoire interesting:
- LA CAMPAGNE DE 1813. Les choses deviennent sérieuses : Témoignage de François Marq, sergent-major de voltigeurs**

from this blog- link

PRISONNIER. Le 17 septembre 1813, François Marq est fait prisonnier «dans un bois à une demie lieue de distance de Bonzelo». Mais à la faveur de la nuit, il prend la poudre d'escampette avec deux de ses camarades : «Nous restâmes la nuit au pied d'un arbre dans le milieu de ce bois. Le jour étant venu nous entendîmes tirailler, nous sortons alors sur la lisière de ce bois pour nous assurer si les français étaient en force et nous aperçûmes une colonne d'infanterie qui était en ligne derrière les compagnies de voltigeurs qui se tiraillaient avec quelques régiments de cavalerie ennemie»…

Marq et ses compères décident de rejoindre la colonne d'infanterie qu'ils aperçoivent. Par la suite, François sera réintégré dans sa compagnie. Il en avait été rayé «comme étant présumé tué».

Also interesting, for the 153eme de ligne, is the description of being attacked by Prussian cavalry at Hainau and replused them with losses. His battalion formed square in time, another did not.

Somewhat puts in review the often cited 'untrained' status of the 1813 army.

** Note his memoire cites his promoted status AFTER the Emperors abdication in 1814. He was a Sergent from Feb 1813 in these notes.

MarbotsChasseurs12 Feb 2022 6:23 a.m. PST


I apologize for my late response. I started my first two days of teaching high school World History II at an inner-city school and it was rough, but I believe I showed the kids I cared about helping them find freedom from their tough situation through education.

I can't tell you how many men of the 3e Ligne I have seen for the Battle of Heilsberg with struck off and then returned to the regiment or struck off and then found to have died in the hospital.

I appreciate the information from the voltigeur! I can't remember who posted it, but someone said even that eyewitness accounts that were taken shortly after an incident occurred can be contradictory. The men who are creating their service records verbally years after the event, there is no wonder they make mistakes!

SHaT198413 Feb 2022 1:45 p.m. PST

Wow great effort Mike; I hope you have the strength to perservere and get the stories and information across. You contribute when you can matey!
You should kick up your blog again, to make sense of it all.

I did notice that, like when in France two decades before, in 2002 some US people we met simply didn't even know anything outside their own country. Which I found a little weird… even in wild SanFran some led insular lives?

On the French records, yes I noted the Official Records were compilations of events at various times, trying to reconstruct a more accurate picture of these people.

Certainly, had I known, and clearly I didn't ask enough questions when I was introduced at Musée d' Armée or La Sabretache, concentrating soley on organisation and 'uniformes' almost exclusively- I should have gained more knowledge of this stuff, err, 38 years ago!
Oh my…
regards, dave

4th Cuirassier13 Feb 2022 2:51 p.m. PST

@ deadhead

with limited surgical knowledge and maxillo-facial surgeons just a distant future it is just incredible he did not immediately die from infective complications

AAMOI, what could be done for him today?

the same thing that got Michael Douglas (it is a huge problem right now and all down to HPV)

So, er, is Michael Douglas' account of how he contracted it likely to be accurate?

SHaT198413 Feb 2022 5:05 p.m. PST

Please not here… troll

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