Jean-Baptiste Girard (soldier)

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Jean-Baptiste Girard
Jean-Baptiste Girard.jpg
Jean-Baptiste Girard
Born 21 February 1775 (1775-02-21)
Aups, France
Died 27 June 1815 (1815-06-28) (aged 40)
Ligny, Belgium
Allegiance France First French Republic, First French Empire
Service/branch Infantry
Years of service 1794–1815
Rank général de division

Jean-Baptiste Girard (February 21, 1775 at Aups, in Var – June 27, 1815 in Paris), was a French soldier, général and baron d'Empire, who fought in the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars.


Girard entered the French revolutionary army during the Spring of 1794. He saw active service with the Army of Italy and by 1797 he had been promoted to captain. At Marengo in 1800 Girard commanded a brigade. In 1806 after Jena he was promoted to general de brigade. Created a baron of the Empire by the Emperor on 26 October 1808. In 1809 Girard was promoted to general de division. Girard saw service in the Peninsular War, during which he commanded French forces at Arroyo dos Molinos. Girard was wounded at the Beresina and at Lützen.

During the Hundred Days, Girard rallied to Napoleon I. Created a Peer of France (a member of the Hundred Days Chamber of Peers) this made him ipso facto a Count of the Empire. Girard was given command of the 7th Infantry Division. He was mortally wounded in the battle of Ligny, where his division bore the brunt of the fighting on the French left. Girard was created Duke of Ligny by Napoleon I on 21 June 1815 (one of the Emperor's last official acts) in recognition of his services at Ligny. However, the letters patent were not delivered, and thus the title was not recognized by the Second Bourbon Restoration.

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