Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Bonchamp, Charles Melchior Artus de (1760-1793), a Vendean general who gained his first experiences of arms in the American War of Independence. At the outbreak of the revolution he was a captain in the Aquitaine regiment. He resigned his commission and retired into the country until duty called him to take place among the leaders of the Vendean movement. Although firmly attached to the principles of monarchy, and although a brave and skilful general, he appears to have entered on the struggle without any deep enthusiasm, and was in consequence sometimes accused of indecision by his colleagues. He received his death-wound at the battle of Cholet. Tradition says that just before death he learned that his soldiers intended to put to death 5,000 prisoners who were shut up in the Abbey of St. Florent, and that with his last breath he ordered that their lives should be spared. Whether true or not, this tradition has been perpetuated by a sculpture of David of Angers in the church of St. Florent at Bonchamp.