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


Chouans (from an old French word chouhan, now represented by the Fr. chat-huant, a screech-owl, and cognate with our English chough) is said to have been given to the body of insurgent royalists in Brittany in consequence of the word being the nickname of their first leader, a smuggler named Cottereau, who died 1794. The movement began in 1792, and the early Chouans carried on against the Republican authorities a guerilla warfare marked by much cruelty. Under Georges Cadoudal (q.v.) and Charette they numbered 10,000 men. The movement was crushed by General Hoche, and a revival of it was again put down in 1799. The name was revived again for a time by arising in 1814-15 in the neighbourhood of the Loire, and yet again in 1830 by the Duchess of Berri, the movement in this latter case being suppressed by M. Thiers.