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


Davoust (or Davout), Louis Nicolas, Duke of Auerstadt, Prince of Eckmuhl, marshal and peer of France (1770-1823), was born at Annoux. In 1785 he entered the Ecole Militaire. and was appointed sous-lieutenant of cavalry in 1788. In 1792 he distinguished himself at Jemappes, and in 1793 at Neerwinden. In the same year he became adjutant-general, but was deprived of office as an ex-noble. He was restored after the 9th Thermidor, and served at the siege of Luxembourg; and in 1795 he was with the Army of the Rhine under Pichegru. He was taken prisoner but soon exchanged, and in 1797 distinguished himself at the passage of the Rhine. He took part in the Italian campaign, and was much attached to Napoleon. He was in Egypt, where he was again captured and exchanged. After having the chief command of cavalry in Italy, Napoleon in 1804 made him marshal, grand cross of the Legion of Honour, and colonel-general of his Guard. In 1805 he fought bravely at Austerlitz, and his conduct at Auerstadt in 1806 won him a dukedom. He played an important part in the battle of Eckmuhl and at that of Wagram in 1809. In 1812 he was defeated in the retreat from Moscow. In 1813 he was besieged in Hamburg. In 1815 he was Minister for War. and in this capacity signed a convention with Blucher and Wellington, undertaking to withdraw the army beyond the Loire. Seeing that the cause of the Empire was irretrievably lost, he gave in his adherence to Louis XVIII., and used his influence to cause the army to follow his example. The king in recognition of this gave him Court employment. He was a brave and brilliant soldier and a stern disciplinarian, who, perhaps, sometimes carried his love of discipline into the region of cruelty.