Henri François Delaborde
|Henri François Delaborde|
He was the son of a baker of Dijon. In 1783, Delaborde joined the Regiment of Condé as a private. At the outbreak of the French Revolution he joined the Volunteers of the Côte-d'Or, and passing rapidly through all the junior grades, was made general of brigade after the combat of Rhein-Zabern (1793).
As chief of the staff, he was present at the siege of Toulon in the same year and promoted general of division. He was, for a time, governor of Corsica. In 1794 Delaborde served in the War of the Pyrenees against Spain, distinguishing himself at the Bidassoa on 25 July and at Misquiriz on 16 October.
His next command was on the Rhine. At the head of a division he took part in the celebrated campaigns of 1795-1797, and in 1796 covered Major-General Jean Moreau's right when that general invaded Bavaria. In late 1799, Delaborde led a division in actions at Philippsburg and Wiesloch as part of Maj-Gen Claude Lecourbe's corps. In the 1800 campaign in southern Germany, Delaborde led a small division in Sainte-Suzanne's corps, which was part of Moreau's army.
In 1807 he led a division in the Invasion of Portugal with General of Division Jean-Andoche Junot's army. Delaborde received the dignity of count in 1808. Against Sir Arthur Wellesley's English army he fought a skillful and brilliant rear-guard action at the Battle of Roliça. At the Battle of Vimeiro on 21 August 1808, he was wounded while leading his troops in an unsuccessful frontal attack. He commanded a division under Marshal Nicolas Soult at the Battle of Corunna, the battle of Povoa de Lanhosa in the First Battle of Porto campaign and the Second Battle of Porto.
In 1812 Delaborde was one of Marshal Édouard Mortier's divisional commanders in the Russian campaign, leading the Young Guard. In early December when Napoleon abandoned his crippled Grand Army, Delaborde was still at Mortier's side. In 1813, he led the 3rd Division of the Young Guard until wounded in action at Pirna. In the following year he was awarded the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor and was governor of the Castle of Compiègne. He joined Napoleon in the Hundred Days and became Chamberlain and a peer. Marked for punishment by the returning Bourbons, he was sent before a court-martial and only escaped condemnation through a technical flaw in the wording of the charge. The rest of his life was spent in retirement.
- Chandler, David. Dictionary of the Napoleonic Wars. New York: Macmillan, 1979. ISBN 0-02-523670-9
- Chandler, David (ed.). Gray, Randal. Napoleon's Marshals, "Mortier: The Big Mortar." New York: Macmillan, 1987. ISBN 0-02-905930-5
- Smith, Digby. The Napoleonic Wars Data Book. London: Greenhill, 1998. ISBN 1-85367-276-9
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Delaborde, Henri François". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
- Chandler, p 117
- Smith, p 178
- Chandler-Gray, p 320
- Chandler, p 118