Józef Chłopicki

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Józef Chłopicki

Józef Grzegorz Chłopicki (Polish pronunciation: [ˈjuzɛf xwɔˈpit͡skʲi]; March 14, 1771 – September 30, 1854) was a Polish general who was involved in fighting in Europe at the time of Napoleon and later.

He was born in Kapustynie in Volhynia and was educated at the school of the Basilians at Szarogrod, from which in 1785 he ran away in order to enlist as a volunteer in the Polish army. Chlopicki entered the army in 1785 and fought under Kościuszko in the Uprising of 1794. Warsaw was surrendered to the Russians on November 8, 1794, after which Chlopicki went to France and joined the Army of the Cisalpine Republic under General Jan Henryk Dąbrowski. In France is known as Grégoire Joseph Clopicki de Necznia.[1]

He was present at all the engagements fought during 1792-1794, especially distinguishing himself at the Battle of Racławice, when he was General Franciszek Rymkiewicz's adjutant. On the formation of the Italian legion he joined the second battalion as major, and was publicly complimented by General Nicolas Oudinot for his extraordinary valour at the storming of Peschiera. He also distinguished himself at the battles of Modena, Busano, Casablanca and Ponto.

In 1807 he commanded the first Vistulan regiment, and rendered good service at the battles of Eylau and Friedland. In Spain he obtained the Legion of Honour and the rank of a French Imperial Baron for his heroism at the battle of Epila and the storming of Zaragoza, and in 1809 was promoted to be general of brigade.

He was involved in battles from 1806 to 1812, including his involvement in the Spanish Campaign from 1808 to 1811. In 1812, he followed Napoleon to Russia where he fought at Smolensk and on the Moscow. At Smolensk he was seriously wounded, and on the reconstruction of the Polish army in 1813 was made a general of division.

Upon his return to Poland in 1814, Tsar Alexander I made him a General in the new Polish army with the rank of a general officer, but a personal insult from Grand Duke Konstantin Pavlovich resulted in his retiring into private life.

He held aloof at first from the November Uprising of 1830-31, but at the general request of his countrymen accepted the dictatorship on 5 December 1830. However, he saw the hopelessness of the insurrection and quickly resigned on 17 January; then, however, he joined the army as a private soldier and fought in some battles. At Wawer (February 19) and at the Battle of Olszynka Grochowska (February 20) he displayed all his old bravery, but was so seriously wounded at the Battle of Olszynka Grochowska that he had to be conveyed to Kraków, near which city he lived in complete retirement until his death in 1854.

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