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A terra-cotta bust of Mireur at the Factory of Medicine in Montpellier.
|Born||February 5, 1770|
|Died||July 9, 1798 (aged 28)|
|Allegiance||First French Republic|
|Years of service||1792-1798|
François Mireur (February 5, 1770 – July 9, 1798) was a French general who is notable for having sung the war song for the Army of the Rhine, La Marseillaise in 1792 when he volunteered for the newly created republican army. He later served under Napoleon Bonaparte and was killed in Egypt in 1798.
Mireur was born in Escragnolles in 1770, and studied as a medicinal doctor at the Faculty of Medicine in Montpellier. In 1792, he became a doctor, but volunteered for the army shortly afterwards. That year, he sang Rouget de Lisle's war song when he was headed to Marseilles to organize and lead volunteers from nearby towns. The song thus became known as "La Marseillaise", which was adopted as the French national anthem in 1795. During the war, he fought at the Battle of Valmy and later served in the Italian Campaign of Napoleon, twice refusing the rank of general. In 1798, he was promoted to general and served alongside Louis Desaix in the Egyptian Campaign, where he fought the Mamelukes and Ottomans. It was in this war that Mireur met his end. While riding a newly purchased Arabian stallion, after only a short distance, he was ambushed by three Mamelukes, and killed before he could call for help. His name was inscribed on the 28th pillar of the Arc de Triomphe at the top of the south pillar, near the avenue Kleber. He was honored as a national hero because of his role in popularising the Marseillaise.