Henri François Xavier Gresley

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Henri François Xavier Gresley (9 February 1819, Wassy – 2 May 1890, Paris) was a French Minister of War.


He was the son of Henry Francis Xavier and Nathalie Gresley Lariviere.[1]

He graduated from the Ecole Polytechnique (promotion 1838, released in 1840 ranked 68 out of 120 students). Corps officers of Staff.

He was first lieutenant in two regiments (57th and 7th line lancers). He was in Constantine as Adjutant General Herbillon Inspector of Infantry in 1841. He participated in several campaigns, and was wounded at Zaatcha (December 1849). He was head of the Political Bureau of Algiers from 1862 to 1870. He became colonel in 1865. He returned to France during the War of 1870. He was Chief of Staff Brigadier General Duhesme (12 August 1870), then the cavalry division of the corps of MacMahon. He was taken prisoner at Sedan, he was interned in Germany, released in 1871. He commanded a brigade of infantry in the fight against the Commune. General Prince Henri, Duke of Aumale, commander of the 7th Corps, took over as Chief of Staff (1873). He was responsible to organize the General Staff Department of War (1874), became general in 1875, State Councilor on special duty in 1876, Minister of War (January-December 1879). His resigned with the government of Marshal MacMahon. [2]

He became senator (May 1879), but did little to parliamentary work. He still commanded an army at Orleans from 1880 to 1883 and retired in May 1884. He died a very long illness. [3]


Political offices
Preceded by
Jean-Louis Borel
Minister of War
16 May 1878 – 28 December 1879
Succeeded by
Jean Joseph Frédéric Adolphe Farre