General Edouard de Colbert, comte de Colbert-Chabanais, 1774-1853

General Edouard de Colbert, comte de Colbert-Chabanais (1774-1853) was a French cavalry commander who fought under Napoleon from the Egyptian campaign to Waterloo.

Edouard was the elder brother of General August Colbert, a light cavalry leader who was killed in battle in Spain in 1809. He was one of three brothers who served in Napoleon's armies, and was from a military family - his father was maréchal-de-camp comte de Colbert-Chabanais.

Edouard joined the cavalry. He took part in Napoleon's Egyptian campaign and was rewarded for his efforts with the command of the Mamelukes of the Consular Guard in 1802. Over the next few years he served as an ADC to Junot and then Berthier, and commanded the 7th Hussars. He was appointed a baron of the Empire.

In March 1809 he was promoted to general of brigade and given command of the light cavalry of II Corps. He led the light cavalry in the 1809 campaign against Austria, and was wounded at Wagram.

In 1811 he was given command of the 'Red' Lancers of the Imperial Guard (originally the 'Dutch' Lancers). He commanded the light cavalry of the Imperial Guard during the Russian campaign of 1812 and during the campaigns of 1813-14. During the 1814 campaign he fought at the battle of Laon (9-10 March 1814), at one of Napoleon's rare battlefield defeats (Arcis-sur-Aube, 20-21 March 1814)

After the first Bourbon restoration  the light cavalry of the Guard became the Chevau-Légers de France', but he sided with Napoleon in 1815. He was wounded on 16 June, but stayed with his men and fought at Waterloo with his arm in a sling.

After the second restoration he was imprisoned, but was soon allowed to go into exile. He was eventually restored to favour, became a Peer of France in 1832 and was appointed Inspector-General of Cavalry.

In 1835 he was wounded by the terrorist bomb that killed Marshal Mortier, but survived the injuries. Edouard Colbert died in Paris in December 1853

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (21 May 2014), General Edouard de Colbert, comte de Colbert-Chabanais, 1774-1853 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/people_colbert_edouard.html

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