General Jean-Nicolas Stofflet, 1751-96

General Jean Nicolas Stofflet (1751-96) was a leader of the revolt in the Vendée, and was executed after taking up arms for a second time.

Stofflet was the grandson of a German who had moved to Lorraine. He joined the French Royal Army in 1770 and served in the ranks for eight years. He then became the gamekeeper for one of his officers, possibly because the officer was attracted to his sister.

Stofflet became one of the leaders of the Royalist revolt in the Vendée. He fought in the Army of Anjou and Haut-Poitou, and made his reputation in battle. However he combined humble roots with a difficult character, and was overlooked for command after the death of Cathelineau. He served under d'Elbée, and was promoted to major-general after d'Elbée was wounded. The rebels suffered a series of defeats and in May 1795 Stofflet was forced to agree to the Treaty of La Jaunaye.

In December 1795 Royalist agents convinced him to resume the fight. This time he was less successful - he was quickly betrayed and in February 1796 he was executed at Angers. His last words were 'Vive la religion! Vive la Roi!'

He was described at the time by Madam  La Rochejaquelein as unpopular with the soldiers, brutal, but active, intelligent and brave. Later in the revolt he became more selfish and ambition and his judgement was said to have deserted him

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (9 November 2015), General Jean-Nicolas Stofflet, 1751-96 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/people_stofflet.html

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