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General Frédéric Henri Walther
Feb 21, '21

One of Napoleon’s Finest

Frédéric-Louis-Henri Walther (20 June 1761 – 24 November 1813), was a French general of division and a supporter of Napoleon Bonaparte. He fought in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars.


Born in Obenheim (Bas-Rhin) on August 20, 1761, his pastor father was a Protestant chaplain at the Royal-Alsace. After a discreet youth, he enlisted in 1781 in the Bercheny hussar regiment, stationed in Strasbourg.

Fourrier in 1784, adjutant in 1788, lieutenant in 1792, he was captain on September 1, 1792. Assigned to the armies of the North and then of Champagne, he was noticed in Jemmapes and Neerwinden on March 18, 1793 where he was wounded.

Squadron leader on May 1, 1793, he transferred to the Army of the Alps and took part in the siege of Lyon where his humanity led him to save a large number of people from the clutches of revolutionaries. He was appointed head of the brigade on September 27, 1793.

Brigadier general the following October 22, he left for Italy and, under Bonaparte commanded the cavalry reserve in 1796. Successively assigned to the armies of England (Kilmaine), the Danube (Jourdan), Helvétie (Massena) finally at that of the Rhine under Moreau he was wounded in a fight on the Iller, and distinguished himself at the battle of Hohenlinden on December 3, 1800 although a bullet crossed his chest.

Recovering in Strasbourg, he fell in love with Louise Salomé Coulmann, daughter of a notary from Brumath, also seduced by kindness, personality and perhaps by the scar that marks the general's face. The wedding took place in Vendenheim on April 12, 1802.

Portrait of General Walther. Lefevre. Castle of Versailles

Major general on August 27, 1803, he commanded the cavalry of the Bruges camp under Davout. Put at the head of the second division of mounted dragoons of the Grande Armée for the first Austrian campaign, he was once again injured while fighting at Austerlitz.

Dragons of the Guard (Bellange)

Grand Eagle of the Legion of Honor and Chamberlain of the Emperor on February 8, 1806, he was also appointed major-colonel of the horse grenadiers of the Imperial Guard on May 20, 1806 and commander of the large cavalry of the Guard in October. From that time he was among the Emperor's relatives and often in charge of his security.

Present at the battles of Jena (1806), Eylau and Friedland (1807), he was from the Spanish campaign in 1808. Made count of the Empire on April 20, 1808, he returned to Austria with the Emperor and combat at Essling and Wagram (1809).

Called on March 10, 1812 for the Russian campaign, he returned to Paris on January 10, 1813 and left again in April for the Saxony campaign where he commanded the cavalry of the Guard under Nansouty. Still brilliant at the Battle of Hanau on October 30, 1813, it was on his way back to France that he was struck down by typhus and died in Kussel (now in the Rhineland - Palatinate) on November 24, 1813.


Transported to Paris, he was buried in the Panthéon on July 13, 1814. His eulogy was pronounced by G. Cuvier, his cousin. He was a member of the consistory of the Protestant Church and had participated with J. Rapp and G. Cuvier in the establishment of Protestant worship in Paris.

Nicknamed: the scarred "What a brave man we lost" (Napoleon hearing of Walther's death)

"But there is no danger for me general. Not for you Sire, but you are preventing others from leaving "(Walther urging Napoleon to come out of the burning Austrian embassy.)

"Go back or I will have you carried off by my grenadiers." "(Walther to the Emperor at the Battle of Essling)

Portrait of the Walther couple (after Lefèvre)

Full Article in Frenchédéric_Henri_Walther

A Chance Meeting on Eurostar

I was coming back from a successful Book Talk in Lille, France when I happen to meet Karl who travelling to London to buy a Maserati sport car. We got to chatting in Flemish and English about my talk. His son was interested in Quantum Physics and Consciousness. Karl and I seemed to know each other despite having not met before in this life.

So I gave him my latest book as a present for his son and we are Facebook friend ever since.

Past Comrades

Over the last four years I’ve been following his adventures. When a realised I was once General Samuel-François Lhéritier I knew that he had one of Napoleon’s General too. This week I discovered who - General Frédéric-Louis-Henri Walther.

Travelling Same Path

Love finds a way - Karl is often in Moscow and has a Russian girlfriend. His job in fast lane of Global IT takes him many familiar places.


Feb 21, '21
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