I am currently researching the GR 21 YC 24 3e Regiment d'Infanterie de ligne, and I have found some men killed in separate duels. One named Caporal Theodore Stimler, an old veteran of the regiment arriving in 1793 and taking part in the campaigns of 1793. an 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, & 9. He was killed in a duel on 16 vendamiarie an 13. I now understand why Napoleon was not a fan of duels as the regiment lost an experienced veteran that could have helped teach young recruits.
Our second NCO Sergent Louis-Pierre Mouton, might have had a known issue with a comrade as to before being mortally wounded, he was supposed to be transferred from the 3e Ligne to the 105e Ligne in another division. He might have been transferred on paper dated 16 June 1808, but his record shows he died in Prenzlau hospital ? (the regiment was garrisoned in Stettin in April 1808 and the two cities are less than 40 miles apart) on 8 June 1808 from a saber wound. Interestingly, he took part in the campaigns of an 7,8, &9 but missed out on taking part in the regiment's glorious actions at the Battle of Austerlitz in an 14. It does not seem he was a brother of the former Colonel Georges Mouton, as Colonel Mouton was born in Phalsbourg, in the department of Moselle.
I don't believe that the Dupont who disgraced himself and betrayed his troops in Spain is the 'Dupont' in the Fournier story.
'Officers did have a tendency to fight duels, which Napoleon regarded as a waste of useful manpower. He especially disliked the professional duelist whom he compared to a cannibal. There were enough of that touchy sort in the Grande Armee, but the outstanding speciman was Reseda Fournier from the Saar, a onetime choir boy, then a wild Jacobin, and probably psychopathic. An excellent light cavalryman, he took a sadistic pleasure in forcing duels on civilians (sometimes by insulting their wives) and then killing them leisurely, but always within the forms of the dueling code. Known as the 'Demon of the Grande Armee,' he became part of its legends through a series of duels he fought with another officer known only as 'Dupont' from 1794-1813, In 1813 Fournier's nerve broke and he became openly insubordinate. Napoleon stripped him of his commission.'-John Elting, Swords Around a Throne, 174.
Fournier was employed by the Bourbons after 1814, then going by the name Fournier-Sarlovese. The Bourbons began the tasteless habit of employing Napoleon's 'rejects.'
The young man was quick-witted enough to get his promotion, though with a serious warning.
'The defeat of Junot by the English at Vimiero and the capitulation of Cintra were a blow to Napoleon, and although he went to Spain himself, and by his presence brought a transient success to the French arms, he had not been there more than two months when he heard from a clerk, a paid spy in the War Office of Vienna, that Austria was preparing for war. He left at once for Paris, and after his departure the tide of misfortune rose again over the armies of France. The quarrels and jealousies amongst his marshals and generals were not only a scandal but a public danger, and excited the indignation of Napoleon, who forbade his officers to fight duels with each other.
'Two young officers, disregarding this order, fought a duel in the front of their battalion, amidst a shower of enemy’s bullets. Their colonel sent them under arrest to the citadel of Burgos. Shortly afterwards the regiment was reviewed at Madrid by the Emperor, who ordered the colonel to present him the officers recommended for promotion in the place of those killed. Amongst those presented was one of the young sous-lieutenants, who had received a sword-cut on the cheek in the unlucky duel. The Emperor, on seeing him, remembered the story, and asked in a stern voice—
'“Where did you receive that wound?”
'“Sire,” replied the young man, laying his finger on his cheek, “I got it here.”
'Pleased with the quickness and presence of mind shown in his answer, the Emperor smiled and said—
'“Your colonel proposes you for the rank of lieutenant; I grant it you, but be more discreet in the future, or I shall cashier you.”'
A Queen of Napoleon’s Court: The Life-Story of Dèsirèe Bernadotte.
>>I now understand why Napoleon was not a fan of duels as the regiment lost an experienced veteran that could have helped teach young recruits.<<
I don't understand why people understand things, when they do not understand anything!!
In battle Napoleon spent a lot more valuable lives than 'his army' lost to duels.
I even dare to say that many many conflicts in history originate from disputes between ego's. Duels fought through the armies those lords took to the field.
Oh oh oh! dear old Napoleon was opposed dueling. How nobel. oh oh oh!
Dueling can be found in Parquin's Memoires and you might find material on the subject in Elzear Blaze's memoirs.
I wonder how common this occurred in Spain where things were going badly and so many of the French officers being old NCOs who were promoted from the ranks after the 1809 campaign to fill in gaps.
Do we have a name for the 6e Legere officer? Maybe he was from the Velites de la Garde or new officer from the military schools. Most of the Sous. Liuets. that went into Spain with the 3e Ligne were former NCOs who were long serving veterans of the regiment or NCOs from the Velites de la Garde Imperial, sprinkled in with young military school officers.
Nice! Although not NCOs, Lieutenant James Shaw, 43rd Foot, was serving as the ADC to Robert Craufurd and the Light Division's defacto intelligence officer wrote in his diary that an 17 May an officer from the 6th Light Regiment of General Maucune’s brigade of the 1st Division of the 6th Corps deserted to the Spanish in Ciudad Rodrigo. He had wounded his company commander in a duel and was afraid he would be court-martialled and executed.