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General Jean-Jacques-Germain Pelet-Clozeau Papers

Identifier: MSS 94-3

Scope and Contents

The General Jean-Jacques-Germain Pelet-Clozeau Papers contain material from the early years of the French Republic in 1793 to Second Empire under Napoleon III in 1858. The greatest area of concentration deals with France during the First Empire under Napoleon. One of the largest segments of this collection includes journals kept during the major campaigns of the Napoleonic Wars. Also included is correspondence from Napoleon to Marshals Berthier and Davout from 1805-1810. Much of the military campaign material is supplemented with hand-drawn sketches and maps along with situation reports of various units of the Grande Armée.

Among the collection's other sources are autobiographical material on Pelet's early years as a student and a young officer in the Topographical Section of the French army, and as an officer-engineer in Italy. Included within these notes are sketches and hand-drawn maps of the sieges of Verona and Gaeta in Italy. In addition, a history of Napoleon's early career based on documents and accounts during the years of the Revolution and the Directory are included along with notes on the siege of Toulon in 1793. Also contained within the Papers are letters and documents concerning the Army of the Rhine in 1800. Throughout the collection are numerous letters and official correspondence with various officials and generals of the Republic and Empire.

Sources from the post-Napoleonic period include a report to Louis Philippe on the condition of Lyons in 1831. Several documents dealing with Pelet's tenure as director of the archives of the Dépôt de la guerre are contained in extracts from 1830 to 1832. A large assortment of notes by Pelet from post-war interviews with many of the most important personages of the Empire are included in the Papers. Also contained in the Pelet Papers are numerous legal documents such as birth and marriage certificates, passports, military service records, and a will. Other documents include rewards and honors concerning the Legion of Honor, Cross of St. Louis, and the Freemasons.

Some materials in the collection have been digitized and may be viewed in DigiNole: FSU's Digital Repository.


  • Created: 1793-1858

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to researchers.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to quote, publish, broadcast or otherwise reproduce from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Associate Dean for Special Collections & Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Florida State University Libraries as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.

Biographical or Historical Information

July 15, 1777: Born in Toulouse, France.

1799: Graduated from the Ecole des Sciences et des Arts de Toulouse.

1800: Enlisted in the army as a sergeant in an auxiliary battalion of the Haute-Garonne.

1801: Promoted to lieutenant, served in the Army of Italy.

1802-1805: Served in the Topographical Section of the army as a geographical engineer.

1805: Commissioned as an aide-de-camp to Marshal Massena. Wounded at Battle of Caldeiro, served in the Calabrian campaign.

1807: Served in Polish campaign with Massena.

1809: Served in Austrian campaign with Massena. Wounded at Ebensberg. Took part in Battle of Essling, promoted to chef-de-battalion.

1810-1811: Served in Portuguese Campaign of 1810-11 as Massena's chief aide-de-camp. Promoted to colonel and made a Chevalier of the Empire.

1812: Served as chief of staff for General Marchand in the Russian campaign. Wounded at Krasnoi, played an important role with Marshal Ney's rearguard during retreat.

1813: Promoted to general of brigade. Fought at Dresden and Leipzig.

1814: Commanded brigades in the Young and Old Guard. Saw action at Brienne, La Rothière, Champaubert, Montmirail, Vauchamp, Montereau, Craonne, Laon, and Arcis-sur-Aube.

1815: Rallied to Napoleon and served at Ligny and Waterloo with 1st and 2nd Regiments of the Chasseurs à Chevals of the Old Guard.

1815-1818: Placed on inactive list of the French army.

1818-1821: Appointed to the commission for the Defense of the Kingdom and attached to Corps Royal d'État-Major.

1826: Published four volumes of Mémoires sur la guerre de 1809, en Allemagne.

1830: Appointed director of the Dépôt de la guerre and the Ecole d'état-major. Elected as deputy to the French Assembly from the Haute-Garonne.

1837: Made a Peer of France.

1841: Appointed president of the Consultative Committee of the Etat-major.

1849: Sent on diplomatic mission to King Charles Albert of Sardinia.

1851: Appointed to the Senate and the Academie des Sciences morales et politiques.

1858: Died December 20, 1858. His name is inscribed on the east side of the Arc de Triomphe de l'Etoile.

Sources: Six, Georges. Dictionnaire biographique des genereaux et amiraux français de la revolution et de l'empire, (1792-1814). Paris: G. Saffroy, 1938.

Pelet, Jean-Jacques. The French Campaign in Portugal, 1810-1811: An Account. Ed. and Trans. Donald D. Horward, Minneapolis: University of Minn. Press, 1973.


7.00 Linear Feet

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Repository Details

Part of the FSU Special Collections & Archives Repository

116 Honors Way
PO Box 3062047
Tallahassee FL 32306-2047 US