Louis Nicolas Davout
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Davout, Louis Nicolas
Born May 10, 1770, in An-noux, Burgundy; died June 1, 1823, in Paris. Marshal of France (1804), duke Auerstädt (1808), and prince of Eckmühl (1809).
In 1788, Davout graduated from the Paris Military School. During the French Revolution of 1789 he went over to the side of the revolutionary populace. From 1794 to 1797 he served as brigadier general in the Army of the Rhine. He took part in the Egyptian Expedition of 1798–99, and during 1800–01 he commanded the cavalry of Bonaparte’s Italian Army. Between 1805 and 1814, Davout commanded a corps and actively participated in all the Napoleonic Wars. In 1807 he was governor of the Grand Duchy of Warsaw, and during 1813–14 he directed the defense of Hamburg against the Russian and Prussian armies. During the One Hundred Days Davout was Napoleon’s minister of war. After the coronation of the Bourbons he lost his ranks and titles, but they were restored to him in 1817. Davout was a peer of France from 1819.