Thursday 9 November 2023

10e Chasseurs à Pied

Escaping the French Revolution François Merle de la Brugière de Laveaucoupet joined the Armée Condé that fought against Revolutionary France at first in Austrian, then Russian and finally in British service. François married Sylvia de La Celle and that union brought about a son, Sylvain-François Jules in 1806. Under the restoration the family returned to France where François secured a captaincy in the army.

Sylvain-François began a military career in 1824, securing a position at St Cyr and then in the School of the General Staff. His first posting was a lieutenant in the 41st regiment in Algeria.

In 1833 he made the transition from line to staff as captain and ADC to Général Trézel. By 1849 he had risen to lieutenant colonel and chief of staff to the Minister of War. Three years later, as colonel, he was chief of staff to the 3rd Military Division. As général de brigade he was chief of staff to General Motte Rouge in 2nd Corps in the Italian campaign, where he was wounded in action at both Turbigo and at Magenta, and had two horses killed under him at Solferino. At some point he acquired his father's title as title Comte de Laveaucoupet.

Promoted to général de division in 1868 he took command of the Third Division, 2nd Corps in 1870 which he led at Saarbrücken and Spicheren. His division was left in garrison at Metz and was not engaged at Rezonville or Gravelotte with the rest of the corps. 

Returning from internment after the fall of Metz he commanded a division in the Versailles Army and led the assault the Communards at Montmatre. 

He served in the National Assembly from 1871 and died in 1892.

The first unit of Laveaucoupet's Division shown here is the 10e Chasseurs à pied that was a part of Döens' First Brigade. Formed in 1840 the first commander of the 10e was commandant (later marshal) Patrice MacMahon. Like many French units it fought in North Africa and was one of three chasseur battalions that joined the expedition to Morocco and fought in the Battle of Isly in 1844.

Facing the Moroccan cavalry at Isly

It went to the Crimea where it was involved in the assault on Sevastopol. In the Italian Campaign it had the honour at taking the colours of the Austrian 60th Regiment (Prinz Gustav von Vasa) at Solferino.

Its only action in 1870 was at Spicheren where, entrenched on the Rotherberg, it was pounded by four Prussian batteries  before a determined infantry attack drove them back. But they fought on for another  four hours, suffering the loss of 11 officers (including their commander Commandant Schenck) and 200 men of the 840 that were answered the roll that morning. In garrison at Metz after Spicheren the battalion the rest of the war as prisoners of war after the fall of fortress. 

Commandant Schenck

It fought Paris against the Communards and participated in the Madagascar Expedition in 1895. It was heavily involved in the Great War, across many fronts, counting 1,779 officers and men killed during the war. It was engaged in WWII and continued in service until the 1990s.


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you Jonathan. They are nicely posed figures.

  2. Great work Mark - always nice to see the chasseurs with their green and yellow for a change, rather than all those red trousers!

    1. Back to the red now...for the next sixteen days before there is a little more variety of colour.

  3. Excellent background history as always Mark and of course the figures look great too:).

  4. Very nice indeed Mark…
    I really like the grouping and composition…especially on the round stand.

    All the best. Aly

    1. Thank you Aly. The rounded base will be used as skirmish stand - made because I had three figures left over!

  5. Lovely work Mark. All that yellow piping would have driven me spare. It must have been something of a relief to put the red away for a while though.

    1. After tonight there will only be 120 boys in red pants to go...