Heinrich Joseph Johannes, Count Bellegarde - Encyclopedia

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HEINRICH JOSEPH JOHANNES, COUNT BELLEGARDE VON (1756-1845), Austrian soldier and statesman, was born at Dresden on the 29th of August 1756, and for a short time served in the Saxon army. Transferring his services to Austria in 1771 he distinguished himself greatly as colonel of dragoons in the Turkish War of 1788-1789, and served as a major-general in the Netherlands campaigns of 1793-1794. In the campaign of 1796 in Germany, as a lieutenant field marshal, he served on the staff of the archduke Charles, whom he accompanied to Italy in the following year. He was also employed in the congress of Rastatt. In 1799 he commanded a corps in eastern Switzerland, connecting the armies of the archduke and Suvarov, and finally joined the latter in north Italy. He conducted the siege of the citadel of Alessandria, and was present at the decisive battle of Novi. He served again in the latter part of the Marengo campaign of 1800 in the rank of general of cavalry. In 1805, when the archduke Charles left to take command in Italy, Bellegarde became president ad interim of the council of war. He was, however, soon employed in the field, and at the sanguinary battle of Caldiero he commanded the Austrian right. In the war of 1809 he commanded the extreme right wing of the main army (see Napoleonic Campaigns). Cut off from Charles as the result of the battle of Eckmiihl, he retreated into Bohemia, but managed to rejoin before the great battles near Vienna (Aspern and Wagrath). From 1809 to 1813 Bellegarde, now field marshal, was governor-general of Galicia, but was of ten called to preside over the meetings of the Aulic Council, especially in 1810 in connexion with the reorganization of the Austrian army. In 1813, 1814 and 1815 he led the Austrian armies in Italy. His successes in these campaigns were diplomatic as well as military, and he ended them by crushing the last attempt of Murat in 1815. From 1816 to 1825 (when he had to retire owing to failing eyesight) he held various distinguished civil and military posts. He died in 1845.

See Smola, Das Leben des F. M. von Bellegarde (Vienna, 1847).

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