Henri Gratien, Comte Bertrand - Encyclopedia

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HENRI GRATIEN BERTRAND, Comte (1773-1844), French general, was born at Châteauroux. At the outbreak of the Revolution, he had just finished his studies, and he entered the army as a volunteer. During the expedition to Egypt, Napoleon named him colonel (1798), then brigadier-general, and after Austerlitz his aide-de-camp. His life was henceforth closely bound up with that of Napoleon, who had the fullest confidence in him, honouring him in 1813 with the title of grand marshal of the court. It was Bertrand who in 1809 directed the building of the bridges by which the French army crossed the Danube at Wagram. In 1813, after the battle of Leipzig, it was due to his initiative that the French army was not totally destroyed. He accompanied Napoleon to Elba in 1814, returned with him in 1815, held a command in the Waterloo campaign, and then, after the defeat, accompanied Napoleon to St Helena. He did not return to France until after Napoleon's death, and then Louis XVIII. allowed him to retain his rank, and he was elected deputy in 1830. In 1840 he was chosen to go to bring Napoleon's remains to France. He died at Chateauroux on the 31 st of January 1844. His touching fidelity has made his name very popular in France.

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