July 1 – The Marquis of Lescure destroys two thirds of Westermann’s army and saves the lives of captured enemy soldiers

June 30, 2014

Siège de Nantes 1793

While the grand army were under the walls of Nantes, several engagements had taken place in La Vendée. Westermann, at the head of a German legion, advanced into the heart of the Bocage, after making himself master of Parthenay, on the 20th June.

Painting by Jean-François Hue

On the 1st July he burned the town of Amaillon; he then set fire to M. Lescure’s chateau at Clisson, and sent a detachment to destroy La Durbeillère, Larochejacquelein’s family mansion at St. Aubin. By this time the Vendeans had recovered from their repulse at Nantes; and, indignant at the atrocities of the republican army in the very heart of their own territory, rose in great numbers and attacked the Blues at Châtillon.

Louis de Salgues de Lescure

Lescure, who was perfectly acquainted with the country, assumed the command; and by a most able and vigorous movement, the enemy were entirely routed in little more than an hour.

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Two-thirds of Westermann’s army were destroyed; and the peasants, in the heat of their revenge, would have massacred some hundreds of prisoners. Marigny declared he would give no quarter. Lescure, learning what was going on, came up, and put a stop to these reprisals. “Go back,” said Marigny, “while I kill these monsters—they have fired thy chateau.” “I will rather defend them against thee,” was the reply; and the men were saved.

Gaspard de Bernard de Marigny

 

George J. Hill, The Story of the War in La Vendée and the Little Chouannerie (New York: D. & J. Sadlier & Co. n.d.), pp. 61-62.

Coeur-chouan heart

 

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