François-Antoine Lallemand, born in Metz, June 23, 1774, was the son of a wigmaker of that town, who gave him a good education. Engaged as a volunteer in the 1st company of light artillery, formed at Strasbourg on May 1st of 1792, he was in their ranks during the campaigns of Argonne and Treves. On the 1st of March, 1792, he entered the 1st Mounted Chasseur regiment, with whom he served in the armies of Moselle and Sombre-et-Meuse, and was called, in the month of Ventose, in the 3rd year of the Revolution, to the rank of temporary aide-de-camp to General Elie, commandant of the 2nd military division. He came to Paris, in the following month of Prairial, with General Loison, who kept him in the general staff of the 17th military division. On the 13th of Vendemiaire, he defended the Convention in the ranks of the general staff of General Bonaparte; he obtained the patent of Sub-Lieutenant of Dragoons as well as that of Aide-de-camp. Named as Lieutenant of the Mounted Guides of the Army in Italy in the 5th year of the Revolution, he left for Egypt in year 6, and became Chief Aide-de-camp of General Junot during the Siege of Jaffa. Bonaparte used him, at this time, as negotiator with Admiral Sidney Smith. Head of a squadron and member of the Legion of Honor by the 12th year of the revolution, the First Consul sent him on a mission to Saint-Domingue, alongside General Leclerc. Upon his return to France, he followed Junot to Portugal, became Major of the 18th Dragoons, and fought in the Austrian Campaign. Colonel of the 27th Dragoons after the Battle of Jena, and Officer of the Legion of Honor after the Battle of Friedland, he went to Spain in 1808, with the 4th Dragoon Division, and returned to France in 1809, to rest from his toil. Having rejoined his regiment in January of 1810, he was promoted to Brigadier-General on August 6th, 1811. Arriving at Murcia with the 2nd Cavalry, he brought down the insurgents, taking many prisoners, and, on June 21, 1812, attacked a great column of English cavalry at Valencia de las Torres, putting them in full retreat, killing 300 men and 500 horses, and taking 130 prisoners. In 1813, he served in the Grand Army and commanded the light cavalry of the 13th corps. During the campaign of 1814, he commanded the Danish garrison at Hamburg and returned to France in the month of May. The royal government made him a Knight of Saint Louis and commander of the Legion of Honor over the Department of Aisne. On the news of the disembarkation of Napoleon he attempted to lead the troops of the garrisons of Guise and Chauny in the movement that General Lefebvre-Desnouettes made at the head of the royal Chasseurs, and sought to take the village and arsenal of La Fère. General D’Aboville repulsed this attempt, and Lallemand was obliged to disguise himself and flee with four officers. Arrested along with his brother on March 12th, at La Ferté-Milon, he was taken to Soissons and did not recover his liberty until the 21st. Named Lieutenant-General and Peer, he took command of the Mounted Chasseurs of the Guard, and fought at Fleurus and Mont Saint-Jean. After that glorious disaster, he rejoined Napoleon in Paris and accompanied him to Rochefort. While the Emperor was removed to the coast of Northumberland, General Lallemand was arrested at Plymouth and taken aboard the Eurotas to be led, as a prisoner of war, to Malta. According to the 1st category of the ordinance of July 14, the 1st council of war of the 1st military division condemned him unanimously, on April 20, 1816, to death, as guilty of rebellion and treason, on his arrival in Malta. He was imprisoned in Fort Manuel, but General Savary secured his liberty and he left for Smyrna, whence he was expelled by order of the Sultan. He proceeded to Egypt, and afterwards to the United States, where, the following year, he furnished several light warships to the end of founding a colony of French refugees in Texas, by the name of Champ d’Asile. The United States extinguished this budding establishment, already on the way to the prosperity that would have sheltered it. Our countrymen were dispersed and General Lallemand took refuge at La Trinité, and afterwards in New Orleans. In 1823, he went to Lisbon, then to Cadiz, to defend the cause of the Constitutionalists; but the victory of the Royalists forced him to return to the United States. Returning to France following the Revolution of 1830, he was reestablished on the board of the General Staff and named successively Lieutentant-General, Peer of France, Commander of a Division of Cavalry, Inspector-General of his Army, Commander of the 17th Division (Corsica), Grand Officer of the Legion of Honor, Commander of the 10th Division (Toulouse), Member of the Infantry & Cavalry Committee, President of the Board of Examinations at the École Militaire, etc.
He died at Paris, March 9th, 1839.
Translated from the Lives of Military Celebrities of the Armies of Land and Sea, from 1789 to 1850, by Charles Mullié.