Jacques Achille Leroy De Saint-Arnaud, a French soldier, born in Paris, Aug. 20, 1801, died at sea, Sept. 29, 1854. His family, whose name was simply Leroy, belonged to the middle classes. He was educated at the college of Louis le Grand, and received an appointment in the body guard of Louis XVIII., which he was compelled to leave on account of the part which he took in the street riots of 1820. After leading a precarious life for a number of years in England and France, during which he occupied many subordinate positions, at one time following the profession of an actor under the name of Florival, he succeeded in 1831 in getting reinstated in the army with the rank of sub-lieutenant. He took part in the so-called Vendean war of 1831; and in 1833, when Gen. Bugeaud was appointed governor of the citadel of Blaye, where the duchess of Berry was detained, Leroy was chosen as the assistant jailer, although he was characterized in the records of his regiment as being " lazy, dissipated, fond of gambling, and over head and ears in debt." Subsequently he pushed his fortunes in Algeria, where he displayed great personal bravery at the taking of Constantine. In 1844 he succeeded Cavaignac as commander of the military division at Orleansville. After his capture of the rebel chieftain Bou-Maza he was made brigadier general (1847). In February, 1848, he went to Paris, married a rich Belgian heiress, and afterward returned to Algeria as commander of the province of Constantine. In 1851 he operated successfully against the unruly Kabyle tribes, after which he was made general of division (July 10) and commandant of one of the military divisions of Paris, in which post he became a favorite with Louis Napoleon. Made minister of war in October, 1851, he was among the most active in aiding the consummation of the coup d'etat of Dec. 2. His salary as minister of war was now raised from 48,000 to 100,000 francs, in addition to his salary of 30,000 francs as senator.
A dowry of 300,000 francs was presented by Louis Napoleon to his daughter, and in 1852 he received the titles of marshal and of grand equerry of France. In April, 1854, he was invested with the command of the French forces in Turkey, in which capacity he strenuously insisted upon the landing in the Crimea. Although tortured by intense suffering from disease and wounds, he was on the battle field of the Alma for 12 hours. He was compelled to relinquish his command on Sept. 26, after which cholera was added to his other maladies, and he died three days afterward, while on his way to Constantinople. The Lettres du marechal de Saint-Arnaud were published in 2 vols, in Paris in 1855 (2d ed., 1864).