Laurent Gouvion Saint-Cyr, a French marshal, born in Toul, April 13, 17G4, died at Hyeres, March 17, 1830. He studied the fine arts, and in 1792 enlisted among the volunteers who marched to the invaded frontier. Being elected captain by his companions, he was attached to the staff of Gen. Custine, and in the course of a year rose to the rank of general of division. In 1796 he commanded a division of the army on the Rhine under Moreau. In 1798 he was sent to Rome to reestablish discipline in the army, which had nearly revolted against Massena, and succeeded. After the 18th Bru-maire he again served under Moreau, and defeated Kray at Biberach (May 9, 1800). In 1801 he was sent as ambassador to Spain, and in 1802 commanded the French army of observation in southern Italy. He was too independent in his conduct and sentiments to please Napoleon, who assigned him to employment which gave him no opportunity of gaining distinction. In 1808 he was sent to Catalonia, and relieved Barcelona in spite of the scanty resources placed at his disposal; but dissatisfied with the treatment he received, he sent in his resignation and left his post without waiting for his successor. This being considered a breach of discipline, he was cashiered and ordered to his country seat, where he remained for two years in a kind of imprisonment.
In 1811 he was called back to service, in 1812 commanded a corps in the great army which invaded Russia, and defeated Prince Wittgenstein at Polotzk on the Duna, Aug. 17-18; for this victory he was made a marshal. During 1813 he made a heroic stand at Dresden, signing at last an honorable capitulation, which however was not sanctioned by Prince Schwarzenberg, and he and his troops were sent prisoners to Austria. He consequently took no part in the events which marked the fall of the empire. He gave in his adhesion to the Bourbons, and on the second restoration became minister of war under Talleyrand, and again in 1817. He retired in 1819, and devoted his leisure to the preparation of his Memoires (8 vols., 1829-'31).
See Gouvion Saint-Cyr.