Louis Charles Antoine Desaix De Veygoux, a French general, born at St. Hilaire d'Ayat in Auvergne, Aug. 17, 1768, killed at Marengo, June 14, 1800. He was educated at the military school of Effiat, where he remained seven years, leaving at the age of 15 to enter the regiment of Brittany under the name of the chevalier de Veygoux. He continued to be a diligent student in the garrisons of Briancon and Huningue. At the breaking out of the revolution he became the aide-de-camp of Prince Victor de Broglie in the army of the Rhine. He favored the principles of the revolutionists, but deprecated their violent acts, and having signed a protest against the decree of Aug. 10, 1792, by which the legislative assembly suspended the authority of the king, he was cashiered and imprisoned for two months, but was reinstated by Carnot. All through the reign of terror his head was in peril on account of his aristocratic connections. His mother and sister were sent to prison by the committee of public safety, but he escaped with a second brief suspension from the service.

He was restored at the intercession of Pichegru, under whom he served with distinction, and of Saint-Just, and was employed in 1796 in defending the Alsatian frontier against the Aus-trians. When Moreau took command of the army of the Rhine, Desaix became his lieutenant as commander of a division, and took an important part in the campaign in Bavaria and the famous retreat with which it closed. On the return of the army to the Rhine, Desaix defended the fort of Kehl; and notwithstanding its dilapidated condition, he held it two months against the repeated efforts of the archduke Charles, and finally concluded a highly honorable capitulation. The next year he again led the army across the Rhine, an operation in which he showed consummate skill. After passing some months at Strasburg, recovering from a severe wound, he was sent at his own request on a mission to Bonaparte in Italy. On the formation of the army for the invasion of England he was made chief of staff to Bonaparte, who was to be its commander. In the expedition to Egypt he received the command of a division, and after the storming of Alexandria marched to Cairo with the vanguard.

He took part in the battle of the pyramids, and being ordered to pursue Murad Bey, defeated him in several encounters, drove him into Nubia, and conquered the whole of Upper Egypt in eight months. Here he established a regular government, and inspired the Egyptians with such esteem that they called him "the just sultan." "When Bonaparte embarked from Egypt, he sent Desaix a sword with the inscription, Conquete de la haute Egypte, and ordered him to return home in the following November. He arrived at Toulon May 3, 1800, and hastened to join Bonaparte in Italy, where he arrived June 11, and was put in command of a division, "with orders to prevent the army which had just taken Genoa from joining that under Me-las at Alessandria. He was at some distance from the main army on the morning of June 14, but on hearing the artillery hastily returned, and arrived in time to change the nearly lost battle of Marengo to a complete victory. He was shot through the heart as he was entering the action. Bonaparte had a medal struck in his honor, and decreed that a statue should be erected to his memory in the place des victoires at Paris, and that his grave should be placed on the summit of the Alps, under the care of the monks of St. Bernard.