Nicolas Jean De Dieu Soult, duke of Dalmatia, a French soldier, born at St. Amans-la-Bastide, Guienne, March 29, 1769, died there, Nov. 26, 1851. He enlisted in 1785, became a captain in 1793, and reached in one year the rank of brigadier general after the battle of Fleurus (June 26, 1794). In 1799 he was made general of division by Massena, with whom he distinguished himself at the battle of Zurich, Sept. 25, which saved France from invasion, and at the siege of Genoa, during which he was surrounded and captured by the Austrians, May 15, 1800, but was speedily exchanged, after the battle of Marengo. In 1804 Napoleon made him a marshal. In 1805 he increased his reputation at the head of the fourth corps in Germany, especially at Austerlitz, Dec. 2, where Napoleon declared him to be the first strategist of Europe. In 1806-'7 he won additional fame in the campaign against Prussia, and finally occupied Konigsberg (June 16, 1807), and after the treaty of Tilsit he was made governor of Berlin and duke of Dalmatia. Next appointed commander of the second corps in Spain, he nearly annihilated the Spanish army at Burgos, Nov. 10, 1808, took from the English Corunna (where he had been at first defeated) and Fer-rol, and occupied Oporto and the northern part of Portugal, whence he was expelled by Wellington. After his retreat to Spain he gained several advantages, and on March 11, 1811, he obtained possession of Badajoz through the treachery of the Spanish commander; but he was defeated by Beresford at Albuera, May 16, and Wellington carried Badajoz by assault with fearful loss on the night of April 6, 1812. Disapproving of King Joseph's proceedings, Soult asked to be relieved; but soon after reaching France Napoleon ordered him to assume the chief command of the army in Spain, and retrieve Joseph's crushing defeat at Vito-ria, June 21, 1818. But despite his wonderful efforts, after various engagements in the mountain passes with the main body of the allies, he was cut off from Bayonne by Wellington, de-feated at Orthez, Feb. 27, 1814, and forced back to Toulouse, which was taken by Wellington, April 10. Soult offered a heroic resistance, and consented only to an honorable capitulation after the full confirmation of Napoleon's first abdication, and led his troops safely out of the city.

His conduct during this memorable campaign received the warm commendation of Napier, the English historian of the peninsular war; and when 26 years later Soult officially attended the coronation of Queen Victoria, he was most cordially received by Wellington and his other former adversaries. Under the first restoration he was for a short time minister of war; but as he rejoined Napoleon on his return from Elba, and served as major general at Waterloo, he was banished from 1816 to 1819. In 1820 he was reinstated as a marshal and received a pension of 200,000 francs, and in 1827 he became a peer. Under Louis Philippe he was minister of war in 1830-'31, prime minister in 1832-'4, and again (with the portfolio of foreign affairs in 1839-'40, and of war in 1840-'45) from 1839 till 1847, when the extraordinary title of marshal-general was given to him on his retirement, He left memoirs, of which only the first part was published (3 vols., 1854) by his son Napoleon Hec-tor, who died in 1857.