Today's Featured Biography
Francois Kellermann, Marshal Of France
Francois Christopher Kellermann, who with a little army of raw recruits defeated the forces of united Europe at Valmy, and saved France from destruction, was born of a respectable family at Strasbourg, then part of France, on May 28, 1735. At the age of seventeen, he became a cadet in the regiment of Lowendalh; and passing through the grades of ensign and lieutenant in 1753 and 1756, became captain of dragoons, in which rank he served in the Seven Years' War until 1762, and was favorably mentioned in the reports of the battle of Bergen. A brilliant charge of cavalry, against a corps commanded by General Scheider, procured him, in the last year, the distinction of the cross of St. Louis, then an honor of the highest esteem. After the peace of 1763, he passed with the same rank into the legion of Conflans, and in 1765 and 1766 was charged by the king with the execution of some important commissions in Poland. In 1771, the increasing troubles in Poland furnished a pretext for the invasion of that country by the united troops of France and the Germanic confederation; and Kellermann was appointed to accompany the French commander-in-chief of the expedition, Baron de Viomenil; and in 1772, he was placed at the head of a native corps of cavalry which he had been concerned in organizing. His conduct in the retreat from the castle of Cracow, in 1772, elevated his character for dexterity and courage. In 1780, he became lieutenant-colonel of hussars; on January 1, 1784, he was promoted ...
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