N & E
Napoleon & Empire

Battle of Fère-Champenoise

Date and place

  • March 25th, 1814 around Fère-Champenoise, 36 kilometers southwest of Châlons-en-Champagne (France).

Involved forces

  • French army: 22,450 men, including 4,350 horsemen, under the command of Marshals Auguste-Frédéric Viesse de Marmont, Duke of Raguse, and Édouard Mortier, Duke of Trévise. 
  • Austrian, Russian and Prussian army: 26,400 horsemen under the command of Field Marshal Karl Philipp zu Schwarzenberg, Grand-Duke Konstantin Pavlovich of Russia and General Friedrich Kleist von Nollendorf. 

Casualties and losses

  • French army: 9,000 men, including 4,000 prisoners. 
  • Austrian, Russian and Prussian army: 4,000 killed or wounded. 

The field

The battlefield extended to the west, north and east of Fère-Champenoise [48.75305, 3.99201], a town located in chalky Champagne, between the Marne and Aube valleys, on the right bank of the Vaure river.

The fights

French Marshals Marmont and Mortier first confronted the cavalry of Karl Philipp zu Schwarzenberg  on the side of the main road from Vitry to Sézanne.

Simultaneously, General Michel-Marie Pacthod Michel-Marie Pacthod, who provisionally commanded two divisions of the VII and XI Corps, was confronted by the cavalry of the Army of Silesia near Villeseneux [48.84110, 4.14634].

Villeseneux
Villeseneux, north of the battlefield
The river Soude, east of the battlefield
The river Soude (or Soudé), tributary of the river Somme, east of the battlefield

Around 4 p.m., the two fights joined on the Fère-Champenoise side.

Aftermath

This French defeat opened the road to Paris to the Allied troops.

Picture - "Battle of Fère-Champenoise, March 25, 1814". Painted by Alexander Ivanovich Dmitriev-Mamonov (1787-1836).

Napoleonic Battles - Picture  -

Map of the Campaign in northeast France in 1814  Display the map of the Campaign in northeast France in 1814

Photos Credits

 Photo of Lionel A. Bouchon Photos by Lionel A. Bouchon.
 Photo of Marie-Albe Grau Photos by Marie-Albe Grau.
 Photo of Floriane Grau Photos by Floriane Grau.
 Photo of Michèle Grau-Ghelardi Photos by Michèle Grau-Ghelardi.
 Photo of Didier Grau Photos by Didier Grau.
 Photo of various authors Photos made by people outside the Napoleon & Empire association.