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Simon Bernard.

Baron Simon Bernard (28 April 1779 – 5 November 1839) was a French general of engineers. Born in Dole, Simon Bernard was educated at the École polytechnique, graduating as second in the promotion of 1799 and entered the army in the corps of engineers.

French military service

He rose rapidly, becoming a captain in 1800 and a major in 1809. After being involved in the works to the Port of Antwerp, Bernard served (1809–1812) as aide-de-camp to Napoléon. Promoted to colonel in 1813, he was wounded in the retreat after the battle of Leipzig and distinguished himself the same year (1813) in the gallant defence of Torgau against the allies. After Napoléon's first abdication he rallied to the Bourbons and was promoted to general de brigade by Louis XVIII of France and made a knight of Saint Louis. Bernard was tasked by the minister of war Clarke with topograpical work. After Napoléon's return from Elba, Bernard rallied to the emperor and took part in the battle of Waterloo

Banished from France

After the emperor's second abdication he was banished from France and, refusing an offer for employment from czar Alexander I of Russia, he emigrated to the United States, where, being made a brigadier-general of engineers, he designed a number of extensive forts for the Army, notably Fort Monroe, Va., Fort Adams in Newport, RI, Fort Morgan (Alabama), and around New York, and did a large amount of the civil engineering connected with the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal and tile Delaware Breakwater. During his time in America, he was a member of the prestigious Columbian Institute for the Promotion of Arts and Sciences, which counted among its members presidents Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams and many prominent men of the day, including well-known representatives of the military, government service, medical and other professions.[1]

Return to France

He returned to France after the July Revolution of 1830 and he was made a lieutenant-général by Louis Philippe I of France. He was named to the general committee on fortifications and was tasked with drafting the plans to improve the fortifications of Paris. He was made a peer of France in 1834. He served twice as minister of war. In 1834 he held the post for eight days (10–18 November) and again from September 1836 to March 1839 under Louis-Mathieu Molé.


External links

  • Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. Encyclopædia Britannica Cambridge University Press 

Political offices
Preceded by
Étienne Maurice Gérard
Minister of War
10 November 1834 - 18 November 1834
Succeeded by
Édouard Adolphe Casimir Joseph Mortier
Preceded by
Nicolas Joseph Maison
Minister of War
6 September 1836 - 31 March 1839
Succeeded by
Amédée Louis Despans-Cubières

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