, a brave French general in the revolutionary war, was born August
, a brave French general in the revolutionary war, was born August 17, 1768, at Ayat, in the department of Puy-de-Dome. He was educated at the military school of Effiat, and when the revolution broke out, refused all advice to emigrate, although his principles were inclined to royalty. He remained at his studies, a stranger to the excesses of the factions, and a stranger even to the names by which they were designated. Absorbed in his profession, his thoughts were occupied solely by military manceuvres, traits of heroism, and fields of battle. He first entered the foot regiment of Britany, as sub-lieutenant, in 1784; but in 1792, he appeared so intelligent and active, that he became successively aide-de-camp to generals Broglio and Custine. The services which were derived from his presence of mind and his counsels, on occasion of the reverses experienced at the lines of Weissembourg, induced the national commissaries to raise him to the rank of general of brigade. In spite of his merit, however, the committee of public safety twice made an order for him to be deprived of his command, with which the general in chief constantly refused to comply. He was wholly ignorant of this fact till a third order arrived to the same effect, at the moment when he had gained the admiration of his comrades at the blockade of Landau; and the whole army opposed the unjust decree, which induced the commissary to disregard it. Dessaix commanded the left wing of the army in the memorable retreat of general Moreau, and had his full share in the dangers and laurels of that campaign. He returned to defend Kehl for four months against the whole force of the archduke; and under him the army effected the passage of the Rhine, in circumstances which rendered it as daring an achievement as was ever attempted.