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Charles Tristan Montholon

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MONTHOLON, CHARLES TRISTAN, Comte De (1782-1853), was born at Paris. He was trained for a military career, and in his tenth year shared in the expedition of Admiral Truguet to the coast of Sardinia. Entering the army in 1798, he rose with rapidity and avowed himself, when chef d'escadron in Paris at the time of the coup d'etat of Brumaire (November 179o), entirely devoted to Bonaparte. He served with credit in the ensuing campaigns, and distinguished himself at the battle of Aspern-Essling (May 1809) where he was wounded. At the end of that campaign on the Danube he received the title of count and remained in close attendance on Napoleon, who confided to him several important duties, among others, a mission to the Archduke Ferdinand at Wiirzburg. He and his wife accompanied the ex emperor to St. Helena. To Montholon chiefly, Napoleon dictated the notes on his career. With Gourgaud, who was no less vain and sensitive than himself, there was a standing feud, which would have led to a duel but for the express prohibition of Napoleon. Las Cases left the island in November 1816, and Gourgaud in January 1818; but Montholon stayed on at Longwood to the end of the emperor's life (May, 1821).

In 184o he acted as "chief of staff" in the absurd "expedition" conducted by Louis Napoleon from London to Boulogne. He was condemned to imprisonment at Ham, but was released in 1847; he then retired to England and published the Recits de la captivite de Napoleon a Ste Helene. In 1849 he sat in the Legis lative Assembly. He died on Aug. 21, 1853.

See Recueil de pieces authentiques sur le captif de Ste Helene: suivi de lettres de MM . . . le General Montholon, etc. (1821) ; Memoires pour servir a l'histoire de France sous Napoleon (ed. Gourgaud and Montholon, 1823 ; Eng. ed., 1823 ; new ed., Paris, 1905) ; Recits de la captivite de Pempereur Napoleon a Ste Helene (2 vols., 5847) . Also the Marquise de Montholon's Souvenirs de Ste Helene, 1815-16 (igoi). Of Montholon's own writings the only one of note is De l'Armie fran caise (x834). For the conversations of Montholon with Basil Jackson in 1828, see Basil Jackson, Notes and Reminiscences of a Staff Officer (1903). The Lettres du comte et de la comtesse de Montholon were edited by Connard (1906).