1067285 | FRANCE. Théophile Malo Corret de la Tour d'Auvergne.
(Military Officer, 1743-1800). ND (1743-1800) Bronzed AE Medal. PCGS SP63.
By Cavedell-Ceanny. Edge: Plain. 41mm. 35.20gm. LA TOUR D'AUVERGNE PREMer - GRENADIER DE FRANCE. Facing bust in formal military regalia /
A/ LA TOUR D'AUVERGNE/ AUX SOLDATS FRANCAIS/ MORTS/ AU CHAMP D'HONNEUR. Seven-line inscription within wreath; dates and locations of birth and death below. Bramsen 2138; Essling 2822.
Commemorative medal to La Tour d'Auvergne and those French soldiers who died in the field of battle.
Includes original collector's ticket.
Please use this link to verify the PCGS certification number 44883147
Théophile Malo Corret de la Tour d'Auvergne was a French officer named by Napoleon as the "first grenadier of France". He was also a celtomaniac antiquarian who introduced the words "dolmen" and "menhir" into general archaeological usage.
La Tour d'Auvergne's almost legendary courage captivated the imagination of French soldiers, and his memory was not allowed to die upon his death. It was customary for French troops and their allies of the Rhine Confederation under Napoleon to march at attention when passing his burial place on the battlefield. His heart was long carried in an urn by the grenadier company of his regiment, the 46th.
In 1800 Napoleon ordered, "His name is to be kept on the pay list and roll of his company. It will be called at all parades and a non-commissioned officer will reply, 'Mort au champ d'honneur.' " However, in early 1809, Napoleon himself put this tradition to an end, saying, "What regiment has not had a general, a colonel, or finally, a brave man killed at its head? I have tolerated this singularity long enough" The urn was collected by the War Minister, showing that Napoleon preferred to celebrate the men who died to affirm his dynasty and build his Empire, rather than an individual whose association with the French Revolution was unmistakable.
Later, after being in the possession of Giuseppe Garibaldi (the Italian General and patriot for Italian unification) for many years, his remains were finally deposited in the keeping of the city of Paris in 1883.