World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Battle of Marquain


Battle of Marquain

The Battle of Marquain was a conflict between the Archduchy of Austria and the Kingdom of France during the War of the First Coalition. It took place on 29 April 1792 and ended in a French defeat.


  • Context 1
  • Course 2
  • Bibliography 3
  • References 4


During Biron's attempts to capture Quiévrain and Mons, marshal Théobald Dillon made a feint towards Tournai. Leaving Lille with 10 squadrons, 6 battalions and 6 guns, he met the Austrian major-general Louis-François de Civalart, encamped with 3,000 men on the heights above Marquain.[1] Austrian skirmishers attacked the French vanguard so heavily that the French realized Civalart wished to bring on a pitched battle, whereas Dillon had orders to avoid one.


Seeing the enemy coming down to meet him and unsure of his own troops (who had frequently been insubordinate on the march from Lille), Dillon obeyed his orders and commanded a retreat.[1] At the first sign of a French withdrawal, the Austrians fired their guns several times despite being out of range, with none of their shots even reaching Dillon's rearguard. Despite the French troops' fear of their own generals, the cavalry squadrons covering the retreat panicked just as at Quiévrain. Hearing the guns, they rushed into their own infantry shouting "Sauve qui peut, nous sommes trahis" ("Every man for himself, we are betrayed"). This spread confusion in the French force, which fled in disorder across Baisieux nacl towards Lille, leaving behind its baggage, munitions and all but 2 guns. Dillon tried in vain to rally his retreating troops before the enemy could attack and was shot by one of his own troops.

The force re-formed level with the Fives gate, with a mixture of soldiers from different regiments forming a garrison. Dillon's second in command, the engineer colonel Pierre-François Berthois, was stopped by the soldiers, hung from one of the battlements and fired him and 3 or 4 prisoners from a gun.[1] Wounded, Dillon was shot in a cart and bayonetted. His body was tied to the cart and dragged through the streets as far as the Grand Place, where it was thrown on a fire, made up of signs from several neighbouring shops.[1] Dillon's brother Arthur complained to the Assembly and his murderers were punished and his widow granted a pension to raise her children.[1]


  • Victoires, conquêtes, désastres, revers et guerres civiles des Français, volume 7


  1. ^ a b c d e Victoires, conquêtes, désastres, revers et guerres civiles des Français, volume 7

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.