Larochejacquelein is killed by the men whose life he spared

February 3, 2011

Henri de La Rochejaquelein

While Turreau was thus devastating La Vendée, where were Larochejacquelein, Stofflet, and Charette? Had they forgotten their country and its cause—were they deaf to her cries of distress? Charette still fought in the depths of the Marais; Stofflet in the recesses of the Bocage; but Larochejacquelein, the young, the brave, the chivalrous, the peasants’ idol and the terror of their foes, lay stiff and cold in a soldier’s grave. He was treacherously slain by two republicans, whose lives he had spared. On the 28th of January he met and defeated the enemy near Chollet. After the battle, he found two grenadiers hiding behind a hedge. He advanced towards them, crying, “Surrender, and you shall have quarter!” They cast themselves upon their knees, and when he was at barrel’s length from them, one of them shot him through the head. So died Henri de Larochejacquelein, aged only twenty-two. Other chieftains may have displayed more judgment, and others more piety; but none were so brave, none so noble-hearted as he. He was the type of all that was heroic and high-minded and generous; and well might the unhappy survivors exclaim, as they laid him in his grave, “At last it may be said with truth that La Vendée is no more.”

He was buried secretly, lest the knowledge of his death should discourage his own soldiers and animate the enemy.

The burial of Henri de La Rochejaquelein by Alexandre Bloch

George J. Hill, The Story of the War in La Vendée and the Little Chouannerie (New York: D. & J. Sadlier & Co. n.d.), pp. 154-155.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 46

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