command army paris
HOCHE, LAZAicE (1768-1797), a French general of the time of the Revolution, was born of poor parents at Montreuil near Versailles, June 25, 1768. At the age of sixteen he enlisted as a private soldier with the intention of proceeding to the East Indies, but was sent instead to a depot of the Gardes Francaises. Having risen to the rank of sergeant, he, at the outbreak of the Revolution, made au important stand with a mere handful of troops against a large body of insurgents ; and it was he also who, at a later period, defended the entrance to the chamber of the queen when her apartments were invaded by a revolutionary mob. He distinguished himself at the siege of Thionville in 1792, and at the battle of Neerwinden, 13th March 1793. Shortly afterwards he received the brevet of general of brigade, and was appointed to time command of Dunkirk, for his brilliant defence of which against the duke of York he received the chief command of the army of the Moselle. The purpose which he originally proposed to himself in this campaign was to cut the communication between the Austrians and Prussians, and, though foiled in this attempt by the superior forces of the duke of Brunswick, he succeeded by a masterly manoeuvre in effecting a junction of a portion of his troops with the army of the Rhine, and thus causing the Austrians to evacuate Alsace. Shortly afterwards he was assigned the chief command by the representatives of the people with the two armies, but, this promotion awakening the morbid suspicion of Robespierre, he was recalled and thrown into prison, and it was only the timely fall of Robespierre that saved him from the guillotine. On being released by the convention, he was so successful in pacifying La Vendee and Brittany that he was appointed to the command of the three united armies, numbering in all 100,000 men, in order to apply similar measures for the disarmament of the ether departments. After accomplishing this task with an admirable combination of firmness and moderation, he was appointed to the command of an army organized for the conquest of Ireland. The expedition set sail from Brest, 16th December 1796, but was dispersed by a storm, scarcely one half of the vessels escaping shipwreck or capture. In the following year Roche was sent to the eastern frontier to act against Austria, and by a series of masterly manwuvres he succeeded in surrounding the army of General Bray, and but for a declaration of peace would have taken him and all his troops prisoners of war. Not long after his return he was appointed to the command of the united army in Germany, but eight days afterwards he died suddenly at Wetzlar, 18th September 1797. The belief was widely spread that he had been poisoned, but the suspicion seems to have been without foundation. Though Hoche at his death had not attained the age of thirty, he had already displayed powers, both as politician and as strategist, which, had he lived, would have rendered him a formidable rival of Napoleon, and might have effectually frustrated the latter's unscrupulous ambition.
See Notes historigues sin la vie inorak politique et militaire dcc general Roche, Strasburg, 1798; Boussclin, Vie de Lazare Hoehe, general des armees de la republigue Francaise, Paris, 1798; Dubroca, Eloge funebre du general Hoehe, Paris, 1800 ; Vie et pensees dee general Roche, Bern ; Champrobert, Notice historigue sur Lazare Hoehe, le pacificateur de la VencNe, Paris, 1840 ; Denville, Histoire de Lazare Roche, Paris, 1844; Desprez, Lazare Hoehe d'aprs see correspondanee, Paris, 1858: