Antoine Virgile Schneider

Antoine Virgile Schneider (22 March 1779 in Bouquenom (Bailiwick of Sarreguemines) – 11 July 1847 in Paris) was a French general and politician. He was Minister of War under the July Monarchy in the second government of Jean de Dieu Soult from 12 May 1839 to 1 March 1840.[1][2]

Antoine Virgile Schneider
Born(1779-03-22)22 March 1779
in Bouquenom (Bailiwick of Sarreguemines)
 Kingdom of France
Died11 July 1847(1847-07-11) (aged 68)
in Paris
RankLieutenant general (1831)
Commands heldSpain expedition (1823)
Morea expedition (1828)
Battles/wars Napoleonic Wars
AwardsName engraved under the Arc de Triomphe
Grand-croix of the Legion of Honour
Grand-commander of the Order of the Redeemer (Greece)
Commander of the Order of Leopold (Belgium)
Other workDeputy (district of Moselle):



Antoine Virgile Schneider was born on 22 March 1779 at Bouquenom, and was the son of doctor Christophe Schneider. He was the cousin of Adolphe Schneider and Eugène Schneider, who developed the iron industry at Le Creusot. Virgil Schneider graduated from the École Polytechnique in the year VII of the 1st French Republic (1799).[1]

A memoir on the Greek island of Corfu addressed to Napoleon Bonaparte earned him his appointment as supernumerary in Military engineering. He was Lieutenant during the Polish campaign, Captain during the Spanish Civil War (1808), he took part in the sieges of Saragossa (1808–1809) and Figueres (1811). He was created a Knight of the Empire on 23 February 1811, he became aide-de-camp to General Clarke. After a mission to the Ionian islands, he was besieged in Danzig in 1813 with General Rapp. He was appointed Colonel in 1815. Prisoner of War, he returned to France in 1814 and was, during the Hundred Days, Chief of Staff of Rapp, who commanded the 5th Corps, assigned to cover the Rhine.[1]

"Surrender of Patras to General Schneider" by Hippolyte Lecomte.

Brought into inactivity by the Second Restoration, he was recalled to service in 1819 and took part in the campaign in Spain and particularly in the siege of Pamplona in 1823 as colonel of the 20th Regiment of Light Infantry. Promoted to Maréchal de camp on 22 May 1825, he participated to the Morea expedition in Greece, under the command of Marshal Maison, and he directed the siege operations of the fortresses of the Peloponnese in October 1828.[3] Heading the 3rd Brigade of the expeditionary force, he liberated the city of Patras (on 5 October 1828) and took the “Castle of Morea” of Patras (on 30 October 1828 ) to the Turkish-Egyptian occupation troops of Ibrahim Pasha.[3] After having completely liberated Greece from the occupier, he was appointed commander-in-chief of the occupation troops in place of Marshal Maison, and received, at the time of his recall in July 1831, a sword of honor by the Greek government.[1]

Promoted to Lieutenant-General on 12 August 1831 and appointed Chief of Staff at the Department of War on 20 November 1832, he was elected on 21 June 1834 deputy of the 6th district of Moselle (Sarreguemines), and re-elected on 4 November 1837 and 2 March 1839. He served in the majority but voted against the law of disjunction and was part of the coalition against the Louis Mathieu Molé Ministry. He voted for funding the Duke of Nemours and for the census.[1]

Appointed Minister of War in the second government of Jean de Dieu Soult on 12 May 1839, he had to stand again before his electors, who confirmed his mandate on 8 June 1839. He kept his ministry until 1 March 1840. During his time in government, he improved the lives of the officers and reorganized the General Staff.[1]

On 28 November 1840, General Schneider was given command of the troops of the external division of Paris, which cooperated in the work of the fortifications of the capital and, on 17 July 1841, he became president of the infantry committee. Re-elected as a deputy on 9 July 1842 and on 1 August 1846, he voted against the compensation Pritchard and the Rémusat proposal.[1]








  • "Antoine Virgile Schneider", in Adolphe Robert and Gaston Cougny, Dictionnaire des parlementaires français (1789-1891), Bourloton, Paris, 1889 Edition details Wikisource
  • Mullié, Charles (1852). "article name needed. Biographie des célébrités militaires des armées de terre et de mer de 1789 à 1850  (in French). Paris: Poignavant et Compagnie.
  • Almanach royal et national 1835
  • Jean-Louis Beaucarnot, Les Schneider, une dynastie, Hachette Littérature, 1986
  • Elvire de Brissac, Ô dix-neuvième !, Grasset, prix Femina essai, 2001
  • Elvire de Brissac, Il était une fois les Schneider, Grasset, 2007
  • Dominique Schneidre, Les Schneider, Le Creusot, Fayard, 1995
  • Dominique Schneidre, Fortune de mère, Fayard, 2001
  • Les Schneider, Le Creusot, une famille, une entreprise, une ville, 1836-1960, catalogue de l'exposition

Linked articles


Political offices

Political offices
Preceded by Minister of War
12 May 1839 - 1 March 1840
Succeeded by


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Antoine Virgile Schneider", in Adolphe Robert and Gaston Cougny, Dictionnaire des parlementaires français (1789-1891), Bourloton, Paris, 1889 Edition details Wikisource
  2. ^ List of his parliamentary terms and biography on the site of the French National Assembly: Antoine, Virgile Scneider (1779 - 1847)
  3. ^ a b Nicolas Joseph Maison (Lieutenant-general) : dépêches adressées au ministre de la Guerre Louis-Victor de Caux, vicomte de Blacquetot, octobre 1828, in Jacques Mangeart, Chapitre Supplémentaire des Souvenirs de la Morée: recueillis pendant le séjour des Français dans le Peloponèse, Igonette, Paris, 1830.