I Cavalry Corps (Grande Armée)

The I Cavalry Corps of the Grande Armée was a French military unit that existed during the Napoleonic Wars.

I Cavalry Corps
Active1812-1814, 1815
CountryFirst French Empire First French Empire
EngagementsRussian campaign
War of the Sixth Coalition
War of the Seventh Coalition
Jean-Pierre Doumerc
Joachim Murat
Étienne de Nansouty
Pierre Claude Pajol
Victor de Fay de La Tour-Maubourg


For one month in 1806–1807, Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte split his Reserve Cavalry Corps into the I and II Cavalry Corps. At that time, Marshal Joachim Murat took command of the short-lived I Cavalry Corps before resuming leadership over Napoleon's Reserve Cavalry when the experiment ended.

The I Cavalry Corps was not recreated until 1812 for the invasion of Russia when command was exercised by General Étienne Marie Antoine Champion de Nansouty. The corps fought at Borodino and Tarutino. After being destroyed during the retreat from Russia, the I Cavalry Corps was reconstituted in 1813 and General Victor de Fay de La Tour-Maubourg was appointed to lead it. The corps fought at Lützen, Bautzen, Dresden, and Leipzig. At Leipzig, the corp took part in Murat's great charge, Latour-Maubourg was seriously wounded at the battle and replaced by General Jean-Pierre Doumerc who led the corps for the remainder of the War of the Sixth Coalition which ended with Napoleon's abdication in 1814. After Napoleon returned from exile and retook power in France in 1815, the main French Army was baptised as the Armée du Nord. The army was in a serious shortage of cavalry, but Napoleon managed to bring together enough cavalry to form several Cavalry Corps, the I Corps was reformed and led by General Pierre Claude Pajol and fought at the Battles of Ligny, then being split up with 2 divisions going with Napoleon to serve at the Battle of Waterloo and the rest of the Corp going with Marshal Grouchy to pursue the Prussians, eventually fighting them at the Battle of Wavre.

Order of battle, 1815Edit

Because the majority of the corps were attached to Grouchy's Group, only 2 divisions were present at Waterloo.


  1. ^ "Les Uniformes pendant la campagne des Cent Jours - Belgique 1815". centjours.mont-saint-jean.com. Retrieved 2020-06-25.