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Louis Pocquet papers


Louis Pocquet papers
Pocquet, Louis Wulphly Jean Baptiste
Collection number:
1.50 linear feet
Bulk dates:
Inclusive dates:
Collection Area:
State of Maryland and Historical Collections
Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries, Hornbake Library, College Park, MD 20742. Tel: 301-405-9212, Fax: 301-314-2709, Email:

Louis Wulphly Jean Baptiste Pocquet was a pensioner of the French Empire who served in the army during the French Revolution. His papers consist of one letterbook, written entirely in French, in which he records his correspondence, notes and observations, and chronologies of events. Pocquet's letters are primarily war-related but several also outline his personal plans and thoughts. The letters are addressed to a variety of individuals, including Pope Pius VII, the Prince, the Empress, Napolean Bonaparte, and members of Pocquet's family.

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Preferred citation:

Louis Pocquet papers, Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries.

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This collection is PROCESSED.

Historical Note

Louis Wulphly Jean Baptiste Pocquet, pensioner of the French Empire and resident of Montmartre in Paris, served nearly forty-nine years of both active and inactive duty in the French military, including the years during the French Revolution. On May 21, 1761, Pocquet entered the Army of Soubise, serving until August 27, 1767. He served in the Guard of the Nouillers Company Corps from January 1, 1770 until May 18, 1771, the day he enlisted as an officer with the French National Police of Artois. On March 9, 1775, he ended his duty with the National Police. Poquet later joined the Infantry Regiment on Rohan on November 27, 1776, and served with this unit until September 12, 1789. On January 20, 1790, he was appointed second lieutenant of a company of disabled soldiers. He was promoted to captain of this company and served in this capacity from June 27, 1795, until March 22, 1797. Subsequently he served from June 13, 1798 to November 21, 1800, as a captain in the 247th Company of Veterans, from which he was discharged.

Among the battles in which Pocquet was involved were those in Hanover, Germany; Fort Bellegrade; Leucate; and Auch.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The papers of Captain Pocquet consist of a letterbook of 94 holographic pages, written entirely in French, covering the period 1805 to 1811. Entries are not in chronologically and some contain information prior to 1805. Recorded are observations, various notes, accounts of occurrences, and timelines, but mostly letters, hence the title of the letterbook, "A Collection of Correspondence." The volume contains approximately 160 of Captain Pocquet's out-going letters in addition to several that he received. Throughout the letterbook Pocquet has various notes, even some informally written in the margins.

Pocquet's correspondence is addressed to individuals in a wide range of locations, including Rome, Jerusalem, the Americas and several cities in France. Among Pocquet's addresses are Pope Pius VII, the Prince, the Empress and Napoleon, the "Emperor of the French and King of Italy."

Among the letters addressed to Captain Pocquet are one from Sir Magallon of Martiniere, a Division General who served with Pocquet; one from Lieutenant Gautier, Pocquet's previous Lieutenant of the 40th Company of Veterans; one from General Buernonville, the Senator; one from DeMeis, the Mayor of Laon; one from Noudel, the Mayor of Nancy; and one from Oflouterel Mayor of Mont-Cornet. Also included are two letters from the War Count of the Empire to the Bureau of the Ministry of Paris and there are two entries that were begun only to be crossed out midway.

The letters primarily concern war-related information, although four letters are to his niece and at least one is to his relatives in America. Many of the letters concern the Empress, revealing her political eminence during the era. Captain Pocquet's letterbook has been described as a single series.

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

The source of Captain Pocquet's letterbook is unknown.

Processing Information

Processed by:

Processed by David C. Clemons, June 1993. Revised by Maureen Cech, May 2010.

Processing note:

The letterbook has been stored in an acid-free box.

Encoded by:

EAD markup created using EAD database in Microsoft Access. Markup completed by Henry Allen, July 2004.

Arrangement of Collection

The collection is organized as one series.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Letterbook, 1805-1811 (1 volume)

The majority of the entries are military in nature dealing directly with the French Revolution and, while written with cordiality, convey strategic, administrative, and maneuver-related information. However, Pocquet frequently expresses his personal plans. Likely due to the longevity of his military career, notes regarding Pocquet's desire to finalize terms of his retirement pension contract in order to begin receiving payments appear frequently. Also frequently discussed are matters relative to the affairs of the Empress, Pocquet's impressions of her and the Empress' influence upon administrative decisions.

There is currently no box inventory available for this series.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Letterbook, 1805-1811 series 1box 1folder 1

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