Nicolas Joseph Maison
Nicolas Joseph Maison, 1er Marquis Maison (19 December 1771 – 13 February 1840) was a Marshal of France and Minister of War.
French revolution and Napoléon
He enlisted in the French Revolutionary army in 1792 and served in the early French Revolutionary Wars. He served as aide-de-camp to Minister of War Bernadotte in 1799. During the campaign of 1806 he served as a general de brigade in the corps of Marshal Bernadotte and took part in the chase of the Prussian army to Lübeck after their defeat at Jena. In 1808 he was sent to Spain where he served under Marshal Victor and was wounded at the capture of Madrid. In 1812 he joined Napoléon in the invasion of Russia. At the Beresina he was promoted to general de division and made a baron. After the wounding of Marshal Oudinot, he took over command of the II Corps and led it during the retreat to the Weischel. He served in the campaign of 1813 and after Marshal Jacques MacDonald's defeat at the Battle of Katzbach was once again tasked with leading the retreat. After the Battle of Leipzig, where he was wounded, he was given the Grand Cross of the Légion d'honneur and was made a count of the empire.
In 1814 he was tasked with defending what is now Belgium and the port of Antwerp. With inadequate forces, he managed to hold his own against greatly superior Allied forces and defeated Johann von Thielmann's Saxons at the Battle of Courtrai.
After the abdication of the emperor, Maison rallied to Louis XVIII of France, who made him a Knight of St. Louis and appointed him Governor of Paris. During the Hundred Days, Maison stayed loyal to the Bourbons and joined them when they fled to Ghent. After the Second Restoration, he was made commandant of the 1st Military Division. He was put on the court martial appointed to judge Marshal Ney on a charge of treason for joining Napoléon but after he and his colleagues declared themselves incompetent he was demoted to command of the 8th Military Division in Marseilles.
In 1817, Maison was created a marquis and a Peer of France by Louis XVIII. In 1828 he was given command of the French expeditionary corps in the Morea (the Peloponnese peninsula in Greece) against Ibrahim Pasha. Upon his return to France in 1829 he was created a Marshal of France by Charles X.
In 1830 he joined the July Revolution and served in November 1830 as Minister of Foreign Affairs for a couple of weeks, before being sent to Vienna as ambassador. In 1833 he was made ambassador to Russia in St. Petersburg. Maison served as minister of war from 30 April 1835 to 19 September 1836 after which he retired from public life. He died in 1840.