French Imperial Eagle

EaglesImperial EagleEagleregimental eagleFrench EaglesImperial EaglesNapoleonic eagleFranch Imperial EaglesFrench eagleFrench eagle standard
The French Imperial Eagle (Aigle de drapeau, lit. "flag eagle") refers to the figure of an eagle on a staff carried into battle as a standard by the Grande Armée of Napoléon I during the Napoleonic Wars.wikipedia
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Grande Armée

French ArmyGrand ArmyGrande Armée d'Allemagne
The French Imperial Eagle (Aigle de drapeau, lit. "flag eagle") refers to the figure of an eagle on a staff carried into battle as a standard by the Grande Armée of Napoléon I during the Napoleonic Wars.
French Imperial Eagle

The Distribution of the Eagle Standards

presented the imperial standard
This event was depicted in The Distribution of the Eagle Standards, an 1810 painting by Jacques-Louis David.
Napoleon distributed "eagles" based on the Roman aquila of the legions of Rome.

Military colours, standards and guidons

coloursregimental coloursguidon
Although they were presented with regimental colours, the regiments of Napoléon I tended to carry at their head the Imperial Eagle.
Atop of the staff of colours of the Napoleonic army the Imperial Eagle (modelled after the Ancient Roman Aquila) was placed, which actually rose to be more important symbol of the regiment than colours itself.

Battle of Barrosa

BarrosaBarossaBarrosa (Battle of)
The first French eagle to be captured by the British was taken by the 87th Regiment of Foot at the Battle of Barrosa on 5 March 1811.
During the battle, a single British division defeated two French divisions and captured a regimental eagle.

87th (Royal Irish Fusiliers) Regiment of Foot

87th Regiment of Foot87th Foot87th
The first French eagle to be captured by the British was taken by the 87th Regiment of Foot at the Battle of Barrosa on 5 March 1811.
At Barrosa, Ensign Edward Keogh and Sergeant Patrick Masterson captured the French Imperial Eagle of the 8th Regiment de Ligne.

44th (East Essex) Regiment of Foot

44th Regiment of Foot44th Foot44th
Ensign John Pratt of the Light Company of the 30th Regiment of Foot (later 1st Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment) captured the eagle of the 22nd Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne (displayed today in the Lancashire Infantry Museum at Fulwood Barracks in Preston, Lancashire), while the 2nd Battalion of the 44th Regiment of Foot took the eagle of the 62nd Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne (displayed today in the Chelmsford Museum in Essex).
At the Battle of Salamanca in July 1812 Lieutenant William Pearce of the 2nd battalion captured the French Imperial Eagle of the French 62nd Regiment.

Battle of Bailén

BailénBaylenBailén (Battle of)
In 1808, at the Battle of Bailén, the French corps led by General Dupont surrendered after being defeated by a Spanish army led by generals Castaños and Reding; this was the first surrender of an Imperial field army.
Marshal Soult overran much of Andalusia the following year and on January 21, 1810, his men recovered the lost Eagles from the cathedral of Bailén.

30th (Cambridgeshire) Regiment of Foot

30th Regiment of Foot30th Foot30th
Ensign John Pratt of the Light Company of the 30th Regiment of Foot (later 1st Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment) captured the eagle of the 22nd Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne (displayed today in the Lancashire Infantry Museum at Fulwood Barracks in Preston, Lancashire), while the 2nd Battalion of the 44th Regiment of Foot took the eagle of the 62nd Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne (displayed today in the Chelmsford Museum in Essex).
It also saw action at the Battle of Salamanca in July 1812; at Salamanca Ensign John Pratt, a junior officer in the battalion, captured the French Imperial Eagle of the 22nd Regiment de Ligne.

1st The Royal Dragoons

1st Royal Dragoons1st Dragoons1st (Royal) Dragoons
The French I Corps under the command of the Comte d'Erlon was charged by the British heavy cavalry, commanded by the Earl of Uxbridge; the 1st The Royal Dragoons captured the eagle of the 105th Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne (now held at the National Army Museum, Chelsea) and the Royal Scots Greys captured the eagle of the 45th Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne (now held at the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards Museum in Edinburgh Castle).
Captain Alexander Kennedy Clark, an officer in the regiment, captured the French Imperial Eagle of the 105th Line Infantry Regiment during the battle.

Lancashire Infantry Museum

Ensign John Pratt of the Light Company of the 30th Regiment of Foot (later 1st Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment) captured the eagle of the 22nd Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne (displayed today in the Lancashire Infantry Museum at Fulwood Barracks in Preston, Lancashire), while the 2nd Battalion of the 44th Regiment of Foot took the eagle of the 62nd Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne (displayed today in the Chelmsford Museum in Essex).
An important exhibit is the French Imperial Eagle captured by Ensign John Pratt of the 30th Regiment of Foot from the French 22nd Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne at the Battle of Salamanca in July 1812.

Battle of Salamanca

SalamancaArapilesSalamanca (Battle of)
The British took two eagles at the Battle of Salamanca in July 1812.
Two Imperial Eagles were captured at the battle of Salamanca.

Royal Scots Dragoon Guards Museum

The French I Corps under the command of the Comte d'Erlon was charged by the British heavy cavalry, commanded by the Earl of Uxbridge; the 1st The Royal Dragoons captured the eagle of the 105th Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne (now held at the National Army Museum, Chelsea) and the Royal Scots Greys captured the eagle of the 45th Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne (now held at the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards Museum in Edinburgh Castle).
A highlight of the museum is the French Imperial Eagle that was captured by Sergeant Charles Ewart of the Royal Scots Greys from the French 45th Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne at the Battle of Waterloo in June 1815.

Blues and Royals

The Blues and Royals (Royal Horse Guards and 1st Dragoons)Blues and Royals (Royal Horse Guards and 1st Dragoons)The Blues
The Blues and Royals (Royal Horse Guards and 1st Dragoons) (descended from the 1st Royal Dragoons) and the Royal Anglian Regiment (descended from the 44th Foot) both wear the eagle as an arm badge, while the cap badge of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers and Greys) (descended from the Royal Scots Greys) is an eagle.
In most dress orders, the Waterloo Eagle is worn on the left arm as part of dress traditions.

Royal Irish Fusiliers Museum

The original staff is still held in the Royal Irish Fusiliers Museum, located in the Sovereign's House on The Mall in Armagh, Northern Ireland.
Other highlights include a model demonstrating how Ensign Edward Keogh and Sergeant Patrick Masterson of the 87th (Royal Irish Fusiliers) Regiment of Foot captured a French Imperial Eagle at the Battle of Barrosa in March 1811 during the Peninsular War.

Battle of Waterloo

Waterloobattlethe Battle of Waterloo
The French I Corps under the command of the Comte d'Erlon was charged by the British heavy cavalry, commanded by the Earl of Uxbridge; the 1st The Royal Dragoons captured the eagle of the 105th Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne (now held at the National Army Museum, Chelsea) and the Royal Scots Greys captured the eagle of the 45th Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne (now held at the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards Museum in Edinburgh Castle). Two of the newer French regimental eagles were captured during the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.
These would be the only two French eagles captured by the British during the battle.

Historical colours, standards and guidons

*Historical colours, standards and guidons
In the Imperial Army under Napoleon I, regiments received new colours, which were called aigles (eagles), from the eagle that was mounted atop the pole.

Royal Scots Dragoon Guards

The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers and Greys)Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers and Greys)The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards
The Blues and Royals (Royal Horse Guards and 1st Dragoons) (descended from the 1st Royal Dragoons) and the Royal Anglian Regiment (descended from the 44th Foot) both wear the eagle as an arm badge, while the cap badge of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers and Greys) (descended from the Royal Scots Greys) is an eagle.
Opened in 2006, the exhibits include uniforms, medals, weapons, regalia, music and the French Imperial Eagle that was captured by Sergeant Charles Ewart of the Royal Scots Greys from the French 45th Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne at the Battle of Waterloo.

Chelmsford Museum

Oaklands Park
Ensign John Pratt of the Light Company of the 30th Regiment of Foot (later 1st Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment) captured the eagle of the 22nd Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne (displayed today in the Lancashire Infantry Museum at Fulwood Barracks in Preston, Lancashire), while the 2nd Battalion of the 44th Regiment of Foot took the eagle of the 62nd Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne (displayed today in the Chelmsford Museum in Essex).
Highlights of this collection include the French Imperial Eagle captured by the 2nd Battalion of the 44th Regiment of Foot from the French 62nd Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne, as well as "The Last Stand of the 44th Regiment at Gundamuck", a painting by William Barnes Wollen.

Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington

Duke of WellingtonWellingtonArthur Wellesley
Before the Duke of Wellington died in 1852, he had asked that all his battle trophies be carried at his funeral.
During this struggle Lord Uxbridge launched two of his cavalry brigades at the enemy, catching the French infantry off guard, driving them to the bottom of the slope, and capturing two French Imperial Eagles.

Napoleon

Napoleon BonaparteNapoleon INapoleonic
The French Imperial Eagle (Aigle de drapeau, lit. "flag eagle") refers to the figure of an eagle on a staff carried into battle as a standard by the Grande Armée of Napoléon I during the Napoleonic Wars. Although they were presented with regimental colours, the regiments of Napoléon I tended to carry at their head the Imperial Eagle.

Napoleonic Wars

Napoleonicwar with FranceNapoleonic War
The French Imperial Eagle (Aigle de drapeau, lit. "flag eagle") refers to the figure of an eagle on a staff carried into battle as a standard by the Grande Armée of Napoléon I during the Napoleonic Wars.

Coronation of Napoleon I

coronationcrowned emperorNapoleon's coronation
On 5 December 1804, three days after his Coronation, Napoléon I distributed aigles based on the Roman aquila of the legions of Rome.

Aquila (Roman)

aquilaeagleaquilae
On 5 December 1804, three days after his Coronation, Napoléon I distributed aigles based on the Roman aquila of the legions of Rome.

Departments of France

departmentdépartementdepartments
The standards represented the regiments raised by the various departments of France, and were intended to institute feelings of pride and loyalty among the troops who would be the backbone of Napoléon's new regime.

Jacques-Louis David

DavidJacques Louis David Jacques-Louis David
This event was depicted in The Distribution of the Eagle Standards, an 1810 painting by Jacques-Louis David.