Vendeen Genocide






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The Vendeen Genocide
Where did the Turcaults go?

The Turcault family that sent 2 of it's sons over to the new colony in the mid-1600's disappeared from the area, not to be found when modern historians ventured back to the old country to locate the places and people that were left behind.

Where did the family go? Having lived in the area for many centuries, from the earliest date of the 12th century when the local son Richard Plantagenet (Richard, the Lion-Heart) (Footnote 3) took his knights, including our ancestors to Turkey (hence our name) and the Holy Lands on his crusades (hence our blazon). The Turcault have always been loyal to God and Crown, fighting hard and ferociously in all the wars of the land. So when the end of the 19th century rolled around, and the farmers were informed that: the Pope was no longer head of their church, the Convention (the government of the French Republic) was now head of the church; the King was dead; taxes will be increased; and every man must join the army. The stone was cast. The majority of the citizens in the valley joined together and fought to the death for King and God, a loosing battle with over 200,000 Republican soldiers battling the Vendeen, the death toll was enormous over 117,000 Vendeen men, women, children killed. (Compared to 20,000 that the Revolutionary Tribunal sentenced to death, usually by guillotine.) On January 19, 1794 Turreau presented a new plan to the Convention, designed to not only beat our ancestors, but to burn and destroy everything in the province, killing all men, women, and children. (Footnote 6) Currently Vendee has just over half a million inhabitants. (Using recent population statistics that would mean roughly 75,000 when our ancestors left their farms, and only 175,000 when they were massacred in the name of Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite.

So with the mass destruction of their farms and families, the odds of our family surviving the massacre, is roughly 30%. The odds of them remaining on burnt farms, in a country they didn't support, the odds drop radically. There is no mystery as to why the Turcault are no longer in Vendee, they were tortured and killed, until they had no desire to stay. But the fighting spirit and will of the Turcault is alive and well in Canada. The cousins and descendants of the Turcault have stood proud and valiant during every war and conflict. Just look for the names Turcot, Turcott, and Turcotte in the veteran lists.

Footnote 1

In March, 1793 a dramatic outburst of popular resentment shook the foundations of the new French Republic. The radical phase of the Revolution had created a strong republican government in Paris. With pressures mounting from all sides, it inaugurated a series of very forceful measures to curb any opposition to its policies with the result that a reign of terror descended upon the Nation. The region known as the Vendee took up arms against the government in Paris. Although dismissed at the outset as nothing more than modest peasant unrest, this counterrevolution grew into a very bloody, yearlong struggle for the identity of France. No one could have anticipated the level of violence or the policy of extermination instituted by the Republicans.

Footnote 2

What the French Revolution invented, 150 years before Auschwitz, was industrialized murder. In Vendee, a city that had revolted against the central Revolutionary government, over 100,000 people, including women and children, were murdered, executed in part by grapeshot and by tying them to boats that were sunk in the Loire River. ("No nation," wrote Friedrich Engels in a diatribe against the Czechs, "can tolerate a Vendee in its heart.") A similar, somewhat smaller outrage took place in Lyons, a city that had rebelled and was to be erased for good. By some estimates,14,000 houses were demolished.

Footnote 3


When Eleanor of Aquitaine married Henri Plantagenet, Duke of Normandy (and, later, King Henry II of England) in 1152, she brought as her dowry vast areas of western France. Combined with her husband's existing lands in the north, this meant that half of France was into English hands.

The pretty Vendée village of Nieul-sur-l'Autise is thought to be the birthplace of Eleanor of Aquitaine. Nieul's Romanesque abbey, was the burial place of Eleanor's mother.

Eleanor's son Richard the Lionheart - Richard I of England - liked the Bas-Poitou (as theVendée was then known) and often based himself in the region, notably at Talmont, either for fighting or hunting. A century later the English king Edward III, grandson of king Philippe IV of France, made a claim to the French crown. The resulting Hundred Years' War betwen the two countries - sustained by England's Richard II, Henry IV and Henry V - turned much of north and western France into a battleground until 1453 when the French succeeded in winning back everything but the town of Calais.

A stone Plantagenet-style figure, in the Romanesque church of Angles is thought to be of Richard Coeur-de-Lion, or of his father Henry II of England.

Since the Vendée held a considerable number of influential Protestants, the region was also greatly marked by the 36-year Wars of Religion which broke out in 1562. Eventually the French king Henri IV, who had been brought up a Protestant and converted to Catholicism on his accession, granted freedom of worship to the Protestants in 1598, through the Edict of Nantes, and the Wars of Religion came to an end. (The Edict of Nantes was revoked in 1685, causing many Protestants to flee from France.)

Cardinal Richelieu (1585-1642) - one-time bishop of Luçon - who was chief minister to Louis XIII between 1624 and 1642, saw the need to unite the whole of France under one crown. To reduce the power of the provincial dukes and princes, he ordered the destruction of their strongholds, reducing such Vendean castles as Talmont, La Garnache, Les Essarts and Apremont to ruins.


After the Storming of the Bastille in 1789 and the Declaration of the First Republic in 1792 the new régime in France was total. The nobility was abolished. Priests who refused to swear allegiance to the Republican government were deported and replaced with "loyal" ones.

New ideas permeated only slowly to the Vendée, more than 200 miles from Paris. In this rural region, then known as Bas-Poitou, social inequality was not as marked as elsewhere. The aristocrats were less rich, their tenant farmers less poor, and the priests more revered.

The Vendean peasants were dismayed to find that the Revolution removed their king (Louis XVI was executed in January 1793), forced on them the unpopular new priests loyal to the changed order, and called for the payment to the Republican government of even higher taxes than had been due under the monarchy. The confiscated goods of the old Church and deported clergy were thought to be lining the pockets of the bourgeoisie who had engineered for themselves top administrative posts. Ignoring the newly sworn-in priests who had been assigned to their churches, the Vendeans continued to worship clandestinely at open-air Masses said by rebellious, pre-Revolutionary clergy.

Vendean farmers took up scythes and billhooks to protect themselves.

The spark that ignited the three years of horrific civil warfare, was the Republican government's decision in February 1793 to raise a 300,000-strong army for the defence of France's borders against threatened invasion by neighbouring countries opposed to the overthrow of the French monarchy. The people of Bas-Poitou and neighbouring départements refused to submit to formal conscription so Republican soldiers were sent in to draw names at random. Riots ensued. In March the inhabitants of Machecoul massacred the Republican troops billeted in the town; other villages followed suit. But generally counted as the start of the wars was the mass refusal of conscription, on 11 March 1793, by the people of St-Florent-le-Vieil, midway between Nantes and Angers, in the département of Maine-et-Loire. Switching their scythe blades from horizontal to vertical, the populace routed the "Bleus" ("Blues", or Republican troops, sometimes referred to as "patriots"), and captured their cannon, then called upon a humble carter, Jacques Cathelineau, to lead them. Cathelineau and, later, Jean-Nicolas Stofflet were working-class generals; for the rest, the Vendean peasants prevailed on trusted members of the local aristocracy to take command - François-Athanase Charette de la Contrie, Henri de Lescure, Henri de la Rochejaquelein, the Duc d'Elbée - whose names have passed into local folklore.

The stone at Nuaillé - near Cholet - marks the place where Henri de la Rochejaquelein fell.

The initially ill-equipped Republicans were soon reinforced, and the early Vendean victories turned to defeat at Nantes (where Cathelineau was mortally wounded). The Vendeans (also known as "Whites", or "brigands") lost Cholet and then, in search of hoped-for reinforcements from England (whence many of the French nobility had fled), made a seemingly-impossible dash, known as the "Virée de Galerne", north across the river Loire. On 18 October 1793 the Vendeans ferried between 60,000 and 100,000 men, women and children over the wide and treacherous river. After an epic 200km march north in an attempt to capture a suitable Channel port ready to receive the expected English aid, the Vendeans laid siege to the town of Granville in November. Having failed to take the port, they set off back towards the Loire. At Le Mans, 10,000 were cut down at the hands of the heavily-armed Republicans. Tens of thousands more died, either in combat or from sickness or hunger. In December 1793 just a few thousand managed to re-cross the Loire.

Determined that such insurrection should never happen again, the Republicans sent "colonnes infernales" ("fiery columns" of troops) to lay waste every village and kill every remaining person in the département of Bas-Poitou - that would henceforth be renamed "Vendée". From early 1794 these death squads passed from village to village burning, pillaging and massacring. At Les Lucs-sur-Boulogne 563 people - women, children and old men - were shot as they knelt in church. (Try clicking on various headings on the Les Lucs/Chabotterie website for “virtual tours” of memorial and chapel)

The few surviving Vendeans returned home to ruined houses, murdered families. Hiding out among the gorse and the forests, they continued to wage a guerrilla warfare for many months. Charette and Stofflet signed peace treaties with the Republicans in 1795, though Charette continued to lead skirmishes and ambushes against the Blues until his capture at La Chabotterie in March 1796, and his subsequent execution.

Footnote 4

There is some truth to all of these interpretations. For example, the practice of Robespierre's Committee of Public Safety during the French Revolution in executing not just the leaders but also the followers and families of their political opponents (a practice that Robespierre's political opponents turned against him as soon as they could), the practice of using the military to depopulate restive regions like the Vendee of western France, and the practice of using rigged courts to give a thin veneer of "legality" and due process to political murder did have their origin in the French Revolution.

Footnote 5

The Vendee Rebellion of 1793/1794 (-1796)

A.) The Pre-History of the Rebellion

In the mostly rural region of the VENDEE in western France (between Nantes and La Rochelle), political sentiment in 1793 was ROYALIST. The farmers regarded many institutions of the young republic - new taxation, general conscription, the abolition of old regional and local privileges, as a threat to them rather than as an asset. They were outraged about the execution of the king.

B.) The Military Course of Events

The National Convention, on February 24th, had decided on the CONSCRIPTION of 300,000 men, scheduled for March 12th 1793. On that day, preparations for the fevolt were made in ST. FLEURENT LE VIEIL. The population of other places joined; the Vendean militia fights revolutionary troops; the Vendeans, in March-July, militarily, held on pretty well; they undertook offensive operations, occupied Angers on June 19th. The Vendee insurgents were organized in a number of armies, commanded by able leaders (Charette, d'Elbee, La Rochejaquelein, Stofflet) , many of whom were noblemen and had previous military experience. On August 1st the Convention decreed the destruction of the Vendee. Kleber, commissioned with the execution of that decree, with an army of 100,000, arrived at Nantes September 6th. On Sept. 19th his forces, the BLUES, were defeated by the WHITES (Vendeans) in the BATTLE OF TORFU. In October the Vendeans suffered several defeats; on Nov. 4th they won at FOUGERES, on Dec. 12th at LE MANS. On Dec. 23rd at SAVENAY, core of the Vendean army surrounded and annihilated. The BLUES (Republican side) committed massacres, first against those regarded instigators of the rebellion (priests), against prisoners of war, and then against the entire population of rebel villages, not sparing women, children and the old. Several Vendean units were still in the field; fighting was bitter and Vendeans occasionally still won victories (March 25th 1794, April 17th). On July 28th ROBESPIERRE was executed in Paris; the RTERROR PHASE of the French revolution was over. CARRIER, one of the revolutionary commanders in the Vendee campaign, was executed on December 16th.

Fighting ceased (Dec. 26th 1794); on Feb. 17th 1795 the TREATY OF JAUNAY was signed, regarded a peace treaty for the Vendee.

The rebellion was resumed in 1795 and finally abandoned in 1796.

C.) The Legacy

The Vendean rebellion was a climax in the history of the French Revolution. Because of the obstinate, determined resistance of the Vendeans the Jacobins escalated their policy of terror, not only sentencing individuals regarded enemies of the people, but pursuing a policy of genocide. This escalation of violence brought the downfall of Robespierre, the Jacobins, the Convention. Many reforms the Vendeans had revolted against were still in force; but the fight had been extremely costly in human lives (over 200,000 dead). The CONCORDATE Napoleon signed with the pope in 1801 restored the Catholic church in France.

Footnote 6

"Citizens, the Republic has shamed itself in the Vendée!"

Drowning prisoners at Nantes

The destruction of the Vendean army was not enough for the Convention. It ordered the total liquidation of every inhabitant of the rebellious region. "You are ordered to set fire to all the rebels' houses and to massacre all the inhabitants." The département is renamed Vendée-Vengé.

The law of 1 October 1793 ordered the extermination of the "brigands": men, women and children. Later, even the Vendean Republicans suffered the same treatment.

One Republican, Léquinio, wrote: "Pillage was taken to its ultimate degree. Instead of attending to their duties, the soldiers thought only of filling their pockets and reaping as much reward as possible from this war. Many simple soldiers acquired 50,000 francs and more. Some were seen covered with jewels and spending obscenely large amounts of money. The thirst for riches caused thousands of instances of fatal carelessness, resulting in the massacre of look-outs, the surprise and the vanquishing of defending troops.Pillaging became such a habit that the troops meted out the same treatment to Republican sympathisers; their wealth fell, in thousands of cases, into the hands of the men sent to defend them.

The excesses did not stop there. Rape, and the most barbaric treatment, were carried out on every hand. Republican soldiers were seen to rape women rebels on piles of stones along the roadways, and then to shoot or stab their victims to death as they cast them aside.Others were seen brandishing children on the ends of bayonets or pikes, or with mother and child speared on the same blade. The rebels were not the only victims of the soldiers' brutality. The wives and daughters of patriots, too, were "requisitioned". All these horrors soured the mind and swelled the numbers of discontented people. Many even came, thereby, to see less virtue in our own troops than in those of the brigands - several of the latter, it is true, committed massacres but their chiefs always had a policy of preaching virtue and often affected a kind of indulgence and generosity towards our prisoners."

Léquinio doesn't go into detail: the women and children thrown into lighted ovens, the children hanged from branches and split into two like the carcasses of pigs. It was no cold, Nazi-style extermination. The troops took time to exercise refined torture. Morel and Carpenty, two municipal officers, were horrified: "Citizens, the Republic is shaming itself in the Vendée!", they wrote in a courageous report to the Convention. They themselves were threatened with death while trying to intercede to save civilians.

During this sombre extermination drive, two sinister shadows stand out: those of General Turreau and of Carrier - known as "the drowner of Nantes".Two thousand Vendeans - half of them women - were shot at Angers; 1,500 on the island of Noirmoutier; 1,800 in the quarries of Gigant, near Nantes. Carrier had 4,000 prisoners drowned in the river Loire. Still it was not enough. On 19 January, Turreau presented his extermination plan to the Convention: 24 columns of men would be sent to the Vendée with orders to penetrate every corner of the rebellious département and to burn and destroy everything they found. The Vendée was put to fire and sword. On just one day, 28 February 1794, at Les Lucs sur Boulogne, a column under the command of Cordellier killed 563 people.But it was not over yet. The exhausted survivors regrouped behind two battle-hardened leaders: Charette and Stofflet. The death-squads were massacred in their turn at Chauché, at Les Clouzeaux and elsewhere. A Republican column led by Crouzat - who, in the absence of Stofflet, killed 1,500 people in the forest of Vezins on 25 March - was cut down three days later at Les Ouleries.Turreau's plan had failed. The Vendée was wounded, but with its endless programme of guerrilla warfare was still a threat. The wooded bocage provided a maze of sunken lanes where a single strategically-placed Vendean could easily pick off his opponents and into which Republican troops ventured at their peril. Reprisals, though, were often enacted on civilians. "The incredible Vendée still survives," wrote back the angry Republican commanders to the Convention.On 13 May 1794 Turreau was relieved of his duties. Needing troops to fight on its frontiers, the Convention pulled out of the Vendée.

Footnote 7

Vendée Chronology


5 May : Meeting of the Estates-General

14 July : fall of the Bastille

26 August : Declaration of the Rights of Man ...

22 December : Creation of the 83 Départments; Vendée is called Les Deux Lays (but deputies named it after another river - La Vendée)


12 July : Civil Constitution of the Clergy - bishops and curées elected by the people; an oath of loyalty to the state is required

26 November : The new power demands an oath from the priests; the majority of the Vendéeans refuse it and the people do not accept those who did.


6 February : All priests must read the decree and preach the oath in their churches

10 March &
13 April : Pope Pius VI condemns Civil Constitution

20 June : Flight of the royal family to Varennes

May to
August : Skirmishes in Saint-Jean-de-Monts, Apremont and Saint-Christophe-du-Ligneron.


27 May : Legislative Assembly votes a law of exile against those priests who did not take the oath; the king vetoes the law; the Assembly ignores the veto.

10 August : Fall of Tuileries, capture of King

22 August : Riots at Châtillon-sur Sèvre and at Bressuire

26 August : Deportation of priests who refused the oath; chained like galley-slaves, the clerics in column cross the Vendée in the direction of Sables-d'Olonne for debarkation.

21 September: Proclamation of the lst Republic


21 January : Execution of Louis XVI

24 February : Convention decides on levée: 300,000 men

8 March : Municipalities post the decree; the drawing is set for March 12

12 March : The drawing; St. Florent-le-Vieil prepares to revolt

13 March : Departure of Cathelineau from Pin-en Mauges, Bonchamps from Chapelle Saint-Florent, d'Elbée from Beaupréau, Stofflet from his position as gamekeeper for the Count of Maulévrier.

13 March : Uprisings in Tiffauges, Montaigu, les Herbiers, Saint-Fulgent.

13 March : Taking of Saint-Fulgent, Montaigu and Challans.

14 March : Taking of Mortagne-sur-Sèvre by Sapinaud, of Cholet by Cathelineau and Stofflet, of la Roche-sur-Yon.

14 March : Departure of Charette from Logis de Fonteclose in la Garnache.

15 March : Capture of Chantonnay by the Vendén army.

16 March : Capture of the canon Marie-Jeanne at Coron;

16 March : organization of the Vendéean center at l'Oie; headquarters at Chateau de l'Herbergement Ydreau at Saint-Florence de l'Oie

17 March : Occupation by Vendéeans of Vihiers and the Isle of Noirmoutier.

19 March : Battle of la Guérinière; Vendéeans from Fontenay and la Rochelle surprise the Republicans on route; after the battle, one speaks henceforth of the Vendée.

21 March : The Catholic and Royal Army is mistress of the countryside of the Mauges.

27 March : Capture of Pornic by Charette.

29 March : Joly fails to take les Sables-d'Olonne.

6 April : Creation of the Committee of Public Safety

11 April : Chemillé falls to Vendéeans.

13 April : Departure of Henry de la Rochejacquelein from la Durbelière in Saint-Aubin de Baubigné; he takes Les Aubiers.

22 April : Capture of Beaupréau by Bonchamps.

1 May : Capture of Chateau Argenton by Vendéans.

3 May : Vendéans take Bressuire (Lescure and Marigny were prisoners there)

5 May : Capture of Thuars by la Rochejacquelein, Lescure and Stofflet.

9 May : Capture of Parthenay.

13 May : Capture of Chataigneraie by the Vendéans.

16 May : Defeat of Vendéans at Fontenay-le-Comte; this defeat cut down the morale of the Vendéans.

25 May : Capture of Fontenay-le-Comte by the Grand Army (the Vendéans).

30 May : Formation of the Superior Council of the Vendée; it met at Châtillon-sur-Sèvre; there were 25 members.

9 June : Capture of Saumur.

12 June : Election of Jacques Cathelineau as commander-in-chief; assembly of council of war at Saumur.

19 June : Capture of Angers by the Vendéans.

29 June : Abandonment of siege of the Vendéans at Nantes; Cathelineau seriously wounded.

4 July : WESTERMAN takes Châtillon-sur-Sèvre and burns the Chateau de la Durbelière at Saint-Aubin-de-Baubigné (home of Rochejacquelein).

5 July : Troops of WESTERMAN surprised in Châtillon-sur-Sèvre by the Whites and exterminated.

11 July : BLUES retake Fontenay-le-Comte.

14 July : Cathelineau dies at Saint-Florent-le-Vieil.

18 July : Capture of Vihiers by the Vendéans.

19 July : Reconvening of Council of War at Châtillon S/S; D'Elbée elected commander; 4 generals are designated: Bonchamps (for Anjou) Lescure (for le Poitou) Donissan (for la Basse Vendée) Royrand (for the Army of the Center)

25 July : Death of Sapinaud.

30 July : Defeat of the Vendéeans in front of Luçon.

1 August : Convention votes a decree ordering the total destruction of the Vendée; sends the army of Mayence (Kleber)

14 August : 3rd attack on Luçon & defeat; 5,000 V. soldiers killed.

4 September : Reconvening of Council of War at les Herbiers

5 September : The Vendeans capture Chantonnay.

6 September : Arrival of KLEBER at Nantes for the BLUES with 100,000 soldiers (20,000 from Mayence)

16 September : BLUES under Kleber take Montaigu.

19 September : Major battle at Torfu; 30,000 Vendéeans under d'Elbée, Bonchamps, Lescure, and Charette defeat the BLUES of Kleber.

22 September : Vendéeans attack Saint-Fulgent and at Montaigu; one more time they disconcert the BLUES.

30 September : Recapture of Montaigu by BLUES of Kleber.

6 October : Battle at Treize Septiers; BLUES fell back on Montaigu which was in danger.

7 October : CARRIER arrives in Nantes.

9 October : Defeat of Whites at Moulin aux Chèvres near Châtillon.

12 October : Charette seizes Noirmoutier.

14 October : Republican troops burn les Moulins des Alouettes.

15 October : Defeat of Vendéans at Tremblaye (near Cholet); Lescure is killed. Vendéans fall back on Cholet.

15 October : Marie Antoinette is guillotined in Paris.

17 October : Battle of Cholet. D'Elbée and Bonchamps are seriously wounded; Vendéans fall back toward the Loire. Bonchamps pardons 5000 Republican prisoners, then dies of his wounds (19th);

17 October : D'Elbée is evacuated to Noirmoutier.

18 October : 40,000 Vendée soldiers, followed by 20,000 women and children, cross the Loire.

19 October : De la Rochejacqulein is elected commander by Council of War at Varades.

20 October to
22 October : Vendéan march by Cande, Segre, Chateau Gontier, Laval.

26 October : Whites fight WESTERMANN and BEAUPUY who fall back on Gontier.

4 November : Battle at Fougères; Vendéan victory and death of Lescure.

5 November : Vendéan miliary council decides to march on Granville.

14 November : Attack on Granville; Vendéans repelled by 5000 Republicans.

16 November : CARRIER orders the first drowning; 84 priests are victims.

18 November to
4 December : Vendéan army marches by Pontarson, Dol, Antrain, Fougères, Laval, Sable, and la Fleche.

5 December : Death of Royrand.

6 December : Charette escapes encirclement in the marais de Bouin; His army continues to fight in the Vendée.

12 December : The grand Army is checked at Angers. It cannot cross the Loire, is defeated at le Mans.

19 December : TURREAU is named commander of of the republican army of the West.

20 December : Fleuriot elected commander of Vendéans; Talmont leaves the army.

23 December : 5000 Vendéans surrounded at Savenay; they decide to fight; are crushed; hundreds are shot; army is practically exterminated.

29 December : Prisoners from Nantes are gunned down at the Gigant quarry.

31 December : Arrest of Prince de Talmont near Fougères.


3 January : Capture of l'Ile de Noirmoutier by the BLUES under TURREAU; more than 2000 victims are shot on the dunes of Banzeau

6 January : D'Elbée, wounded and recovering in Noirmoutier, is carried in his armchair and executed with his brother-in-law at the place d'Armes; also executed was the Republican general WIELAND, spared by Charette when he took Noirmoutier earlier.

12 January : Beginning of execution of all prisoners.

15 January : lst massacre at la Gaubretière of people returning from a secret mass (shot).

17 January : Execution of Madame d'Elbée at Noirmoutier; 12 "Colonnes Infernales" of TURREAU sent; "All will be burned or killed during a year; no man, no animal should be able to find subsistence on that soil."

21 January : The Prince de Talmont is shot at Laval.

28 January : La Rochejacqulein is killed at Nuaille.

2 February : Battle at Chauch between TURREAU and the armies of Charette, Joly, and Sapinaud; Whites annihilate 3 of the columns.

9 February : CARRIER is relieved of his duties in Nantes.

16 February : CARRIER is recalled to Paris to justify his bloody conduct.

18 February : Stofflet attacks and take Cholet, but the BLUES retake it.

22 February : CARRIER retook his seat in the Convention and said,"Let's kill all the rebels without mercy."

24 February : The "Colonne" of CORDELLIER arrived in Grand Luc, but Charette was not there.

27 February : Grand massacre at Gaubretière by HOCHE; more than 500 victims.

28 February : Massacre at les Lucs Sur Boulogne: 564 victims of which 109 were children ( BLUES under CORDELLIER)

20 March : HAXO attacks Charette at Clouzeaux; the BLUES are repelled and HAXO is killed.

21 March : Charette camps for 15 days at l'Etaudière in Saint-Denis-la- Chevasse.

25 March : The forest of Vezins, general headquarters of Stofflet, is attacked; 1300 Vendéeans are massacred; a little later they annihilate this column of Blues.

7 April : Charette attacks Challans; the Vendéans flee in panic.

17 April : Charettre helps Sapinaud in the attack on Bazoges-en-Paillers; Vendéeans win.

22 April : Pact of Boulaye at Treize-Vents among Vendéean commanders (Charette,Sapinaud, Stofflet, Marigny); they agree not to take any action without advising the others (upon penealty of death); they then decide to clear Stofflet's area of the enemy.

25 April : Council of War called; Marigny is accused of having violated Pact of Boulaye, and is condemned to death in his absence.

13 May : TURREAU is relieved of his command by the Convention; his plan for the annihilation of the Vendée had failed; Convention changes tactics and begins a system of armed camps and forays out by convoy. These are seized by the Vendéans in a guerilla campaign.

7 June : Charette is installed at Belleville.

29 June : Stofflet, meeting with Charette at Quatre Chemins de l'Oie, is attacked by DELAGE. Charette reports the defeat of Stofflet and withdraws.

29 June : Death of Joly who is taken for a spy.

10 July : Marigny is executed.

12 July : FERRANT discovers the Forest of Grasla at Brouzils.

28 July : Fall of Robespierre.

7 September
9 September and
24 September : Charette seizes the republican camps at la Roulière, Fréligné, and les Moutiers-les Mauxfaits.

1 December : Several deputies of the Committee of Public Safety announce an amnesty.

2 December :The Convention decrees an amnesty for all insurgents who will put down their arms in the ensuing month. The prisons are opened. Amnesty did not apply to Refractory clergy or those who helped or hid them.

10 December : Liberation of Vendéans at Fontenay-le-Comte

16 December : CARRIER condemned to death by the Revolutionary Tribunal.

26 December : Charette receives republican representatives at his HQ at Belleville.


17 February : Signing of the Treaty of Peace called the Treaty of Jaunay

26 February : Charette makes a triumphal entry into Nantes.

24 June : Charette thinks he's been duped by the treaty; he resumed the struggle.

9 August : Learning of the massacre at Quiberon, Charette took reprisal and has the republican prisoners he detained shot.

12 October : With 15,000 men Charette awaited the landing of the Count of Artois in La Tranche; the Count never arrived.


29 January : Stofflet rejoined the struggle. He seizes Bressuire on the 29th, his last victory.

3 February : The Vendée is worn out; it has conquered religious liberty. Charette and Stofflet struggle for honor with small groups of soldiers, each on his own side of the region.

20 February
25 February: Stofflet is captured and shot at Angers.

23 March : Capture of Charette in the woods at La Chabotterie.

29 March : Charette is executed in Nantes.


16 July : Five years later, signing of the Concordat giving religious peace to all of France.

Footnote 8


Paper presented at the international conference:
America's Intervention in the Balkans

Chicago, February 28 - March 2,1997

Dr. Thomas Fleming

This idea of human rights has been kicking around for about five hundred years, but it took concrete shape during the French Revolution, when the revolutionaries proclaimed their declaration of the rights of man--the right to life, property, freedom, etc. But what they did was a dress-rehearsal for Russian communism: they destroyed churches, murdered priests, raped nuns; they practiced scorched earth policy in the Vandee. [General Westem&127;ann, a client of Damon, proudly reported to the Convention: Thre Vendee is no more... According to your orders I have trampled their children beneath our horses' feet; I have massacred their women, so they will no longer give birth to brigands.1 do not have a single prisoner to reproach me... Mercy is not a revolutionary sentiment.] Yes, in the name of the Rights of Man they confiscated property, massacred a large part of the upper class, they created a whole class of people called "suspects" who had no rights, because of who their parents were -- they even talked about taking the children of suspects away in order to indoctrinate them.

Footnote 9

One of the best publicized historical democides is that of the Great Terror of 1793-1794 in revolutionary France. The Revolutionary Tribunal and its equivalent in the provinces may have executed up to 20,000 of the nobility, political opponents, and alleged traitors. And although often reported as a civil war, in fact a full-scale genocide was carried out in the VendŽe in which possibly 117,000 inhabitants were indiscriminately murdered.

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