General Charles Oudinot
and an unidentified boy
Lieutenant-General Charles Nicolas Victor Oudinot was the eldest son of Napoléon I’s marshal Nicolas Oudinot.
Between 1809 and 1814 he served through the later campaigns of Napoleon and was promoted to major in 1814 for gallant conduct. Unlike his father he was a cavalryman, and after retirement during the early years of the Restauration held command of the cavalry school at Saumur (1822–1830) and was inspector-general of cavalry (1836–1848).
He is best remembered as the commander of the French expedition that besieged and took Rome in 1849, crushing the short-lived revolutionary Roman Republic and re-establishing the temporal power of Pope Pius IX, under the protection of French arms. His brief published account presents the French view of the events.
He took a prominent part in the resistance to Louis Napoleon's coup d'état of 2 December 1851 and afterwards retired from military and political life, though remaining in Paris.
In addition to the brief memoir of his Italian operations in 1849, he also wrote several works of more specialized interest, on military ranks and orders, the use of soldiers in constructing public works and cavalry and its proper housing.