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Pichegru, Charles

Charles Pichegru (shärl pēshgrü´), 1761–1804, French general in the French Revolutionary Wars. Successful on the Rhine front (1793), he invaded (1794) the Netherlands, entered (1795) Amsterdam and captured the Dutch fleet, which had frozen in the ice. In the same year, however, he secretly negotiated with the Austrians in an attempt to restore the monarchy, to which his own fortune was tied. Pichegru deliberately allowed the Austrians to retake Mannheim. Recalled by the Directory, he was relieved of his command. A deputy to the Council of Five Hundred (1797), Pichegru was elected its president by the royalist majority. He was later arrested in the coup of 18 Fructidor (1797), but he escaped to England. He returned to France in 1803 to carry out a royalist conspiracy with Georges Cadoudal. Pichegru was arrested but was found strangled in his cell before the trial.

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