1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Custine, Adam Philippe, Comte de

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CUSTINE, ADAM PHILIPPE, Comte de (1740–1793), French general, began his military career in the Seven Years’ War. He next served with distinction against the English in the War of American Independence. In 1789 he was elected to the states-general by the bailliage of Metz. In October 1791 he again joined the army, with the rank of lieutenant-general and became popular with the soldiers, amongst whom he was known as “général moustache.” General-in-chief of the army of the Vosges, he took Spires, Worms, Mainz and Frankfort in September and October 1792. He carried on the revolutionary propaganda by proclamations, and levied heavy taxes on the nobility and clergy. During the winter a Prussian army forced him to evacuate Frankfort, re-cross the Rhine and fall back upon Landau. He was accused of treason, defended by Robespierre, and sent back to the army of the north. But he dared not take the offensive, and did nothing to save Condé, which the Austrians were besieging. Sent to Paris to justify himself, he was found guilty by the Revolutionary Tribunal of having intrigued with the enemies of the republic, and guillotined on the 28th of August 1793. (See French Revolutionary Wars.)

See A. Rambaud, Les Français sur le Rhin (Paris, 1880); A. Chuquet, Les Guerres de la Révolution (1886–1895; vol. vi. “L’Expédition de Custine”).