Duke Vincent Montessier
Vincent Montessier.jpg
Montessier in 1863
Duke of Confluencia
Reign 13 March 1863 - Incumbent
Predecessor Title created
Marshal of the Patagonian Army
Time in Office 08 May 1863 - 17 November 1877
Predecessor Antinanco Saqui
Successor Gizdan Ravlic
King Antoine I, Jean I
Spouse Anabelle Carien
Issue Pierre-Pascal Montessier

Béatrice Montesser
Philippe Montessier

House Montessier
Father Charles-Pascal Montessier
Mother Valliance Laroucière
Born 12 February 1819
Tours, Kingdom of France
Vincent Montessier was a French born general and politician who gained fame for his role in the Chilean-Patagonian War, during which he served as Marshal of Patagonia.

Because of his role in the Chilean-Patagonian War, he became one of the key figures of early Patagonia as well as the figurehead of conservatism in Patagonia, advocating absolute monarchy, nobility rights and the superiority of the European Patagonians over the local Mapuches. Because of this, he became the main political opponent of Heiner von Kermann, the more liberal Secretary of State.


Early Life

Born in Tours shortly after the Second Bourbon restoration, Vincent would grow in a rich family in the city of Tours. He would grow to be a conservative supporter of the absolute monarchy and an opponent to republicanism. Like his father before him, he would join the army, were he distinguished himself until he was able to reach the rank of Major. He married at the age of 23 with the daughter of one of his father's associates, Anabelle Carien, who was the same age as he was.

The end of the Bourbon monarchy, then the end of the Kingdom, lead Montessier to be dissatisfied with the way France was turning. In hope of a more conservative state, he supported the rise of Napoleon III in hope of the restoration of a monarchy in France. However, many problems of money leaved him in a problematic situation.

Chilean-Patagonian War

King Antoine I of Patagonia began to encourage France to join his Kingdom in exchange of ranks and nobility titles. Due to his problems in France, Montessier decided to leave for South America in early 1863, where he was received as one of the most important arrivers.

King Antoine I made him Duke of Confluencia. Due to his expertise in military knowledge, King Antoine I named Montessier his Marshal, replacing the Mapuche Antinanco Saqui who occupied the office since the creation of the Kingdom. Encouraged by King Antoine, Montessier took his troops and decided to go on an offensive against the Chilean, choosing the city of Cordoba as the site for the battle. The battle helped to stop the advances of the Chileans in Patagonian territories.

When the Austrian arrived, Montessier had to deal with their leader, Heiner von Kermann, who proved to be a good strategist and a competent administrator. It was agreed that von Kermann would focus on the defense while Montessier would focus on the offensive against the Chileans. This new division allowed Montessier to get rid of Antinanco Saqui, his predecessor, with who there was many tensions.

The news that Argentina joined the war on the Patagonian side convince Montessier that it was time to strike against the enemy. With 5000 troops, he lead an offensive in the north in order to join forces with the Argentinian. The following year, he advanced in Chilean territories or the first time and reconquered Araucania. On the 27 February 1866, he entered the Chilean capital and put and end to the war.

Marshal of Patagonia

As the Marshal of Patagonia, Vincent Montessier worked hard to train and form a new army for the country. He was also involved in the opposition against von Kermann decisions to give rights to the Mapuche. He also opposed the power given to von Kerman during the reign of Antoine I, who passed most of his time away from the capital.

He is credited for his role in the creation of the Patagonian army and in its modernization, as he worked on it during most of his time following the Chilean-Patagonian War. However, it was during this period that an attempt was made on the Secretary of State's life. Montessier was suspected to have organized the assassination attempt, but no proof were ever found.

Following the ascension of Jean I, his son-in-law, to the throne in late 1876, he was able to gain much more control over the state due to the new King conservative ideology. The Secretary of State Heiner von Kermann even got replaced by Vincent's son, Pierre-Pascal. This was followed by the King's decision to cancel the rights given to the Mapuches by Antoine I. Although he planned military actions against them, he felt too sick to occupy his office of Marshal and stepped down, leaving it to the Croatian Gizdan Ravlic.

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