Here is a name you do not often hear, but probably should familiarize yourself with.
We know from the last century that the crimes of our enemies, whether they coat themselves with the flags of Liberalism or Bolshevism, are covered up by the unscrupulous efforts of the educational establishment. Of course, it is a necessity that children in every Occidental country know the crimes of the universal boogeyman Adolf Hitler, but the gulags of Soviet Russia are a footnote in most teachings of the 20th Century. The body count was far higher, and yet it does not merit mention for after all, most of the victims were white.
This is not the first time such a thing has occurred. People remain unaware of one of the bloodiest episodes in France’s history, one so abhorrent and ruthlessly executed, some refer to it as the first genocide of the modern age, and this is the War in the Vendée. Located on the west coast, the Vendée was an agricultural production sector, criss-crossed by rivers that made outgoing trade economic, wheat in particular being a staple crop.
Between 1790 and 1793, popular resentment in the Vendée towards the Revolutionary government, which by this time had complete control of the country, was building. A number of things were at play. The first was that the Vendéans had no hostility to their nobles or the monarchy. To a large extent, Vendéan nobles had retained close ties and relationships within their rural communities and landed estates. Another contributing factor was the ‘Civil Constitution of the Clergy’ which was passed in order to force Catholic priests to swear allegiance to the new, increasingly anti-clerical government. The vast majority of bishops refused, as did most of the lower priesthood, and the people loyal to the Catholic Church knew precisely that such a constitution would enslave the priesthood to a hostile atheistic power. In response, the government shuttered virtually all the churches in the Vendée and executed or exiled its priests. The situation worsened still with the official witch hunt for counterrevolutionaries known as ‘The Terror’. King Louis XVI was also executed at the start of 1793, something the population found unthinkable.
The final straw came with a forced conscription aimed at producing a 300,000 strong military unit in the Vendée, presumably to stifle dissent there. Rioting erupted across the region, with men taking up arms as the ‘The Catholic Army’, with ‘Royal’ to be added later.While this revolt was pacified in the north, lack of troops in the south led to a string of defeats for the revolutionary government as a regional insurrection became a bloody civil war, and spread to other regions including Anjou and Brittany.
So who was Jacques Cathelineau? Born in 1759 to a modest family in Le Pin-en-Mauges, he showed a high degree of intelligence and religious devotion at school, leading him down the path of becoming a priest, however six years in the rectory, he found no vocation available for him. By 1777, he was married with eleven children and so found work where he could in order to support them, first as a bricklayer (his father’s profession) and then as a street peddler selling all sorts of items in towns across Anjou and the Vendée; trinkets, devotional objects, handkerchiefs, etc. Because of his wide travels, he became well known, something of a famous face, and was well liked by all who admired his continued devotion to the Church as well as his personal piety.
Having witnessed the beatings and bayonet executions of Catholics in Anjou, when conscription was announced, Cathelineau gathered a band of no more than twenty seven men and plotted to seize the town of Jallais, where guns and ammunition were stored. The town fell as its surprised Republican guard were decimated, leading more to join the fight, including nobles and former tacticians with the French military. Under their advisement, the town of Chemillé was also taken.Other towns soon fell and Cathlineau found himself in command of a 30,000 strong army. While they rested to celebrate Easter, the Republicans engaged in a shameless scorched earth policy, burning entire towns suspected of counterrevolutionary sympathies and executing scores, including Cathelineau’s brother. Even as the Vendéan army took prisoners, it refused to execute them, nor did they engage in looting anything other than military equipment.
By this time, professional soldiers were being sent in to quell the uprising, under orders from the satanic ‘Committee of Public Safety’ to enact a policy of total destruction, demanding that even women and children in rebel territory be put to the sword.
His bravery in battle, and his appeal to the common man fighting with the Royal Catholic Army led the unorganized faction to declare Cathelineau their generalissimo, and he became known in many provinces by the affectionate title, the ‘Saint of Anjou’. As the army raced for the port city of Nantes, he was struck by a bullet and died in the arms of nuns. He was only 34 years old. After this, with many more bloody protracted battles, the insurrection was crushed and in the end, a total of around 130,000 royalist soldiers as well as sympathetic civilians were dead.