ALQUIER (Dalquier) DE SERVIAN, JEAN D’, officer in the French regular troops; fl. 1710–61.
Jean d’Alquier de Servian sailed from Brest for New France in April 1755 when he was more than 60 years of age. This officer already had behind him a career of many years in the army: he had been commissioned lieutenant in 1710, captain in 1734, and captain of grenadiers (an élite company in a battalion) in 1748. He bore the latter title upon his arrival in Canada, as a member of the second battalion of Béarn. He was in addition a knight of the order of Saint-Louis.
D’ Alquier took part in several combats with his battalion. The Marquis de Montcalm, who held him in high esteem, considered his ardour quite praiseworthy, although sometimes out of place in a man of his age. According to Lévis*, d’Alquier was one of the oldest soldiers in Canada at that period. On 4 Nov. 1757 he was promoted lieutenant-colonel and received command of the second battalion of Béarn. D’Alquier distinguished himself particularly in the battle on 13 Sept. 1759, in which he was wounded. On that same day he attended the council of war presided over by the governor general, Pierre de Rigaud* de Vaudreuil, which decided upon the strategy of withdrawal by the French army. D’Alquier renewed his exploits at the battle of Sainte-Foy on 28 April 1760. Succeeding Bourlamaque he took command of the left flank and during the battle countermanded an order to retreat from Lévis. He succeeded in holding on to the Dumont mill, a strategic point on the Sainte-Foy road. After several hours of combat against Major John Dalling’s soldiers, and after the opposing forces had in turn occupied the mill, d’Alquier’s last counter-attack finally dislodged the Highlanders at bayonet point. D’Alquier was wounded once more and was taken to the Hôpital Général, outside the walls of Quebec. On 16 May Lévis raised the siege of the town, which had begun on 28 April, and d’Alquier remained at the Hôpital Général, where he was taken prisoner by the British, who took over the building. He regained his freedom after the capitulation of Montreal was signed on 8 Sept. 1760 and sailed for France on 20 October.
The king recognized the merits of this officer and on 10 Feb. 1761 granted him a supplementary pension of 400 livres to be paid from the royal treasury. D’Alquier had already obtained in 1757 a pension of 400 livres paid from the order of Saint-Louis, and on 12 Feb. 1760 he had received a gratuity of 600 livres. The date of his death is not known.
Knox, Historical journal (Doughty), III, 303. P.-B. Casgrain, “Le moulin de Dumont,” BRH, XI (1905), 67. L.-P. Desrosiers, “Officiers de Montcalm,” RHAF, III (1949–50), 367–70 (the author gives an excellent picture of this soldier’s career). P.-G. Roy, “Le conseil de guerre du 13 septembre 1759,” BRH, XXIX (1923), 116.