PREISSAC DE BONNEAU, LOUIS DE, officer in the French regular troops; b. 12 Dec. 1724 at Maravat (dept of Gers), France, son of Paul de Preissac, seigneur of Cadeilhan, Maravat, and Touron, and Anne de Dupré; d. some time after 1789.
Louis de Preissac de Bonneau was descended from an old family of Guyenne; like his brothers he chose a military career. In 1743 he was an ensign in the Régiment de Guyenne. He was promoted lieutenant in 1744 and captain ten years later. During the Seven Years’ War four Preissac brothers came to fight in New France: Louis and his brother Paul arrived with the Régiment de Guyenne in 1755, Lambert and Jean-Gérard with the Régiment de Berry in 1757.
From 1755 to 1757 Louis de Preissac de Bonneau must have accompanied his regiment on the military campaigns under Dieskau* and later Montcalm* in the Lake Champlain region. During the winter of 1757–58 he was in Quebec, where he associated with the best society and spent his time gambling. On 6 July the following summer, two days before the battle of Carillon (Ticonderoga, N.Y.), he was taken prisoner by the British in a skirmish at the portage between Lake Champlain and Lac Saint-Sacrement (Lake George). Some days later the adjutant Michel-Jean-Hugues Péan wrote to Lévis: “I greatly miss the officers whom you have lost. My wife [Angélique Renaud d’Avène Des Méloizes] will weep for her friend Bonneau.” Captain Preissac de Bonneau, however, was permitted by Major-General James Abercromby to go to Montreal to settle personal affairs, on condition that he subsequently give himself up at New York. At the end of 1759 he was exchanged, and on 28 April 1760 he fought in the battle of Sainte-Foy, in which Murray’s army met defeat. The British artillery was captured and 22 officers, including a colonel, were. taken prisoner. Bonneau noted: “We pursued them to the gates of the city; had our army not been exhausted, we should have entered the city with the English.” During the combat his brother, Captain Jean-Gérard de Preissac, was seriously wounded and on 9 May died at the Hôpital Général.
Preissac de Bonneau took part in the final operations around Quebec in May 1760 and retreated with the army to Montreal. As he was known to the senior British officers, Lévis chose him to go to New York to negotiate an exchange of prisoners in the summer of 1760. His mission accomplished, he returned to France on 8 March 1761. A fortnight later he was made a knight of the order of Saint-Louis and on 13 May was reimbursed 1,898 livres for expenses incurred on his mission to New York. In 1763 he was taken into the Régiment du Dauphin and he transferred to the Régiment du Perche in 1775. At his retirement in 1782 he was senior captain-commandant of the Régiment du Perche and he received a pension of 1,200 livres. He was still living in 1789.
AMA, SHA, Xb, 5. AN, Col., E, 39 (dossier Bonneau). BN, mss, Fr., Chérin, 162–3299. Coll. de manuscrits relatifs à la N.-F., IV, 307–8. Coll. des manuscrits de Lévis (Casgrain), I, 289; II, 344–45, 351; IV, 233–36, 239, 245–47, 250–54; V, 283; VI, 111; VII, 393; X, 86; XI, 164. Ægidius Fauteux, “Les quatre frères Preissac,” BRH, XXXVIII (1932), 136–48. “Les officiers du régiment de Guyenne,” BRH, LI (1945), 190.