Maison N°50, Rue Taison

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House n°50
The general Antoine Morlot commanded Metz division from March 22nd 1798, to November 13th 1799. After his departure, his wife, born Marie-Catherine Masson, withdrew temporarily in a house, rue Taison, where she gave birth, on December 1st 1799, to a girl that was then named Anne-Catherine-Laure.
Born in Bousse (a district of Thionville) in 1766, Morlot learned the carpenter profession and joined the artillery in 1782. Elected captain of the national volunteers o fthe Moselle in 1790, he distinguished himself for his value

and his intelligence in the campaign of 1792 and 1793 and was promoted brigade general. He is said to have much contributed to the victory at Fleurus, on June 26th 1794. Here is the testimony the astronomer Lalande gives of it in his note about the origins of the aerostats:
“During the campaign of 1793, 28 ascents occurred in Belgium and, on Messidor 8th (on the Revolutionary calendar, this date corresponds to June 26th), during Fleurus battle, the general Morlot was in an aerostat for two hours. He showed the general Jourdan two 200 “toises” long letters (it is an old French unit of measurement used before the metric system); they made the French army win the battle, whose success drew the conquest of the whole Belgium.” The general Antoine Morlot died in Bayonne on March 21st 1809. Fleurus airship was stored in Metz until 1870. In the “Intermédiaire des chercheurs” of 1910, Mr Beltrami gives the following account:

“Before 1870, at the “Ecole d'application de l'artillerie et du genie” (it is the name of a school), in Metz, there was an airship, which, as everyone had always perfectly known, was Fleurus airship. Forty years of students had the opportunity to see it: it was in the manoeuvring room: the windows of the long corridor of the art room gave onto the manoeuvring room; and there was no student in the school who was not able to have the antique and revered aerostat before his eyes at least twice a day.
“When Metz was surrendered to the Prussians, the airship should have been set on fire. But, it suffered the same fate than the army cannons and flags; there was then, among the army officers, a spirit of aberration; they believed they were bound to give it all up for the enemy, just like an honest bankrupt religiously lets his trustee in bankruptcy register his merchandises and his goods.”

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