By: Isaac Bloch
French colonel; born at Thionville, France, March 21, 1814. When eighteen he enlisted as a volunteer, and was assigned to the 52d Regiment of the line, which started immediately afterward for the siege of Antwerp. He is one of the last survivors of that siege. From the ranks he advanced step by step to the grade of lieutenant, which he attained on April 27, 1846. After the Paris rising of June, 1848, he received the Cross of the Legion of Honor as a reward for organizing and conducting to the front the 2d battalion of the National Guard of the Seine, which captured the Panthéon from the mob. Promoted captain in 1851, he fought through the Crimean war, and took part in the assault on Sebastopol.
During the war against Austria in Italy in 1859 he was present at the battle of Magenta, June 4, and at the capture of the railway-station there, where he was wounded at the side of General Lespinasse. He was appointed major (commandant) at Solferino on the very morning of the battle (June 24). He stormed and captured Casa Nuova and four guns. For this he was mentioned in the "orders of the day" of the 85th Regiment. After having passed three years with the army of occupation in Rome, Abraham asked, in 1866, to be retired on account of ill health But a life of inactivity weighed upon him, so in 1868 he was entrusted with the reorganization of the Garde Mobile, in the department of the Seine. Recalled to active service in 1870, he was promoted lieutenant-colonel of the 51st Infantry, which at that time formed a part of the army of Paris, and fought in two battles at Champigny, Nov. 30 and Dec. 2.
In the days of the Commune, Abraham rendered efficient service to the national government.
At the request of General Berteaux, in 1875, Colonel Abraham assumed the command of the 19th Infantry (reserve), which he retained till 1879, when, attaining the age limit, he was permanently retired. Colonel Abraham, who received the military medal of Sardinia and the cross of the Order of Pius IX., was created officer of the Legion of Honor in 1864. From Queen Victoria he received the Crimean medal.
Abraham remained steadfast to the Jewish faith, and was elected president of the congregation of Versailles. He discharged the functions of this office till 1891, when he withdrew to Granville.