Marie Brulon served for seven years in seven campaigns, first enlisted in the 42nd Infantry Regiment, which became the 1st Battalion of the 83rd Demi-brigade of the French Armies. She later served in the 2nd Battalion of the 84th Demi-brigade. She joined two brothers and her husband in service with the revolutionary army. Her family from Dinan (Cotes du Nord) had a tradition of military service. Marie worked first as a sutler, then became a soldier after her husband's death. Some sources say that she fought first in male disguise but was then permitted to remain in service as a woman. She was promoted to corporal. During various campaigns in Corsica and Italy Duchemin was twice wounded in the leg and injured in both arms. Nonetheless, she continued serving until 1799, when she was discharged and granted aid based on the severity of her injuries.
Her later years were plagued by difficulties with French officials. Since women had been officially ousted from the military in 1793, prior to her discharge, Marie's promotions were deemed invalid, and she was denied entry into Les Invalides, the veterans' hospital in Paris. She continued to petition and to collect testimony from her former commanders.
Quotes from others about the person
“"We, corporal and soldiers of Detachment 42th regiment, in garrison at Calvi, certify and attest that, on the 5th Prairial year II, the citizen Marie Angélique Josèphe Duchemin, widow Brûlon, corporal Fourrier, acting sergeant, commanded us at the affair of Fort Gesco; that she fought with us with the courage of a heroine; that the Corsican rebels and the English having assaulted us, we were obliged to fight with stab. that she was struck with a saber in her right arm, and, a moment later, a stab of the left arm, that, seeing that we were short of ammunition, at midnight she set out, although wounded, for Calvi, half a league away. where, by the zeal and courage of a true republican, she had raised and loaded ammunition about sixty women, she brought us escorted by four men."
"Her conduct had been irreproachable as a soldier and she showed a strength of soul uncommon among her sex."”
At 17, Marie married a corporal, Andre Brulon. Her husband died in 1791.