General Claude Carra de Saint-Cyr served in various capacities during the French Revolutionary Wars, the Napoleonic Empire, and the Bourbon Restoration. Born in Lyon, as a young man Saint-Cyr participated in the American Revolution. After serving as aide-de-camp to General Aubert du Bayet, he was promoted to brigadier for his role in pacifying the revolt in the Vendée during the Revolution. During the reign of Napoleon, he served in Naples, Dresden, and Constantinople, also distinguishing himself at Eylau in 1807. He was made a count in 1808 and later served as governor of French Guyana.