Rochambeau, Jean-Baptiste Donatien De Vimeur, Le Comte De (ON HOLD)

1771 MsDS as Marechal de Camp and Inspector of Infantry, approving a medical discharge for a sergeant of the Royal Grenadiers of Polignac

Price: $1100.00

Description:
(1725-1807 French nobleman and general, played a major role in helping win independence during the American Revolution. He was commander-in-chief of the French Expeditionary Force that helped the Continental Army fight British forces. Born in Vendome, after the death of his elder brother, he entered a cavalry regiment and served in Bohemia, Bavaria, and on the Rhine during the War of the Austrian Succession, and by 1747 was a Colonel. He was in the 1748 Siege of Mastricht and became Governor of Vendôme in 1749. He distinguished himself in the 1756 Battle of Minorca on the outbreak of the Seven Years’ War, promoted to Brigadier General of infantry. After the War, Louis XV appointed him Inspector of Infantry, tasked with reforming the French Army's foot soldiers. In 1758, he fought in Germany at the Battle of Krefeld and received several wounds at the Battle of Clostercamp. In 1780, he was appointed commander of land forces and named Lieut. General leading some 7,000 French troops to join the Continental Army under George Washington during the American Revolutionary War. Axel von Fersen the Younger served as his ADC and interpreter. The small size of the force at his disposal made him initially reluctant to lead the expedition. He landed at Newport, Rhode Island on July 10 but was inactive for a year, reluctant to abandon the French fleet blockaded by the British in Narragansett Bay. In July 1781, the force marched across Connecticut to join Washington at Mount Kisco, New York. Washington and Rochambeau then marched their combined forces to the siege of Yorktown and the Battle of the Chesapeake. On September 22, they combined with the Lafayette’s troops and forced Lord Cornwallis’ surrender on October 19. The Congress of the Confederation presented him with 2 cannons taken from the British in recognition of his service. He returned them to Vendôme, and they were requisitioned in 1792. Upon his return to France, Rochambeau was honored by King Louis XVI and made governor of the province of Picardy. He supported the 1789 French Revolution and on 28 December 1791 he and Nicolas Luckner became the last 2 generals created Marshal of France by the King. When the French Revolutionary Wars broke out, he commanded the Army of the North for a time in 1792 but resigned after several reversals to the Austrians. He was arrested during the Reign of Terror in 1793–94 and narrowly escaped the guillotine. He was subsequently pensioned by Napoleon and died during the First Empire. He was honored on a 1931 US postage stamp commemorating 150th anniversary of the 1781 victory at Yorktown. A statue of Rochambeau gifted by France in 1902 stands in Washington’s Lafayette Square near the White House and a bridge over the Potomac River is named for him. 13 ½ x 8 ¼ MsDS in French signed as Marechal de Camp (equivalent to major general) and Inspector of infantry as “le Cte de Rochambeau”, Nancy, August 20 1771, approving the retirement owing to reasons of health (rheumatism) of French Grenadier Sergeant Jean Bettot. With red wax seal at bottom left. Signed also by 2 other officers. Not formally translated. Paper has royal watermark.

Condition: Very good, horizontal center fold
Type:Document






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