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Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur de Rochambeau
""Rochambeau Versailles.jpg
Rochambeau wearing the sash of the "Order of Saint Louis
Born (1725-07-01)1 July 1725
"Vendôme, "Orléanais, "France
Died 30 May 1807(1807-05-30) (aged 81)
"Thoré, "Loir-et-Cher, "France
Buried Thore Cemetery, Thore-la-Rochette
Allegiance  "Kingdom of France
 "Kingdom of the French
Service/branch "French Army
Years of service 1742–1792
Rank "Marshal of France
Battles/wars "War of the Austrian Succession
"Seven Years' War
"American Revolutionary War
"French Revolutionary Wars
Awards ""Ordre du Saint-Esprit Chevalier ribbon.svg "Order of the Holy Spirit
""Ordre Royal et Militaire de Saint-Louis Chevalier ribbon.svg "Order of Saint Louis
"Society of the Cincinnati

"Marshal Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau (French pronunciation: ​"[ʁɔʃɑ̃bo]; 1 July 1725 – 10 May 1807) was a "French nobleman and general who played a major role in helping the Thirteen Colonies win independence during the "American Revolution. During this time, he served as "commander-in-chief of the "French Expeditionary Force that embarked from France in order to help the "American Continental Army fight against British forces.


Military life[edit]

Rochambeau was born in "Vendôme, in the "province of "Orléanais (now in the "département of "Loir-et-Cher). He was schooled at the "Jesuit college in "Blois. 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. By 1747 he had attained the rank of "colonel.

He took part in the "siege of Maastricht in 1748 and became governor of Vendôme in 1749. After distinguishing himself in the "Battle of Minorca (1756) on the outbreak of the "Seven Years' War, he was promoted to "Brigadier General of "infantry. In 1758, he fought in "Germany, notably in the battles of "Krefeld and "Clostercamp, receiving several wounds during the latter.

American Revolution[edit]

Landing of a French auxiliary army in "Newport, Rhode Island on 11 July 1780, under the command of the comte de Rochambeau. This image, one of 12 scenes from the American Revolution printed in Allegemeines historisches Taschenbuch, was by Daniel Nickolaus Chodowiecki, a well-known Polish engraver. The "John Carter Brown Library at "Brown University had acquired the book by 1870.
NPS map of the "W3R Route

In 1780, Rochambeau was appointed commander of land forces as part of the project code named "Expédition Particulière.[1] He was given the rank of "Lieutenant General in command of some 7,000 French troops and sent to join the "Continental Army, under "George Washington. In the "American Revolutionary War Rochambeau commanded more troops than Washington did["citation needed]. Count "Axel von Fersen the Younger served as Rochambeau's aide-de-camp and interpreter. The small size of the force at his disposal made him initially reluctant to lead the expedition.[2]

"Bataille de Yorktown by "Auguste Couder. Rochambeau and Washington giving their last orders before the battle.
"Surrender of Lord Cornwallis by "John Trumbull, depicting Cornwallis surrendering at Yorktown to the French troops of General Rochambeau (left) and American troops of Washington (right). Oil on canvas, 1820.

He landed at "Newport, Rhode Island, on 10 July, but was held there inactive for a year, due to his reluctance to abandon the French fleet blockaded by the British in "Narragansett Bay. "Brown University, then named the College in the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, served as an encampment site for some of Rochambeau's troops, and the College Edifice, now known as "University Hall, was converted into a military hospital.[3] In July 1781, Rochambeau's force left "Rhode Island, marching across "Connecticut to join Washington on the "Hudson River in "Mount Kisco, New York. From July 6 to August 18, 1781, the "Odell farm served as Rochambeau's headquarters.[4] There then followed the "celebrated march of the combined forces, the "siege of Yorktown and the "Battle of the Chesapeake. On 22 September, they combined with the "Marquis de Lafayette's troops and forced "Lord Cornwallis to surrender on 19 October. In recognition of his services, the "Congress of the Confederation presented him with two cannons taken from the British. These guns, with which Rochambeau returned to Vendôme, were "requisitioned in 1792.

He was an original member of "The Society of the Cincinnati.

Return to France[edit]

Upon his return to France, Rochambeau was honored by "King "Louis XVI and was made governor of the province of "Picardy. He supported the "French Revolution of 1789, and on 28 December 1791 he and "Nicolas Luckner became the last two generals created "Marshal of France by Louis XVI. When the "French Revolutionary Wars broke out, he commanded the "Armée du Nord 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 at "Thoré-la-Rochette during the "First Empire.



US Postage Stamp, 1931 issue, honoring Rochambeau, "George Washington and "De Grasse, commemorating 150th anniversary of the victory at Yorktown, 1781

A "statue of Rochambeau by Ferdinand Hamar was unveiled in "Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C., by President "Theodore Roosevelt on 24 May 1902, as a gift from France to the United States. The ceremony was made the occasion of a great demonstration of friendship between the two nations. France was represented by ambassador "Jules Cambon, Admiral Fournier and General "Henri Brugère, as well as a detachment of sailors and marines from the battleship Gaulois. Representatives of the Lafayette and Rochambeau families also attended. A Rochambeau "fête was held simultaneously in Paris.

In 1934, American "A. Kingsley Macomber donated a statue of General Rochambeau to the city of "Newport, Rhode Island. The sculpture is a replica of a statue in Paris. It was from Newport that General Rochambeau departed with his army to join "General Washington to march on to the "Siege of Yorktown. [2]

The "French Navy gave his name to the ironclad frigate "Rochambeau.

The "USS Rochambeau was a transport ship that saw service in the "United States Navy during World War II.

On Monday, 30 March 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama signed into law the Omnibus Public Land Management Act, a provision of which is to designate the "Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route as a National Historic Trail.

One of the bridges in the complex of bridges known as the "14th Street Bridge (Potomac River) connecting Washington D.C. with Virginia is named for him.

A mansion on the campus of Brown University is named Rochambeau House and houses the French Department. (Rochambeau and his forces were camped at Brown when in Providence, RI)

The main airport in Cayenne, French Guyana was named after him until 2012 but renamed over controversy surrounding the actions of his son in trying to suppress the "Haitian Revolution.


Jeanne Therese Tilles D'Acosta, Madame la Marquise de Rochambeau

Rochambeau's memoirs, Mémoires militaires, historiques et politiques, de Rochambeau were published by "Jean-Charles-Julien Luce de Lancival in 1809. Of the first volume, a part that was translated by M.W.E. Wright into the English language was published in 1838 under the title of Memoirs of the Marshal Count de R. relative to the War of Independence in the United States.

Rochambeau's correspondence during the American campaign were published in H. Doniol's Histoire de la participation de la France en l'établissement des Etats Unis d'Amérique, or History of French Participation in the Establishment of the United States, in 1892; (MLA citation, Doniol, H. Histoire de la participation de la France en l'établissement des Etats Unis d'Amérique, Vol. V. [publisher unknown] Paris: 1892.)


"Major General Comte Jean de Rochambeau in Lafayette Park, Washington, D.C.

Motto and coat of arms[edit]

Coat of arms Motto
""Heraldique couronne comte français.svg
""Blason fam fr Vimeur de Rochambeau (de).svg
(To live and die as a gallant knight)


  1. ^ Kennett, Lee (1977). The French Forces in America, 1780–1783. Greenwood Press, Inc. Page 10
  2. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Jean-Baptiste-Donatien de Vimeur, Count de Rochambeau". "Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ Lenore M. Rennenkampf (February 1973). "National Register of Historic Places Registration:Odell House". "New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Retrieved 2010-12-24. 
  5. ^ Rochambeau Playground
  6. ^ Johannes Baptist Rietstap, Armorial général : contenant la description des armoiries des familles nobles et patriciennes de l'Europe : précédé d'un dictionnaire des termes du blason, G.B. van Goor, 1861, 1171 p


External links[edit]

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