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Comte de Rochambeau

AKA Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur

Born: 1-Jul-1725
Birthplace: Vendôme, Loir-et-Cher, France
Died: 12-May-1807
Location of death: Vendôme, Loir-et-Cher, France
Cause of death: Natural Causes
Remains: Buried, Château de Rochambeau, Thoré-la-Rochette, France

Gender: Male
Religion: Roman Catholic [1]
Race or Ethnicity: White
Occupation: Military, Government

Nationality: France
Executive summary: French hero of American Revolution

Military service: French Army (1742-92, Gen.)

French military officer Comte de Rochambeau first saw battle in the War of Austrian Succession, then the Seven Years' War. He made his mark by banning consumption of alcoholic beverages before battle, and by establishing an elite company of light infantry that performed heroically at the Battle of Clostercamp in 1760. After subsequent promotion to Maréchal de Camp (Major General), he improved the training of French troops and the study of past failures and successes in battle.

After France recognized the new American nation, Rochambeau led 5,400 French forces in the then-secret Expédition Particulière, providing urgently needed military support for the Revolutionaries. He put his troops under General George Washington's command, and became one of Washington's trusted advisors. Rochambeau's well-trained men, more advanced weaponry, and long experience as a military tactician were invaluable in the siege of Yorktown and capture of Gen Charles Cornwallis, a pivotal event in the Americans' eventual victory.

Returning to France, Rochambeau commanded the Army of the North during the French Revolution. He eventually resigned his military command, and was arrested and charged with treason during the Reign of Terror. Defended by Napoleon Bonaparte's deputy, he was acquitted and retired to his home in Vendôme. In 1804 he was awarded the French Legion of Honor by Napoleon himself. Rochambeau's family motto was "To live and die as a gallant knight."

[1] Jesuit.

Father: Joseph-Charles de Vimeur (Marquis de Rochambeau)
Mother: Marie-Claire-Thérèse Begon (governess)
Wife: Jeanne Thérèse Tellez d'Acosta (m. 29-Dec-1749)

    Marshal of France (1791)
French Official Governor of Picandy (1782-89)
    French Official Governor of Villefranche (1776-79)
    Society of the Cincinnati
    Shot: Battle Battle of Laufeldt (2-Jul-1747)
    Shot: Battle Battle of Clostercamp (1760)
    Treason arrested (Apr-1794), released (Oct-1794)
    Escaped Death Sentence
    French Legion of Honor 1804

Author of books:
Memoirs of the Marshal Count de Rochambeau (c. 1804)

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