[Ealge with Flag]

In June of 1780 the Count of Rochambeau arrived at Newport, Rhode Island with a force of some four to five thousand men to aid the Americans against the British.  His forces included the infantry regiments of Bourbonnais, Soissonnais, Saintonge, and the Royal Deux-Ponts, plus the foot and horse of the Legion of Lauzun.  Lauzun was detached with his command to serve as an outpost for Rochambeau and spent the period from November, 1780 until June, 1781 at Lebanon, Connecticut.

In July, 1781 Lieutenant-General Rochambeau marched down to the Hudson River and joined forces with the American army of General Washington.  On August 21st the combined forces started their march to the south to join Lafayette in Virginia.

In August, 1781 Admiral de Grasse sailed from Santo Domingo with a force to some three thousand men to join Rochambeau in Virginia.  These troops included the infantry regiments of Gatinois, Agenois, and Touraine.  Detachments from the regiments of Gatinois and Royal Deux-Ponts captured a redoubt in a night attack on October 14th.

The uniforms shown in our plate are based on the French warrant of 1779.  The officer and drummer with the solid dark cuffs were members of the Saintonge regiment, and the Grenadier with the violet facings was a member of the Gatinois Regiment.  The blue coat worn by the drummer was standard for all of the line infantry regiments.  Thus, a drummer for the Gatinois Regiment would wear the blue coat ornamented with the crimson and white lace, as for the Saintonge, but would have the violet facings as worn by the remainder of the regiment.  Without these French allies with their artillery, men and ships, there would have been no great victory at Yorktown.

[REFERENCES: Uniforms of the American, British, French, and German Armies . . .  Charles M. Lefferts.  The War of the Revolution.  Christopher L. Ward.  "Military Collector and Historian".  Vol. XI, No. 4, 1959; American and French Flags of the Revolution.  de Frank Schermerhorn.  1948.]

Gatinois and Saintonge Regiment of Infantry
in Parade Dress

Gatanois and Saintonge Regiment
[SOURCE: The American Revolution, 1775-1783. Paintings by Jean Leffel,  based upon illustrations of H. A. Ogden and Lt. Charles M. Lefferts.  Photolithos printed Zurich, Switzerland.  Historical descriptions by Harry W. Barker, Jr. ]

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