tv French Army During the American Revolution CSPAN September 24, 2022 9:00pm-10:01pm EDT
housekeeping notes before we begin. we will have 15 minutes of question and answer after each presentation. so please line up behind the microphone to ask your questions for those here in person and for those on zoom. please type your questions in the chat and we will ask them in real life. we do have author books for sale downstairs, so if you would like any of our books, our authors to sign your book, please visit with them over the course of the day. and then lunch is on your own and there are a ton of options here in oldtown. so if you need some recommendation, please look for our historic alexandria staff who will be happy to point you in the right direction. so with that, please welcome phil greenawalt with emerging revolutionary war to introduce our first speaker. good morning. how? we are so grateful to have norm the mayors with us here today.
norm is a professor emeritus providence college and providence, rhode island. he's the author of the guide of the american revolutionary war series, 13 volumes about the war on land, sea and overseas, as well as america's first ally, france and the american revolutionary war. and washington's engineer. louis, the port title and the creation of an army corps enormous translated annotated a number of french works, including louis, francois, baton du pont all day view camp de la deer, which takes up a whole slide in the biography. his journals, published as the road to yorktown, the french campaigns in the american revolution, 1780 through 83. he also translated the gazette. francois, the french newspaper that was actually published in newport, rhode island, by the french fleet that brought the company rochambeau, and his 5800 french troops to america in july of 1780. norm was a pioneer in the cd-rom
industry, setting up the first network of rhode island. for those watching on zoom, there's a little disks that used to come on your computer. he's an active re-enactor. serves on the board of directors of the bovine center at the university of massachusetts, dartmouth. please welcome enormous presents, reevaluating our french allies. a new look at popular assumptions of the french army through the diary of count de lauberdiere. thank you very much, phil. i'm sure you're all here expecting us to talk about what's what's in our books. i'm going to take a different path. i'm going to talk about what's not in the book. what i mean by that is that 18th century diaries are more like scrapbooks. they contain a lot of stuff that is not pertinent to the to the diary. for example, this particular diary includes maps. it includes illustrations,
hand-drawn illustration scenes. one of them being that of carlton's bridge, which is a an engineering feat of of the 18th century. several diaries talk about it, but he's the only one who has an illustration of it. and it's not in the book. you have to look at the manuscript for that. there there are also several issues of newspapers, and that's going to be one of the topics i'm going to cover. there are laudatory poems, congressional citations and all kinds of other stuff that gets included in there. but even though i translated all of it and intended that it be published as an appendix, it didn't get included. so the first thing i want to talk about is the gazette. francoise. this is the when the french fleet came here, they brought a printing press and this became the first the first of what became expeditionary public
nations. much as those of you who've served in the military, you're familiar with stars and stripes. this is the ancestor of stars, not of stars. and stripes were of that genre of publication. this is the first publication for soldiers in a foreign land. and what's important about this is that there are six issues and two supplements in existence. and the the the press was set up in newport and it was it was set up at a time when the soldiers are getting bored. they needed something to do. so they they started publishing this newspaper. the up here you see where you can get a facsimile version of i've done a. there's a facsimile version such as this. the entire newspaper. and there's an english translation of it right here. this is the last page of the test of the second supplement.
and there are there are no issues after that that that that exist. the original of this is in the rhode island historical society. i've seen several iterations of this. there are a couple of iterations in print. there are a couple of it went from print. it was microfilm and more recently, it's available electronically through the american newspapers database. all of the the iterations that i've seen have a tear in this corner. always the likelihood of having the exact same tear. you know, every iteration is or in several publications is extremely astronomically rare. so we know that the the issues that are in the historical historical society are the only ones in existence.
at the end of the the article at the end of the issue, you have a french paragraph, if translated with an english paragraph requesting rags. the reason for requesting rags is that paper in those days was published with rag fiber. we didn't have cotton fiber at the time, so a wood pulp. so the the rags fiber is the the medium for publication. and he's he's looking for a good supply of rags. people assume that because the paper is looking for rags, that they don't have enough of material to to print to print subsequent editions. so since there are no issues of this journal of this magazine that exist after this date, the assumption was that the press may have gone out of business. another thing is that people
thought that maybe because after a period of a couple of months, the french soldiers had learned enough english that they didn't need a translation of english newspaper articles, that they were pertinent to them. the next paragraph, both in french and english, indicates that the newspaper is planning to publish an almanac. the following year. so this is at the end of actually this is published on january second, 1780. 1780 now. 1781. so they're planning on publishing an an almanac for the year 1781. this this line down here is what's called the california. and i'm going to talk a bit more about that in a moment. the lumberjack journal has a supplement to the diary. this is the origin the the the the top of the issue that was
published in 1780. the one that we just looked at this is the supplement that's included with lumberjack diary. and it reads number 93, which means that there were 87. my assumption has given the the title to what the layout of the title, the design of the page, the font and everything that there were published by the same press. and i was really excited to find that this was number 93, which meant that the public that the press did not go out of business in 1780 and the beginning of 1781. but when i looked at the color fun to this issue, i found that the it was published by the of the the french fleet. but it had the place of publication in paris. and i'm wondering, how did the press get from rhode island to paris in 1781, while the troops were on the march to yorktown? so i did i started doing more research into that, and i found out that the this issue is a supplement to the gazette.
france was, which i had translated about 20 years ago. this is the supplement to the gazette. the france very similar title, but the two different publications. and i found a copy of this online and to verify that it does follow in that sequence. so this publication did not go to buy two twice a week public portion in 1781, but these are two different publications. however, the public, the press, the the navy press did not go out of business because it did publish the the the almanac that i mentioned. this is the the title page of the almanac. and in addition to that, it published a an account this is a four page account. this is a four page account of the admiral that touches the battle in the chesapeake. in 17, in march of 1781.
this is the articles of capitulation, which happened to be after yorktown, of course. so the the press was still operating. was it was it still in newport? i don't know, because the you know, all the troops had moved down to yorktown and the the the french troops wintered in williamsburg that whenever i think maybe the the the navy had gone back to rhode island. but in any case, they published that. in addition to that, they published this voyage of newport to philadelphia. this is the first edition of france was marketed to shot to lose voyages to new of travels in america. the second edition is is a two volume set published as it does under the title travels in america in french and then english translations have been published in a number of other languages. so the press did not go out of business that year. in fact, this this issue of the
press published 27 copies and the count de lauberdiere had had a copy because he makes mention of it in his in his diary. the next item that i want to talk about is a map. this is a map by which shows the the landing sites. you have a landing site here. and two landing sites down here. newport is and rhode islanders think that russia bore and the navy landed right here around the long wharf around here where kings park is. this map is you can see the name there to show up here. they took succeeded admiral, to tell admiral germany died on december 15, 1780. they took immediately took command of the navy at that time and remained in command until march 13th, 1781, when he was replaced by admiral deborah.
so this this map had to be done in the first quarter of 1781, judging by the appearance of it, it looks to be. very, very similar to the maps done by louis alexandria-caen. louis alexander berthier was one of russia most quartermaster stores, and he was his his main job was was make it cartographer. you're making maps. the problem with the touche and berthier is that neither one of them were at the landing when when the troops arrived here in 17 eight in 1780. neither one of them were with the navy at the time. berthier missed the boat in britain, brest and had to take another another ship over. and he didn't arrive until october. so his his information is what
what what he says in his diary is that where he indicates the landing sites is he's marking landing sites that he expects the british to land if they're going to attack newport. so this is the map that that appears in, in nobody's diary. you notice up here, there's no indication of of a landing site. the two landing sites are down here. this is a detail of that of that map. so this this right here says landing site. landing site. and he indicates this woods castle. and the importance for this is that he is the only diarist to mention where the landing site occurred. all the diaries tell you that the troops landed. they arrived in newport and they landed first. one day this regiment lands. the next day the another regiment lands. and so on. he is the only one who says that
they they landed and they landed at woods castle and but he doesn't say that on the landing day. he says this in october, on october 7th and october 10th. in the diary, he indicates that the troops aboard russian bow has something, has to do something to do, revive their spirits, keep them occupied. so what he does is he has them play war games. and he says the war games are held at the landing site at woods castle, which is five miles from the campsite. now, this is a 1780 map. this is this is a better map overlaid with a google map. and the reason i wanted i overlaid this map is i wanted to find out this line of defenses is the british line of defense around newport. and i wanted to find out where does this line actually go in zigzag in the city.
but i'm finding that i'm getting more use out of it for for planning and plotting where the french were. this set of camps here, this is the french camp. this is the schwarzenegger camp over here, the bubonic camp is down here. royal depot, st george and schwarzenegger. and if you measure from woods castle, which is now what's called such was point, it's a wildlife preserve today from there, coming over this causeway to here, it's exactly five miles. and that's what little badger says in his diary. this is a blessed school. which map of newport. this is touro synagogue right here. and this is the baptist church. they were the currently the the baptist churches over is about right here. no, it's right right about here. this this is the second baptist church in newport. there were six baptist churches
over the period of years. the current one, the third baptist church, is about over here right up around here. but this is the second baptist church. and the importance of that will be i'll point that out in a moment. well, when the when the french arrived a little bit here notes that they arrived at 11:00 in the morning. but there's such a heavy fog that they dropped anchor and they waited until late afternoon. the fog lifted around 3:00 while i lifted around noon and they started to prepare, landing around 3:00. now rush on boat and his son donostia, the vermeer are on different ships and different. they decided that the only the last ship in the fleet to arrive in it at the newport would be the one to to to land. so rush on boat and his son both have to transfer ships to go to
the amazon which is the last ship in the to arrive in newport. they then take the captain's -- and go ashore from there. so they arrive sometime around late, about 5:00 in the afternoon. and here you see this is a quote from. dynasty and the russian boys diary indicating that he and his father came ashore. now, the they were coming ashore along with jack deville. jack abbeville is the quartermaster general. and the purpose that they were going to go ashore is to scout out where they're going to to lay out the camp, which is where i showed you earlier this option. this vessel is a --. this is a cutter. so that gives you an idea of what the what what what the captains -- would look like. and so that's the kind of boat
that we take ashore. this. this is long wharf right here, which is which is where people think that rochambeau landed. this building is the colony house, and the baptist church would have been right about here. so the. looking up from the from the wharf straight up to the colony house is a very imposing view. it's a beautiful building. the british use this building as a hospital during the during their occupation of newport. the french did not a lot of people assume that the french use that building as a hospital, but no diary. none of the french diaries actually talk about the the the colony house other than saying it's a village. it's a grand state building. it's a beautiful public building. so that's about the extent of
it. they don't talk about it as a hospital. when russia arrived, one of everybody thinks that they were welcomed with a big brass band and lots of, you know, lots of troops massed on the on the shore and everything. russia always severely disappointed, he said nobody was there. if you read general heath's diary, general heath, as the continental army commander of the new england area, he's in providence, which is about 45 miles away. and he's talking about how, you know, he gave a proper reception to russian bull. well, he's covering his tail because he wasn't there. nobody heard, was there? and this is this is from his diary. and he talks about how russia but went ashore with deville. they they ran into mr. wharton, who was a quaker. mr. wharton lived three houses up from where the colony house was, and what offered him some
some horses invites him to t that evening russian bull asked who is in charge of the militia in the area and christopher greene is in charge. but he's not at that particular site. he's elsewhere in the newport area. so they send out an express to go get him to bring him to russia on board, let him know that that russian boy and his troops have arrived once. bear in the view of many bear in the view of many is russia boys second in command when he realizes that russian boys ashore with no bodyguard, he decides that he's going to send the grenadier company of the boat when they're regiment board bonnybridge element is the senior regiment of russian boys army. so he sends the the to the grenadier company are the so the crackerjack troops of the regiment. they are the people who are in time of riot. they would be the what you your when they call out the riot act. they're the ones who show up. they're the sort of elite troops
look more like the someone like the rangers today. they you had to be five feet eight inches tall to be to be even considered to be a grenadier and. look in addition to being five feet eight inches tall, you had these bearskin caps which added another 8 to 12 inches to your height. the german grenadiers had they had tight coats which shorter sleeves. so the reason for that is that these guys look like they're giants who are busting out of their clothes, much like the incredible hulk, the french. the french did the same very, very similar look at the the cuffs on the on these sleeves, these guys are from the schwarzenegger regiment. you can tell they're schwarzenegger because of the are the salmon colored facings and the the cuffs. this is the uniform of 1776.
in 1778, 70, 79, the uniform changed so that the grenadiers are now wearing. the grenadiers are now wearing caps like the the the infantry soldiers. you see a member of the schwarzenegger regiment back here who's still wearing his his bearskin cap. not everybody changed uniform all at the same time. so they change uniforms gradually. so this guy is still wearing the uniform of 1776, the way you can tell the function of the soldiers is on the turn backs of their coats. this guy is wearing a sort of bomb or grenade, which indicates that he's a grenadier. also on his his sir is belt here is a you well you can't see it hidden by his hand. he's got a slow match. there's a brass a brass
container, a four slow match to light the grenades at this point in at this time, grenades are primarily used. what they did not use, they're more this is all more decorative. but one of the things about the grenadiers is the grenadiers and the the the chaser, which are light infantry, are the only ones to allow to wear facial hair. all the other soldiers had to be clean shaven. so this guy is indicate indicates he's clean shaven. this guy is a regular infantry, which you can tell by the the flow to leave on his on his turn backs the the the the the color of the the decoration lines here match the sleeves and the the the facings. so the this regiment is the st thomas regiment. the musicians wear off as it colors of the regiment. in this case, he's wearing blue. but he's got a lot of these
these stripes here. the reason the lot of lace that the reason for that is music is very important music in the army governs your entire day from from morning to night. the musician wakes you up, puts you to bed, and he calls out all the other calls during the day. if you if you're on duty they do would call with feet of food what they call a roast beef, which is the lunch call. so they they govern the lives of the soldiers. plus they give all the commands on the field. the officers can't project their voice loud enough, so that everybody can hear the commands. and so they are conveyed by drum and fife. well, the troops land on july 13, 14, 14, 15 and 16. the artillery is unloaded on the 16th. also. by the night of the 16th, all the troops are in in the in in camp. it is the courtney who is the
sort of the commissary general of the army had set up hospital. he set up a hospital in providence, one in papa squash point in bristol, rhode island, and another one in newport on the russian bull writes a letter to the called the mobile mulberry, who is the minister of war at that time, on july 5th, 25th, 1780, he tells him that he's got 800 sick and there are some 1500 soldiers who are also sick of scurvy and various other types of illnesses down at the bottom here, hope. there were 153 soldiers who died in newport between 1780 and 81. that's over a period of 11 months, 11 months of peacetime. and mind you and well, not peacetime, but the army, the french army isn't doing anything. they're just in camp and sort of
relaxing and trying to recover and recuperate. in providence, there were 27 soldiers who died. 35% of the soldiers who died in in newport, and 44% of those who died in in in providence were died in august and september of that year. most of them from malaria and scurvy, dysentery and cholera with the most common forms of illness in the american army and the british army. smallpox was a was a factor leading cause of death in the french army. it was less so all the soldiers were inoculated before coming here. and there is a case in 1781 where somebody shows up in a french camp and introduces smallpox. at that time. so that's the only instance we have of it, of or indication of
of of illness. and here we've got a passage from lopetegui's diary indicating the importance or the how severe this this illness was, particularly seasickness. the last the last sentence is particularly important. what the what's underlying the sentence is that on the way over duchovny they had an opportunity to meet with a cut to occasions where he ran into british ships and he he could easily have captured the vessels. he's got five over 6000 men on board a military soldiers, plus the sailors. he's got another. 6 to 8000 sailors. so he's got enough troops to to engage a fight and the men have been at sea for three months. they're they're rearing for a
fight. and he passed them by. he had orders to to bring russian boys troops to america as quickly and as safely as possible. so he ignored those occasions, and the soldiers were very angry with him. and that that that will show up in a couple of moments. i talked about the hospital, the the the newport hospital was set up in the baptist church. remember, the baptist church? i pointed out a couple of slides ago. well, here it indicates that this is from russia. hbo's order book. the order book has never been translated or published, but this is this is the manuscript. and it says that the the the the hospital was set up at the at the the baptist church. it also indicates that the red it in the daily orders indicate who's who, who's doing duties on
different days. so in this case, it's indicating that the bonar regiment is is doing the guard duty and he is indicating that they're doing guard duty at at the camp. so he's got 90 men guarding the camp. the then there's a corporal's guard at the hospital. the corporal's guard is about 12 people, 12 men under under a corporal here. the. all the time that the french were in newport, every single day he's he's changing the guard. and the guards are always placed at the same place. the camp, the hospital and the woods castle, which is the landing site. so this is further indication of the importance of woods, castle and it's just lopetegui's diary and russia boys order book that specify which castle russia but never never specifies why he's placing a guard at woods castle.
but it's it's assumed because all the soldiers know that that's where they landed. and they understand the the importance of that. it's in lopez diaz diary that you realize that that that's important. okay. also in blanshard claudius shot is a commissary of war and he indicates on july 23rd that rochambeau all attended, he went to visit the sick at the hospital and attended mass there. so this is one of the concerns about rhode islanders. where was the first catholic mass celebrated in rhode island? and in this in this instance, we know that it's celebrated at at the baptist church, which is at the corner of barnes street and spring street. at this time, while the troops are landing, vehicle. don't know why we continue. why is lafayette's brother in law, he was living in the
richardson house, which is two houses over from hunter house, which is where the turner had his headquarters and the first week of end of the landing, july 20th, the 23rd, he is sent to connecticut island, which is now called jamestown island. rhode island has 20 or 36 islands, 37 islands. newport aquidneck island, which is where newport is, is the largest. the second largest is jamestown or connecticut island. so he's sent over to connecticut island to guard the bay. he's protecting the the the camp from the the the british had when the british were in newport, they occupied part of connecticut island and nobody is going over there to the same area of the camp to to manage, to maintain that and to protect the the the the port. so in case of an attack and
lopetegui mentions that this is the only time that the british could have attacked and successfully conquered the french because there was they were still not organized they were still setting up their camp. they were making their fortifications building to digging the trenches. and so on. so he mentions that as the and then after they after that week, they lost that opportunity because then the french were so well entrenched that it was impossible for them to attack when they landed. one of the the ships, the is the france got lost in the fog and people thought that it had probably got captured or sank. orders were that when the french if the french were not able to landed in new york or newport or if they got separated in the storm, they were to go to to to boston. and that's what happened with this ship. they got lost in the fog and got
separated from the fleet. so they went to the boston and they landed there with half of the one regiment, 350 men in this case. and they marched to newport. they arrived in newport on the 28th, which is like a couple of weeks later. one of the things that little bit. yeah. mentions in the in the in his book, in his diary is that on august 25th, august 25th is st louis day, which is king louis of them. day two for the french, the name day is more important than your birthday. you. and so this is a grand birthday when the defenders boat was born, they have a big celebration. they have a big celebration on the anniversary of the the the the name day. does anybody know what a food is? why is it? oh, i've got a few people. okay. he mentions that on on on august
25th, russian bull reviews the troops and they have a further july. this is some 6000 soldiers who are participating in this. so this is one grand parade. i don't know how big macy's parade is, but i would say this would probably the bigger, if not equivalent. so they they fire further july what a further july is, is when when they're all in camp. you it's a running fire. so you you you fire your muskets from left to right, the right to left. and then everybody fires together. so when you have a small company or small army, you might fire individually one person, fire one after another, and when you've got an army of this size, you would probably fire by company. there are ten companies to a regiment, so you would fire you know, like one company after another until you get down to
the end of the line. then you reload and you start the fire down the other the other way. and then at the end you fire one massive volley. well, you've got to i'm counting 5000 soldiers here because there's a 10% misfire rate on average. so assuming a misfire rate of 10%, you've got 5000 soldiers firing three rounds apiece. so you've got. 1800 or 1500 shots or you've got this these are the various types of cannons in the fort, in the forts and on the vessels. so this is an indication of how many you know, what the caliber is. and you figure like a 12 pounder might fire, might you might put in maybe a pound, half a pound of at least half a pound of powder, if not a pound, or maybe more, then you've got all the vessels fire.
if they fire a 21 gun salute from the vessels, the three cannon shots from each fourth. so this gives you an indication you've got 699 guns, you've got 2008 shots. this is about a ton and a half to two tons of gunpowder. that's being fought and being fired on this anniversary. re that is one massive celebration, one massive fireworks display. this is an of the 1st of july at fort adams. it's a this is the massive of the total company firing firing. this is actually a small the small group does this is a small reenactment. i want to. i want to skip over the the visit of the the native americans if we've got time after which we can come back to that another thing that okay one
of the things that. people think is that when washington came to newport in march of 1781, that he was planning the the march to yorktown. the march on yorktown was not planned either. in newport or in hartford or at wethersfield. there were conferences between washington and russia on both. whoops, what happened. oh, okay. there were conferences between washington and russia on board both in wethersfield and in hartford. but what con wallace was not in virginia at the time. well, he was actually in he was in petersburg and he didn't arrive in yorktown until august 1st. so the the allies did not know that that they were going to march to yorktown. they marched from newport to new
york and they set up a siege around new york for about a month. they had a lot of expeditions and and skirmishes around new york city and the whole new york area and then they they when when they realized that admiral deborah was coming up and he wasn't going any further than chesapeake bay, then they decided going down south. so that's what they decided to do. march and even at that point, they they hadn't really decided on yorktown. it did just occurred that they're going south, they're going to meet the the french fleet there. and don't engage the con wallace wherever they happen, wherever he happens to be. and he happened to go to yorktown, the. when they left new york, they they wanted to up to a
washington was a master of counter counterintelligence. so what he did is he had the french build bread ovens. who doesn't like french bread. so they made a big deal out of this. they going all over the place along the river banks and all over all over the new york area. and they're sending out massive numbers of men to look for bricks to build the ovens. and they're building quite a few ovens. so the british know that if you're building a bread oven, it takes about several days to build an oven. if you're building an oven, you're going to be there for a while. so they was convinced that they're going to stay at in yorktown. well, i mean, in new york. so the army is moving south. he leaves a group behind to keep campfire is burning, make it look like there's a whole army there. there probably maybe 100 guys left behind. and they they've got all these ovens. and everybody knows that the french are building bread ovens. so the army is already almost in
trenton by the time that the british realized that the army is on the move, it's too late for them to get ready. they can't they get out there. so that that left all of the troops in new york out of the picture for for the work, for the for the the battle oc. whoops. dutton they died on december 15th. russia happen to be in boston on that day. he was visiting the area nobody had was sent to get him and bring him back russia boy decides to stop on the route and sleep because he was exhausted. so he stayed there the night of the 16th. detonate was buried that morning from the hour of his death to the time of buried there he was there was a his flagship with the depot going was firing cannon every half hour and the men on shore, the troops were
firing three musket volleys. remember the the passage i mentioned, i mentioned about detonating not being appreciated by his troops because he passed up these opportunities. well, nobody had has this passage in the hopes he has this passage in his diary that his troops were is his sailors were very much miffed at him. and he lost their respect. so he also mentions that the cortege going from the hunter house, which is down here all the way up to trinity church, which where his funeral was held. trinity church is an anglican church and there's no catholic church in newport at this time. so the funeral is celebrated here and he is buried in the graveyard right next next to the church. and that's where so the whole route was lined by soldiers, two men deep on each side of the
street, shoulder to shoulder. now, normally, the men would be 24 inches apart. the entire army stretched out would get would would allow 30 inches apart for it for the men. so if the entire army is turned out along this parade, this mark route of march. that that that takes up the entire army. and so that would leave the navy to be in the cortege behind them. and if there is nobody in the cortege that indicates that he's got they may be 8000 sailors on board who would have been in the cortege and they had a very rather small cortege. well, the things that that nobody i talks about in his diary drawing that that period where there's really not much to that there in newport during a winter is he talks about life in
newport he talks about religion. the five major religions that were dominating in newport and rhode island. for that matter. he talks about a quaker be and a quaker marriage ceremony, which he said resembles of a funeral than a marriage. but he also talks about the champlain family, the beautiful the beautiful champlain daughters were very they made a hit with all the souls, all the sailors, because virtually every diary of any of any soldier will talk about the champlain daughters. then he goes on to talk about the the march to yorktown and to new york and then to yorktown. he also talks about from pond oops, from pond is one of the stops on the way on the way back to to the new to the newport in 1782. they stop it from pond for a month and that's an interesting story because there are several
diaries who talk about this particular event the night before or they're due to leave. crompton which is now the wood crump pond is what's called pines of richardson, yorktown heights, new york. and the interesting thing about this, this incident is that nobody had has a passage where he's laid down on the floor of the mill during the night. and this man comes in late at night. he shows it, gives him a place to sleep along with the soldiers who are in the in the mill. so he sleeps on the floor. the next morning, he finds out that this is the local sheriff who's come to arrest rush on board because of the property damage that the troops have done on the mill. so he has russia boys ready to mount his horse. he puts his hand on his shoulder and tells them he's under arrest. and russia will ask him what the charges are and he tells them it's for destruction of property russia established that they, a committee of five people to go and inspect the damage and give
him their assessment they tell him is the damage is one third of the price that he's asking for. and so russia agrees to pay him half the price. and he says the difference is in goodwill. and he said, look, the way the different diarists interpret this is interesting because some say he's a log. they they portray russia was a law abiding citizen. some indicate that the soldiers drew their swords and they were ready to run the sheriff through. and that that could have been the start of a war. and one diary says that russia both responded to the sheriff saying that. do you realize how bold this is for you to arrest the commander of the french army amidst his troops? this is the whole army could have risen up and will slaughter this guy right there on the spot. and so it's interesting to read the different diaries, get their different interpretations. so i'm going to stop there and open it up for questions and.
no questions. you. yes. oh, they want you to go to like in the back. you you have to watch. almost all the rolling. orders from the king exist. yes, they do. well, i have not seen them, but i expect they do. one of the one of the soldiers who came over earlier, there were four four soldiers who came over in 1777 to join the army. and. when you assign soldiers to to
the military duty, that becomes a an act of war. this is before the french joined the army. so this is you had to disguise the orders to look like something else. so these guys were ordered to take they were given a leave of absence. take care of personal business, personal was to go to america and help the american army. and so that order exists. so i imagine russia, those orders exist somewhere in the french archives. i have not seen them myself. because you go to my place. that russian boat sailed to yorktown. apparently not. he marched. excuse me. i was under the mistaken assumption that russian bow sailed to yorktown. but he. he marched and he marched and then who? what was the fleet that they show the maps in yorktown, in the french fleet. he did.
i haven't research that that particular aspect, but some of the fleet some of the fleet left from elkton, head of elk, the others left from annapolis. so there were two, two different groups that left a good part of the army, marched down marched south, rochambeau went with the army. that was a way of showing, you know, the also being in command. it was also showing that he was he was part of them. he wasn't he was an acting special. he one of the things that russia boy did in all of his camp, all of his camps, is he had his headquarters closest to as close as possible to the soldiers. most officers would be separated from the soldiers, for example, designed in a way was the colonel of the artillery. he his headquarters in newport were about a mile away from the from the troops or from his from the artillery, actually,
probably a mile and a quarter. the artillery camp or the artillery park? yes. could you tell us a little about the money, the specie? you know, there's lots of accounts from the american side, civilians, that they were being paid in specie, and that was tremendous. yes. were the french aware of what of the fact they were having been able to pay in specie and etc.? just any comments you had that they might have made about it over? i wish i would have. i had anticipated this question. i would have brought up examples. i've got some some reproductions of french french coins. you're not you're not asking about the the value of the money. you're asking about. yeah. how is it? see, how is how how is it seen. yeah. how do they perceive that. really aware of what they were doing because it was a term. oh yes, yes. they were tremendously aware of what they were doing and in some cases, rochambeau ordered his men or purchases to be to be made in continental currency pay
in content currency before you pay in in in coin because when they got to newport as soon as people realize that they were paying in coin they started jacking up prices. and every french diary talks about how they were being taken advantage of by the the local people. now, they came over with with the shipments were to two and a half million leave it at a time to give you an idea of what that entails. you don't just take out your wallet and carry this amount of money. this is all in hard cash. so it's all silver and gold. there was one ship, the la, which was coming in 1781. it was going up the delaware river and it ran aground in the in the bay or in the at the mouth of the delaware. and they couldn't get it couldn't get it off the bar. so they threw the money overboard. and two and a half million leave the crew overboard and they
market with buoys because they were being attacked by a band of loyalists in the in the bay. well, one of the soldiers was sent to find some some wagons to bring the cart, the money by the time he arrived, he returned, they had retrieved the money and they had already put it in wagons that they'd required 14 wagons drawn by. 648 oxen. so we're talking, you know, quite a few tons of silver. and that was one shipment there were it. i know of at least three shipments of that size that came over over the course of of a period of time or during that, that that year. so we're talking a massive amount of money. does that answer your question. thank you.
you for that wonderful talk. appreciate it. welcome, everybody. my name's mark malloy. i'm one of the contributors with emerging revolutionary war. i'm also the author of the book victory death the battles of trenton and princeton and encourage everybody here and who's watching online to check out our web page, emerging revolutionary war. org. and be sure to follow us on social media. we are your home for the 250th anniversary of the revolutionary war, so i hope you can follow all the great things we're doing d.
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