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Galvan, William

Galvan, William

GALVAN, WILLIAM. Volunteer from Dominica. He arrived in South Carolina with munitions from Beaumarchais, for which the state was held liable. He served as a lieutenant in the Second South Carolina Regiment in 1777 but resigned when he was not allowed to furlough northward for military action. On 19 March, Congress rejected his request to raise an independent corps. It also rejected on 3 April his request to be subinspector of a battalion of blacks to be raised in the South and on 28 December turned down his application for lieutenant colonel. Congress finally relented in January 1780 to commission him as major and employ him as an inspector. Luzerne intervened with Washington on his behalf and the latter ordered him to Cape Henry in May to await the possible arrival of the French fleet. He returned to serve in Lafayette's light infantry in September 1780. Lafayette was initially satisfied with Galvan but soon found him "very unpopular among officers" (Lafayette, Papers, 3:27). Washington removed him for "bad health" and Lafayette sent him to obtain artillery for the Virginia campaign of the spring of 1781. Galvan received a commendation from Lafayette for his actions at the Battle of Green Spring on 6 July 1781. On 14 July, Lafayette gave Galvan permission, for reasons of ill health, to return to the main army. He later served as a member of the court-martial trying Major General Robert Howe in December 1781, and Washington signed a certificate of service for him on 31 December 1781. He committed suicide on 24 July 1782 because of a romantic rejection by an American widow.

SEE ALSO Green Spring (Jamestown Ford, Virginia); Howe, Robert; La Luzerne, Anne-César de.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Bodinier, André. Dictionnaire des officiers de l'armée royale qui ont combattu aux Etats-Unis pendant la guerre d'Indépendance, 1776–1783. Vincennes, France: Service historique de l'armée, 1982.

Closen-Haydenburg, Hans Christoph Friedrich Ignatz Ludwig, and Baron von Gouvion. The Revolutionary Journal of Baron Ludwig von Closen. Edited and translated by Evelyn M. Acomb. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1958.

Ford, Worthington C. et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1904–1937.

Lafayette, Gilbert du Motier de. Lafayette in the Age of the American Revolution: Selected Letters and Documents, 1776–1790. Edited by Stanley J. Idzerda et al. 5 vols. to date. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1977–.

Smith, Paul H. et al., eds. Letters of Delegates of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789. 26 vols. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1976–2000.

Washington, George. Writings of George Washington. Edited by John C. Fitzpatrick. 39 vols. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1931–1944.

                        revised by Robert Rhodes Crout

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