Gayault de Boisbertrand, René Etienne-Henri de Vic

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Gayault de Boisbertrand, René Etienne-Henri de Vic

GAYAULT DE BOISBERTRAND, RENÉ ETIENNE-HENRI DE VIC. (1746–1823). French officer captured with Lee at Basking Ridge, New Jersey. He was born at Bourges and entered the Hainault Regiment on 10 July 1763 as souslieutenant. Named lieutenant on 20 April 1768, he became provost general of the mounted constabulary of Berry with the rank of lieutenant colonel in 1772. He was granted two years leave on 23 June 1776 to carry correspondence from Dubourg to Franklin in America but did not sail from Nantes until 10 September.

Seriously wounded and captured at Basking Ridge on 16 December 1776, the French volunteer received two years of successive imprisonments by the British at New York, Rhode Island, and eventually Forton in England. Escaping from Forton on 23 July 1778, he reached France to find that his hereditary post had been given to another. He made two requests for reinstatement in the army at the rank of brigadier general but both were denied, presumably because of his poor physical condition. In 1788 he was awarded the chevalier of the Order of Saint Louis and retired at the rank of maréchal de camp on 1 March 1791. In 1820 he applied for and received admission as colonel to the Invalides, the military pensioners' hospital.

SEE ALSO Basking Ridge, New Jersey.


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.

Franklin, Benjamin. Papers of Benjamin Franklin. Edited by Leonard W. Labaree et al. 37 vols. to date. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1959–.

                      revised by Robert Rhodes Crout

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Gayault de Boisbertrand, René Etienne-Henri de Vic

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