Gimat de Soubadère, Jean-Joseph

views updated

Gimat de Soubadère, Jean-Joseph

GIMAT DE SOUBADÈRE, JEANJOSEPH. (1747–1793). (Later chevalier de.) Continental officer, aide-de-camp to Lafayette. France. Born in Gers, he became an ensign in the Regiment of Talaru in 1761. Lafayette later indicated that he was a veteran of the German campaigns. On 8 June 1776 he was promoted to first lieutenant in the regiment of Viennois. Recommended by Deane for the rank of major, he went to America with Lafayette as a member of his staff. Reaching Philadelphia in July 1777 with Lafayette, Gimat was commissioned major in the Continental army with retroactive pay and date of rank of 1 December 1776 as recommended by Deane. Lafayette solicited for him the rank of lieutenant colonel, which Congress granted in February 1778, but when Lafayette sought a promotion to colonel for him in October 1778, Congress refused. Gimat served at Lafayette's side at Brandywine, Pennsylvania, Gloucester, New Jersey, and Barren Hill, Pennsylvania. In January 1779 he returned to France on a leave of absence that had been granted by Congress.

In France, Lafayette endorsed petitions for Gimat, and he was awarded the Cross of the Order of Saint Louis (1780) and commissioned a major in the Viennois regiment in 1779, having been promoted to captain in 1778 during his absence. He returned to America with Lafayette. On 17 February 1781 Washington named Gimat commander of a light infantry regiment. Leaving Peekskill, Gimat marched south with Lafayette and led his regiment in the subsequent operations in Virginia. There, Lafayette noted to Washington, Gimat was "particularly beloved" by his troops. He had a prominent part at Green Spring (Jamestown Ford) on 6 July. Lafayette selected him to lead the attack on Redoubt 10 during the operations against Yorktown, but Hamilton claimed the honor by seniority, and Washington chose Hamilton. Gimat's regiment followed in the night attack of 14-15 October, and he was wounded there.

On 4 January 1782 Gimat left Philadelphia for France on indefinite leave, carrying a letter to Lafayette from Washington. His discharge from the Continental army was dated 3 November 1783. On 25 August 1782, at Lafayette's recommendation, he was promoted to colonel in the French army and put in command of the colonial regiment of Martinique. He was governor of Saint Lucia from 21 June 1789 to 3 June 1792, when he left the service of the French revolutionary government. He was commanding a force of eleven hundred émigrés at Martinique when he was mortally wounded.

SEE ALSO Barren Hill, Pennsylvania; Brandywine, Pennsylvania; Deane, Silas; Gloucester, New Jersey; Green Spring (Jamestown Ford, Virginia); Lafayette, Marquis de.


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.

Contenson, Ludovic de. La Société des Cincinnati de France et la Guerre d'Amérique. Paris: Editions Auguste Picard, 1934.

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–.

                            revised by Robert Rhodes Crout

About this article

Gimat de Soubadère, Jean-Joseph

Updated About content Print Article