Laumoy, Jean-Baptiste-Joseph, Chevalier de

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Laumoy, Jean-Baptiste-Joseph, Chevalier de

LAUMOY, JEAN-BAPTISTE-JOSEPH, CHEVALIER DE. (1750–1832). Continental officer. France. The son of an infantry captain who was made a chevalier in the Order of Saint Louis, Jean Baptiste became a second lieutenant at the school of military engineering at Mezières in 1768, and in 1770 he was appointed engineer and first lieutenant. On 1 January 1777 he became a captain and was promoted to major on 1 February through Duportail's efforts. On 13 February Laumoy was awarded the rank of lieutenant colonel by Deane and Franklin, and soon thereafter he left for America via Saint Domingue. He arrived in the early autumn of 1777 and on 17 November was commissioned colonel of engineers. His first action was with Lafayette at Gloucester, New Jersey, on 25 November, after which he went to Valley Forge. Ordered south on 8 February 1779, he was wounded at Stono Ferry on 20 June and taken prisoner at Charleston on 12 May 1780. Washington opposed Duportail's efforts to have him exchanged out of regular order. He was finally exchanged on 26 November 1782, breveted brigadier general on 30 September 1783, and honorably discharged on 10 October.

As aide maréchal général des logis from June 1783, he returned to France in December. Made a chevalier in the Order of St. Louis, he took a command in Saint Domingue in July 1785 and at Martinique in February 1789. Promoted to maréchal de camp in August 1791, he was made head of Lafayette's general staff in the army of the Center on 20 April 1792 and fled with him on 19 August after the Jacobin triumph.

Laumoy escaped to America, living around Philadelphia until he was removed from the émigré list. He then returned to France. Unable to secure a military appointment, he officially retired from the army in 1811. Washington complimented Laumoy on his American service and suggested in 1799 that all American officers should in the future have engineering training like him.

SEE ALSO Engineers.


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                          revised by Robert Rhodes Crout