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Rochambeau (Fils), Donatien Marie Joseph de Vimeur, Vicomte de

Rochambeau (Fils), Donatien Marie Joseph De Vimeur, Vicomte De

ROCHAMBEAU (FILS), DONATIEN MARIE JOSEPH DE VIMEUR, VICOMTE DE. (1755–1813). French officer, son of the comte de Rochambeau. Entering the service in the Auvergne Regiment in 1767, he was attached to the artillery regiment of Besançon in 1769. In January 1779 he was named mestre de camp en second of the Bourbonnais Regiment. The next year he accompanied his father to America as assistant adjutant general. On 28 October 1780 he returned to France with dispatches, and in May 1781 he was back in America. Remaining with his father until the end of hostilities, he was promoted to colonel commanding the Saintonge Regiment on 11 November 1782 and in 1783 was promoted to command of the Royal Auvergne Regiment and made a chevalier in the Order of Saint Louis. In 1791 he became a maréchal de camp and lieutenant general on 9 July 1792.

In August 1792 he was appointed governor general of the Leeward Islands. After pacifying Saint Domingue and forcing his royalist predecessor, the comte de Behagues, to abandon Martinique, he surrendered on 22 March 1794 to a British force. Later he was reappointed as governor general of Saint Domingue but was recalled and imprisoned by the Directory. He returned to Saint Domingue under the command of Leclerc and succeeded him on 1 January 1803, but he surrendered to the British on 28 November 1803. He was then imprisoned in Jamaica and England until his exchange in 1811. As a division commander in the corps of Lauriston in 1813, he participated in the Battles of Lutzen and Bautzen and died at Leipzig. In that final campaign, Napoleon made him an officer in the Legion of Honor.


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.

Monti, Laura V., comp. A Calendar of Rochambeau Papers at the University of Florida Libraries. Gainesville: University of Florida Libraries, 1972.

Rochambeau, Donatien Marie Joseph de Vimeur, Vicomte de. "The War in America, An Unpublished Journal (1780–1783)." In Rochambeau, Father and Son: A Life of the Maréchal de Rochambeau. By Jean-Edmond Weelen. Translated by Lawrence Lee. New York: Holt, 1936.

Whitridge, Arnold. Rochambeau. New York: Macmillan, 1965.

                              revised by Robert Rhodes Crout

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