VERNIER, PIERRE-JEAN-FRANÇOIS. (1736–1780). Officer in Pulaski's Legion. Born at Belfort, France, he became a volunteer in the Fischer corps in 1752, was made lieutenant in a regiment of foreign volunteers of Tirant in 1756, took part in the action at Saint Cast on 11 September 1758, and received a gunshot wound in the thigh at Vildungen on 25 July 1760. He was taken into the Legion of Conflans in 1763, retired on 1 January 1768, and was assigned to the Invalides in Paris.
Having been recommended by Franklin along with others in the Marquis de Brétigney's party in June 1777, he was captured that year by the English and imprisoned at Saint Augustine with Brétigney. He eventually made his way to America with Brétigney, and Congress appointed him a major in Pulaski's Legion on 23 February 1779. According to Johann Ewald's diary, he was mortally wounded in a surprise attack by Tarleton's cavalry near Monck's Corner, South Carolina on 14 April 1780. His last name is often spelled "Vernie." In Dictionnaire des officiers de l'armée royale (1982), Bodinier lists his given names as "Jean François" or "François Jean."
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.
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.
revised by Robert Rhodes Crout