Jean Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur Rochambeau, comte de
Rochambeau, Jean Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de (zhäN bätēstˈ, kôNt də rôshaNbōˈ) [key], 1725–1807, marshal of France. He took part in the wars of King Louis XV and had been promoted to lieutenant general by 1780, when King Louis XVI sent him, with some 6,000 regulars, to aid General Washington in the American Revolution. He landed in Newport, R.I., and remained there a year because the French fleet was blockaded off Narragansett. In July, 1781, he joined Washington on the Hudson River and the two armies marched south against General Cornwallis. The result was the Yorktown campaign, which ended the war. In the French Revolution, Rochambeau was made (1791) a marshal and commanded the Northern Army, but he resigned (1792) after a disagreement with General Dumouriez. He was imprisoned in the Terror and barely escaped execution. Napoleon restored him to his rank. His memoirs of the American Revolution were translated in 1838.
See biography by A. Whitridge (1965); J.-E. Weelen, Rochambeau, Father and Son (1936).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: French History: Biographies