• Yorktown Battlefield

    Yorktown Battlefield

    Part of Colonial National Historical Park Virginia

Colonel Charles Teffin Armand

Tuffin, Charles-Armand, le Marquis de La Rouerie. 1750-1793.

Charles-Armand Tuffin, le Marquis de La Rouerie, like many in the French nobility, decided on a career in the military at an early age. While still a young boy, he entered the Garde de Corps, the Royal household troops of the King of France. However, his career in the French army would not last long. He would eventually be forced to resign after wounding the King's cousin, the Comte de Bourbon-Besset, in a duel.

His career in the French military over, Armand decided to go to America in 1776 in an attempt to revive his military career. He joined the American army in 1776 and was given the rank of colonel. George Washington authorized Armand to raise a legion of volunteers. He was not having much luck recruiting them himself, so, he decided to buy a legion of troops that had already been raised by a Swiss major. The group of men that he purchased would eventually become known as Armand's Legion.

Armand and his Legion fought with Washington's army in the north. Disease, desertion and the expiration of enlistments eventually reduced his men to a very small number. This time, in order to build up his troop strength, he was authorized to recruit from among the German POW's being held by the Americans. In this he was fairly successful and his unit was soon ready for duty.

In 1780, Armand's Legion was sent south where it absorbed the remnants of troops belonging to Count Casimir Pulaski, the American cavalry commander who had been killed at Savannah in 1779. The Legion participated in the disasterous Battle of Camden and suffered heavy losses. Shortly after Camden, Armand temporarily returned to France in an attempt to procure money and supplies to reconstitute his Legion.

Armand returned to America in August 1781 laden with supplies for his Legion. The Legion had not been idle during his absence. They had been moved to Virginia to defend the state against the raid of Benedict Arnold. Armand rejoined his unit in the siege lines around Yorktown. He, and some of his men, participated in the evening assault on Redoubt 10. At the successful conclusion of the Yorktown campaign, Armand's Legion was sent south to reinforce General Nathanael Greene's army. By Christmas Day, 1782, Armand and his Legion had returned north.

On March 26, 1783, Armand was promoted to brigadier general in command of all the Continental cavalry. He was discharged from the army in November 1783 and returned to France. Armand is considered one of the founders of the American cavalry.

Did You Know?

Nelson House in Yorktown

Thomas Nelson, Jr., is one of Yorktown's most famous residents. He was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, served as Governor of Virginia in 1781, and commanded the Virginia militia during the 1781 siege of his hometown. His home still bears damage from the bombardment during the siege.