• Yorktown Battlefield

    Yorktown Battlefield

    Part of Colonial National Historical Park Virginia

French Army Casualties at Yorkown

YORKTOWN FRENCH MEMORIAL

During the Bicentennial of the Battle of Yorktown in 1981, members of the French veterans' organizations attending the celebration noted that there was an area on the battlefield where approximately 50 French soldiers were buried in an unmarked, common grave. Although this area was indicated by a cross and a plaque, none of the names of any French soldier was inscribed there. It has long been a point of cultural tradition in France that the graves of those who died serving France are marked with their names whenever possible, or that the battlefields have a memorial with their names inscribed.
At the urging of French veterans' groups, the Ambassador of France to the United States, His Excellency M. Emmanuel de Margerie, appointed a committee to correct this oversight. It was the Committee for the Yorktown French Memorial, with Professor Andre Maman of Princeton University serving as its president.
The purpose of the committee, which included both French and American members, was to create a memorial to honor all French soldiers and sailors who gave their lives in the Yorktown campaign in 1781. The memorial was to include the names of the some 600 Frenchmen* who lost their lives in this campaign, including the Yorktown siege and the naval battle of Chesapeake Bay, or the Battle of the Capes, as it is sometimes called.
The committee's tasks included the design, approval, funding and dedication of the memorial. The design was completed with the approval of the Ambassador and the National Park Service. Members of the French Societies of the Sons of the American Revolution, Daughters of the American Revolution and the Order of the Cincinnati as well as French veteran and cultural organizations here were engaged in fundraising to reach the goal needed to bring the project to reality. Various American hereditary and cultural societies also participated as a gesture of appreciation for the French forces joining us in those desperate days in 1781 as General Washington and the French commanders adopted the extremely risky plan which led, against all expectations, to the final great victory at Yorktown.

*This list may not be 100% accurate or complete.

AGENOIS

Jean Aimont Andre Allard
Nicolas Angevaise Jan Baggage
Benoist Bouillot Nicolas Bourdin
Jacques Chatillon Antoine Cocq
Yves David Noel Fugenot
Francois Guiboiseau Joseph Hautville
Francois Marival Louis Martin
Louis Menager Nicolas Maret
Francois Hursin Pierre Lignot
Laurent Nolly Jacques Papelard
Louis Thevenin Oger Verdavoir

Angoumois

Jacques Tournis

Auxonne

Vincent Bellanger Louis Carbonel
Jacques Christol Claude Ferrey
Nicolas Fole Pierre Gorrelier
Francois Gerthier Antoine Grossetete
Jean Joulin Francois Jund
Pierre de La Loge Jacques Le Riche
Vincent Martin Claude Paris
Jacques Pelitier Philibert Salmon

Beaujolais

Pierre Beher Jean Gloaret
Jean Godard Jerome Hagueneau
Jean Jaubert Joseph Jaubert
Andoche Mercier Jean Molin
Jacques Peyllard Mathieu Soulignac
Jacques Tissier Jean Varrennes

Foix

Pierre Canys Francois Cavalier
Bernard Gaguebey Joseph Genies
Benoist Gubiaud Jean Lyonnois
Jean Maison Alexis Martin
Liberal Moutel Domininique Savequet

Brie

Jacques Berger Jacques de Paris

Dillon

Gaspard Everlet

Bourbonnais

Joseph Barbaton Etienne Bedel
Jean Besard Antoine Canton
Fleury Chabrier Etienne Courtois
Antoine Desmont Gabriel Devilliers
Jean Galotet Joseph Guillaume
Jean Honore Louis Huguet
Jean Jerifafin Francois Jolivet
Michel Kell Antoine La Fosse
Bernard Manadet Antoine Mery
Jean Noel Jean Paniolet
Joseph Perrier Joseph Prou
Pierre Proux Francois Rossignol
Jean Roussel Jean Saffroy
Jean Selignet Jean Seliquet
Andre Terville Louis Testelin
Nicolas Tumelin Joseph Verrier
Joseph Villaret

Did You Know?

Aerial view of Yorktown Country Club

Prior to inclusion in the National Park system, Yorktown Battlefield was part of the Yorktown Country Club. The battlefield was part of its 18-hole Riverview Golf Course. Intent upon preserving the battlefield, the owner of the golf course designed it around existing earthworks.