French Casualties WorldwideThe casualties resulting from French land and naval actions after France signed the treaty of alliance with the United States in 1778 totaled well over 7,000 dead and well over 8,000 wounded in battle or permanently incapacitated by illness.
Tabulation of French Casualties World-wide by Battle Date [PDF file]
compiled by Jacques de Trentinian
French Casualties in the U.S. Theater of Operations
Plaque at Yorktown summarizing French military forces in U.S. theater
during the Revolutionary War -- senior officers, ships, unit strength, and losses.
The 2,112 Frenchmen who died in the United States from 1777 to 1783 while fighting for the American Independence, by Warrington Dawson, Journal de la societe des Americanistes, New series, (1936) Vol. XXVIII, pp 1-154. required several years of intense research. Two summaries -- one for land deaths and one for sea deaths -- were extracted from this article by Le Souvenier Français for use in finding and marking graves (see below).
[*] Original article and lists [in French]
Le Souvenier Français (SF) is an organization dedicated to finding and marking the graves of French military personnel who died outside of France. The SF extracted this list of names to assist in finding the graves in the U.S.
The Army Extracts section of the SF booklet lists the 989 French soldiers who were reported as dying in U.S. theater of operations during the American Revolution (the 990 circled below is in error). About 25% of these died during in the 1778-79 operations (under D'Estaing) and about 75% died during the 1780-83 operations (under Rochambeau). The Army Extracts listed below is posted with the permission of Le Souvenier Français. The listing is alphabetic by the location of death (6th column over).
It may be interesting to find the graves that are near where you live. You can see the French soldiers names, rank , birthplace and where they died in the US in the 2nd half of the document. You do not need to comprehend French to understand. Just keep in mind that "ne" means born, "de" means from, "mort" means died.
The Navy Extracts section of the SF booklet [not shown here] lists the 1,113 French sailors who were reported as dying in U.S. theater of operations during the American Revolution. The Special Mission Extracts section of the SF booklet [not shown here] lists the 10 French special mission personnel who were reported as dying in U.S. theater of operations during the American Revolution. We hope to post those images here at a later date.
NOTE: For troops in Lauzun's Legion the SF listing gives the death location only as "Amerique". More specific locations were extracted from the French controles for Lauzun's Legion and were published in The Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route in the State of Delaware 1781-1783, by Dr. Robert Selig (State of Delaware, 2003). Ralph Nelson (Delaware Society SAR) added a column noting the state and city in which the Legion was encamped on the date of each death:
List of Deaths for Lauzun's Legion [PDF file].
French Casualties during the Second Battle of the Capes
There were roughly 9,600 French army personnel and 27,000 naval personnel
involved in the naval actions just outside the Chesapeake Bay and in the land
engagements during the Siege of Yorktown in early September through mid-October of 1781.
In 1989 a monument was erected in Yorktown, Virginia, to recognize
the 600 French soldiers and sailors who died in military action in the area while
supporting the United States' fight to gain independence from Great Britain.
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