Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, Comte de Rochambeau

General Rochambeau commanded the French Army in America. When Rochambeau’s troops passed through Verplanck’s Point on their march to New England in 1782, General Washington ordered the Continental Army to demonstrate its fighting prowess before its French allies. General Rochambeau wrote about the experience in his post-war memoir: “General Washington wishing to testify his respect and gratitude to France, made us pass between two lines of his soldiers dressed, equipped and armed completely, for the first time since the revolution.” 

Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, Comte de Rochambeau
Painted by Charles Willson Peale
ca. 1782
Oil and Canvas
Courtesy of Independence National Historical Park

Jean-Baptiste-Antoine de Verger

Jean-Baptiste-Antoine de Verger, a lieutenant in the French Army, painted this self-portrait in the journal he kept while serving in America. De Verger was a member of the Royal Deux-Ponts Regiment and wore a bright blue coat with yellow trim. While at the Verplanck’s Point encampment, Lieutenant de Verger wrote that “The whole color-line of the American camp was bordered by a very beautiful arbor, decorated with various designs and coats of arms…representing the different regiments.” He and fellow French officers also had the occasion to enjoy refreshments with General Washington at the encampment.

Painted by Jean-Baptiste-Antoine de Verger
Watercolor and Paper
Image courtesy of Anne S.K. Brown Military Collection, Brown University Library