George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Lieutenant Colonel La Radière, 8 October 1777

To Lieutenant Colonel La Radière

Skippack Camp [Pa.] 8th October 1777


I have this Evening recd the following Resolution of Congress passed the 6th instant.

“That General Washington be directed, if the Situation of his Army will admit, to send one of the four Engineers to do duty at Fort Montgomery and the defences on Hudsons River.”1

In Consequence of this Resolve I desire you will immediately proceed to Fort Montgomery and there take upon you the direction of such Works as shall be deemed necessary by the commanding Officer in that department. I am Sir Yr most obt Servt.

Copy, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

Louis-Guillaume-Servais des Hayes de La Radière (1744–1779), a graduate of the French engineering school at Mézières who had attained the rank of captain in 1775, was one of the four French engineers whom the American commissioners in Paris engaged for the Continental army in February 1777. Brevetted a major before leaving France in March 1777, La Radière was appointed a lieutenant colonel by Congress on 8 July 1777, and he was promoted to colonel on 17 Nov. 1777. La Radière became involved in some rather acrimonious disputes with superior officers and other engineers while serving in the Hudson highlands during the latter months of 1777 and the early months of 1778. In August 1778 he was sent to Rhode Island to assist with Sullivan’s operations there, but he probably arrived too late to be of much use. La Radière died on 30 Oct. 1779, apparently at West Point (see GW to Louis Duportail and Alexander Hamilton, 1 Nov. 1779, DLC:Hamilton Papers).

1See JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 9:774.

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