George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Conrad-Alexandre Gérard, 25 July 1779

To Conrad-Alexandre Gérard

Head Quarters West Point July 25th 1779


Col. Fleury having signified to me his intention of shortly returning to France and requested permission to go to Philadelphia to make some arrangements for this purpose on which his final determination will depend; I take the liberty to give him this letter to Your Excellency as a testimony of the sense I entertain of his conduct and services in this country, which have been such as to merit my approbation and acquire the esteem of the army. He has been very useful in the different capacities in which he has been employed, has distinguished himself upon several occasions, and in every instance manifested the talents real activity and bravery which constitute a valuable officer. In a recent one he has particularly signalized himself—He commanded one of the advanced parties in the late assault of Stoney point, was the first that entered the enemys works, and struck the British flag with his own hand.1 I beg your Excellency to accept my warmest thanks for your obliging letter of the 16th Inst.2 With the most perfect respect and the sincerest personal attachment I have the honor to be Your Excellency’s most Obedient and very humble servant.

Df, in Alexander Hamilton’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

Gérard replied to GW in a letter written at Philadelphia on 29 July: “Col. fleury delivered me to letter which your Excellency has been pleased to write to me. The strong ⟨illegible⟩ whit which your Excellency favored this officer, has been a great inducement to me, to take upon my self the business which he wanted to be done in france and he dropt in consequence his plan. I am glad to aid one of my Countrymen to continue to stay in the american service, when his conduct has the approbation of your Exce[llency]” (ALS, MH: Sparks).

1For the exploits of Lieutenant Colonel Fleury during the capture of Stony Point, N.Y., on the night of 15–16 July, see “Plan of Attack,” printed as an enclosure with Anthony Wayne to GW, 15 July; Wayne to GW, 16 (second letter) and 17 July; and GW to John Jay, 21 July, and n.23 to that document.

2GW wrote the previous two words.

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