George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Pusignan, 16 October 1784

From Pusignan

Roan in the Forest 16th October 1784


Anxious to partake of the military honors, with the Officers of your Country, where I served under Count Rochambeau, during the stay of the French Army in America; I addressed myself to Doctor Franklin, persuaded you had commissioned him to admit into the Order of Cincinnatus, those who were entitled to it. He told me I must apply to you, the President of the Order—I should not Sir, have sollicited this honor of you, if I had not seen it conferred on so many French Officers. I must inform you truly Sir, that I was not a Captain when wounded at Yorck—But this consideration has not operated so, as to withold the Kings favors from me, as you will observe by the Ministers letter; which I must entreat your Excellency to return to me 1—Immediately after the Siege however, my Captain went to France, and the Command of the Company, of the Brigade of Soissonois devolved on me, and the care of eight field pieces—On my arrival in France, I was immediately made a Captain. I have so much confidence in your goodness, as to hope, you will not exclude me from the honor I ask—I am with the greatest respect, Your Hble & Obt Sert

De Surignan, Captain of the regiment of Auxerne of the Royal Corps of Artillery.2

Translation, in the hand of David Stuart, DLC:GW; ALS, DLC:GW. GW wrote Pusignan on 25 Sept. 1785: “It is not fourteen days since I was honored with your letter of 16th of last Octr.” For a transcription of the ALS, see CD-ROM:GW. During the Revolutionary War Alexandre-César de Genevy de Pusignan (b. 1741) was a lieutenant in the Régiment d’Auxonne.

1David Stuart’s translation of the enclosed letter to Pusignan from Ségur, dated 5 Dec. 1781 at Versailles, reads: “I am just come Sir, from giving the King an account of your merit and long services, as well as the new proofs you have given of your zeal and bravery at the siege of Yorck, and the wound you recieved there—His Majesty has been graciously pleased in consequence, to confer on you the honor of Chevalier of the royal & military order of St Louis, and a gratification besides of five hundred livres—it is with pleasure I give you this information” (DLC:GW).

2The original letter is signed “de Pusignan,” not “Surignan,” and the regiment is Auxonne, not “Auxerne.”

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