George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Anne-Louis de Tousard, 26 January 1795

From Anne-Louis de Tousard

Philadelphia January 26th 1795


I understand that a Corps of Artillery and Engeneers is raising, of which the Field officers and Commander in chief have not been yet appointed.1

Please, Sir, to remember my Services in the American Army, the loss of my right arm; that I have been brought up as an Artillery officer and Served fourteen years in that Corps where lessons and instructions Constituting a good Engeneer were also taught.

I do believe, Sir, that were you to intrust me with the Command of that Corps, I Could exert myself with the greatest Zeal to bring it to perfection, and that young officers would Serve willingly with an old american Soldier and a brother of arms of their Fathers. I am with the greatest respect Sir your most humble & obedient Servant

L. Tousard


Anne-Louis de Tousard (1749–1817) was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Royal Artillery Corps in June 1769 after attending the artillery school at Strasbourg. While serving as a captain in the French colonial forces in the West Indies, he resigned his commission to join the American fight for independence, and in 1777 he received a commission of the same rank in the Continental army. He lost an arm to amputation after an engagement with the British army at Rhode Island in August 1778. Tousard returned to France, and in 1784 obtained rank as a lieutenant colonel in the Regiment du Cap in Saint Domingue. During the slave uprising there in 1794, he was taken prisoner, but he and his wife escaped and came to the United States. GW appointed Tousard a major in the Corps of Artillerists and Engineers on 25 February.

1“An Act providing for raising and organizing a Corps of Artillerists and Engineers” was approved on 9 May 1794 (1 Stat. description begins Richard Peters, ed. The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America, from the Organization of the Government in 1789, to March 3, 1845 . . .. 8 vols. Boston, 1845-67. description ends 366–67).

Index Entries