George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Colonel Vienne, 15 September 1778

From Colonel Vienne

To boston 15 7bre 1778

your Excellency

having Reciev’d news from France, which oblige Me to go home as soon as possible for domestick Concerns, and unwilling [to] Leave off the american Service, I entreat your Excellency to be pleased to give me a furlough for Eighteen Months; I pray you to send me a Writing Certifying that I serv’d in your armie as volonteer Since the first june till the fifteenth of july Next, that I Was at minmouth’s Battle, that having been Sent to take a View of the Ennemi’s Camp I took Some prisonners, that the Congress gave me the Rang of Colonel the fifteenth of july, that I Landed in Rhode Island With the american troops, and that My Conduct and Behaviour have been Belonging to an officer and gentleman, I Believe it is the General Suffrage: but the Certificate I Require of your Excellency, is too precious and flattering for me that I not Entreat you to grant it to me.1

I Require of your Excellency to be pleased to write quick an answer to me, the Vessel I propose to go in being Ready to Sail and Waiting only for my parting your permission and Certificate.

I pray you to give the all to Mr de chouans Who Will have the honour to Deliver you this.2 it is With the Sentiments of the most profound Respect I have the honour to be of your Excellency the Most humbly and obedient Servant

C[olonel] marquis Devienne

LS, PWacD; Sprague transcript, DLC:GW. GW enclosed a copy of this letter in his letter to Henry Laurens of 29 Sept., but that copy has not been found (see GW to Laurens, 29 Sept., and note 3 to that document).

1For the certificate that GW wrote for Vienne on 29 Sept., see GW to Vienne, 29 Sept., n.2, and 16 Oct.; and Vienne to GW, 5 October. Congress approved Vienne’s furlough on 27 Oct. (see GW to Henry Laurens, 29 Sept.; Laurens to GW, 9 Oct.; and 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 , 12:1066).

2The bearer was d’Estaing’s aide-de-camp, André-Michel-Victor, marquis de Choin (Chouin).

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