Video produced on the creation of grave markers for fallen French soldiers


Nick Benson from Francisco Aliwalas on Vimeo.

The soldiers were:

Major Pierre du ROUSSEAU, Chevalier de FAYOLLE (1746-1780)

As a liaison officer, he had served several years as a captain in the French army when he left for the United States with Lafayette on the Victoire in 1777. Not receiving a commission from Congress, Fayolle volunteered with Vice Admiral d’Estaing’s squadron in Rhode Island in 1778 before returning to France.

He returned to the United States with Lafayette in 1780 on the Hermione which arrived in Boston on April 28, 1780. He accompanied General Lafayette by land to Morristown, New Jersey, and Philadelphia to inform General George Washington and Congress that a French Expeditionary Force was on the way to aid the Insurgents.

General George Washington mentions him in a letter to General Lafayette, dated May 16, 1780.

Unfortunately, the chevalier de Fayolle died in an accident on June 8, 1780 in the harbor of Newport, and was interred in Trinity Church cemetery.

No indication exists as to the exact location of his burial site. A grave marker will be placed next to Admiral de Ternay’s tombstone.

The Connecticut Journal (New Haven) for 22 June 1780 printed an item dated 10 June at Newport that described Fayolle as a “Major in the French service,” who “died very suddenly last Thursday, as he was going off from the south part of this Island to the frigate Hermione; a Gentleman of a most amiable character, and whose death is greatly lamented by all his acquaintance.”

2LT Augustin Benjamin LAVILMARAIS (1733-1780)

Also appearing in some registers as Lieutenant de La Villemarais, this Navy Officer served as a lieutenant auxiliary officer on board the French Navy frigate l’Hermione.
He was wounded during a naval battle against the British Navy frigate IRIS (see account of the battle below) while on the ship’s forecastle, by a “grapeshot” in the thigh.
He died of his wounds on July 18, 1780 in Newport. He was buried on July 22 in the cemetery of Trinity Church.
No indication exists as to the exact location of his burial site. A grave marker will be placed next to Admiral de Ternay’s tombstone.
The two grave markers will be provided by the John Stevens Shop. Founded in 1705, the John Stevens Shop is a stone carving business in Newport, Rhode Island and is one of the oldest continuously operating businesses in the United States.
The markers will be dedicated at Trinity Church in Newport on Sept. 10 at 2 pm. 
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