Friday, September 24, 2010

Le colonel Armand

Armand-Charles Tuffin, marquis de La Rouerie (1750-1793)

I haven't posted much recently, since I've been busy with my book, but I thought I'd mention this book, which I picked-up yesterday as a kind of divertissement (or busman's holiday) from my daily research. Armand has always interested me, although confessedly I knew little about him (by contrast to Lafayette, his comrade-in-arms, or even Lauzun). And, what I did know of him seems unfortunately to have been colored by some of the calumnies heaped on him by, among others, his rival Harry Lee in the wake of the American disaster at the Battle of Camden, S.C. (1780). What I've found after a brief scan of the book is the portrait of a gifted partisan leader who had the entire confidence of Washington and the respect of his enemies, including Tarleton. In the painting by Charles Willson Peale that graces the cover of the book, Armand is shown in the uniform of his famous unit, Armand's Legion: blue coat with buff facings, blue waiscoat, and "Tarleton" helmet.

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