Donatien-Marie-Joseph de Vimeur, vicomte de Rochambeau

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Donatien-Marie-Joseph de Vimeur, vicomte de Rochambeau
Donatien-Marie-Joseph de Rochambeau.jpg
Donatien-Marie-Joseph de Rochambeau in the uniform of the Régiment d'Auvergne
Born 7 April 1755 (1755-04-07)
Paris, Kingdom of France
Died 16 October 1813(1813-10-16) (aged 58)
Leipzig, Kingdom of Saxony
Allegiance  Kingdom of France
 Kingdom of the French
 French First Republic
 First French Empire
Service/branch French Army
Years of service 1769–1813
Rank Divisional General
Battles/wars American Revolutionary War
French Revolutionary Wars
Napoleonic Wars
Awards Name inscribed under the Arc de Triomphe
Relations Son of Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau

Donatien-Marie-Joseph de Vimeur, vicomte de Rochambeau (1755 – 16 October 1813) was a French soldier, the son of Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau.


General de Rochambeau in Saint Domingue

He served in the American Revolutionary War as an aide-de-camp to his father, spending the winter of 1781-1782 in quarters at Williamsburg, Virginia. In the 1790s, he participated in an unsuccessful campaign to re-establish French authority in Martinique and Saint Domingue. Rochambeau was later assigned to the French Revolutionary Army in the Italian Peninsula, and was appointed to the military command of the Ligurian Republic.

In 1802, he was appointed to lead an expeditionary force against Saint Domingue (Haiti) after General Charles Leclerc's death. His remit was to restore French control of their rebellious colony, by any means. Historians of the Haitian Revolution credit his brutal tactics for uniting black and gens de couleur soldiers against the French. After Rochambeau surrendered to the rebel general Jean-Jacques Dessalines in November 1803, the former French colony declared its independence as Haïti, the second independent state in the Americas.

At the Surrender of Cap Français, Rochambeau was captured aboard the frigate Surveillante by a British squadron under the command of Captain John Loring and returned to England as a prisoner on parole, where he remained interned for almost nine years.

He was exchanged in 1811, and returned to the family château, where he resumed the work of classifying the family's growing collection of maps, which his father had begun. He also enriched the collections with new acquisitions, in particular ones contributed by the military campaigns of his son, Auguste-Philippe Donatien de Vimeur, who served as the aide-de-camp for Joachim Murat and was with Murat's cavalry in the Russian campaign in 1812.

He was mortally wounded in the Battle of Nations, and died three days later at Leipzig, at the age of 58.

In addition to his legitimate son, Vimeur was survived by an illegitimate son, Lewis Warrington, conceived in Williamsburg, Virginia, when Vimeur was a young officer serving with his father in America during the Revolutionary War.[citation needed]

Motto and Coat of Arms

Coat of Arms Motto
Heraldique couronne comte français.svg
Blason fam fr Vimeur de Rochambeau (de).svg
(To live and die valiantly)


  • Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>


  1. Johannes Baptist Rietstap, Armorial général : contenant la description des armoiries des familles nobles et patriciennes de l'Europe : précédé d'un dictionnaire des termes du blason, G.B. van Goor, 1861, 1171 p

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