Jean-Bernard Gauthier de Murnan
Jean-Bernard Gauthier de Murnan, born in 1748, was a French officer for the Continental Army and a French General during the French Revolution. When he was young, he had to leave France to serve as a cavalry officer and then military engineer in the Russian army. When he returned to France, he was sent to support the newly born United States as a Lt. Colonel Engineer in the Continental Army. During the French Revolution era, he was was appointed Colonel of the Infantry, then Colonel of the Cavalry, and then promoted to Brigade General in command of the cavalry.
Jean-Bernard Gauthier was born in a family of jurists in Bourg-en-Bresse (now Ain département) of France. He was baptized on 28 November 1748. Around 1743, he became an officer in the French Royal Army. He had to leave France for a bad duel affair, and take refuge in Russia. He was hired as a lieutenant in the Regiment of Dragoons of Smolensk, Belorussia. He was under the command of Prince Golitsyn until 1776, when he became Captain-Engineer, after studying at the Moscow University.
He was later sent to the United States with a group of military engineers, including Captain L'Enfant and French Colonel du Portail to support the Americans during the Revolutionary War, who lacked military engineers. It is pointed out that the massive French military participation took place in 1781. Starting in January 1777, he was under the direction of General John Sullivan. In March 1778, he was promoted to Major in the US Army Corps of Engineers by the Continental Congress. He participated in the Massachusset Campaign in 1778.
Then, with General George Washington, he served in the Sullivan Expedition against the 'six Indians Nations', up to the current Wyoming. Under French General de Choisy, he took part to the besieging of York and Gloucester in 1781. Following a special decision of the US Congress, he was commissionned in September of 1783 Lieutenant Colonel by brevet by the Continental Army. In 1784, he returned to France. He married Andrée Claudine Sain on 30 September 1784, in Lyon. He was back in the French Army when the First Coalition against the revolutionaries in France took place (see also French Revolutionary Wars).
In 1791, he was promoted Lieutenant-Colonel, serving in the infantry, then serving as Adjudant-Général from May of 1791, namely in Sedan reatrenched camp. He was then promoted Colonel, serving as Chief-of-Staff of the Army on the Sambre. In 1792, he became Colonel of the 35th Infantry Regiment, 35ème régiment d'infanterie (in French). Therefore, he was at the Battle of Valmy on 20 September 1792 and the Battle of Jemmapes on 6 November 1792. In January 1793 he became colonel of the 13th Dragoons Regiment, 13ème régiment de dragons (in French). Promoted as Brigade-General, he commanded the right flank of the Northern Army with général Custine (in French). Tired, he left the army and retired around Bourg-en-Bresse. He was twice arrested under La Terreur in spring 1794. He died on September 27th, 1796, in Villereversure, Ain.
He was the uncle of First French Empire General Aubry (in French), killed at the Battle of Leipzig in 1813, and cousin of the member of the revolutionary French National Convention Gauthier des Orcières (in French), also called Gauthier de l'Ain (in French).
American Memory, Library of Congress, namely the 'Journal of Continental Congress', and 'George Washington Papers'