Timeline: Lafayette in the American Revolution


(Under Construction)
Lafayette’s Baptism of Fire  by E. Percy Moran, 1909


September 6, 1757   Marie-Joseph-Paul-Yves-Roch-Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette,                                            born in Chavaniac, France

August 1, 1759           Father dies in battle in the battle Minden during Seven Years War with                                             England

November 2, 1759    Adrienne de Noailles, later Lafayette’s wife, born in Paris

1768                               Begins school at age 11 at the College of Plessis in Paris

April 3, 1770                Mother dies

April 24, 1770             Maternal grandfather dies, leaving his estate to Lafayette, who, after                                                 inheriting from an uncle soon after, becomes one of the richest men in                                           France

April 9, 1771                Receives appointment to serve in the King’s Musketeers, begins his                                                 military  education at the Military Academy at Versailles.

May 1771                     Commissioned officer in the Musketeers, with mostly ceremonial duties

April, 1773                   With help from his future father-in-law, becomes Brevet Lieutenant in                                             the prestigious Noailles Regiment

April 11, 1774             Married to Adrienne de Noailles (14) at age 16

August 8, 1775          While on maneuvers in Metz, France, dined with the Duke of Gloucester                                          speak of the struggle in the colonies, which inspires him to help the         colonists             

December, 1775        Daughter Henriette born

Summer/Fall, 1776   Sent to England by father-in-law

December 7, 1776    Accepts commission as American Major General from Silas Deane,                                                    subsequently buys his own ship and calls it La Victoire

                                       Louis XVI issues arrest warrants for any French soldier leaving to fight                                             for America

April 20,1777           Avoids arrest by escaping across the Spanish border and setting sail for                                          America in La Victoire, learns some English from de Kalb during the                                                        voyage

June 13, 1777          Arrives in America near Georgetown, SC

July 31,1777             Arrives in Philadelphia, receives notably unenthusiastic reception from                                          Congress, meets General George Washington

August 10, 1777       Becomes an aide-de-camp for Washington

September 11, 1777 Fights bravely in the Battle of Brandywine, wounded in his left leg,                                                   taken to Moravian Hospital in Bethlehem, PA, to recover

November, ? 1777     Rejoins Washington

November 24,1777   Sent by General Greene with 400 men to reconnoiter Howe’s                                                                movements, successfully attacks Hessians near Gloucester, NJ

December 19 ,1777 Marches into Valley Forge with Washington and 12,000 troops

November? 1777       Conway Cabal discovered

February 6, 1778         Treaty of alliance between America and France signed in Paris

February 17,1778        Sent to invade Canada, arrives at Albany, sees lack of troops, aborts                                                mission

March, 1778                    Recruits 50+ Oneida warriors and sends them to Valley Forge

April, 1778                      Returns to Valley Forge

May 3?, 1778                  Learns of the death of his daughter, Henriette

May 6? ,1778                  French Alliance announced at Valley Forge

May 18, 1778                  Leads 2200 troops to Barren Hill to scout British forces in                                                                      Philadelphia

May 20 ,1778                  Escapes from 16,000 British troops at Barren Hill, PA

June 18, 1778               British leave Philadelphia for New York via NJ

June 28, 1778                Battle of Monmouth Court House, Monmouth, NJ     

July August 29               Leads one division under General Greene in assault on British in                                                         Newport, D’Estaing takes French fleet out of this battle, Lafayette                                                       acts as go-between

January 11,1779          Arrives back in France seeking more support

December 24,1779      Adrienne gives birth to a baby boy, George Washington Lafayette

March 17,1780               Embarks on L’Hermione to return to America.

April 28,1780                  Arrives at Boston Harbor, greeted as a hero                                  

March 10, 1780              Arrives at Morristown, NJ, and tells Washington France sending 6,000                                               troops, artillery, munitions, ships and money, under the command                                                   of  Rochambeau                 

September?? 1780       Discovery that General Benedict Arnold has committed treason

Fall, 1780                          British move the war to the South, believing loyalist support                                                               strong there                                                                                                        

1781 February                Takes command of troops, which he outfits from his own pocket,                                                      and tries to capture Arnold, who is laying waste to Virginia

                                              Pursued by Cornwallis, whose forces far outnumber his, managed to                                                 avoid major battle

September, 1781              Pursues and corners Cornwallis at Yorktown, VA

 August 19, 1781               Washington and Rochambeau begin 450 mile trek to Yorktown

                                                Battle of the Capes DeGrasse defeats the British fleet in                                                                          Chesapeake  Bay

                                                DeGrasse blockades the British in Yorktown, urges L. to attack but                                                    he refuses, determined to wait for Washington

September 17, 1781        Washington and Rochambeau arrive with # American, # French                                                           troops, and siege guns                                                                                    

September 28, 1781        Siege of Yorktown begins, Washington gives Lafayette command of                                                   one of the three Continental divisions                                                         

                                                 Assault on Yorktown, in command of one of the three Continental                                                     divisions

October 17, 1781               French and American troops cannonade the British into                                                                         surrender  after nine days of blistering artillery fire

October 19,1781                Cornwallis surrenders at Yorktown, effectively ending the War of                                                        Independence

December 23,1781           Leaves Boston on the The Alliance, returns to France, where he                                                            continues to lobby for trade agreements, etc., with America

March 28, 1783 ?                Daughter Virginie born, named after Washington’s home state

September, 1783                The Treaty of Paris signed, America wins its complete                                                                                independence 

August 17, 1784                    Visits Mount Vernon as Washington’s honored guest 

1824-5                                      At the invitation of President Monroe, makes a Farewell Tour of                                                          all 24 of the Uni ted States         

May 20,1834                          Dies in Paris, aged 76,  buried in Picpus cemetery under dirt from                                                        Bunker Hill

For a complete timeline that includes Lafayette’s role in the French revolution, please visit:                          https://friendsoflafayette.wildapricot.org/Timeline