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Michel-René Hilliard d'Auberteuil: Plan de la Bataille de Montmouth ou le Gl. Washington Commandait l'Armee Americaine

Map: USA9184
Cartographer: Michel-René Hilliard d'Auberteuil
Title: Plan de la Bataille de Montmouth ou le Gl. Washington Commandait l'Armee Americaine
Date: 1782
Published: Brussels
Width: 15 inches / 39 cm
Height: 9 inches / 23 cm
Map ref: USA9184
Scarce and important Revolutionary War battle plan of the Battle of Monmouth (28 June, 1778), the only plan of the battle to have been printed during the Revolutionary War. Michel du Chesnoy, an aide to the Marquis de Lafayette, is credited as the source of the map.

The Battle of Monmouth was an attempt by the Americans to destroy the supply train of the British Army as it retreated from Philadelphia to Sandy Hook. The American vanguard, led by General Charles Lee, sensing opportunity, attacked the British near Monmouth Courthouse, but were pushed back by a strong British counterattack. They might have been destroyed altogether had George Washington not arrived with the bulk of the Continental Army. The British were repelled, but managed to complete their withdrawal to Sandy Hook. The Americans suffered fewer casualties and showed the renewed quality of their forces, but failed to prevent the British retreat. Though neither side was able to claim victory, the battle was an important milestone for George Washington as it cemented his position as head of the Continental Army.

Du Chesnoy's original map was coloured which made it easier to see the positions of the two armies at a glance. Without colour we have to rely instead on the index below the map which describes the phases of battle. To clarify, the British positions are: a, 1, 2, 5, 9, 12, 14, 17, 19, 20, 21, and 22. The American positions are: 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 16, and 18. Translated roughly, the 23 marked points are:

a. Position occupied by the English the day before the affair.
1. English column deployed to its left. The dragoons detached to the right of the American columns emerging from the wood.
2. First English battery which fired while they were deploying.
3. General Lee's first brigade which withdrew back into the woods where the rest of the detachment emerged in four columns.
4. Emergence of Lee's four columns.
5. Second English battery.
6. & 7. First and second American batteries.
8. American troops formed to the right of batteries 6 & 7, ordered to withdraw without firing.
9. Monmouth Courthouse
10. American troops in front of the courthouse withdrew without waiting for the enemy.
11. First position occupied by the troops under General Lee's orders. They retreated back into the woods on the left instead of waiting for an attack.
12. Strong attack by the English against the American troops forced into the woods during the retreat from position '11'.
13. Second position occupied by the rest of the American troops. They withdrew after being charged by the English Dragoons, later dispersed by Colonel Stuart.
14. English corps emerged from the woods and opened fire on the American troops still occupying position '13'.
15. Position taken by the American troops withdrawing from point '13'. General Washington made them pass behind the line he had just formed at point '16'.
16. Position occupied by General Washington's arriving troops to support General Lee's retreating detachment.
17. English column which advanced to attack the left but withdrew after seeing the American line.
18. Six-piece American battery commanded by the Chevalier du Plessis-Mauduit and supported by 500 men.
19. Position occupied by the English troops withdrawn from '14' and '17', from which they were driven back with great loss.
20. Ground held by the English after being pushed back from '19'.
21. New English position after they were pushed back by Washington.
22. Final English position, and where they spent the night.

A fascinating and rare piece of Revolutionary War history. [USA9184]