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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from François Lellorquis, Marquis de Malmady to Horatio Gates
Malmady, François Lellorquis, marquis de
August 08, 1780
Volume 14, Pages 538-540


Dear General:

I did myself the honour to apply you in writing some days ago, to be Employed in your army; as you have not yet favoured me with a Letteral answer, and my situation becoming every day more critical, or from the disgrace of an humiliating & undesserved inactivity, either from the miseria I am subjected to, I beg Leave to address you an official petition.

I had the honour to be detached to the southern department to be Employed according to my rank, or in commanding a regiment of Light infantry, if some formed; either to the most conducive to the public interest.

From that resolve, General Lincoln Least campaign gave me the command of the Light troops in his army.

After the campaign I went to Philadelphia, and in the month of September Congress permitted me to return, & to take again the same command.

During the besiege of Charlestown, General Lincoln thought proper to give me the command on the Eastern shore of Cooper river; I was ordered the 26th of April to Evacuate these posts

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and retreat to town, and the 30th to Leave town, to join the army in the country, to inform the Governor of the particular state of the garrison, and to take the command of my senior officer.

At your arrival in the army, I did myself the honour to communicate you that order, and you promised me to be Employed. On Little river, I purposed you an Expedition against Gorge town, and I begged you would apply to General Caswell for having men from his divisions; you promised me rather South Carolina militia, of Pedee, but it is given to Master Harrington.

I took the Liberty to make you an application for a Light infantry, at the Least camp; you answered me that the men would serve under their own officers. I have already informed you of the petition which Major Armstrong made to me, to serve with his regiment under my command; and of the favourable disposition of the North Carolina private militia for me; you invited General Caswell to give the command of his Light infantry to Colonel Porterfield. I wish sincerely the advantages of the country, and if Colonel Porterfield may render more service than I do, give him, sir, that command.

There is another Line, wherein I may be Employed. You are perhaps unacquainted that, in the campaign of 1778, I have been appointed in the general order to act in the capacity of a military quarter master, as it is practised in the European armies; and General Washington gave me several testimonies of approbation in that campaign. If you do desire, I shall act in that Line; nevertheless, I desire to have some artifice detachement during the campaign.

In short, sir, Congress has detached me in the southern department to be Employed according to my rank; I wait upon your commands in writing.

Give me Leave, sir, to observe you, with all the respect I ow to your rank, that as an officer, as a gentleman & foreigner, I do feel, as far as it is possible, my situation. I Lost my bagages & horses in Leaving Charlestown. My horse has been lately stolen by the army; I am without servant, any accomodation of camp, Lying in the wodds without blanket, and any rank or station in the army. Such a statement cannot be acknowledged by Congress, neither supported by a man of Education & sensibility.

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If I am not employed I shall not be satisfied from my Earnest desire to serve, but I shall not be injured; an injustice does not dishonour the sufferer.

I am here among many hundred men who served under my command. I do refer my conduct to their judgment.

I am, sir, with respect,
Your most obedt., very humble Servant,

8th of August, 1780.
General Gates.