Oct. 6, 2021

Lafayette's Map Maker Depicts the Battle of Monmouth

Lafayette's Map Maker Depicts the Battle of Monmouth

The Washington Library at Mount Vernon holds a vast collection of Revolutionary War-era maps, including several carried by the Marquis de Lafayette while he served in the Continental Army. 

One of the most special items in the collection is a manuscript map drawn by Michel Capitaine du Chesnoy, Lafayette's map maker, showing the 1778 Battle of Monmouth.

Our library catalog provides the following description of the battle:


"Michel Capitaine du Chesnoy, the Marquis de Lafayette's map maker, drew this map following the Battle of Monmouth Court House in northeastern New Jersey. After confusion surrounding the Continental Army's orders, the soldiers prevented the British troops from advancing. The battle occurred on a hot June day and hundreds of soldiers died of heatstroke. Women, who came to be referred to collectively as “Molly Pitcher,” supported the American troops by bringing water to cool the men and their guns. Although the battle ended inconclusively, it was a turning point for the professionalization of the American army as volunteer French and German military officers provided training."


See a high resolution version of du Chesnoy's map here and don't forget to listen to Recruiting the Hero of Two Worlds with Mike Duncan.