The French

Rochambeau, Count de. Engraving (¾ length) by T. D. Booth from painting by J. D. Court. Count de Rochambeau, French General of the land forces in America reviewing the French troops. Engraving; Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division; Washington, D.C. Grasse, Count de. Engraving (bust) by Lemercier from painting by A. Maurin, 1837.

In 1777, France was so impressed with the American victory at Saratoga, that it entered the war against Britain, thus increasing the strength of the Patriot forces. This was known as the Franco-American Alliance. The first action by French troops on American soil during the Revolution was in 1779 at Savannah, Georgia, and it ended in a major British victory. In 1780, France delivered 5,000 more troops to Newport, Rhode Island. These troops marched south to Yorktown, Virginia, to join with reinforcements from the French fleet that was sailing from the West Indies. They would play a major role in the siege and battle of Yorktown which ultimately resulted in the British surrender that ended the war. The French were a very well organized army and were meticulous about their overall appearance. Their uniforms were elaborate and very precise, and their equipment and weaponry were very well regulated. Personal items and ordnance were sometimes designed or officially marked with a fleur-de-lis symbol.