Boisbertrand, René-Etienne-Henry Gaiault (Gayault) de (1746-1823)

Lieutenant in the French service, prévôt général of the maréchaussée du Berry (1772). Persuaded by Penet and Dubourg to join the American army and carry dispatches to Congress. Procured a two-year leave. Went to Nantes, where he awaited his ship for more than two months. While there, he inspected weapons supplied by Montieu and La Tuillerie, and found them to be defective.

Sailed aboard the Hancock and Adams (September 1776), which was intercepted by an American privateer. Arrived in New Bedford as a prisoner, but was promptly released. Met up with Penet’s associate, Couleaux, to whom he entrusted his dispatches. Joined General Lee’s army in New Jersey, was wounded and captured (December 1776). Imprisoned for two months in New York. Was sent to England and committed to Forton Prison. Escaped (July 1778). Returned to France, where he learned that he had overstayed his leave and lost his position to his brother. Chevalier de Saint- Louis (1788).

Born at Bourges. Son of Etienne-Henry Gaiault de Vic.