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First Name: Stephen

Last Name: Rochefontaine

Birthplace: Marne, FRA

Gender: Male

Branch: Continental Army (1775 - 1784)

Date of Birth: 23 February 1755

Date of Death: 30 January 1814

Rank: Lieutenant Colonel

Years Served:
Stephen Rochefontaine

•  Revolutionary War (1775 - 1783)


Stephen Rochefontaine
Lieutenant Colonel, Continental Army

Stephen Rochefontaine was born on 23 February 1755 in Ay, Marne, France. His name at birth was Estienne Nicolas Marie B├ęchet, Sieur de Rochefontaine.

Rochefontaine came to the U.S. in 1778 after failing to gain a position in the French Royal Corps of Engineers. He volunteered in General Washington's Continental Army on 15 May 1778 and was appointed Captain in the Corps of Engineers on 18 September 1778. For his distinguished services at the Siege of Yorktown, Rochefontaine was given the brevet rank of Major by Congress on 16 November 1781.

He returned to France in 1783 and served as an infantry officer, reaching the rank of Colonel in the French Army. He came back to the U.S. in 1792 and anglicized his first name to Stephen. President Washington appointed him a Civilian Engineer to fortify the New England coast, in 1794.

After the new Corps of Artillerists and Engineers was organized, Washington made Rochefontaine a Lieutenant Colonel and Commandant of the new Corps on 26 February 1795. Rochefontaine started a military school at West Point, NY, in 1795, but the building and all his equipment were burned the following year.

He left the Army on 7 May 1798, and lived in New York City until his death.

Death and Burial

Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Rochefontaine died on 30 January 1814 in New York, NY. He is buried at Saint Paul's Chapel and Churchyard in Manhattan, NY.

Honoree ID: 3013   Created by: MHOH




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