Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Neuville, Chevalier de la

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NEUVILLE, Chevalier de la, soldier, b. about 1740; d. about 1800. In 1777 he and his younger brother Normiont arrived in this country and offered their services to congress. He had been for more than twenty years an officer, brought letters that recommended him for his zeal, activity, and knowledge in the French service, and also bore high testimonials to Gen. Washington. On 14 May, 1778, he was appointed an inspector of the army under Gen. Horatio Gates, with the promise of rank according to his merit at the end of three months. He was a good officer but a strict disciplinarian, and was not popular with the army. Failing to receive promotion to the rank he expected after six months' service, he applied for permission to retire, which was granted, and on 4 Dec., 1778, congress passed an order that a certificate be given him by the president in these words: “M. de la Neuville, having served with fidelity and reputation in the army of the United States, in testimony of his merit, a brevet commission of brigadier has been granted him by congress, and, on his request, he is permitted to leave the service of the States and return to France.” He formed a strong attachment for Gen. Gates while under his command, and corresponded with him after leaving the country. In one of his letters he says that he had applied for permission to return to America in vain, and announced his intention of doing so, “not as a general but as a philosopher,” and of purchasing a residence near that of Gen. Gates. He did not revisit this country, and his subsequent history is lost. — His brother, Normiont, served in two campaigns with credit, was appointed a major, and afterward lieutenant-colonel by brevet, and returned to France in 1779.