Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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LYNCH, Isidore de, French soldier, born in London, 7 June, 1755; died in France, 4 August, 1841. He was sent for his education to the College of Louis-le-Grand, Paris. During the war of 1770 in India he was taken to that country by one of his uncles, who commanded a regiment of the Irish brigade, and after serving in the campaigns of 1770 and 1771 he returned to France. He then volunteered to aid the American colonists, and served first under the orders of Count d'Estaing. At the most critical moment of the siege of Savannah, Georgia, D'Estaing, who was at the head of the right of one column, commanded Lynch to carry an urgent order to the third column on the left. These columns were within grape-shot range of the intrenchments of the English, and a tremendous firing was kept up on both sides. Instead of passing through the centre or in the rear of the column, Lynch rode through the front. In vain D'Estaing and those who surrounded him shouted to him to take another direction. He went, on, executed his order, and returned by the same way. Being asked by D'Estaing why he took a path in which he was almost certain to be killed, he replied:" Because it was the shortest," and then joined the part of the troops that were most ardently engaged in mounting to the assault. He was afterward employed in the army of Rochambeau, and continued to do good service up to the surrender of Cornwallis. After seeing some fighting in Mexico he returned to France in 1783, was named colonel of the 2d regiment in the Irish brigade, and received the cross of St. Louis. Although all his relatives in France were devoted to the Bourbons, he took service under the French republic, and commanded the infantry at the first battle of Valmy in 1792.
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