Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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ORV1LLIERS, Louis Guillouet, French sailor, born in Moulins, France, in 1708; died there in 1792. His father was governor of Cayenne, and at the age of fifteen the son entered the military service of that colony, rising rapidly to the rank of lieutenant of infantry, he passed into the navy in 1728, reached the grade of post-captain in 1754, and, after taking an active part in various campaigns in Europe, Santo Domingo, and the Antilles, was made vice-admiral in 1764. In 1777 he was named lieutenant-general of the naval armies in consequence of the approaching intervention of France in the war between Great Britain and her American colonies. In 1778 he engaged the English under Admiral Keppel from 23 to 27 July, and although both fleets suffered equally, the advantage remained with the French. An attempt to capture Portsmouth and Plymouth in the following year was a failure, and D'Orvilliers, being censured for not turning to better account the immense naval forces at his disposal, resigned his command. On the death of his wife in 1783 he retired to the Abbey of St. Magloire, Paris, but he returned to his native town some time afterward.
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