Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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FERMOY, Matthias Alexis Roche de, French soldier, born in the West Indies about 1787; died after 1778. He was 34th on the list of Continental brigadier-generals, his commission dating 5 November, 1776. On coming to this country in that year and offering his services to congress, Fermoy represented him self as a colonel of engineers in the French army. He served under Washington in the Trenton-Princeton campaign. On 1 January, 1777, he was ordered to take his brigade to hold an advanced post at Mile-Run, beyond Maiden-Head (now Lawrence-villa). That same night he returned to Trenton, leaving his command in a somewhat questionable way. The following year (1777) he was placed in command of Fort Independence, opposite Fort Ticonderoga, by orders of congress, and against the protest of Washington. On the retreat of General Arthur St. Clair from Ticonderoga, Fermoy, against the orders or the commanding general, set fire to his quarters on Mount independence at two o'clock on the morning of 6 July, 1777. thus revealing to Burgoyne St. Clair's evaluation of Ticonderoga. Had it not been for this, St. Clair would have made good his retreat in salary. In December, 1777, he applied for promotion to a major-generalship, but congress, on 31 January, 1778, refused his request, and on 16 February, 1778, he was allowed to resign, receiving $800 to enable him to return to the West Indies.
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