(1754–82) Revolutionary War officer, born outside Charleston, South Carolina. Laurens was aide-de-camp to George Washington, whom he served as secretary and translator to French allies. He fought at Brandywine and Germantown (both 1777), Monmouth (1778), and later, when the British invaded the South, in Georgia and his native South Carolina (1779). In 1781 Laurens, who was fluent in French, traveled to France and successfully negotiated for money for military supplies by avoiding the diplomatic route and going directly to Louis XVI. Later that same year he took part in the siege of Yorktown, leading a difficult bayonet attack on British fortifications and afterwards taking part in negotiating the British surrender.
From The Oxford Essential Dictionary of the U.S. Military in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: Warfare and Defence.