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John Montrésor

(1736—1799) military engineer


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(1736–99) British military engineer, born in Gibraltar. Montrésor was chief engineer in America (1775–78) during the early years of the Revolutionary War. In addition to working on a variety of engineering projects, Montrésor saw action as an aide-de-camp to Gen. William Howe at the battle of New York (1776) and the subsequent fighting on Manhattan and in New Jersey. In 1777 he directed the position and attack of most of the artillery at Brandywine and later constructed the lines of defense around Philadelphia. After fighting at the battle of Monmouth (1778), Montrésor, who had lost his superior's confidence, left America for England. He resigned his commission in 1779. Montrésor, who had accompanied his father, James Gabriel Montrésor, to North America at the time of the French and Indian War (1754–63), also served ably in that conflict and remained to compile an impressive record of engineering achievements between it and the Revolution. He was with Gen. Edward Braddock on an expedition against Fort Duquesne (1755), commanded detachments from Fort Edward (1756), took part in the capture of Louisbourg (1758), and commanded a light infantry regiment at Quebec (1759). From 1760 to 1764 Montrésor conducted an engineering survey of the St. Lawrence River, and in 1764 he constructed a chain of redoubts on the shore of Lake Erie.

From The Oxford Essential Dictionary of the U.S. Military in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Warfare and Defence.


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