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Armand Louis de Gontaut, Duc de Lauzun, later duc de Biron, and usually referred to by historians of the French Revolution simply as Biron (13 April 1747 – 31 December 1793) was a French soldier and politician, known for the part he played in the American War of Independence and the French Revolutionary Wars. In 1773, he was Grand second warden of Grand Orient de France. After raising an army of volunteer hussars and infantry, subsequently known as Lauzun's Legion, for service in North America. He arrived with 600 of his men in Rhode Island; the remainder were in France, prevented from leaving. Despite having only a portion of his force, he engaged in several active skirmishes, including one near Gloucester, Virginia on 4 October 1781.
In 1781, he took an important part in the American War of Independence by being the advance party of the main French army of Rochambeau sent to reinforce General George Washington at the Siege of Yorktown in 1781. Lauzun's Legion left their winter quarters in Lebanon, Connecticut on 9 June 1781 and marched south through Connecticut known as the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route. Their main function was to be an advance party but also to remain ten to fifteen miles south of the main army to protect the flank against any British located in the many Tory towns in lower Fairfield County. While in Connecticut, the French made camps in Middletown, Wallingford, North Haven, Ripton and North Stratford. They arrived at North Stratford, now Nichols on 28 June and stayed for two days. From the hilltop in North Stratford, now Abraham Nichols Park, one could easily see for seventy miles past Long Island Sound to New York and beyond. The French used this time to spy on British ships in New York harbor. After the successful campaign at Yorktown and subsequent British surrender, Lauzun returned to France a hero and was made maréchal de camp.
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