The papers of the Marquis de Castellane include brief, but significant documentation of French naval and military activity during the American Revolution. The manuscripts are comprised of miscellaneous items extracted from the papers of the Castellane family in France by a bookdealer.
Authorship of the Castellane documents has not been positively determined, however it is likely that they can be safely attributed to Henri César, marquis de Castellane Majastre. Castellane Majastre commanded the Marseillais in de Grasse's squadron in 1781 and 1782, and the collection includes commissions and legal documents relating to Castellane Majastre and his family. He may have kept some of these journals, or may have copied them from his fellow officers.
The collection includes two cahiers dealing with the siege of Yorktown (61 pp.); a description of the Battle of Saints' Passage (Battle of Îles des Saintes), April 9-12, 1782, (5 pp.); a notebook on route the French army took in traveling from Rhode Island to Yorktown and during their return to France (7 pp.); and a journal of the siege of Yorktown with brief descriptions of De Grasse's naval campaigns (41 pp.). While these are not extensive, they include some fine descriptions of the engagements, leavened on occasion with observations on the people and scenery.