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Machin, Thomas (20 March 1744–03 April 1816), revolutionary war engineer and artillery officer, was born near Wolverhampton, in Staffordshire, England, the son of John Machin, the eminent English astronomer and mathematician; his mother’s name is unknown. His father died when Thomas was seven years old. At the age of fifteen he was enrolled by his mother as a cadet in the British army. During the Seven Years’ War he fought against the French (1759) at Minden, in Germany....

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Tousard, Anne-Louis (12 March 1749–10 April 1817), soldier, engineer, and diplomat, was born in Paris, the son of Charles Germain de Tousard, a French general, and Antoinette de Poitevin de la Croix. In 1765 he graduated from the French Artillery School in Strasbourg, and he then served in Bayonne, Douay, Bapaume, and Mézières. The French government permitted him to volunteer for service in America, and he arrived in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, on 20 April 1777 as part of a group of French officers under Philippe Tronson du Coudray. Du Coudray had been recruited by the American agent ...